Saturday, November 13, 2010

41 days, 10 hours, 27 mins, 30 seconds....

Christmas greetings, my fellow readers!  You may be annoyed with me right now because I said the word "Christmas" before Thanksgiving has even occurred.  Don't worry, you'll get over it.  I absolutely love Christmas-It's my favorite time of year.  So in honor of this wonderful season, I am doing a Christmas countdown.  Notice the lovely countdown widget  on the right hand side of my page.  Right then, I am going to try and post something Christmas-y every couple of days.  It may be a craft, game, decoration idea, recipe, etc.  If any of you have any ideas you want posted, let me know.

I'll start off the countdown with one of my own creations....Christmas candles.  I am an absolute candle freak and have found a way to fuse my two loves together: candles and Christmas!

First off, you will need the following items:
*candle wax (you can buy clear wax or you can melt down old candles)
*a way to melt the wax (you can use a candle maker or an old pot on the stove)
*candle wick (approx. 1 inch per candle)
*candle fragrance (optional...get Christmas smells like cinnamon, peppermint, etc.)
*cold water with ice cubes
*a shallow dish to contain the cold water and cubes (it won't get ruined w/ wax)
*Christmas cookie cutters
*an old pie plate or tin lid (this will hold the wax, so don't use anything important)
*exact-o-knife (Hobby knife), old spoon, Popsicle stick (anything to kind of scrape/pry wax)
*Styrofoam plate
*hobby paints (optional)

Alright, the first thing you should know is that these candles are made primarily for decorating.  They will only burn a total of about 20 minutes, before the wax burns completely through the candle (and thus onto any surface the candle is placed on).  Secondly, do not hang these candles on your tree if you have lights on your tree (and what tree doesn't?).  The heat from the lights will melt the candles and make a waxy mess of your floor and tree, and pose a possible fire hazard.  Okay, enough with the disclaimers.

1) Melt the wax.  If using an actual candle maker, following melting instructions.  If using a pot on the stove, turn the burner to low and let the pot heat up a bit before placing wax in it.  As the wax begins to melt, keep stirring it. 

2) If you are using plain wax with no color or scent, now is the time to add the scents and colors.  Make sure you stir the whole time you are adding these ingredients.

3)Okay, let the wax alone for a minute and grab your shallow dish and fill it about about half an inch with cold water and place ice cubes in it.

4) Cut a few wicks for your candles (about 1 inch) and set aside.

5) Now grab your pie plate/tin lid and fill with melted candle wax.

6) Place pie plate/tin lid in the water bath you made earlier (be careful as the plate/lid will be hot from the wax).  If you are using the tin lid method, then your water bath should not exceed the height of the tin lid.

7) As the wax cools, insert the cookie cutter in the wax.  Now wait for the wax to cool.  You want the wax to be pliable, but not so much so that it falls apart. 

8) Now you can either leave in the cookie cutter or take it's your call.  You need to take your hobby knife or Popsicle stick and cut around the perimeter of the cutter and the perimeter of the pie plate/tin lid.  Scrape out excess wax and dump back in the candle maker/pot to re-melt. 

9) Carefully remove cookie cutter if you haven't done so yet and using your knife like a spatula, gently pry up on the candle form and transfer to Styrofoam plate to cool completely. 

10) You can use a sewing needle or something of the sort to gently bore a small hole in the center of the candle to insert the wick.

11) Once candle is completely cooled, you may paint it.  For example, if you made a red stocking, you may want to paint the top part white to look like an actual stocking.  Warning: do not light candles that have been painted...this may cause toxic/harmful fumes when burning.

12) Enjoy your home made holiday decoration!

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