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Do you have a teenage or adult grandchild with whom you want to do activities but aren’t sure what? While yes days and video game marathons are always an option, I have found something you and your older grands may love even more: candle making!
From gifts to decor (or even your own Etsy shop, hehe), candles are always in season and even more wonderful when handmade. Here’s how you, too, can make your own candles and start an enjoyable new hobby:
1. Gathering the supplies
Before embarking on this glowing journey, ensure you have all your essentials ready, including:
- Wax (soy, paraffin, or beeswax depending on your preference)
- A double boiler (or a makeshift one with a large pot and a heatproof bowl)
- Candle wicks with metal tabs at the base
- Fragrance oils or essential oils for that whiff of magic
- Dye chips or crayon shavings for a splash of color (optional)
- Heat-resistant containers (glass jars, vintage teacups, or any other quirky container)
- A thermometer
- Stir sticks or an old spoon
2. Setting the mood
Spread out some old newspapers or craft paper on your workspace for easy cleanup. While this activity is geared more toward older – and generally less messy – grandkids, it can be a tad messy, so donning those aprons might be a good idea.
3. Melting moments
Fill the bottom pot of your double boiler with water and place it on medium heat and then place your chosen wax into the top part or bowl. As the water simmers, the wax will begin its graceful dance into liquid form. Before you begin, be sure to also check the wax’s melting point (usually indicated on its packaging) using the thermometer.
4. Infusing fragrance and color
Once the wax is entirely melted, reduce the heat. This is where you and your grandkid get to let your imaginations – and senses – soar! Add your desired fragrance oil or essential oils, giving it a thorough mix. If you fancy a colorful candle, stir in some dye or crayon shavings until you achieve that perfect hue.
5. Prepping the container
While the wax cools slightly, focus on the container. Place the wick in its center, ensuring the metal base sits at the bottom. (Some find it helpful to use a bit of melted wax to secure the wick’s base to the container’s bottom.) Make sure the wick stands straight by wrapping the top around a pencil or stick resting on the container’s rim.
6. The perfect pour
After deciding who has the steadier hand and better pour (or you can just take turns :P), it is time to add your melted wax into your prepared container, leaving about half an inch at the top.
7. Setting and trimming
Let the candle sit undisturbed for several hours, ideally overnight. (The anticipation only adds to the charm!) Once set, trim the wick to about half an inch above the wax’s surface.
Congratulations! You can now add the title of “candle maker” to your repertoire. All that’s left to do is light it up and enjoy!
And just like that, you and your grandchild have crafted not just a candle but a beacon of shared memories. (Do you see what I did there?) Are you ready to illuminate those precious moments with your grandkids? If so, I pray that this is an activity that brings you all joy and special memories.