Tag Archives: candle

DIY GIFT- Candle

3 Dec

BLOG-Mas DAY 3

Hello  and welcome to day 3.  I am continuing my gift DIYs and today I am making a candle. There are two ways I do DIY candles, one is using wax from white candles and the other is using shortening. I never use kits sold in craft stores as they are just too expensive.

Apparently, shortening is an excellent burning agent and in post natural disaster zones people use a can of shortening with a wick and get light for up to 22 hours. #whoknew So this makes CRISCO the star of this show. I was so enamored with the idea of making g candles from shortening that last year I gave EVERYONE  homemade candles for Christmas.

WHAT YOU NEED 

1) Shortening  (the white thick stuff )

2) Fragrance – either fragrance oils or scented was cubes

3) Colouring agent- either coloured wax, maybe from an old candle or wax crayons.

4) Wick- This is the tricky bit. Wicks  are sold at craft stores and are a bit expensive ,  you can alternately use craft cord/twine but it needs to be soaked in a flammable liqiud (e.g olive oil or borax)and/or coated in wax. I learnt this the hard way.

5) Container- I chose a large jelly jar because they are so affordable and lend to the homemade vibe but you can use any heat resistant container e.g a mug or glass.

6) Duck tape (you’ll see why)

7) Scissors

Some of the ingredients : shortening , jelly jar, scented wax melts,wax crayons, wax coated craft cord.



WHAT TO DO 

1) Prepare your container

  a) Store bought wicks: Place wick and end into jar, glueing down if needed.                       

  b) Homemade wicks: 

i)    Cut a length of your cord (pre soaked and waxed) slightly longer than needed

ii)  Cut a small square of Duck tape.

iii)  Fold over tape being careful not to let it stick to itself, and cut a slit in it.

  iv)   Insert cord through slit in tape and allow it to stick to the tape.

  v) Place wick into jar and stick to bottom of the jar    

   

Cut slit into tape



Place wick through slit and allow to stick to tape



Stick onto bottom of jar



Ensure tape is stuck



  Wick secured     




 c) Take two pens/pencils/crochet needles (anything slim and cylindrical ) and tape them together at either end and feed the wick through the space in the centre – this will help keep the wick centred while the candle hardens.

Place pens on top of jar


2) Place shortening, scented wax melts (if you are using them) and crayons in a microwave safe bowl.

Notes:

 If you aren’t using wax scent but liquid instead don’t add this until the shortening has melted.

 Use highly pigmented crayons (I used Crayola) because the colour does get diluted once the candle hardens.

Use a bowl you aren’t attached to because there will likely be waxy residue no matter how well you clean it.

Shortening, scented wax and crayons


3) Melt in microwave in 30 second bursts stirring each time . 

Melted solution


4) Pour into jar, reposition wick ensuring it is central, place into refrigerator to harden.

Pour wax into jar


5) Allow candle to firm up completely, it takes about an hour but you can leave it longer.

Hardened wax of first layer


For my candle I wanted to make a two toned or bicolor one, so this was just part 1. If you only want one colour stop here, if you want multiple colours continue.

PART 2

6) Melt  shortening (along with scented wax melts and colour) – For this step I added no colour and decided to add a fragrance oil.

Melted shortening and scented oil



7) Pour carefully over already hardened wax- If your first layer isn’t completely set the colours will mix.There is likely to be some mixing regardless but if you are careful it will be minimal.

Pour second layer


8) Allow to harden.

Hardened second layer



9) Cut wick down.

Cut wick




EXTRAS


Name/Label

You can write on the label that usually comes with the jars or print one aND add it to the jar or the lid. You can give your candle a name or just write the name of the recipient on it. I named this one which is a mixture of vanilla sandlewood (coloured brownish red) and coconut (“white “) Merry and Bright -it was pretty random.

Decoration

Feel free to add some extra flare to the top of the candle e.g coloured wax shavings, coffee beans, dried flowers or whatever suits your scent or colour scheme . 

Add name



10) Add a bow and gift! OR keep it for yourself and light!

