Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Christmas Frugality #2 - candle gifts

* * See November 30 post for part 1 * *
Another entry for the Frugal Christmas ideas hosted by Pure Joy. I will have other craft gift ideas in my next posts, this one will be about candle making. I first made this one in elementary school with the help of our art teacher, but you decide if your child is ready to help you. Give yourself a couple of hours for each candle without distractions. For extra safety, if you haven't melted wax before you will need to stand with the wax, watching it until melted. You don't need all the equipment the sites (below) suggest, but I would agree about the fire extinguisher near just as a precaution unless you are doing this outdoors. I've never had a fire since I started making candles, and it is rare, but the melted wax is flammable. Check over the sites below before you decide which type of candle you'd like to try. I won't go into detail, because there are very good books at the craft stores.
Milk carton candle. This is a simple candle (1 qt. size). You can follow directions on that link. I make some alterations adding: a taper candle -cut the bottom to size; crayons; ice cube tray; old spoon; napkins. I got old pans from Goodwill.
You can make the colored chunks in the ice tray as far ahead of time as you like. I make them with paraffin and a piece of crayon in small pot pie tins, with a little water in the saucepan like a double boiler.
When cooled all you have to do is cut and peel off the container.
I have also used a pint size round plastic milk container to make a rainbow candle. After pouring in each bright color of wax let it cool before pouring in the next. Don't forget to put in the taper candle or a wick. Carefully use a razor cutter down one side to cut away the plastic.
Some of the links below also include other types of molds, and waxes, such as gel candles. Here are a few I've made. If you add objects into your container to show through the gel candle, you have to let the gel wax cool until it begins to thicken just a little so the wax won't melt the items.
There is a link for sand candles. I used to make those in high school when they were real popular with Hippies.
If you google making candles you will have a lot of sites to browse. Here are some I've glanced through and thought have some good information. This one also has information on the care of candles (under unique candles, click on the type of candle).
* * Keep checking back for more frugal Christmas ideas


Karen said...

I love the gel candles. The Coke and the peppermints are so fun!

Dana said...

Very cool ideas. Looks like fun too!!

Jayden said...

Great tutorial about creating candle gifts... Thanks.