On a gloomy January day, why not take a bit of comfort from the relaxing glow of a candle?
These projects offer bright ideas for refashioning bits you may well already have about into candleholders – then strategically place around the home, for instant cheer. We even tell you how to make – and scent – the candles themselves.
A quick word about wax. These projects use soy, which is made from vegetable oil (paraffin candles use petroleum oil). Soy candles have a longer burn time and less black soot than a paraffin equivalent. Using soy also means you can add essential oils to scent them – try vanilla oil for the hint of freshly baked brioches, or mosquito-repelling citronella oil to conjure balmy summer nights (remember those?). To get even fancier, you can buy colour wax flakes or add dyes. For wicks and wax, try Hobbycraft (hobbycraft.co.uk).
Brioche tin candles
Turn your old tins into something as sweet as the bread itself
Makes three candles
You will need:
3 x 10cm pre-waxed wick assembly
3 small brioche tins or metal jelly moulds, roughly 150ml capacity
Glue dots or glue gun
6 wick-supporting sticks (or wooden cooking skewers cut in half)
750g flaked soy wax – about 225g (or roughly twice the volume of your tin) for each candle
6 small elastic bands
Small pan or metal mixing bowl
1 Fix the wick assembly to the centre of the bottom of your tins by using a glue dot or a dab of hot glue from a glue gun.
2 Take the supporting sticks or skewers in pairs and bind them together by wrapping a small elastic band around them at either end. Use the skewers to hold the wicks vertically by resting them across the rim of each tin, the wicks pinched firmly between the skewers.
3 Put the wax in a small pan or bowl and set the bowl in a pan of water on the hob over a medium heat. Add about three drops of fragrance oil (if using) to the wax. When melted, the wax will appear completely clear. Use your spoon to stir the oil into the wax.
4 Pour a small amount of the liquid wax 5 into the bottom of your prepared tins to just cover the metal wick assembly in each one. Leave to harden for about ten minutes. This is to make sure that the wicks stay in place for the main pour in the following step.
5 Return the pan to the hob to ensure the wax is fully melted, then pour it into your tins to within about 6mm of the top edges and leave to cool and harden fully. If the wax dries with a small dip around the wick, top it up with more melted wax and thinly cover the surface of the candle evenly.
6 Using scissors, trim the wicks to about 12mm from the top surface of the wax. Leave your candles for at least 24 hours before lighting.
Adapted from Take a Tin by Jemima Schlee (GMC, available from thegmcgroup.com)
Turn to page 113 of January’s The Simple Things for two more candle projects: gold painted hurricanes and a candle in a jar.