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Nataila Portman – Blogger/Designer

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a tray of red solo cups being used to make candles
Have you ever found yourself on an incredible breathtaking adventure that you never want to forget? Me too! So I started finding different ways to put my memories into unique pieces of art. My favorite idea is the one I am going to share with you today: Candle Making. Now, all you “nonartsy” people, don’t be intimidated; It is a simple, yet rewarding process that will leave you with both a beautiful and useful memory.

The first thing you’re going to need to gather from your adventure is sand or dirt. I usually gather some and store it in an old water bottle. This is going to be the base of your candle. The base is mainly used for safety purposes, but it also gives the candle another layer of beauty. Next, you will need to gather old candles you have laying around the house or get some from a thrift store. Use whatever colors you have or hunt down specific colors you feel best represent your grand adventure. You will also need to buy candle wicks. These can be found at any craft store, or at Walmart. For the candle mold, find an empty cardboard box or paper cup that you can cut away from the candle when it’s hardened. (plastic will melt) Lastly, you need your memories. I normally grab flowers or other plants from my adventures, but you can use mostly anything. These items will simply be used for decorating your candle and truly turning it into a memory holder.

Once you’ve gathered everything you need to make your candles, it’s time to get creative! The first thing you have to do is melt your wax. There are two different ways
you can melt your wax. If your candle is in a glass container then you can boil water and place the whole candle into the boiling water. Make sure the water does not boil into the candle. You really only need a small layer of water at the bottom of the pot. Or if your candle is not in a container you can simply place the entire thing straight into a pot and let it melt in there. I normally use an old pot to melt the wax and either put it on the stove at home or over a bonfire if you want to make candles while camping.

Once you have the wax melted, you are going to start forming your base. Take some of the wax and your sand/dirt and mix them together. The proportion of sand to wax should be about 70:30. (The only purpose of the wax in this part is to hold the dirt together. ) Pour your base mix into the bottom of whatever you decide to use as a mold. Use a toothpick to press your wick down into the base. To make sure your wick stays in the middle of the candle and is sticking straight up, tie the top around a stick/ pencil and prop it on the top of your mold box. Just make sure that your mold choice can hold hot liquid and can also be cut away from your finished candle. Wait until your base is hardened and then you can start designing your candle!

Get creative with your candle design! Think of the best way to represent your grand adventure! MAKE SURE however, that all plants/ flowers are placed on the outer rim of the candle and not near the wick. Try out different designs by layering colors,
tilting your candle in different ways (If you want to successfully add patterns, make sure each layer/color hardens before you place another layer on top) or using smaller molds inside your large mold (shown in image). You can also mix different waxes together to create new colors if you wish, just make sure you take into consideration the preexisting scents of the candles. Some scents simply don’t mix well together. Once your candle is completely hardened you can cut off the mold. Lastly, cut the wick so only about 1 cm is left!

Now the only thing left is for you to light your candle, sit back, and reminisce on your grand adventure! I hope you enjoy your new marvelous creation as much as I do!

by Annie Harris – ENO College Brand Ambassador-

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