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Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Week 49 : Homemade Candles

Crock Pot liners
candle making wax
decorative jars
candle dye
essential oils

LINE CROCK POT WITH LINER PRIOR TO THIS ACTIVITY!!!  Fill the jars with wax and set in Crock Pot, careful not to overcrowd.  Turn pot on HIGH and let sit until wax is completely melted.  If there is not enough wax to your liking, add more.  Add dye and fragrance of your choice.  Carefully remove from Crock Pot and set on cooling racks.  About 10-20 minutes after wax has started to cool, insert wicks.  Let sit for many hours.  Hope they don't catch on fire when you light the wick.

This looked like such a fun project.  "Easy as pie!" one website said!  Well, I've made many pies in my day and trust me...they are a whole lot easier to make!  I was so excited as I placed the jars in the pot and watched the wax begin to melt.  Easy.  I went to do something else and heard a "pop" from the Crock Pot- never a good sound.  Two of the jars had cracked down the side.  I immediately removed them and checked the other two.  They were just fine.  Lesson #1- don't overcrowd the pot, as I think this is why that happened. 

I was a bit impatient and began stirring the hot wax in an effort to get it to melt faster.  What was it my grandmother always used to say?  Oh yea- a watched pot never boils.  Lesson #2- patience is a virtue.  I believe this is the reason why my first round of candles looked like an experiment from the hills of Yellowstone!  No worries right?  Just throw them back in the Crock Pot, remelt them, and let them shape themselves. 

 Next, the wick.  Lesson #3- they don't have to be perfectly centered.  After putting the wick in and letting the candles cool further, I realized that they weren't perfectly I pulled them in an effort to fix that.  Well, in short, this resulted in me having to put the candles back in for round 3!  Somewhere between these rounds, a funny smell came from my kitchen that didn't smell like the lovely lavender I had chosen to scent my candles with.  I went into my kitchen and the Crock Pot was smoking.  Lesson #4- use a Crock Pot liner.  Wax apparently starts to smoke if it gets too hot.  I had simply lined my Crock Pot with just aluminum foil and some of the wax was spilled and leaked underneath, coming in contact with the actual pot itself.  And what a pain that was to clean up.  Thankfully, I put all these lessons together and went for another round.  Ahhhh, success.  This is why I have this blog- much like the jam fiasco, I had a Candle Catastrophe.  But, now you know the simple tips to help you avoid the same.  This is a perfect holiday gift giving craft!  (By the way, if you receive one of my creations this holiday season 1) count yourself lucky as there will only be a few ever made 2) give me a hug and know that there was a lot of effort put into it and 3) feel free to comment on the "unique-ness" of the product- I won't be offended!) 

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