Alexa Grazio, Senior
Candles are a year round staple in any household, but cold weather seems to generate an increased affinity for these scented delights. There is something about the cozy warmth and inviting aroma that entices the soul during the winter. Peppermint is a seasonal favorite for almost everyone I speak to whether they’re obsessing over Starbucks’ Peppermint Mocha Frappuccino or raving about the return of Bath and Body Works’ Twisted Peppermint products. Everyone has a favorite, from peppermint and pine to sugar cookie and sugar plum. This season you can save yourself from spending an entire paycheck in Yankee Candle (not like I’ve done that before or anything…) by making your own candle. Homemade candles can be proudly displayed above the mantle or given as a gift.
For beginners in candle making, purchasing a candle making kit is the easiest way to go. Most come with thorough instructions, wax, dye, and fragrance. I went and bought peppermint and sugar cookie fragrances to supplement my newly purchased soy candle kit and to appease my winter candle addiction. At Hobby Lobby, the management told me that candle making supplies go on sale about every three weeks, so I was fortunate enough to get 30% off my purchase there-- a nice bargain.
Simple, chic decor can really spice up your candles. Tieing a holiday-themed ribbon around the candle and adding a gem or bauble can make it fun, festive, or formal depending on your choice of colors and design. You can also purchase a pinecone mold to pour the wax into which will create faux pinecone candles. Your candles can also be displayed on a tray surrounded by branches, ribbons, snowflakes, pinecones, cranberries, et cetera. Candles also look very elegant placed in a wreath as a centerpiece. The possibilities are really endless to producing a creative batch of candles.
In case your kit just so happens to leave you hanging with no instructions, here are the steps and tips from my kit (summarized) courtesy of Country Lane Candle Supplies.
First things first, you’ll need to put your wax flakes into your pouring pitcher and then place that in a large pot of boiling water. This creates a double boiler to heat the wax on. As the wax melts, place wicks in the containers you’re using to make the candles. It may help to heat the glass using a blowdryer so it won’t crack. Bring the wax to about 150° F and then add color which usually comes in squares or concentrated liquid, BUT NOT FOOD DYE. Everyone thinks they can get away with food dye, but no, you cannot use food dye. Don’t even think about it. If you’re really in a pinch you can use some old crayons.
Once proper color is added, let the wax cool to 120° F and then add your preferred fragrance into the wax and mix it all up. Afterwards, pour the wax into your warmed containers, let cool, and enjoy your beautiful homemade candles!