Guest post from Shannon of The Lazy & Beautiful:
I am not the creative type, by any means. I want to be, but I just don’t have a knack for it. However, I try my best to be crafty. I’m always looking for crafts that aren’t ridiculously complex that could possible serve more of a purpose than keeping me occupied for a few hours. I enjoy crafting things that are useful, that bring joy to people other than their maker.
There are so many crafting ideas out there, and I’m sure there are infinitely more that I could never even dream up. However, I needed an idea that was perfect for my sister. I knew she would use a candle, especially if it was her favorite scent. I also knew exactly the kind of décor she has in her home. Knowing these two things prompted me to make two coffee vanilla mug candles for her for her Christmas present. I also knew the fact that it was hand-made and so custom would make her absolutely love it. I was right.
Step 1 – Wax Chips
The actual crafting of the candles was not near as complicated or difficult as I thought it would be. You can go to any craft store and get wax chips. I used soy wax and I highly recommend buying more than you think you’ll need. I bought one pound of wax chips and it was barely enough to make two candles in coffee mugs.
Step 2 – Scented Oils
In the same section of the craft store, there will be different scented oils for you candles. You can also use natural ingredients for scents as well, but as I said before, I’m not that creative. It astounded me how many different scents you can find just to make candles. I know how much my sister enjoys vanilla scents and picked one I thought would suit her. You can also add dyes to your candles if you would like but seeing as I made the candles in ceramic mugs, a dye wouldn’t have mattered much, and probably would have made the candles appear tacky. If you make them in a clear container though, by all means, dye away.
Step 3 – Melting the Wax
There are a few different methods for melting the wax, but I chose double boiling, just as you would to melt chocolate. I liked how much control I had over the melting of the wax and how evenly it melted with this method. Once the wax was in its liquid form, I added the scented oil (and, if you choose to do so, this is where you’d add the dye as well) and mixed the liquid wax so the scent was evenly distributed.
Step 4 – Adding the Wick
The part I struggled with the most was getting the wick to cooperate and stay straight. I highly recommend either taping the wick to the bottom of the container or finding some other way to make it really stick. Then, wrap it around a wooden utensil of some kind (a chopstick, spoon, spatula, etc.) to make it tight. Once all of that is set up, pour in your melted wax.
Step 5 – Waiting & Finishing Touches
It takes about 24 hours to harden completely, so you have to let it sit undisturbed. Before I left it alone however, I decided coffee beans would be a nice touch. Seeing as I had made two candles, I decided to do my sister’s initials, one on each candle. The coffee beans floated, by the way, so if you try this idea out, just be aware (it messed me up). I think, too, that other garnishes such as flowers would make a nice touch, especially if you decide to make your candles in a clear container. This little detail is completely dependent on personal preference.
So there you have it, a relatively easy craft for the minimally crafty individual. Candles are a great, personal gift for someone you care about (or yourself). Also, the fact that they are homemade will make anyone happy (I know it definitely pleased my sister). However, I highly recommend giving yourself a couple days to do this, just in case they don’t turn out right the first time. Also, make sure you really scrub the dishes you use to melt the wax. The stuff is hard to get off!
Check out Shannon’s new blog The Lazy & Beautiful for some great beauty, food and life tips.
|| the chaotic creative