Saturday, February 18, 2012

Friendly Friday: Mer and Ben Part 2

For some reason I thought I had scheduled this post to go up yesterday, so I apologize for the delay. At long last, I have Meredith’s Christmas Craft, a supplement to Ben’s woodwork last week. It has been a long day of sanding (more on that later), so without further ado: home made candles.
Mer writes:
Meanwhile, I tried my hand at candle-making! After failing to find any local candle supply stores, I ordered soy wax, wicks, and fragrance online from Rustic Escentuals. While there are a plethora of materials made specifically for home candle making, I went low-cost. I bought a $6 stainless steel pot that I knew I could use as a double boiler with another pot I already owned, and got a $3 candy thermometer.
I started with the candle containers – found this eclectic mix at an antique store downtown – Two Gals’ Junk.
Then I had to secure the wicks perfectly straight in the middle of the containers. I used needle-nosed pliers to guide the wick, with a dab of hot glue on the end, into the bottom of each container.
Use a clothespin or tie the wick to a pencil laid across the top of the container to secure the wick firmly in the middle.

Now comes the messy part! You can use a scale to measure out the perfect amount of wax, but again: I went low cost, and I don’t currently own a kitchen scale. Instead, I just used all the wax I had bought and figured I would fill as many containers as I could. The soy wax flakes generally melted to about half their original volume.
I read over and over again how important it is to be cautious when melting wax – it has a flammable point, so I used a double boiler and this candy thermometer to monitor the temperature as it melted. I also covered my workspace with old sheets just in case I spilled anything!
Here’s where you can add fragrance and coloring if you want – I added just a few drops of pumpkin scent, but decided to go natural with the coloring. I’ve read that while crayons do work for coloring candles, they can sometime harden differently than the wax and make candles more difficult to burn – so I think I’ll probably buy the coloring if I go that route in the future.
Once ready to pour, I used a plastic measuring container with a spout. It takes 24 hours for the wax to dry completely.
I packaged each candle a little bit differently – some I decorated with cloth and ribbons and gave as a pair, others I sent separately as a small thankyou for the light that my friends are to me.
The only candle I didn’t end up giving away is the strange blue one that is a hand holding a cup (review candle pic #2) – I thought it was so fun and funky in the store, but the longer I looked at it, the weirder it seemed. My husband and I laugh about it now, and shoved it behind some other decorations on a bookshelf. Ha!

Isn’t this a great idea? I will probably channel this next year for Christmas. Also, I was the loving recipient of that teacup candle in the bottom left corner and it literally brightens my day every evening when I light it.

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