Thursday, July 26, 2012

Making Candles with Beth the Apothecary

My friend Beth is quite crafty, but it always manifests itself in unique ways.  My friend Laura decided yesterday that if Beth had lived in colonial times, she would have been the town apothecary.  Her husband thinks along similar lines, and declared Beth a witch.
She's cackling, in case you couldn't tell :)
What does this have to do with my adventures?  Well, one of Beth's many hobbies is candlemaking, and she generously agreed to teach us how to make candles.  

Beth, Laura, and Shaylen (and Baby Micah) came for lunch, and then we got down to business.
The supplies

This is an 11 pound piece of parafin wax.  Beth had to break it up into usable chunks.  Milo was enthralled.  Mac was nervous.

The wax
Here's the basic set-up: The large pot has boiling water in the bottle.  The smaller pot has the wax in it, and it sits inside the larger pot, making a double-boiler.  The wax melts, and then you can pour it out into your candle holder.

The thermometer is a necessary tool, since the wax has to get to 160 degrees before you can make your candles.
Amlung is adding a piece of scented wax to the boring parafin

 While Amlung worked, I took a break to hold baby Micah

Then Beth stole him from me.  Then, Micah and his mommy had to leave and miss out on all the fun.

Back to work!  The wax has melted at this point, and we are adding the first layer to our ice cream sundae candles

Laura did hers and Shaylen's, since Shaylen had to leave
The ice cream sundaes all have their first layer, and my jar is full

Laura added some yellow and orange crayons to the wax, so the next layer of our sundaes was orange
Laura's orange mason jar candle
My aunt Martha gave me this jar to use to hold money I was saving for my adventures.  I have a secret hiding spot for my money, so I figured I would use the jar IN one of my adventures, and it now has a delicious smelling candle in it.

This bucket is going to be for my citronella candle to put on my new potting bench.  Apparently they sell wick holders, but I thought Beth's use of chopsticks worked just as well.

To add some color for my citronella candle, we melted down some blue crayons.

And made a big old mess

My blue citronella candle
All of the in-progress candles

Beth wanted to make whipped topping for the ice cream sundae candles.  She tried just whipping the wax, but that wasn't the right answer. After a quick Google search, we learned the secret ingredient


More during...
AFTER! Isn't this amazing??

I learned that the candle wax sinks, so you have to poke holes while it's warm, and then do a second pour the next day to fill in the sinking.  This candle is ready for its second pour.

Melting back down some of the turquoise wax we saved from yesterday

All the finished candles (minus the ones Amlung took home yesterday).  Didn't we do a great job??

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