How to Create a Wax Hand Statue

Written by heather lacey
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How to Create a Wax Hand Statue
Wax statues can keep artistic records of your family's hands. (Michael Hitoshi/Photodisc/Getty Images)

A wax hand statue can capture a moment in time. This unique art form is ideal for making casts of children's hands to make comparisons as they grow. Wax hand statues can also make statements through different hand gestures or sign language phrases. Wax hands have a striking visual impact, and they look more difficult to create than they actually are. Wax hand statues or candles are easy to make at home with only a few craft supplies.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

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Things you need

  • Container wax
  • Saucepan
  • Hand lotion
  • Candy thermometer
  • 2 buckets, 14 inches deep
  • Water

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Heat wax in a saucepan over low heat until it is liquefied. Pour the melted wax into one bucket and hang the candy thermometer on the side of the bucket so the probe is in the wax. Fill the other bucket with water.

  2. 2

    Rub hand lotion all over the hand and wrist of the hand you want to cast. Apply a thick layer of lotion; the idea is to keep wax from sticking to your hand and breaking during removal of the statue.

  3. 3

    Watch the thermometer for the temperature to read between 40.5 and 43.3 degrees C. If the temperature drops below this point, put the wax back into the saucepan and reheat to this range.

  4. 4

    Dip your lotioned hand in wax to above your wrist. Dip your hand into the water bucket immediately after to begin cooling the first layer of wax. Continue alternating dips between the wax bucket and water bucket until the wax becomes thick enough to remove, about seven to nine dips.

  5. 5

    Wiggle your fingers gently inside the wax mould while your hand is underwater. Pull your fingers up slowly into the hand area of the mould. Once the finger areas are empty, dip the wax hand in water only to the knuckles to harden the fingertips.

  6. 6

    Hold the wax mould from the back of the wrist area and carefully slide it off your hand. Submerge the wax statue in water until it is fully hardened.

  7. 7

    Dip the wrist of the finished wax hand into warm wax to melt it slightly. Gently fold the edges of the wrist inward to create a solid base for your statue to stand on.

Tips and warnings

  • Fill the wax hand with plaster to create a solid statue with a wax exterior.
  • Add colouring and fragrances to the wax if desired.
  • Use a single wax hand to create a plaster mould from which you can make solid wax hands and candles. Place one completed wax hand in a shoebox half full of wet plaster. Pour additional plaster on top and allow it to dry. When the plaster is completely dry, saw the box in half lengthwise to create a mould for warm wax.
  • Add candle wicks to solid wax statues to create unique candles.
  • Alternate dipping in different colours of wax to create colourful gradient statues.
  • Remove rings or bracelets to prevent wax sticking in crevices of jewelery.
  • Experiment with dipping your hand as though it is holding something. Add flowers or pens between grasping fingers to create an artistic finished product.
  • Do not display in direct sunlight.
  • Be cautious of the wax temperature. Temperatures above 43.3 degrees C could cause serious burns.
  • Keep your hand still while dipping for best results.

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