DIY Scented Candles


Whether you’re making them as gifts or you’re like me & can’t bring yourself to buy a $30 candle from Anthropologie, this tutorial will show you candles are a super easy project to take on!

What you’ll need:

Optional items:

  • Paper to line countertops for easier clean up
  • Crock pot liners – easier clean up


I’ve been making candles for about 3-4 years now. Usually around the holidays I invite some girls over & we have a little holiday crafting day & everyone makes some candles either for themselves or to give as gifts over the holiday season! Over the years I’ve come up with some tips / tricks  for easier candle making & easier clean up!

Probably my biggest tip is to line your counter-tops with paper. I usually get some plain paper in the dollar aisle at target or you could even use heavy duty tinfoil. Just something to keep the counter-tops protected from any wax spills.

Along the same line of lining your counters I recommend buying crock pot liners. Unless you plan to dedicate a specific crock pot to candle making. I usually line the bottom of the crock pot with tin foil & then use the liner. It makes clean up so simple. I just allow the crock pot to cool completely and then lift the liner out & toss away. Then I just need to run some soapy water over the crock pot & it’s good to go.

I get all my supplies from amazon. But I know they sell candle wax / candle scents at craft stores like Micheals, so if you finder cheaper deals than what I’ve linked to, go for it!

The first step is to line your counter-tops for easy clean up.


Next, pour the soy wax into the preferably lined crock pot and allow the wax to melt completely. I find it usually takes about 40 minutes to melt about 5 pounds of wax on high. I usually just start that process while I’m getting the rest of my supplies in order.


Once the wax has completely melted you can begin filling your containers. I try to do all the containers that will have the same scent at once. When it comes to adding the essential oils, go big! Especially if you’re trying to get a candle to be as fragrant as store bought. I think I’ve only made one candle that was wayyyy to scented & honestly I think it had more to do with the actual scent than with the amount I added. once you’ve added the desired amount of essential oil, place your wick.


I’ve experimented briefly with wood wicks and have been disappointed with how quickly they burn out. So if anyone has a good suggestion for a brand of wood wicks please tell me! Otherwise I’ve gone back to use the standard candle wick. I use medical tape across the container to support the wick as the wax melts. It’s important to cut the wick to approximately the height you’ll want it before trying to put the wick in the hot wax. I find the wicks try to collapse or fall over if you don’t cut them ahead of time.


Finally allow the candles plenty of time to harden completely & then that’s it! All in all it usually takes the candles about 60 minutes or so to be done. It depends on the size of the candles you’re making though. I usually make a variety of sizes, scents & styles.



If you use this guide, I’d love to see or hear about any recreations in the comment section below!

Happy Holidays to all!

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Terrarium Build – DIY


Walk into a boutique or nursery in San Francisco & you’ll see terrariums like these priced upwards of $75-$100 (!!!!). However for about $40 & 30 minutes you can build your own. A few weeks ago I built these two, one I gave to my friend for her birthday & the small one I couldn’t resist keeping for myself.  I found these awesome geo terrarium containers at World Market. The containers were the priciest part of this DIY, so if you’re on a budget you can find cheaper options here & here . With the holidays just around the corner this is the perfect DIY gift for anyone on your list!

The items you’ll need:

Steps:

  1. Pour approx 1/2 – 1″ of sand in bottom of container.
  2. Layer large rocks on top of sand.
  3. Next add thin layer of activated charcoal, this helps prevent unwanted smells while watering.
  4. Add approx 1-2″ of soil
  5. Add succulents & air plant(s)
  6. Finally add moss & decorative rocks.

Care: Keep terrarium in indirect sunlight & mist once to twice a week.

Comment below if you build your own!

String art tutorial 

  
Four years ago I made this Texas string art  for Chris’ birthday;  It was a surprisingly easy project that turned out great  & now I’ve inally gotten around to make the California counterpart. Whether you’re gifting this for the holidays or hanging it in your own home it’s sure to get plenty of compliments.

 

Materials

  • Wood board – I used this one here from Michaels
  • 1″ nails (2 packs recommended)
  • Paint
  • Foam brush
  • Hammer
  • String
  • Outline of map or design you plan to use

Directions

  1. Paint wood board – allow to dry completely – I used two coats of paint. Once the paint has dried completely tape the outline of the state in the desired place.

 2. Begin hammering nails following your outline – I found it easier to start with a nail at each corner and then adding nails spaced apart, rather than trying to hammer them all close together in the beginning. Also I recommend hammering the heart in first  otherwise it’ll be much more difficult & awkward if the state is already outlined to try and squeeze the heart in.    3. Take the string and start at a corner, make a small knot to secure the string to an outer nail, and begin looping the string around the nails of the heart. I found out the Texas state outline was somewhat easier than california just based on the shape of the state. It may take a few tries to figure out the best number of times to wrap the string around the inner nails.  *Note – not all the nails will have string wrapped around – in the picture below you can see how  some of the nails on the curve inward on the southern end have been skipped.


4. Once you have completed the final loop  make another small knot to secure the string, and you’re done & ready to display!

This project will run you about $20 -$25 and makes a perfect gift! Have you made your own string art? if so I’d love to hear about it!

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Wedding Card Keepsake

For those newlyweds out there trying to decide what to purge and what to save from the post wedding madness, this is a compact way to hold on to all the well wishes from your guests. All you need is a mini binder, a hole punch & about 40 minutes.

 

After our wedding there were so many odds & ends to handle, aside from changing my name, storing my dress etc. We had a pile of wedding cards from friends family that I couldn’t bring myself to toss. So they sat on a pile of other wedding leftovers that don’t have a home in our apartment yet…

Typically I am not one to save all my cards, I usually scan meaningful cards and incorporate them in the annual photo album I make, but for our wedding cards that seemed excessive. Instead, I purchased a small binder from Target & punched holes in the cards. There were a handful of cards that couldn’t be punched through because of their design so I added a small pocket on the inside of the binder to keep those cards safe. The binder found a home in the box holding onto the rest of the wedding mementos. All in all this project took me about 40 minutes & cost about $5!