DIY scented soy tealights experiment #1

This probably stems from birthday celebrations, but I have always found candles absolutely magical.

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any excuse for a cat gif… (gif src: giphy.com)

I also pray on a daily basis (we’ll save the religious talk for another day), so I usually light a candle/tealight daily as a part of my prayers. Other times, I just light a candle for the sake of it. Everything just seems a little quieter, calmer and magical (I know, I know, I already said that…). Lighting a candle always puts me in a good mood.

Trying to find good candles for an affordable price can be a difficult task. Cheaper candles (in my experience) tend to burn poorly and do not last very long. I’ve also had mixed experiences with scented budget friendly candles. I find there is either no scent or the scent can be too artificial. The pricier are ones are… well, pricey. Though admittedly, there are a few brands of candles that are definitely not cheap but smell too artificial…. maybe I am fussy about my scents…

With that in mind, I decided to have a go at making my own scented tealights. I’m hoping they eventually turn out well enough to give away as Christmas gifts.

Getting the initial items wasn’t as expensive as I thought it would be, but I did have a fair few things already. I bought my items via Amazon (FYI: I’m not an affiliate… well, not at the time of writing this anyway).

I used the following two instructions as a guide (from Joy at ‘Artful Homemaking’ here and from Melissa at ‘Soy Candle Making Time’ here).

Supplies*

supplies

*the following supplies will yield 4 tealights

  • tealight containers with wicks
  • 1 plastic drinking straw
  • soy wax flakes
  • something to stir with (I used an old wooden spoon)
  • mason jar (what I used to melt my wax in)
  • measuring jug (what I used to pour my wax with)
  • cooking pot
  • food scale
  • candy thermometer
  • peppermint essential oil

Instructions

  1. Weigh out your wax! As I’m experimenting, I decided it would be best to start with a small amount.measuring-the-wax
  2. Fill your pot about 1/4 of the way with water. Place mason jar with wax in the pot. I had the heat on med-low.melting-the-wax
  3. Stir wax occasionally, I waited until heat reached 140 degrees F (All guides advise to melt the wax up to 180 degrees F and then wait for it to cool to 140 degrees F before transferring, but I was a little bit excited, so I misread the instructions on two different guides!).checking-the-temp
  4.  My mason jar wasn’t practical for pouring, so I had to transfer to my glass measuring cup (which unfortunately isn’t supposed to be heated, which is why I didn’t melt the wax in it. If you have a pouring receptacle that you can melt the wax in, you should definitely use that!).melted-wax-before-pouring
  5. Add essential oil to wax. I wish I had read the instructions properly and could tell you exactly how much I used, but I just filled my pipette a few times and mixed the oil in. If I had to guess, I reckon I used a little under a teaspoon worth of essential oil.
  6. Pour wax into tealight container.after-pouring-and-pipette
  7. Instead of gluing my wicks in place, I dropped my wicks in place after pouring the wax and then used a drinking straw to place the wick in place. I’ve read somewhere (I can’t find/remember the source) that the hot wax can melt certain glues, and I’m not sure the glue I had would have withstood the heat of the wax.placing-the-wick
  8. This site advises that you should let scented soy candles cure for 24 hours, so that is what I did. 24 hours later, this is how they look…

after

 

I have had the tealight lit for approximately an hour (at time of writing this) and I’m disappointed about the scent. I get the occasional whiff of peppermint, and it seems a little stronger with time but it definitely isn’t as strong as I would like or expected. I’m happy with the essential oil itself, I think the issue was that I didn’t use enough 😦 . On the plus side, the wick appears to be staying in place without being glued in, and it is burning at a good pace.

I couldn’t take a good picture of it (so gave up), but there is a very slight frosting on the surface of the tealights. Candle Science (the brand of my wax) has these helpful tips to reduce frosting on soy candles, advice I’ll definitely follow for the next batch of tealights I make.

Overall, I’ve quite enjoyed making the tealights and can see this growing into a full blown hobby. Aesthetically I’m happy with the outcome, but really wish the fragrance was stronger. I guess I have learned a valuable lesson: read the instructions carefully!

Let me know if you have a go at making these! Also, if you have experience in making your own candles and have any tips/advice, please leave a comment. I would greatly appreciate it!

Until next time,

Amrita

xo

 

 

 

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DIY Advent Calendar

Hello Beauties,

My gorgeous Mum said that you shouldn’t celebrate/decorate for Christmas until December 1st (now that I think about it, I’m not exactly sure why). As a Brit living in the USA, it’s been hard not to break out the Christmas decorations straight after Thanksgiving (especially seeing a lot of my neighbors apparently don’t know about my Mum’s rule and have started decorating for Christmas).

However…

…it’s now December 1st. I CAN FINALLY START CELEBRATING CHRISTMAS!

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(img src: giphy.com)

I will forever associate Christmas festivities officially starting with the opening of an advent calendar door. My parents bought me one each year (even as an adult), and December was the only month where my parents let my siblings and I start our mornings off with a small piece of chocolate (the typical gift in the advent calendars I got).

I’m not sure if advent calendars are a part of the Christmas tradition in the USA (my American husband said he didn’t have advent calendars as a child). To be honest, I haven’t looked into it a great deal, but it feels back in the UK, they are available pretty much everywhere (maybe I just haven’t been shopping at the right places here?). However, not being able to buy one in-store has worked out well for me. My love of all things crafty and obsession with Pinterest has inspired me to try making my own.

I came across this Buzzfeed list which inspired me to no end, but I finally on settled on making one inspired by #31 on the list (by Jenn from Ruffled Sunshine), largely because I realized I had already had items to make a similar looking calendar, but also because it is freaking adorable looking.You can see the instructions for making her advent calendar here.

In total, I think I technically spent around the $10 (USD) mark making the advent calendar. It felt ‘free’ because I already had the items at home, with the exception of the Hershey’s kisses which I bought from Walmart for around $2.

Anyhow, these are the items I used to make my very own advent calendar:

  • mini craft bags (mini envelopes would work too)
  • mini pegs
  • Christmas wire
  • sellotape
  • black marker
  • scissors
  • Hershey’s Christmas kisses

Instructions:

Ease of project: SUPER easy

  1. Number your craft bags! (note: I don’t have a printer at home (I know, I know…), so I drew on the numbers by hand. If you have a printer or have a talent for calligraphy, your finished product will have a much more polished look than mine does. Stencils/sticker will work too!)
  2. Put desired ‘treat’ in bag.
  3. Cut wire to the desired length.
  4. Stick wire on wall with tape.
  5. Peg craft bag on wire (note: in order for better support), I taped the wire in between the bags too).
  6. Decorate around the space as desired.
  7. Marvel at how easily you just completed that.

…and here is the end result!

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It is my first crafty project this Christmas season, and I’m rather proud of it! I’m nowhere done with decorating for the holidays, but good golly, I’m feeling the festive spirit!

Wishing you all a very merry Christmas season!

Amrita

xo