Handmade Christmas

Mom, stop reading NOW! You can come back to the blog on Dec. 26!

It’s been hard to blog lately – other than a bit of spinning last night as I try to finish up that Stonehenge corriedale, most of my crafting time has focused on Christmas gifting for the past few weeks. As my mom is a faithful reader here, I haven’t wanted to post what’s been on the needles. But, (and hopefully by now I’ve typed enough buffer text to keep the majority of spoilers at bay) I must share!

For my sister, potholders of this fun fabric (one guess as to what her major passion is!)

For all the girls, perfectly-sized cotton face scrubbies. Inspired by, and pattern thanks to, Ms. Penny of BlackSheepCottage!

And this fun project… I had these lying around:

And these:

Aaaand these:

I’d been saving candle bits for a few years. I finally got my act together and melted down the pieces to make some gifts for Christmas.

First I trimmed the worst of the soot stains from the wax, then dumped similar types of candles into the melting pot.

I’d read a little on the internet about how to do this, and what seemed to be most important was: 1) try to keep like waxes together – paraffin with paraffin, beeswax with beeswax, 2) used bits should make similar bits (meaning use pillar candle stubs to make pillar candles, votive bits to make votives), and 3) wax doesn’t boil, it ignites… so don’t get it too hot and keep an eye on it once it’s melted!

I started with stabilizing my wicks.

Then poured in some wax. I poured through several layers of cheesecloth in a small strainer to catch the pieces of burnt wick and match heads and other flotsam that was in the original stubs.

I’d also read that as wax cools it tends to leave hollows, so to plan to do some touch up after the initial pour and cool. (The following picture has been heavily messed with to try to show the sinkhole, so apologies for the poor photo quality.)

After a quick top up, they looked much better!

I had some soy wax from hand-made candles I bought at the Redmond Farmer’s Market many years ago. I melted that down in a separate batch and used a highly-sophisticated quart milk container as a mold.

I’m so glad that wax worked well to re-form. I have loved the glow and scent of that particular wax, and it is a treat to have more hours of enjoyment from those candles.

I was very pleased with the results. The dimensions of my ultra-sophisticated mold turned out to be just the right size. The candle is burning right down the center and a beautiful glow shows through the walls.

I find myself wishing I had time to make lots and lots of these darling Heartfelt Rings by Tinyowlknits:

tinyowlknits heartfelt rings

I keep imagining long garlands of them strung around our Christmas things. Perhaps for next year!


2 thoughts on “Handmade Christmas

  1. Katie Ann says:

    Clever girl and your candle magic! I love that you re-purposed the stumps and made something beautiful and useful again. Loved the glow from the milk-carton candle–gorgeous!

  2. michelle says:

    I LOVE making candles! I always keep the old ones and melt them down… but they ignite?!?! I had no idea!!! I guess they just have never reached that point when I’ve made them. Love the milk-carton idea too!

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