Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Vintage Teacup Candles

The other day I thought I'd have a go at turning my vintage teacups into candles. I've never tried any form of candlemaking before, and was pleasantly suprised by both the finished result, and how easy it was. I can feel a bit of a Christmas production line coming on.........

To begin with pop a pan of water on the hob to boil, place the wax pellets into a metal mixing bowl (you could also use glass) and place the mixing bowl  over the pan of water.  Once the water had started boiling, I turned it down to a simmer and the heat began working it's magic on the wax pellets in the bowl. Within a few minutes, they go from white, to a clear liquid as they melt.

Whilst the wax melts, cut the wick to the required length, dip one end in the molten wax and push it into the little metal "wick retainer". Hold for a few seconds so the wax sets and the wick should now be held pretty securely within the wick retainer. Put a couple of teaspoons of the molten wax in the base of the teacup and push the wick retainer into it. (mind your fingers as the wax is still hot!) The wick should now be "set" into the base of the teacup.

In preparation for pouring the wax into the teacup, the wick needs to be held straight and upright whilst the wax sets.  To achieve this I wedged the wick between two knives, but tying it around a knitting needle would probably work as well. I guess it depends on how much wick you have left to play with and what you find easiest.

Once the wax is melted and ready to pour into the teacup,  you could add some scent or essential oil to the wax to perfume your finished candle. The kit that I had bought had a little bottle of cinnamon scented essence included.  Perfect for Christmas! But I guess you could add most essential oils, (lavender, ylang ylang, patchouli, citrus to name but a few) and tailor it to whatever occasion, mood or preference you like. It is best to add it JUST before you pour the wax into the teacup (give it a qquick stir), since the perfume evaporates whilst it is in contact with the hot wax.  As soon as it is poured and begins to set, it "locks" the perfume in.

It's probably a good idea at this stage to carefully transfer the molten wax to a jug to make it easier to pour (especially if you're as accident prone as I am!). The kit instructions said to fill 3/4 and allow to set for 30mins, then top up with the rest of the wax.
I'll admit I'm impatient and ended up pouring the whole lot in at once, so my finished candle dipped in the middle a bit, with no wax left over to level it.

Click to enlarge
It's then a question of leaving it to set for 24 hours, and it's ready to light, or wrap up and give as a gift (if you can bear to part with it!) You could glue the cup to the saucer to secure it or keep them as two seperate parts. I can't decide, as it feels wrong to put superglue on something so pretty. Overall, I'm pretty chuffed with my first attempt. My imagination is now running away with me, thinking or all the other things I can stick a wick in and fill with wax.............

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