Thursday, May 12, 2016

Thrifty Thursday-Candle Making

One of our goals as homesteaders
is to be as self-sufficient as possible.
We are hoping to someday have our own bee hive
to provide us not only with honey,
but also with a supply of bees' wax.

We currently support our local honey growers,

Some of the amazing ways in which the wax is used
is to create lotions and lip balms, as a lubricator for wood drawers

I've been wanting to make candles for a while.
The necessary components were gathered, including:
bees' wax
wicks (it comes on a roll)
a large can
empty glass jars or other containers
craft sticks or pencils (for holding wicks)
Although usually a winter activity,
here in Central Florida,
with hurricane season looming,
it's a great time to prepare our supplies.
Back-up lighting is one of the important items to have on hand.

Baby food jars had been saved for just this purpose.
I first scraped off the labels, then used olive oil and then soap
to get all the remnants off.
Use whatever receptacles you have at your disposal.

This rather cumbersome slab of wax had to be broken down.

C offered to do the job.
He used a hammer and chisel to cut it into
manageable pieces.

The chunks are placed into the can,
which is seated in a small saucepan with water about halfway up the sides.
On medium heat, the wax will slowly melt.
Keep adding as much wax as you'd like to use for filling containers.
You can also add essential oils at this stage
to customize your candles.

While the wax melts,
the wicks can be tied onto craft sticks
(we used old popsicle sticks).
You can use just a dab of the melted wax
to adhere the wicks to the bottom of the jars.

The hot wax is poured into containers
and left to cool for at least 2 hours.
Wicks can be trimmed at that time.

hot wax

Centering the wick is a good idea.

cooled wax

The whole process is really quite expeditious.
It's time well spent to create a useful item
that enhances the senses and provides a feeling
of self-satisfaction.
We'll be making this an annual ritual,
and most likely adding this craft to our gift list at holiday time.
What could be better than a gift from the heart?

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