New Year's Eve: This is how wax casting works

New Year's Eve
This is how wax casting works

Wax casting is a healthier alternative to using toxic lead.

© Sandy Maya Matzen /

Lead pouring is a classic on New Year's Eve, but it is toxic and has been banned since 2018. A safe alternative is wax casting.

For many, lead pouring is an absolute classic on New Year's Eve. A piece of lead is heated over a candle on a spoon and the liquid mass is then poured into cold water. "The future can then be read" from the resulting figures. However, the sale of lead casting sets has been banned since 2018, as the heavy metal can cause health damage. A good alternative is wax casting. Not only is it harmless, it is also very easy to do yourself.

Lead: health hazard

When lead is melted, poisonous fumes are produced which enter the body via the respiratory tract. The heavy metal can damage organs such as the brain, the kidneys or the central nervous system. Children in particular are at risk, as even small amounts can affect their development. In addition, lead can splash when heated, causing severe burns on skin contact. Lead is also an environmental pollutant, which is why it does not belong in the household waste but in the special waste.

Preparation for wax casting

Many manufacturers have already turned around and offer ready-made wax casting sets. If you want to save some money and use leftover candles, you can easily make it yourself. To do this, crush the candle wax, put it in a tin and melt it in a water bath. Fish out possible wick residues. Then pour the wax into an ice cube mold, an empty plastic box of chocolates or something similar. Let cool and carefully press the wax out of the mold. If you want colored blanks, you can melt the wax sorted by color or add leftover crayons.

This is how wax casting works

Set up a bowl of ice-cold water, preferably with ice cubes. The colder the water, the faster the wax hardens. If the water is too warm, the wax will only set slowly and run on the surface. The result: a flat cake instead of a 3D figure. When everything is ready, place the wax blank on a spoon and hold it over a candle. As soon as the wax is liquid, pour it into the water. Once the wax has solidified, take out the resulting figure and you can start interpreting. A look on the Internet can help to make the correct forecast for the future.