In the midst of all the dysfunction of my family’s life while growing up we did have some, set in stone, rituals.
One of them was sit down dinners. Those dinners included the whole family and the time was set according to my father getting home from work.
It’s something that also had it’s share of dysfunctional madness; staying at the table until your plate was clean, backhanded swipes from dad and the humiliation of spilling my milk. Again.
Something about it worked though and I continued the tradition into my own family. The single parent time of my life saw a flex in that. But more often than not, Boy Wonder and I sat down and had family dinner.
After we moved to New York and Boy Wonder flew the nest, I began lighting candles at our evening meal. Just one more step to the ritual of coming together at the end of our busy days and signaling us that it’s time to slow down and reconnect.
Especially needed because Hubster and I run our own business and the line between business and downtime gets very blurred.
Normally, I stock up on basic white candles at Ikea a couple times a year. Tapers, tea lights, votives and assorted pillar candles. Ikea’s candles are very affordable and far superior to the basic candles I’ve tried from Target & The Christmas Tree Shop.
I had been thinking of making my own candles for some time and finally went for it after stumbling across a how to on Pinterest.
I bought 10 pounds of soy wax flakes from Amazon which has the best price I have found so far as well as a couple small wicking and anchor packs that will make 12 wicks each. Total investment for this little experiment, $30.
I used recycled candle glass, baby food & mason jars that I already had.
Other tools used; takeout chopsticks and wooden clothespins. (yay for hoarding)
I nested my Classic Batter Bowl in a large pot for a makeshift double boiler and melted down the first batch of soy wax flakes.
While they were melting, I put a small amount of wax in my small pyrex one cup measure and melted them slowly in the microwave, 30 seconds at a time.
I used that wax for anchoring the wicks into the jars and glasses after cutting the wicking a bit longer than needed based on how tall each container was.
I poured the melted wax from the Batter Bowl into my one cup pyrex for pouring into the molds.
Other than a couple wicks that kept popping off the bottom of the containers, it all went smoothly.
The wicks that wanted to keep popping I solved the problem by pouring just enough wax in to cover and let that set up before finishing the pour.
It took less that an hour from start to finish and another hour for most but the largest jar, a quart size, to be set solid and ready for burning.
Here’s how they looked Friday night while we ate dinner.
Conclusion? The candles have such a slow burn rate that even with the small investment in time for making them, they are very cost efficient. I have already begun stalking Ebay for used candle making supplies.
Don’t wait for special occasions to have candlelit dinners.
Everyday at the table with loved ones is special enough for candles!