Did you know it’s actually really easy to make your own scented candles? I didn’t, until a few days ago. But it is! And they are lovely!
I’m not sure if I believe all the rumours about scented candles bringing toxic chemicals into our homes, but it’s nice to know what goes into them anyway. I made the ones above using beeswax, coconut oil and essential oils (lemon myrtle, peppermint and mandarin). The scent of the oils is quite faint and the lovely fresh beeswaxy smell takes over a little – but that’s just fine with me. From what I’ve read, beeswax doesn’t hold the scent of the essential oils so well, so if you want something stronger then soy wax is the go. That’ll be my next candle-making venture, I think.
I made my candles with reference to these two tutorials, but not following either one exactly because that’s just how I roll. It’s really just a melt-and-pour process so you can’t mess it up too badly – or so I thought. My first batch tunnelled (i.e. they burnt down the middle instead of spreading out and melting all the wax) so I had to remelt and add a lot more coconut oil, which will hopefully make them softer and melty-er.
I think once you get the hang of it and perfect your wax to oil ratio and container size to wick size ratio, making your own candles is a lot of fun. It’s also a lot cheaper than store-bought candles and you can choose your own containers (I got mine from op-shops!) and customise the scents exactly how you like. It’s one of the simplest but most satisfying crafts I’ve tried, and I’ll definitely be making more soon.
Some days, I really, really don’t have the time to do anything creative. Chock-full of errands, appointments, writing and research, these hectic days are also the ones when being creative would benefit me the most. When my mind is buzzing and whirling and sitting down to make something would calm it right down.
As a result, I’m a big fan of the five-minute craft – perfect for squeezing into your study break. I thought I’d show you some of the speedy lil things I’ve been making lately. Maybe you’d like to make some too?
- Gift tags. Lots and lots of gift tags. These are perfect for using up leftover bits of card, ribbon and scrapbooking paper, and you can decorate them any way you like (I used a lot of washi tape!)
- Gift bows. I don’t know why, but these are so relaxing to make! I made mine with old envelopes and catalogue pages, basing them off this tutorial and altering them according to size.
- Fridge magnets. You know those huge ugly magnets you get from real estate agents with calendars or lists of emergency numbers on them? They’re perfect for cutting up into squares or fun shapes and decorating with painted paper, washi tape or whatever bits and pieces you like.
Some other things you could try: bookmarks, envelopes, printed or stamped wrapping paper, paper Christmas tree ornaments…
What are you five-minute creative fixes (crafty or otherwise)?
I started making a hand out of clay. I don’t know why. I just saw this pin and thought they looked cool.
I enjoyed the blue blue blue sky and the (finally) warm summer days.
I started a beanie for the boy. I am using this pattern, which is nice and simple (although I still messed up and had to unravel about half of it when I realised I had dropped a stitch somewhere and my rows had magically gotten shorter. Sniff.)
I went for a walk with an old friend. We went to our favourite bushland reserve, which has beautiful views of the sea in one direction and the city in the other. It was hot in the valleys but every time we reached the top of a hill we were rewarded with the most delicious breeze. I would also like to note down for posterity that I felt very happy in the simplest way as I drove towards the reserve with the windows down and the radio on and the car full of that sunscreen-summer smell.
I also: went to a cute cafe for lunch / had a nap / did my weekly volunteering / chatted with my cousins / made plans to see La La Land / read a magazine / went to the library / put on a face mask / watched Youtube videos & somehow all of these things combined to make me feel very content and refreshed and ready for the week ahead.
Which is just how a weekend is supposed to make you feel, isn’t it?