Not that there is anything wrong with buying various items...I think I just have to challenge myself with strange and obscure projects because it keeps different parts of my brain alive.
Case in point: Citronella Candles
Yes, you read that right - I decided to make my own citronella candles. And why not? If somebody else can make it, then certainly I can too!
This is where the internet is a blessing/curse. Because you can find step-by-step tutorials and YouTube videos to walk you through mostly anything.
Side note - why do the tutorials/video people feel the need to say "just" so much? Especially when it completely does not apply....i.e:
"First, you just feed you 50 silkworms 7 times a day, for just 2.5 years. Then, you take the silk they've spun and you just weave it in a dainty pattern that was designed by a neurophysicist. And there you go, a marvelous scarf in just 2 easy steps!"
Thankfully, my tutorial (and video step-by-step) was better than that.
And it actually was pretty easy to make the candles! (Albeit rather time-consuming....primarily because I have a shortage of pots in my home, so I didn't have the right size.)
Here's how I kept my "melting container" from getting wet....a cookie cutter!
Fill the pot with as much water as you can - without having it touch your melting container.
Place shaved wax (definitely makes it melt faster!) and coloring agent (crayon) in a container with a candle thermometer.
**Side note -
Crayons work great as a coloring agent for CITRONELLA candles. But not other candles.
Because they make the candle smoke more when it burns.****
Turn on the heat, and wait.
Be sure to wait for the wax to hit 140 degrees....or the consistency of olive oil.
You can stir it with a paint stick or a spoon - but don't plan on using it EVER again for anything but candle making.
While waiting, (and waiting, and waiting) prep your jars! I saved money by using old glass jars that I would have recycled anyway - an olive jar, a gifted jam jar, and a salsa jar.
Place a dab of hot glue on the bottom of the wick and push it down in the middle of the bottom of the jar.
I kept the wick steady (and in the middle) while pouring, by pinching it with a clothes pin. Not very fancy - but it worked!
It was extra fun because the Beans helped out as well - always an entertaining time. They took turns picking the color for the wax....and then deciding where their color should go. So we ended up with 4 very colorful citronella candles!
All 4 were ORIGINALLY in jars - the one sitting in a bowl had an unfortunate altercation with the Boy Bean (see his determined face above) and lost its leftover-salsa-jar-casing.
Oh well. The shattered jar only left 3 children in tears, one with a thumb slice, and one with glass in her foot. Thankfully, no harm came to the candle.
Not a single bite...and I'm pretty sweet. :)