Craft Break! Candles
Balance is key. You have to have a way of giving your brain a break from its day-in-day-out routine list of tasks. This will give it, and ultimately you, some rest. From that rest, you may find yourself feeling more inspired, having a new perspective on some work project you have been stuck on, or any 100's of other awesome healthy benefits.
I posted a picture on Instagram not long ago (click the social link at the bottom of the page to follow me there) of candles I made back in December as Christmas presents. Several people responded asking how I did it and if I would post on it. Conveniently, I knew I wanted to post a craft break this month so here it is! This is such an easy craft. I keep a stash of these around for hostess gifts, birthday gifts, or just because gifts. I do not have too many special tips, tricks, or methods as I am still expanding my knowledge in this craft too. I tried a couple of times to color the candles but 1) have not found a coloring method I like yet and 2) I find that if I use the jars with labels still on them the white shows them off best.
Steps I follow:
1) Collect cool jars!! I like the odd jars that cause people to say "huh would not have expected that to smell so good" when they open it. The mustard and pickle jars have been big hits. I've also used pint glasses I've collected over the years to clean out said collection to make room for more. Coffee cups may make an appearance soon for the same reason.
2) Order reliable gear. All of my items came from Peak Fragrance and CandleWic. These two places are professional suppliers with long standing reps in their businesses so certainly trust worthy. There are many other options though if you are looking for specific types of wax or scents. I surrendered one of my own pasta pots to the task. You can see the film that builds up from using the double boil pitcher in it. I decided it was not worth the elbow grease to clean it for food use every time so I bought a new pot. I did the same with my candy thermometer. There is a kit available on the CandleWic site with everything you would need to give this craft a whirl except the big pot.
3) Read the instructions. Every wax, wick, fragrance, and dye will have their own instructions and recommendations. Adhere to those and you'll be safely creating in no time. I made the mistake of thinking that food coloring would be just fine for coloring the candles...my boiler pitcher still has green spots in it that never mix into the wax.
4) Measure 1.5 times. I fill the jar I intend on using with wax beads, dump that in my double boiler pitcher, then fill the same jar back up 1/2 way with more beads and dump that in with the rest. My high school science teacher would be really proud of that one except for the fact it took me a couple of frustrating tries first that ended in yelling "why did it only fill up 1/2 way!!?" Science people, accept it.
5) Break up the chunks. I am admittedly not the most patient person on the planet (God and I are working on it). I tried to just let the stuff melt without chunk breaking at first and my little "don't drive slow in the fast lane" brain could not take it! Plus, it actually seemed to throw off the consistency of the melted wax so I feel that breaking the chunks/stirring helped keep it all one even mix.
6) Support the wick. When you put the wick into the hot wax it will droop in every direction if not supported. This makes for a candle that burns unevenly. I use skewers, popsicle sticks, or toothpicks to support the wick depending on the size of the candle jar mouth. I put the wick in the empty jar, put the support stick over the mouth of the jar, bend the wick over and around the support so it hangs at the correct height, and then set it aside so it is ready to be put in the wax once poured and cooled slightly.
7) Give thoughtful, money saving gifts! I have been doing this since my poor, post college but pre-flight pay days and they have always been a huge hit. Throw in another homemade gift, like these adorable tree and star crochet ornaments, and your gift will be the star of the gift exchange.
Happy creating y'all!! I would love to see pictures of your creative endeavors. Please post pictures in the comments, send them to me via email, reach out on social media, or send me some snail mail. However you choose to get in touch, I will be grateful and support you in your life balancing.