It’s lit!


Review

As far as being a candle, this works. I made a bunch last Christmas and kept one for myself which stayed solid all year round and burnt well. In terms of the scent, once you use wax melts or essential oils there is a good convincing scent. In terms of burn time they seem to burn more slowly than for example a BBW or Glade candle.

Cost

In terms of cost, the priciest item was the jar costing just under $2US, however if you are making multiple candles you can buy the jars in bulk or use other containers you already own. The shortening is extremely affordable and a large container can literally give you dozens of candles, the crayons cost less than $3 US for a box and you can get colours for multiple candles from one box. The wax scented cubes and essential oils are also very affordable and again you get so much use out of just one package or bottle. By my calculation this candle cost me approximately  $3.50 US to make and for that you get a one of a kind gift.

Try this and tell me how it goes and have an awesome day!

Halloween on the Cheap

30 Oct

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Happy Halloween!
I love Halloween. I also love Christmas, my birthday and Easter. I like Valentine’s day and I have no feelings towards Thanksgiving. I also appreciate,respect and acknowledge Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Diwali and Eid even though I don’t personally celebrate them.

Now to the meat of the matter: Halloween!
Despite living away from home on and off for the past 4 years I have managed to be at home every year for the past 6 Halloweens. There I have a collection of Halloween props and decorations both handmade and store bought.

Here (where I am now) I have nothing. Zero, zilch! To add insult to injury Halloween season found me at a time when I had no money. NONE! So it isn’t like I could order a bunch of new stuff online or go on a shopping spree.

What is a poor party girl to do?

Well I soon discovered that my new hometown didn’t have much to offer in the way of Halloween shopping, in fact it doesn’t have much to offer in the way of shopping in any way…

Despite that I soon discovered a discount store had some Halloween stuff in stock. The basic stuff: witch hats and brooms, cat ears and tail kits, rubber creepy crawlies you get the drift.

Even though I prefer more inspired merchandise I could work with this. I have loads of “basic” Halloween decorations at home.

I could do a whole witchy theme I thought :
I’d hang two brooms over the doorway, put a plastic cauldron on my dining table and have a ton of rubber worms and mice spilling out of it. Of course I’d buy a bunch of pumkins and arrange them on my counter then put witch hats on a couple of them…..yes I can see it now….
EXCEPT I didn’t have enough money for all that stuff.

Okay so forget the theme idea I would keep it simple: A Happy Halloween banner on the wall, fake cobwebs in each corner a plastic Jack-o-lantern bucket filled to the brim with candy. I could strategically place the rubber rats and centipedes on the floor wait wait….didn’t have enough for that either.  And the store didn’t have any fake cobwebs anyway.

So I went in with a budget of under $10 (that was my theme).For that I got the following:
1) Spiderweb bowl
2) Pack of rubber spiders
3) Pack of small bats
4) Witch’s hat
TOTAL $9(things are kind of expensive around here)

This wasn’t a whole lot to work with but it was enough. My apartment is small anyway.
I placed the bowl on my table and arranged the spiders in and around it.

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Made some look like they were crawling away.

I put the witch’s hat on my breakfast bar and placed a spider and bat on it. I also added a purple candle I had from before saying as my colour scheme is purple.

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The bats were a problem. I wanted to hang them or maybe stick them onto the wall for a flying effect.but my lease prohibits sticking stuff up and also I had neither string nor tape nor funds with which to buy them. So I grudgingly propped them onto the shelf just above the breakfast bar. Made it into a Halloween corner as such.

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I’m a hardcore Halloween-ist so I knew I had to do something even if it isn’t what I would have wanted. I’m already away from home and friends and family so I needed some semblance of normalcy. And you know what I like it. It’s simple. I can look over when I’m on my laptop or in the kitchen making lunch and see it and that’s cool.

This is the overall look

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My little Halloween corner.

Well that’s that. I’ll be at work on Halloween night but I hope everyone has a great Halloween.
Stay tuned for my Halloween Scary Story post.
Have an awesome day!

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