Don't you just love beeswax? The way it smells, and feels and that beautiful golden yellow...there is just something special about it. I think it's on my list of top ten favorite things. It was really just a matter of time before I started utilizing it as a (yet another) crafting medium. First up was candles. I wanted to make my own wicks, and after a bit of time spent with google, I learned that in order to get our cotton yarn to burn cleanly (as apposed to just kind of smoldering), I needed to to a bit of prep. I didn't get a picture of this next part but it was pretty straight forward. I cut the yarn into lengths about 6" long, and soaked them in a solution of 1Tbsp salt, 2 Tbsp borax, and 1 cup warm water. I let them soak for a few hours and then let them dry on a dinner plate. These hung around for a day or two until my sister was able to come join in the fun, but I would plan on letting them dry overnight.
I got our beeswax (and other supplies below) from Mountain Rose Herbs, we went with the pastilles, because those blocks looked fairly hard to cut...and they are a little bit less expensive which is always nice.
The beeswax took a
loooong time while to melt, but it was wonderful to watch, and smelled delightful. The whole thing was pretty trial and error based, but a few things we did seemed to make it easier. First, know that even if you are super careful beeswax will get on things. Don't use your favorite anything, and it's probably best to plan on the things you use becoming your beeswax gear. We covered the counter with wax paper which made clean up a breeze, we were even able to peel the larger bits off to melt down again next time.
The pencil was useless, I'm not sure what I was thinking actually...and I think next time I will get some tabs or paperclips to help anchor the wicks. We tried our hand at dipping candles too...I think the one I made will adorn a certain Little Man's birthday cake.
Okay, so the pencil wasn't quite useless, but it certainly didn't serve it's intended purpose! It was so much fun to watch the wax cool, it kept us guessing about the final color, the kids really liked this part.
Next up was some lip balm (or lip boom as Jenny calls it). We used Amanda Soule's recipe (found Here) as with everything else we've tried from her blog (and books) it is wonderful! It came together really quickly and this batch should last all of the girls around here for a while. Even my boys don't mind it, which is good since a certain middle child has developed a lip licking habit that is taking a while to break. Oh, and yes, this is a very real life kitchen picture, but that's just how we roll here. It's a pretty active space and it's rare that the counters are totally clear and bare of beans soaking or dishes drying, or other dishes stacked and waiting for their time to shine, and then there are the cookbook and the compost bowl and all those other kitchen-y things...I'm rambling but you get the idea!
Oh, and here's one "To Daddy Love Jenny" ;)