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