Iíve been loving sharing my how-tos on stuff like laundry detergent and deodorant with you. Last week, I shared some recipes for lip balm, inspired by my cold weather trip to NYC. Continuing in that tradition, this week Iíll be focusing on my favorite gift to receive — handmade candles.
You know how there are things you hate buying for yourself but love getting as a gift? That’s how I feel about candles, which is slightly ironic now, because growing up people bought me candles as gifts constantly and I hardly ever burned them. I found them to be a pretty boring gift. As I’ve gotten older and my tastes have changed, I’ve grown to love handmade candles with unique scents. However, these types of candles are usually a little pricey and I often feel guilty buying too many for myself. Enter: the perfect gift!
There are TONS of different recipes for candle making on the web, especially since there are so many different kinds of candles you can make. Here are a few of our favorite links, plus a recipe for how to make a simple handmade candle:
- 12 different types of candles, with recipes included! (Country Living)
- Tips on making candles (LoveToKnow.com)
- Basic instruction and more (About.com)
- Working with fragrance (Easy Aromatherapy Recipes)
Video on making a soy candle, from Expert Village:
BASIC RECIPE FOR ROLLED CANDLES
One 8 x 16-inch beeswax sheet
One 10-inch-length braided 2/0 wick
1 to 2 ounces paraffin wax for priming the wick, if desired
1. With a straightedge as a guide and a craft knife, cut the beeswax sheet into two 8-inch squares.
2. Use a hairdryer to slightly soften the wax. Avoid over-softening the wax by using the low heat setting.
3. Press the wick into one of the edges of a wax square; 1 inch of wick should extend beyond each side. Roll up the wax, taking care to keep the edges even. It can be a little tricky to get started and to keep the roll tight around the wick; to get a tighter roll, insert a piece of waxed paper between your fingers and the wax. As you roll the wax, move the waxed paper along so it doesn’t get caught up in the roll. This not only gives a tighter roll, but it also prevents the heat of your hands from making the wax too soft and therefore difficult to work with.
4. When the candle is completely rolled, press the edge of the wax into the candle to seal it, softening with a hairdryer if necessary.
5. Repeat steps 3 and 4 with the second square.
6. To prime the wicks, take small pieces of wax sheet and press them around the wicks. Alternately, in the top of a double boiler over medium heat, melt the paraffin wax. Dip the wick ends into the wax for 5 seconds and allow to cool completely.
7. Trim the wicks to 1/4 inch and the candles are ready to light.
Source: Country Living
On the next page, see five of our favorite homemade candles currently being sold online and then let us know your favorite tips and tricks in the comments below!
My hands-down favorite candle of all time. Good thing they’re made and sold locally in my town (Los Angeles), so I can replenish quickly once I’ve run out! (Pommes Frites, $16)
This bright, fresh and natural smelling fragrance begins with notes of orange Valencia, bergamot tea and plum wine. Then adds jasmine, violet, lavender and orange flowers to end with a clean citrus musk. (Coco & Bubbles, $18.50)
This company’s gardenia candle was featured in Design Sponge, but I’ve always loved their midnight amber scent best. (Theme Fragrance, $14.50)
The Lemon Verbena is my favorite of their scents, but the real reason I buy is the amazing crackling wooden wicks! (Orange Fuzz, $20 for 3)
A true-to-life blend of ripe, tangy grapefruit and mangosteen- an exotic fruit that is citrusy and sweet with a hint of peach. While not burning the fragrance mellows just a bit, with the warmer and sweeter mangosteen coming through. The fragrance reaches balance while burning, when both fruits meld into a strong fragrance that has a citrus punch, a hint of peach, and a naturally derived sweetness. (Jenny Bean Beautiful, $18)