I guess I am a maker in every sense of the word.
Even when I know I can get something relatively inexpensively at the store, I still find so much satisfaction in learning how to make it myself at home.
Being a maker allows me to add my own creative spin on everything and enjoy the process of seeing pieces and ingredients become finished things.
Sure, I can buy handmade dresses for my girls on Etsy, but adding an extra ruffle here, and little ties there, is such a rewarding experience for me.
Even though I can get a knitted hat for my baby boy at the Dollar Store, nothing can replace the love a mama puts into making it.
There is so much more value in a handmade piece. Love, care and creativity are behind every item.
I want to see my kids have the same love for creating that I do.
I want to see them bake the bread, knit the hat, sew the dress and arrange the flowers.
Their homes will be richer for it.
This week I added something new to my handmade repertoire.
I had a hunk of beeswax, that my mom brought home, from a beekeeper that comes into their farm store. Seeing it laying around made me think of candles.
I had been wanting to pour my own for quite some time. So, I finally had an excuse to try!
For my local beekeeper beeswax, I just put it in a glass bowl over a pot of boiling water with a little bit of coconut oil. Out of laziness I didn't even grate it down. It did eventually melt and make a beautiful candle.
For my next go round, I bought these beeswax pellets on Amazon. Until I can get more wax from the local beekeeper, this is the route I will go.
They were so easy to work with and inexpensive.
I added the one pound package of beeswax pellets and 1/2 cup coconut oil to my double broiler set up.
To be honest, there isn't a whole lot to this whole candle making.
It's basically; melt the wax, add the wick, pour it in.
I will get a little more detailed in the instructions to make it feel like I'm really teaching you something here, but there isn't a whole lot to it.
But, trust me, if you make these for gifts, your family and friends will be super impressed.
I made vanilla one year for Christmas, and everyone was so surprised by my skills.
I may do a post on it one day, but here is the process: Add vanilla beans to vodka.
Amazingly simple, and delicious results.
After the beeswax and coconut oil were fully melted, I added essential oils. This step is totally optional.
Beeswax smells delicious all on its own, but I wanted to experiment with some different scents.
Now, here is where it can get a little tricky, especially if you stop to take pictures for your blog. ;).
This stuff hardens VERY quickly, so don't take your time filling the jars.
If you do, just return the bowl to the double broiler.
Since I had poured my wax in a measuring cup for easy pouring, the wax was sticking to the sides of it. I just put the measuring cup in the oven for a few minutes on 350, and it was liquid again.
Due to blog picture taking, and kids underfoot, I had to return to the oven and double broiler several times during this process.
It took the larger candles about 5-10 minutes to set up completely.
Just to experiment, I added a few hunks of cocoa butter, to my next batch.
And, oh my word, what a heavenly scent of honey and chocolate!
I can't decide which candles I like more.
That is what I love so much about DIY. You don't have to follow the instructions so rigidly. Experiment and see where your creativity can take you.
Next time I plan to add quite a bit more cocoa butter and lavender essential oil. Doesn't that sound like a relaxing combination?! Lavender and chocolate, oooooh, or orange and chocolate, or maybe a holiday candles with pine and cinnamon, or honey lemon, or .......
I can see I am going to have a lot of fun with this candle making business! :)
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What delicious combinations can you come up with?