Saturday, December 10, 2011

Top Secret Christmas Gift

I promised I would share with you our top secret christmas gift that JO, Noah and I made yesterday so here it is. We made candles!

I had never made candles before and I have to be honest and say that I wouldn't be sad if I never made them again. JO and Noah each got to pick out what color to make their candles but that was about as involved as they cared to get in the actual candle making process. It was hot, time consuming and the candles kind of sank in weird places. And to top it all off... they won't stay lit. All in all, a flub. BUT the boys had fun decorating the outside of their candles and were very excited about sneaking the gift under the tree so that mom wouldn't see it (although as soon as we got home Noah said to his mom, "I'll tell you about the gingerbread cookies but I can't tell you about the green box we put under the tree... its a secret." Way to keep the secret, goofball.)

But even though candle making was a flub and not an experience I wish to repeat, I did promise that I would share it, so here it is.

I had the idea of making colored wax using crayons and paraffin wax, pouring it into ball jars (I ended up getting candle glass things at Michaels instead), and then letting the boys mod podge the outside of the jars with colored tissue paper.

I'm so glad that I read somewhere to melt the wax in a tin can instead of an actual double boiler. Wax is crazy difficult to clean up so it saved me the trouble of trying to wash the pan, all I had to do was toss it in the trash. The can is also sitting on a jar lid. When doing any kind of canning or double boiling you don't want the thing you are heating directly on the heat source. Apparently that's bad.

I bought candle wicks at Michaels. To get them to stand up straight when pouring the wax in I dipped them in wax first and stuck them to the bottom.

After melting the wax and crayon I was ready to pour. NOTE: Always warm up the glass with hot water before pouring the wax in to avoid breaking the glass. Really hot things and fairly cool glass things don't get along. I cooled the candles in the fridge but I kind of wonder if this super cooling process was what made the candles sink in different places. I probably should have left them sitting on the counter to cool but with the little boys itching to decorate I was not as patient as I normally am.

The boys had a great time decorating. Noah decided that the tissue looked like little pieces of colored glass, which was the effect I was going for! JO made his all different colors while Noah stuck with red, his favorite color.

After a coat of mod podge over all the tissue paper, the candles were ready to dry.

The candles weren't finished drying by the time we needed to head for the boys' house so we carefully packed them in a box, wrapped it in tissue and decorated it. We were very careful not to tip the box and JO drew a tag on it that said "Do Not Tip." Unfortunately, as soon as I picked it up to leave, the weight shifted and I slow motioned dropped and caught it. A bit of ripping and retaping later we were all set and put back in place. Hopefully the boys' mom will assume that the boys wrapped it which would explain the terrible wrapping job.

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