My sister-in-law is a kindergarten and early elementary teacher. She has raved about how marvelous these “yarn wax sticks” were, how she uses them in numerous way in her classroom, how easy these sticks are to manipulate and how they are a no-mess craft/activity. They sound terrific – so I set out to make my own to use with our homeschool preschool. If you are interested in buying them, check out Wikki Stix!
- Yarn (cotton or velor worked the best, bumpy yarns were not suitable)
- Toilet Bowl Seal
- Regular Wax Candle
- Aluminum Foil
- Paper Towels
Put the wax toilet seal into your sauce pan and turn the heat on low.
Cut the yarn into strings that are roughly 8 inches long.
Cover a pan with aluminum foil (to make clean up easier)
Once the seal melts, you will need to remove the plastic and/or metal insert. The seal I purchased was brown and I wish it were white or clear so my colors of yarn could be more brilliant.
After you’ve removed the insert, add a chunk of the regular candle wax. The toilet wax is too sticky, but if you use regular candle wax it is too hard and will crack on the yarn. I don’t remember the amounts I used exactly, it probably depends on the type of seal wax and house candle you are using. I added a quarter sized chunk into the mixture, tested a strand, and probably added 2-3 more quarter sized chunks before the wax had the right consistency. You want the strands to stick to eachother once dry but not leave a residue on the surface.
So once you have your wax figured out, drop several strands of yarn into the wax, wait 30 seconds or so for them to absorb the wax, then lift them out with the tweezers. Line them up on your foil to dry.
As soon as I was finished I realized that the wax smears instead of wipes or scrapes off… OOPS! I was able to remove the majority of the wax residue, by heating the pot on high and wipe out with the paper towels. Be sure to wash in very hot water later.
One seal and roughly 1/2 a candle made nearly 100 strands! Another perk, my hands were super soft from all the waxy oils!
And now, the truth. This meager pile took all of nap time to create – more than two hours!! Seriously, I doubt my kids will play with them that long! If you have been reading Quirky Momma much you know that I love creating learning supplies and manipulatives to help kids learn. This is one of the instances though where I think my time would have been better spent ordering them online! I will post a few of the activities we did together with our “sticky sticks” (or Wikki Stix knockoffs) and please tell me if/when you try it what I could have made this process more efficient. OR if you are not handy/creative, check out Wikki Stix. Buying them online beats making them yourself!
I got the inspiration on how to make these on this forum, check out the thread at A to Z Teacher Stuff.