Adventures with Michelle, DIY Candles

I have ruined my love of expensive candles. Not to say that I don’t like candles – I do. I really enjoy them. Problem is, the cost. I like those $20-$25 candles that smell so good. You know the ones. Recently, I burned up yet another $20 wonder and thought, ugh, ‘I’m throwing away another lovely glass jar'(not to mention that I literally burned up a twenty!). We don’t have glass recycling here and that makes it worse. So I sat it aside and enjoyed the smell with the lid off anyway, until I’d decide to toss it.

In the meantime, I found myself at a place called Hobby Lobby wandering aimlessly. I’d driven my Mom to an eye Dr. appointment and had time to kill – a dangerous thing for me. The store is really big – like Home Depot big. Most of the middle isn’t hobby related at all, but that didn’t stop me from looking. In the back I went looking for canning jars (don’t, they’re expensive!) and with them were candle jars. Hmm, never thought of making a candle. Around the corner, you guessed it, candle making supplies….on sale! Well, that did it – I have to try this. For $13.50, I was out the door.

The next day me and my Michael’s Crafts coupon were out picking up a metal melting pot, because the nice lady on the YouTube video said it was a good investment. OK, if they’re too expensive I’ll just get an old pan at the Goodwill and have fun. But turns out it cost a whopping $8.00, had nice tall sides and a pouring lip. Later, I used it to store all the candle stuff in. Now to put it to use.

Step 1 and 2: Get the old candle jar prepped. I’m sure there are a dozen warnings against doing this – none of which I’ve actually read. Let’s get the old wax out first – just put it in the freezer. The old wax disc pops right out. Martha taught me that years ago – thank you Martha. Clean the jar out with some glass cleaner and be nice and peel that label off (but not the warning label on the bottom – I need lots of warnings).

Adventures with Michelle, DIY Candle

Step 3: Gather the goodies. You’ll need wax (I chose soy wax to be trendy and healthy-like), wicks, color and scent.They didn’t have the scent I wanted at the store and I knew I keep lemon oil at home. Although, I did need some spearmint oil. Off to the cake department. Note ‘oil’ – not extract. There’s a huge difference. And I’m sure there’s yet another ignored warning in there about using oils you can eat instead of the tiny vials on display.

Adventures with Michelle, DIY Candle

Step 4: Weigh out the wax. It’s a 14.5oz candle jar – so I’m guessing 14 oz will do.

Adventures with Michelle, DIY Candle

Step 5: (I know at this point we’ve lost Donna – too many steps!) Set your wicks with some hot glue, or those little ‘glue dots’ they sell.

Adventures with Michelle, DIY Candle

Step 6: Get that wax melting. I used an old paint stick/dowel as not to splash. Oooo, hot molten wax and skin – not a good combo!

Adventures with Michelle, DIY Candle

Step 7: Doesn’t look like much – get it up to 185deg. Yes, that’s my candy thermometer – I’ll clean it later.

Adventures with Michelle, DIY Candle

Step 8: Let it it start to cool down and add your color and scent. A few drops of lemon and mint – yummy! The soy is already a creamy yellow so a few drops of blue and one or two of yellow worked fine.

Adventures with Michelle, DIY Candle

Step 9: I used these skewer sticks to hold the wicks upright. No fancy ‘wick holders’ needed here. Pour in the liquid. And wait – and wait – and wait. Ok, maybe not that long. Go clean up.

Adventures with Michelle, DIY Candle

Do not – I repeat DO NOT pour anything down the drain – unless you’re married to a plumber and really want a divorce. Warm the pot a bit and wipe it out with a paper towel. Then you can wash it with hot soapy water.

Step 10: A couple hours later it’s cool. Trim the wicks and admire – but don’t light it until tomorrow. Yes, it’s still warm inside.

Adventures with Michelle, DIY Candle

Done: …and the next day… Look at that – a candle. Then my husband shows up and sniffs – “Oooh, I like yours better than the old one – it smelled a bit like a urinal cake.” What??!!! (since I have very little frame of reference to the scent of a urinal cake…I’m going to trust him on this) I like my candle with it’s soothing greeny color, and lemony, minty smell. (very unlike a urnial cake I’m hoping)

Adventures with Michelle, DIY Candle

Later: The soy wax burns forever – this is hours later in the afternoon (yes I need different wicks next time). And no smoke or soot. Even if it wasn’t a perfect experiment – I’m going to keep refining this and maybe they’ll turn up as Christmas gifts.

Adventures with Michelle, DIY Candle

The cost, what like, $5 bucks! Now I know how that guy that owns the candle company has all that money!!! I’m thinking I shouldn’t have showed you how to do this cause I need to make candles…I’m obviously in the wrong business!

Michelle @ www.badzoot.com

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