Friday, March 26, 2010


Through wedding planning I have discovered that some everyday items that aren't normally pricey when purchased in wedding volume becoming EXTREMELY pricey. Take candles for instance, normally you spend $2-$30 for one or a small set BUT when you have to purchase 2-4 for each table and you have 15-18 tables and you need still need containers to put the candles in or on.... let's just say it adds up quickly.

So in an effort to conserve some funds Ryan and I stopped by some second hand stores in search of some votive holders, pillar candle holders, or other candle containers.

Let's just say we found Milk Glass Mecca! Look at the fantastic pieces we were able to pick up for less than $40...

So what does all this milk glass have to do with our search for candles and candle holders? Well I channeled my inner Martha and decided to attempt to turn them all into candles. My favorite finds were these ceiling fan globes which we will use to cover votive candles...

For the rest of the milk glass I picked up 20lbs of paraffin wax, a variety of different sized wicks, and a wax thermometer from Hobby Lobby. To start I cleaned all the pieces really well with soap and water, using a little goo gone where needed, and allowed them to completely dry. Using a hammer I then broke the slabs of paraffin wax into more managable sized pieces. I improvised a double boiler using a medium sized saucepan and a large pyrex bowl. The trick here is that when you add water to the saucepan you do not want it to touch the bottom of the bowl and you want the bowl to fit snuggly on the saucepan to prevent too much steam from escaping. I then started throwing chunks of wax in the bowl and waited for it to melt.

I attached the wicks to the bottom of the containers by dipping them into the melted wax and then quickly centered them on the bottom of the milk glass. This may take a few dips to accumulate enough wax to stick and don't worry if you misplace the wick, they come up pretty easily.

Finally I poured all the candles being sure to leave adequate amounts of wick available. For wicks that wouldn't stay straight I used some dowel rods from another project to help stabilize them until they were set. You could easily use pencils, food skewers, or any other relatively long and sturdy object you have around your house.

Lessons learned:
-The wax thermometer is a joke don't waste your money. Mine broke after a few hours.
-Some candles shrink up significantly after drying be prepared to pour candles multiple times.
-Get a cheapo saucepan the you can throw away after the project as the wax splatters everywhere and I'm still having a hell of time getting it off my good saucepan.
-Purchase some Goo Gone it really helped remove wax splatters from my floor, countertops, and stove.
-Do this on a day when you can be at home for a while as it takes some time and can't be left unattended
-Be VERY careful not to drip wax on your hot burners. Paraffin wax is flammable at higher temperatures and will catch on fire if it hits a scalding burner. (Not that I would know this from personal experience or anything... I swear).

Time: This project took the better part of the day but had a lot of down time while waiting for the wax to melt.
Difficulty Level: Easy
Milk Glass- 40 pieces for ~$40
Wax Thermometer- $7.00
Wicks (for 40 of varying sizes)- $9.00
Paraffin Wax (20lbs)- $30.00
Total Cost: $86.00 or $2.15 per candle

Have you found any second hand store finds? What did you end up using them for?

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