Fun with Hot Wax

In case you’ve missed it, my friend J and I have been on a candle-making binge. First, we figured out simply how to make them without burning my kitchen down. Now, we’ve moved on to jar candles as favors for the big Halloween party.

We found these jars (with lids) for dirt cheap at the glass factory outlet. We also bought enough votive glasses for our grandiose Christmas crafting plans, but we’ll tackle that project at a later date. Once we prepped our jars by sticking some pre-waxed wicks in them, we melted about three pounds of container wax that we picked up off the internet. Luckily, the wax comes with melting instructions, so even crafting dunces like us were able to figure it out (and I only got burned once…ok, maybe twice).

Once our wax was melted, we added color:

And scent (don’t worry, the instructions told us how much):

Note that on the side of that picture, you see some wooden skewers. These were the best buck I’ve spent in a long time. I got about 100 of them in the pack, and we’ve used them to stir the wax, and thereby save all my utensils in the process. Finally, we poured our wax into the jars:

They cooled into some pretty Halloween perfection:

Now, we just need some cute labels and ribbon to decorate the jars, and we will have one wonderful party favor for our adult attendees. After this project was complete (and we had a drink or two), we convinced ourselves to try a Martha Stewart project and use acorn squash as a candle mold for the leftover wax:

Which turned out better than we hoped, but still a little funky:

We’ll be generous and call that organic.

So, what have we learned about candle-making?

  • Buy online. You’ll get better quality, for less money. We got our wax, scent and colors from Nu-Scents, and it FAR surpassed the stuff we initially used from Hobby Lobby.
  • Invest in parchment to cover all work surfaces, as you will spill wax, and it’s a pain to get up.
  • Have good hot pads and don’t forget to use them.
  • Buy the wooden skewers to stir, and thank me later.
  • Your wicks need to be pre-waxed, or you can treat them yourself by soaking them in hot wax for a few minutes. The difference is a candle that will burn for hours, or burn down the middle in five minutes.
  • It’s pretty easy, so if this is a hobby that interests you, you should try it.

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