…or Wikki Stix, or whatever you call them. (I’m calling mine “Fake-aroos!”) You know, they are the wax-covered-yarn thingies that kids love to play with until they eventually become covered in dust.
If you like the idea of crafting with your kids, you can make your own…and then when they get grotty and you need to toss them, it’s no big deal- ‘cuz you can just make more!
Here’s the down-low. You need:
- 1 Wax Toilet Ring. (Yup, from the hardware store. About a buck.)
- 1 package of paraffin wax for candle-making or canning. From the grocery store, about $1.50.
- yarn, remnants are fine! Have the kids cut them into the 6-10″ lengths
- candle/soap scent (optional)
- wax paper or deli wrap
- scissors to cut the yarn
- chopsticks or craft sticks
- metal bowl/coffee can for double-boiler
If your wax ring has a plastic “seat” embedded in it, you’re gonna need to cut thatout. The wax is soft and VERY sticky, so you might want to wear latex gloves for this part. Plus, the wax is a little stinky…kinda like petroleum jelly. But you can use an old steak knife to cut it apart and stick it in your metal bowl.
Eyeball this, and add approximately twice as much paraffin wax to the bowl. It doesn’t have to be perfect, but the paraffin will encourage the toilet-ring-wax to be less sticky. My first batch was a 1:1 ratio, and my daughter and I felt that the resulting Fake-aroos were a little TOO sticky.
Melt your waxes in the metal bowl above a smaller pan of boiling water. Yes, this is a make-shift double-boiler, but I wouldn’t want you to use your nice cookware for some stinky, sticky wax! I used a second-hand stainless-steel bowl, and when I was done with it, I just let it cool in the bowl, threw some plastic wrap onto the top, and stored it in my metal bowl or coffee canfor the next round. (Properly labeled, of course.)
Now, as you are melting your wax, you’ll notice that it’s pretty dark. I’m OK with that, as it makes the yarn look kind of “earthy” or natural. Someday I’ll play with adding pigments, but for this first run, I decided I’d rather tackle the scent issue. Like I mentioned, that toilet ring wax is a little stinky. And since I want my kids to actually play with these, I went ahead and added a liberal dose of Vanilla scent that was left over from our soap-making adventures. It worked REALLY well- the wax (and resulting stix) smell a little like sugar cookies. Yum!
Once your wax is all melted and your scent added, remove you bowl from the heat and et ready to DIP! I asked my little girl to “help” by cutting the yarn and dropping it into the hot wax. Then I picked it out of the goo with chopsticks, let it drip a bit, and then placed it on deli paper to cool.
Try to let the excess drain, as otherwise you’ll get puddles of wax around your stix- but if you do, that’s OK; you can just trip off the excess wax.
We also experimented with using some really big, chunky yarn…and we got some big, funky stix to play with. On occasion, we saw that there were some stray fibers, but with just ran the Fake-a-roos through our fingers a few times and they became re-incorporated into the wax.
All in all, this was an easy craft to do, took about an hour from prep to clean-up, and is a great rainy day activity. Give it a try, and let me know how YOURS turn out!
And if you’re interested, read my review of Bendaroos here.