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Category Archives: Homesteading

Homesteading Fun: Homemade Candles!

These were so fun to make, and a great simple Christmas gift for friends or family.

First, I bought microwaveable soy wax (hey, soy is good for something!). I was glad I went for microwaveable…it saved a lot of time.

The wax is in shavings in a big bag:

I also bought concentrated candle dye:

And cinnamon candle scent:

Candle wicks:

And a candle thermometer (probably not completely necessary, but it was on sale for $5 at Michael’s, so I picked one up):

I melted a few cups of the shavings in a big bowl in the microwave for a few minutes, stirred and microwaved a bit more. Then I added a piece of the concentrated dye (read label for how much to use) and a few drops of scent and let it cool until it got to 175 degrees. Meanwhile, I dipped the bottom of each wick in a bit of the wax and stuck them to the bottom of the 6 oz. jars that I bought. Then poured the melted wax to partially fill the jars:

Let that cool until hardened:

Repeated the process and poured a second layer on. This time I didn’t add dye so it would be a layer of white on top:

Let that cool and voila! Homemade Christmas gifts! As you can see, my red dye ended up cooling to pink. I’ve come to terms with that. Next time I’ll add more dye.

I ended up making 10 candles, and the total cost was about $2.50/candle.  Not bad!

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Posted by on December 7, 2011 in Homesteading, Uncategorized

 

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New Segment: Homesteading Fun!

We typically don’t use our heater in the winter since we have a wood stove, and at the moment, an unlimited supply of dead oak around our property. Starting fires at 5 a.m. can be a bit of a chore, so to ease that burden a bit, we (well, really Superman*, since he’s the one who starts the fires…) buy those fire sticks that you light and they easily get the fire going quickly. We figured that those cost about 50 cents a piece, and we go through at least 1 a day, sometimes two if I’m a bad wife and let the fire go out during the day. That can add up, and if the point here is to save money (which it usually is), I thought there had to be a better way. Imagine my excitement when I came upon this idea!

*my awesome hubby

Homemade Fire Starters

What you need:

1 egg carton

Lint from your dryer (yes, I just said that. You can actually use the lint from your dryer for something!! I do about 2-3 loads a day  {thanks, kids}, so I racked up a lint collection pretty fast…or you could just check your belly button occasionally…)

Candle wax (you can reuse old stuff, but since this was a new venture for me, I went ahead and bought a small container just to see if this actually worked)

That’s it!

What you do:

Get some candle wax (I bought the gel kind this time since it said slow-burning, but you can just use old candles or regular candle wax):

Melt it in a saucepan over low heat:

While that is melting, stuff some lint into each hole of the egg carton:

Pour the melted wax over each hole filled with lint. I think a couple tablespoons should do.

Let cool for a bit until it hardens:

Pull off a segment at a time and place in fireplace. Light just like you would a fire starter and watch the magic happen!

 
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Posted by on November 18, 2011 in Homesteading

 

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