• Jen

A bit of a DIY-er.

Updated: Mar 31, 2020

I had my dream life all mapped out once...on Pinterest. But let's be real here, I need to figure out a way to grow money trees in order to have the picturesque farm and land like the pictures tagged on my Pinterest boards. I must admit, we have a very BEAUTIFUL farm here in hill country of Western Wisconsin, and are slowly working to make it our "Pinterest dream farm".


This requires a ton of creativity, ambition, and DIY spirit. As you already know, I took you through the process of Austin building our bed frame and headboard and showed you how I built a brooder box for our chicks and ducklings. These are just a few of the many DIY projects we do to keep busy around the homestead.


One of my favorite DIY projects is candle-making. I decided to stop spending $20-$30 on a candle, when I can buy a 10-lb bag of wax off Amazon and make a dozen candles for $25! I also really enjoy the art of candle making because I am constantly trying new scents and trying to add new colors. To be honest, and maybe I am a bit biased, but I think my candles smell better AND last soo much longer than any store-bought candle I have come across.


Candle-making really only has 3 main steps to it, so I thought I would share how I do it, and maybe inspire some of you to give it a try! There are a variety of mediums you can use, like different wax types, containers, wicks, etc...but for me, I use what is the best to work with. I use soy wax, mason jars, and braided rope wick (however, for this blog post, I did try wood wicks too!).


If you are wondering where you can purchase candle-making equipment and accessories, places like Hobby Lobby or Amazon (of course), are great places to start! All you need is the wick, metal grommet bases, wax of your choosing, dye (blocks or liquid), and scent.


bag of soy wax

wicks - scents - metal grommet bases - dye

wax pan - hot glue sticks - needle nose for securing wicks inside metal grommet bases

Step 1: Find the jar or container you want to use and glue the wick in. The wick needs to be pressed into a metal grommet that acts as the base in the bottom of the jar. After the wick is secure, hot-glue the grommet to the bottom of the jar.


Just as a little tip, I usually unfold a paperclip and lay it across the top of the jar. Then I pull the wick tight, put a drop of hot-glue on the paperclip, and glue the wick to the paperclip so the wick stays straight when pouring the wax and dries straight as well.




braided rope wicks & wood wicks

That was pretty easy, right?! Well, that was probably the hardest step involved!


Step 2: Put wax into a pan on the stove at low heat so the wax can slowly melt. Now, this is a trial and error situation because the container you use will determine the amount of wax needed to be melted. Start off with a smaller amount of wax, and melt more as you need it. You will get the hang of the correct amount pretty quick!


Once the wax is mostly melted, add your dye and scent. The more dye you add, the darker and richer that color will be. It is worth mentioning that the dyed wax ALWAYS dries much lighter than what it looks like after you melt the wax and add the dye. So, if you are aiming for darker colored candles, add more dye! The same concept goes for the scent as well...if you want a strong candle, then be sure to add more scent. I usually add about 5-6 drops in the pan, and then another couple drops in each individual candle after the wax is poured. And that brings us to step number 3.



Step 3: Pour the wax. Now that you have melted wax with dye and scent added, you are ready to pour. Hobby Lobby sells actual pouring devices for melted wax, but this is a Homestead, so we improvise! I took an old pan I no longer needed for cooking, and pounded a pouring edge into it. That way, I can go straight from the stove to the jars and pour, and I don't waste wax or need to use a second container for pouring.



After the wax is poured, you just wait until it's dry. I usually let the jars sit overnight to ensure they have fully dried. Try to put them on a surface that won't vibrate or move a lot, especially if it's an area of high traffic in your house. If the jars get shaken while drying, they are more likely to develop cracks or holes in the wax.



And just like that...you're now a candle-maker! Give it a try and send me a message on Instagram (@WeberHollowHomestead) or Facebook (facebook.com/weberhollowhomestead) and let me know how they turned out! I would be interested in doing a candle swap too! Let's get our spring houses smelling good and fresh :)


-J

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