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Craftiosity – Marbled Candle Holder

I haven’t done any marbling for a little while so I was quite excited about the Craftiosity marbled candle holder kit! I thought it was a really clever idea to add a unique design to a something that would make a great centrepiece for a table or mantelpiece.

Included in the kit was:

  • Wooden candle holder
  • White acrylic paint
  • Paint brush
  • Marbling tray
  • Marbling inks x2 (black and blue)
  • Disposable gloves

The first step was to paint the candle holder with the white acrylic paint to act as a base for the ink and also to be the third colour of the marbling pattern. The actual making time for this project is actually quite quick but there is quite a bit of drying time involved too. The instructions said that the paint would be dry after 30 minutes, but I actually left mine overnight because I had other jobs to get on with, which made it quite a good project to fit in between other things. I was also painting another project at the same time (see my next blog post!) so it was quite good to have this to alternate with!

Once the paint was dry it was time to get marbling. Using the marbling tray filled two thirds with water you could create your design using drops of the inks. I actually added some extra drops after I swirled my inks with the end of the paint brush but I think I used too much in the end because my finished candle holder took a very long time to dry. Restraint is definitely key here and I think it would still have made a nice pattern, I was just a bit over enthusiastic!

After dunking both sides into the marble pattern on the surface of the water and making sure that all the sides of the candle holder were covered and that it didn’t touch the bottom of the tray, all that was left to do was to let it dry. As I mentioned, mine took a little while to dry completely, but now it is done it looks great. I love with marbling that you never quite get the same design twice so every piece is completely unique. 

I also liked the suggestion of using the inks to marble some paper as well and experimenting with different patterns. It’s always nice to have ideas of what to do with the leftover supplies from craft kits. Now I just need to buy some candles to go in my nice new holder! 

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MakeBox – Amore Soy Candle

I’m a little late on this one as it was meant to be for Valentine’s Day, but who says you can’t spread a little love any day of the year? February’s MakeBox is the Amore Soy Candle, scented with rose. As always when I make candles I was surprised at how quick it was to do and it was yet another technique for melting the wax.

Included in the box was:

  • 600g soy wax flakes
  • Plastic jug
  • Glass container
  • Rose scent
  • Wooden lollipop sticks x2
  • Wicks x2
  • Labels
  • Gift box

At first when I opened my box I thought that one of my wicks was missing, but after rummaging through all the packaging I found it. It unfortunately was missing its metal base, so I used the complete one and if I decide to make a second candle I will just have to make sure the spare one is attached to the base well. There is enough wax to make two candles (or more depending on the size of your containers and how many wicks you have), but only one glass container included in the kit. I have a nice shaped jam jar in the fridge that I’m eyeing up for my second candle once all the jam has been eaten! As I said, the making process was very simple starting with weighing out half the wax. Only 200g fit in the plastic jug provided, so I weighed out the remaining 100g into a spare container from the recycling. Once the first 200g had been melted down in the microwave, you could them gradually add the rest, stirring it in and using the microwave in short burst to keep melting it down.

Once all the wax was completely melted it was time to add the scent. When I made candles with another kit the instructions said to pour in the whole bottle, but this one said just a few drops. I think it’s really hard to get the balance right as the other candles are a little overwhelming when I smell them now, but with this one, even though I added more scent than it said to, I still find it quite subtle. However the scent may get stronger once the candle is burning.

To create the candle I positioned the wick in the centre of the container and used the lollipop stick to hold it’s position before pouring a small amount of wax into the base and allowing it to set in the fridge for a couple of minutes. This stopped the wick from floating up when I then poured the rest of the wax in up to about a centimetre from the top. 

I left the candle to set for about 24 hours before moving it to ensure an even set and no sinkholes. There were a couple of labels provided, one with the MakeBox logo on and one blank. I decided to use the blank one to create my own handwritten label using a sharpie. I really like the inclusion of the gift box as well, so I can give the candle away to someone I love!

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Craft Box Club – Sand Cast Candles

One of the things I like most about Craft Box Club (https://craftboxclub.co.uk/) is that their crafts are really original and even if I have done it before, there’s always a new technique. I think a lot of the originality is driven by Adam’s quest for plastic free crafts, which pushes him to be more creative about how things can be achieved. I’ve made quite a few candles in my time, but I have never before made them using sand!

Included in this kit was:

  • Big jar
  • Small jar
  • Sand
  • Cardboard tube
  • Beeswax blocks x6
  • Cocktail sticks
  • String
  • Peg
  • Ribbon
  • Shells
  • Wicks x3

I think what was really great about this box was the recycling of all the parts; the big jar was used to melt the wax in but was later turned into a candle holder and it’s lid was used for the tea light, the small jar was used to create the mould for the tea light and was then turned into a candle. Even the sand used to cast the candles was then reused as decoration at the end. Plus, you got to pretend like you were making sandcastles at the beach! 

