‘Making Christmas’ from The Nightmare Before Christmas–but make it summer crafts, and make it all candles!
Reader, I have a confession: when I enjoy something, I can’t help but get carried away.
All I wanted to do was experiment with a craft I’d been enjoying. It had worked so well, after all, for my Valentine’s candles, and my Halloween melts before that. But a few hours browsing for silicone moulds had me dreaming up all sorts of ideas, and before I knew it, my experiments had spiralled into an entire season’s worth of candles… And here they are!
The one that started it all! From the second I saw the duck silicone mould, I knew I wanted to make a huge candle that looked like a duck pond, like nothing I’d done before. I made every element from scratch: the heat-gun effect on the mud at the bottom, the pond weed trickled up the side of the container, the pretty pink flowers; I even melted flat-backed ducks together to make them 3D, and created lily pads by putting droplets of wax onto the backs of silicone moulds, letting them set, then indenting them with a pocket knife. I’m SO proud of how this one turned out–and it’s a good job there’s a nice, jasmine-scented cold throw, because I don’t want to burn it! (That became a running theme…)
Mermaid Lagoon and Treasure Beach
It’s not summer without the seaside, so of course a beachy candle and sea candle were on my list to make–I just had no idea I’d fall in love with the beach one so hard! Honestly, it came together so quickly and easily, in a single afternoon: the idea to stagger the colours on a diagonal to make it look like sand dunes, to layer real seashells throughout, and to finish it off with crystals and seashell melts. In a happy accident, the wax even revealed some air pockets on the top when it set– which normally would be a sunken disaster, but I think here, it adds to the sand effect! It also smells so good, of pink lemonade and sherbet lemon–I have no idea how they managed to make the fragrances smell fizzy, but it’s amazing!
The mermaid one was not as easy a feat. There were some issues with frosting that I’m not 100% happy with, and the mermaid tails were so difficult to unmould, I broke every single one, at different stages throughout the unmoulding and assembly process. What can you do? I still love the overall attempt, down to the salt crystals on the top, and how it smells like aqua minerals and coastal blossoms. And I learned a lot, which is all I can really ask for!
Succulent Pot and Terrarium
This one only counts as a summer candle because it took until summer to finish it, but I started back in May with that spread of flower and succulent melts. They were so fun to make, mixing shades of green I never typically reach for, and my kitchen smelled like honeysuckle fragrance for hours after! I knew I wanted to use them make a sort of terrarium, but it wasn’t until I came back to assemble it that I realised two things: one, I needed soil and rocks to make it realistic; and two, I’d made so many melts, I had enough for more than two candles. So I bought a second container, and set to making soil by poking and swirling at my almost-dry wax until it crumbled; and I made rocks by creating grey succulents and breaking them up, then smoothing them into rock-like shapes with my fingers. Such fussy work. So much fun. I have no real succulents, but until I do, these will do!
Rainbow Flower Spiral
So, this candle was a planned as a learning experiment. I wanted to see how well I could display wax melts in the side of a candle, without using a transparent gel wax; I wanted to see how they’d melt and burn; and I wanted to see what would happen if I kept adding a new layer of flower melts every time I lit the candle, so I’d never lose the pretty top. And you know what? Surprise MVP of burning this month! The side display didn’t work hugely well, but it’s so cool to see them melting–the flowers go sort of translucent as the two types of wax melt together–and there’s a fun interactive element to layering new flowers on the top after every burn that so far, hasn’t damaged my even melt pool or drowned my wicks. It was an experiment, and I consider that experiment a win!
And that brings my spring/summer 2022 candle making to a close! I’ve got even more ideas for autumnal and wintery candles, so watch this space…
Did you craft anything this summer? What would your dream project be?