(un)Conventional Candle Centerpieces

I wanted to make my own candles (I feel like that’s kind of a crafty person’s bread and butter so I should have it under my belt…) but we have so many scattered around our apartment that it just seemed silly to make more of the same. However, we didn’t have anything nice for our kitchen table, so I decided to fix that. I wanted to make candles that looked like they belonged at a kitchen table but were able to be moved around if we wanted (ie, no stick candles) so I decided to make mine in wine glasses! Here’s how to do it yourself:
I found these wine glasses at Goodwill for 99c each. You can buy ones that are all the same, but I wanted mine to all look different. The only thing to be aware of is make sure you buy ones made from glass, not plastic. Plastic will melt and likely burn down your apartment so I’d steer clear of that. Clean them out (soap and water will do) and let them dry.
I got this wick kit at Michael’s (and now that I go to find the link Michael’s is denying that it exists…) Anyways, thread the wick through a straw to keep it upright and dip the bottom in a bit of melted wax and use that to stick the wick anchor (that metal doohicky) onto the bottom of your wine glass. Make sure it’s centered, otherwise your candle won’t burn properly
Make sure you attach the anchor securely, otherwise when you go to remove the straw later on you’ll yank out the wick too (it’s not the end of the world if you do, just shove it back in but we’ll get to that later)
Put whatever wax you want into the top part of a double-decker sauce pan (see below). I wanted to recycle as much wax as I could so I made one candle out of recycled wax (just scrape it out of its current holder with a spoon). If you do choose to recycle wax, make sure you choose scents that go together. Nobody wants their apartment to smell like kiwi-cucumber-fresh laundry-cake batter candle.
Put water in the bottom and let it heat up. I had my burner on medium. Most people say to use a thermometer, but I’m too cheap to invest in one so I just guessed. Just don’t let the wax get too hot (ie, boil/pop/be anything except for calm) and you’ll be fine.
Pick out the bits of wick/burnt stuff from recycled candles.
Put down some newspaper or something similar that you can throw out to catch any spilled wax and pour the wax (carefully) into your container. Then, to keep the wick from falling over, rig up something to keep the wick where you want it (those are bamboo skewers for shish-kabobs). Or you can just hold it until the wax dries. But if you value your time I’d suggest the former.
Or, if you don’t want to recycle candles, you can just buy wax at a craft store and buy  whatever colored dye you want. If you’re going to do that, make sure your saucepan can hold all the wax. Mine couldn’t (exhibit A) and I first tried to saw it apart with a bread knife (you can kind of see where I tried that) and then decided just to plop the whole thing down into the saucepan, which made a big mess (see below, I’ll teach you how to clean it up)
Here’s the final products! The orange one has all the recycled wax, the purply-pink one has “cranberry” dye, and the purple layer one has “lavender” dye. If you want to do a layered candle, let the first layer dry/set about an hour before you pour in the second one. Then, once the candles are totally hardened up (the next morning, ish) pull out the straw. If you pull out the wick, then just place it back in the hole you made and let wax trickle in next time you light the candles.
Now, if you make a big mess there are a few ways to clean it up. A quick Google search of “how to get wax off a counter” told me to put down a paper bag and iron over it (I can attest that works great for clothes), rub ice all over the counter and scrape it off for hours or just cry and give up. I decided to do none of the three. Instead, I used Goo-Gone (my mom has sworn by the stuff for years and I never saw the allure until that very second). Just spray it all over the area and use a paper towel or sponge to wipe it up like you would some other spill. To get the wax off your sauce pan, sponge, spoon, etc just clog your sink, run really hot water (with a bit of dish soap) and let your utensils soak for a bit.

Good luck! Let me know if you have any questions or suggestions!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s