The wax does take a little while to melt, so there is a bit of waiting around with candle making, but whilst I was waiting I made the moulds by packing the wet sand into a bowl to create the shape I wanted for my candles using the smaller hexagonal jar for the tea light and the cardboard tube to make a taller, round candle. The third candle was made by anchoring the wick to the bottom of the small jar and pouring the wax directly in.

In the instruction video Adam does mention that sinkholes can occur so to reserve a little wax to refill them. I left my candles to set overnight and in the morning I found that two of them had holes so I filled them up and left them to set again. I always think it is reassuring when the instructions mention things that can go wrong and how to fix them, otherwise its hard to know what to do if something unexpected happens, especially if you’ve never done that craft before. 

Another part of the instruction video I thought was particularly helpful was during the decorating stage where you have to make a slip knot to tie the string around the top of the jar and the video was done in slow motion so you could clearly see how it was tied.

Being yellow, the beeswax candles really lent themselves to the beach theme and using the shells, string and hessian ribbon gave them a nice rustic feel along with the sand. I can totally imagine them on the terrace of someone’s beach house as the sun sets over the waves… The only problem is how to transport them without spilling sand everywhere! 

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Orange Scented Copper Candles

I’m always amazed at just how easy it is to make your own candles, and this kit from Craftiosity (https://craftiosity.co.uk/) proved it to me once again! I ordered this box at the same time I was signing up for the May subscription box as I was keen to have some new projects to do now and this box was ready to ship in April to keep me busy whilst I waited for the May box. 

Included in the box was:

  • Easy pour wax
  • Candle wicks x2
  • Copper coloured tins x2
  • Seville orange scent
  • Wooden lollipop sticks x2
  • Orange themed inspirational postcards

The process for completing this project was so straightforward and quick, the only thing that required patience was waiting for the candles to set before lighting them! I’ve never used this easy pour wax before, but it certainly was easy to use. To melt it down all you had to do was place the whole bottle into a saucepan of water with the lid loosened slightly and then simmer until it was all liquid. The instructions said it would take twenty minutes, and it took twenty minutes exactly! Once it was all melted then all you had to do was add the orange scent. 

The wicks had self adhesive pads attached to the bottom, so before pouring the wax into the copper tins you had to stick a wick to the bottom of each tin. Once the wick was in place and the wax poured in around it you could then use the lollipop sticks to ensure the wick remained upright. And then all that was left to do was wait for it all to set.

In my head I always think of candle making as a really complicated process, but the easy pour wax makes it so simple and you can use any non-porous container such as tea cups or glass jars to create lovely candles. There’s so many scents available now as well that you can have loads of fun with it. They also make great gifts too!

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Candle Making at the London Craft Club

This week I went to the London Craft Club (https://londoncraftclub.co.uk/) in Bedford Square to join in with a candle making workshop. As you know I have tasked myself with trying out as many crafts as possible in my pursuit of a creative life. I really wasn’t sure I would enjoy candle making that much as I’m not particularly a candle person, but honestly, I had the best time!

There was nine people in the class and when we arrived we were offered a drink and took a seat around the table where our own candle making kit was laid out on a tray. The workshop was run by Alice from Scott’s Apothecary (https://www.scottsapothecary.com/). Alice is a chef and nutritional practitioner but has been interested in essential oils and their therapeutic benefits for years. She took us through the various oils, explaining about the top, middle and base notes that make up a well rounded scent and we passed lots of different oils around to smell and work out which ones we liked and which we didn’t. It was fascinating to see the range of personal preferences around the table. One person could love a smell and the next person could absolutely loath it. It meant that in the end all our candles smelt so different. I was surprised to find that although I thought I would hate the floral smells as I tend to stay away from them in perfumes and food or drink I actually quite liked them concentrated as an oil.

After we had smelt all the oils and Alice had talked to us about their properties we were free to mix some together to find a scent for our candle. Alice went around the room talking to each of us and advising us on the most complimentary combinations and the amounts we should use. I decided I wanted to create a citrus candle as that is my favourite scent. I used mandarin, grapefruit, bergamot and lemongrass. I only had a really small amount of the lemongrass in the end. Once we had mixed our oils together we poured them into our melted wax and mixed them thoroughly before pouring them into the jar. Alice had already attached the wick to the bottom of the jar so we just had to keep it central with a wooden stick and leave them to set.

Whilst they were setting we moved on to making a perfume. We could either make a perfume to wear or a therapeutic oil. I decided to make one to assist with headaches made up of peppermint, lavender and clary sage. I haven’t had a chance to test it yet but I’ll be interested to see if it works! For this we only required a small amount of the essential oils and then topped it off with almond oil.

I found learning about all the different oils and their properties really interesting as I’ve never really looked into them before. One of the things that made it so enjoyable though was the other people. Apart from two of them all the others were also there by themselves, which meant that everyone was more inclined to talk to each other and there was a lot of chat and laughter around the table. It was lovely to be crafty with a room full of like-minded people and it just goes to show that you can go along to things by yourself and still have a great time!

I will definitely be heading back to the London Craft Club for another class. They offer a great range of workshops covering a variety of different crafts and they are so welcoming. Now all I need to do is find time to burn my new candle…