Saturday, March 31, 2012

Candle Making .500 (or what not to do)

I don't like being outside in the dark. Don't like it one bit! Comes from being stalked by a big growlie thing (cougar) for an hour in Missouri once.

So WTSHTF I want light. Sure I've got oil lanterns, kerosene and lamp oil, even have emergency candles. What happens when that stuff runs out? Beth has to face the big growlie things lightless!! No way!

I've never experimented with candle making before and wanted to do it from the ground up so I started with making my own wicking (yes I have extra lantern wicks but ...see above)
You can get alot of candle wicks out of 420 ft of cotton twine. I braided these together 3 strands at a time to come up with this.

All the research I did said to soak the wicking for 12 hours in a mixture of 1 cup water, 1 tbsp salt and 2 tbsp boric acid..I don't know why but who I am to argue?

So this morning after soaking and drying the wicks out, I got out my supplies. Everyone on the net recommends toilet paper or paper towel tubes as inexpensive molds..DON'T DO IT!! What a mess!

I wanted to scent my candle with some calming traditional Native American scents. So I added about 1 cup of combined chopped sweetgrass and white desert sage that I was lucky enough to wildcraft on our trip out west last year. (Mental pic of Beth drying sweetgrass on a unlit bbq grill in a campground in the sun)

After the fiasco with the toilet paper tubes (leaks out from the bottom) I mad dashed all over the house trying to find suitable glass containers.  Here is what I ended up with.

2 candles scented with sweetgrass and desert white sage and while I was at it I made 10 containers of lip balm flavored with hazelnut extract (because I'm wierd like that) The directions for the lip balm are hereLip Balm from PatarusFamilia Blog

The chopsticks I used to keep the wicks upright while drying. I will trim the wicks up later.

Anyone have suggestions on how to do it better?

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