Friday, December 16, 2011

Christmas from Scratch: Jar Candles

Most of my projects are pre-meditated, researched... thought out at lest to some degree.  Not this one.  Despite all the info available on the internet, i just did it... and it took over a month because of it.  Oops.

This time last year, I was given this box of barely-used, Christmas-colored pillar candles.  It'd been sitting in the basement of the church I grew up in for FOREVER (probably since we had our madrigals) and they were tired of looking at it.  How did I get it?  Because Mrs. Campbell decided if anyone could make use of it, I could.  

And so it sat in my craft room for almost a whole year.  

One day, completely forgoing research, I tossed most of the red candles in my (recently cleaned) soap crock-pot and dug out some cinnamon essential oil and old salsa jars.  The wax of the candles was actually white, but the red outer coating was enough to color the whole batch.  They were candlelight soy/mix candles.  I used old Aldi salsa jars because they had such wide mouths, i figured they'd be in least danger of breaking with fire in them.  I picked cinnamon oil because I LOVE cinnamon, but the oil isn't really recommended for use in soaps (esp. if the user is pregnant or could become so).  It's really best to relegate cinnamon oil to aromatherapy.  I also ran to the craft store and picked up wood wicks.  

Dear Blogger, I'm not sure what you have against landscape pictures, but you're making me consider switching host sites.  

I placed (but didn't glue) the wicks in the jars and poured the wax in.  All I had to do was let them cool now, right?

Incorrect.  It's the concave meniscus from the block lagoon!  Also, since I hadn't used anything to keep the wick put, it had shifted significantly.  I could live with a wonky wick, I could not live with that hole.  I melted more wax to fill it in.  Let it cool and tried it out.

Apparently, wood wicks don't melt as wide of an area as regular ones do.  It was time to go back to the drawing board.  I totally re-melted the candles and poured the wax out.  Cleaned the jars.  Hot-glued new wicks in.  Re-poured the wax.  Twisted the extra wick over a pencil to keep the top part from shifting.  And crossed my fingers.  Of course, I still had to re-pour to fill in the meniscus again, but it turned out pretty well. Also, as I understand it, if you poke at the meniscus as it cools, it'll fill in on its own.

Much better.  The only thing left is to paint the lids so they don't look like salsa jars anymore.  I have an aunt who's gonna fight for these in the Christmas Grab Bag.  

Maybe I'll even whip out the peppermint oil and the green pillars before Christmas.  

1 comment:

  1. thank you for posting this,very interesting