Burning the midnight oil at arc

by Julie White

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Not so much the midnight oil, but the midnight candle. And not so much at midnight. This was my first attempt to make candles in awesome ARC container finds out of old candles from ARC. Two thrifted items in one craft: a thrifter’s dream.

I frequently see candles made in beautiful vintage tea cups for sale, but they are often very pricey. There are always great tea cups and mugs (and jars and dishes…) at ARC so I figured I would try my hand at making my own.

Buying wax flakes for candle-making is pricey. There are always tons of candles for sale at ARC, too, so I decided I’d try to make my new candles by melting down old candles. I bought some that were similar in color so that they would blend well together and bought a glass dish at ARC with a handle and a lip on it that would be a great double-boiler. I didn’t want to use one of my normal bowls in case the wax ruined it.

I put a few inches of water underneath the glass dish and waited for it to boil before turning it down and putting my candle in the dish. Then I waited…and waited…and waited. This was a big honking candle so it took quite a while to melt. Next time I will definitely buy long skinny candles that I can cut up and will melt faster.

When it was about halfway melted I dipped the end of the wicks into the melted wax to get them to stick to the inside of the mugs and jars I was going to use. I tried using wooden wicks and regular waxed string wicks to see which was easier.

By far the wooden wick was easier to use. I ended up having to rig up something to hold the waxed string wick steady so that it didn’t fall over when I poured the wax in. It didn’t work very well…but luckily I’m not too concerned with perfection.

When the wax was finally melted I carefully poured it into the side of the cups, slowly. I wanted to make sure it didn’t splash anywhere and that it went in slow and steady to create a smooth top.

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The end results weren’t too shabby! They’re definitely not perfect. Not by far. In the future I’ll choose just a white or yellow candle versus one with color. I also need to read up about how to get a smooth top. Mine are definitely a little bit crackly.

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But I love that they highlight the great tea cup and mug from ARC. The single candle was enough for these two small cups but not enough for a jar, as well. I guess that just means I need to do it again!

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