I love watching little DIY videos on Facebook—the 30-second-long crafts or recipes that always look amazing and that I’m certain will look anything BUT amazing when I get around to trying them. But for once, I actually did it. And it worked!
At Christmas I like homemade gifts, especially gifts that my sons can get involved in making. About a month ago I saw a video from Bed Bath and Beyond, advertising the many creative uses for a crock-pot. Everything from chocolate fondue in mason jars to bread. But what caught my attention was the idea of making candles…in a crock-pot! (Call me flabbergasted.) The light bulb went on in my head. This would be a perfect gift for teachers and family and a fun Saturday afternoon activity with the boys!
Here’s what I did: I went to Hobby Lobby and bought
- Eight small jars with lids
- Two 2lb bags of soy wax shavings
- A package of wicks with metal disc anchors
On the day of our experiment, I also grabbed several crayons from the boys’ box-o-craft stuff. I set up the production line in my kitchen and turned both of my crock-pots on high. The boys and I made a list of their teachers and grandparents. Then they filled each jar with wax shavings and added a crayon of their choice. We also added a few drops of essential oils, which I had on hand, to each of the jars.
When they were finished, we filled the crock-pots with the jars (minus the lids), careful to keep them level and covered them with the crock-pot lid. After about an hour I check on our project. Most of the jars needed more wax, so I added a few tablespoons to each and stirred. Another 15 minutes and the wax was fully melted. I pulled them out carefully and gave each a good stir to make sure the color was evenly spread out (not clumped on the bottom). We inserted the wicks and wrapped the tip around the middle of a straw, which balanced across the top of the jar to keep the wick centered.
After about 30 minutes the candles were cool enough to remove the straws and trim the wicks to a quarter inch long. Success! The project was a fun experiment for the boys, and it had a purpose. If we do this again, I’ll have to research candle scents. The few drops of essential oil did nothing. Nevertheless, the candles turned out cute and will make nice gifts.
If you decide to try this, let me know and post pictures! Do you have any favorite kid-craft ideas for gifts? Share them in the comments section below!