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Sunday, August 24, 2014

DIY Teacup Candles

Yesterday some friends & I got together to do some crafting. It all started when I got a cute candle as a gift from Danielle...then Amy saw it and wanted to learn how to make it. So I said if you all bring the stuff and the expertise, we can use my kitchen! And since I've made an effort to be more organized, spontaneous craft days can happen without a fuss!

We got together and I decided this was a great time to do a video! They were reluctant at first, but then they were good sports about it. And Danielle is an excellent teacher!

Before we get to the video, let me give you the list of things you'll need:

  • Paraffin wax from the craft store
  • Scented wax melts (also from the craft store)
  • Candle wicks (or old unused candles so you can reuse the wicks)
  • Tea cups or other heat-proof containers
  • A couple of pots
  • Stirring utensils
  • Patience
  • A blow dryer
  • Glitter (optional)
Take a look at the video for how we did it, or read on for the instructions (and some dos & don'ts)!

First, if you don't have wicks from the craft store, just pull them out of your old unused candles. If they don't want to come out easily from the bottom, carefully use a knife to cut the candle open. We theorized that you might also be able to freeze the candles and then smash them...but hey...why not do it the hard way? LOL

Once you have your wicks, place one in the bottom of a clean cup and make sure it's the right length. If it's too long, trim it. If it's too short, just make sure not to put too much wax in the cup. You'll want about 1/4 of an inch of wick peeking out from the wax. Too much and it will smoke when you light it and too little and it won't light at all!

Then, break open the wax and break it into smaller chunks. Place the chunks in a saucepan and heat it over VERY LOW heat so it can melt slowly. Don't let it start to simmer or bubble in any way. Stir gently to help it along. Once the wax is melted (or mostly melted), put some of the scent blocks in the wax. Allow it to melt and mix together with the wax. This adds scent and color. You can add some glitter if you like, but we found that it ends up settling to the bottom.

Once it's completely melted you're ready to pour it into the cup! If you have a measuring cup with a spout, this may work better...when we poured it directly from the pan, we had a lot of drips all over the stove and counter top! But heat the measuring cup first--the wax will start to harden as soon as it touches a cold surface. I recommend putting warm water in the measuring cup and let it sit while you melt the wax. When the wax is melted, pour out the water and dry the cup. Pour the wax into the measuring cup and use that to then pour it into the teacup. The spout will give you better accuracy and less mess when you pour. However, it's not a problem if you don't have one...that's what the blow dryer will be for later! ;)

Gently pour the hot wax into the tea cup. We experimented with putting the wick in first (the wax moves the wick all over the place) or putting it in after the wax (just be careful not to overfill the cup, which will cause the wick to sink and become useless). If the wick falls over, use tongs to stabilize it. You can place a wooden spoon or pencil across the top of the cup so the wick can lean on it...but we didn't think of that at the time and we just kept getting mad at the wicks for laying down on the job! LOL

Once you have the right amount of wax in the cup and your wick is in place, you can sprinkle some more glitter on top if you want more sparkle! (Because why not??)

Let the cups cool for about an hour or so...the wax doesn't take too long to set, but you want it to be nice and hard before you move it. Don't set it in a drafty place--it might cool faster, but it could cause wells or pits to appear in the hardened wax. If this happens, you can just melt more wax to fill in the spot or leave it--as the candle burns, it will level out eventually.

If wax splashes up onto the side of the cup and you want to clean it up, use the blow dryer on the low setting to reheat the wax and wipe it away with a paper towel. This is also the best way to clean spilled wax from the stove or counter--blow dry and wipe!

These make super cute (and super smelling) gifts!

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