Monday, July 6, 2009

Virtual Craft Lab, Episode No. 1

Attention thrifty crafters and DIYers!

I've decided to make Mondays DIY day here at the craft lab. Each week I'll post a relatively easy project made with mostly recycled materials.
This week's project is making votive candles using left-over candles and baby food jars.

I'm trying to save as much moolah as I can for our upcoming wedding, which means making a lot of the decorations for the ceremony and reception. My step-mom just happened to give me a bunch of half-burned candles that she no longer needed and we just happened to need candles for the centerpieces at the reception. Unfortunately, the venue will not let us use pillar candles - only votives. So, being the crafty gal that I am, I melted down the wax and poured it into 6oz baby food jars. I love the look of the baby food jar, but since the shabby-chic look isn't what I'm going for at our wedding I decided to cover the jars with vellum paper. I printed a design onto the vellum that matches our wedding invitations, and voila.......

Materials you will need:
  • 6oz baby food jars (or whatever size jar you want)
  • Candle wick tabs
  • Candle wick (I used cotton core #1)
  • Candle boil bags (I bought these at a local craft store. They are so awesome. Very little mess and you can reuse them.)
  • Rubber gloves (wear when pouring wax so that you don't burn yourself)
  • Popcicle sticks
  • Old cooking pot
  • left over candles, wax.
  • scissors or paper cutter
  • double sided tape (I tried a glue stick and it wouldn't hold to the vellum paper)
  • decorative paper (I used vellum, but I thought this would look really cool with handmade paper, too!)

Cost breakdown
  • Candles/wax: Free
  • Baby food jars: Free (found on freecycle)
  • Vellum paper: $10 for pack of 50 sheets
  • Candle wicks: $1.89 for 18 feet
  • Candle bags: $2.49 for 5 bags
  • Candle wick tabs: $1.99 for 20

Step 1:

Cut candle wick to length of jar, but add another inch or so. You will need the extra length to wrap around the Popsicle stick. Insert one end of the wick into the tab and crimp by pushing down on a flat surface (I used the countertop).

Step 2:

Place wick/tab ensemble into empty baby food jar. Secure other end around center of popsicle stick. Adjust string as needed so that the length of the wick is long enough to reach the bottom of the jar and stay more or less straight. Lay the popsicle stick across the top of the jar to keep the wick in place.

Step 3:

Place your left over candles/wax into the boil bag and close loosely with twisty tie. Place bag into pot of boiling water (I filled the pot about 1/2 way full with water). Boil until wax melts. Put on your safety gloves and pull out bag of melted wax. Turn off stove. Gently pour wax into jar until 1/4 - 1/2 inch from top. After the wax hardens you may need to add more wax because it shrinks down in the center a bit.

Step 4:

Print off a design of your choice onto vellum paper. I had some damask style paper that I had bought at a craft store, and just photo-copied it to the vellum.
Measure top to bottom of jar, and cut paper to width. Wrap around jar/candle and secure with double-sided tape.

Step 5:

Enjoy your handy work!

1 comment:

  1. wow. I can't wait to see what is going to be next DYI monday!