Every year around Christmastime, I gather the ingredients necessary to make a delectable — though unfortunately inedible — sweet-smelling treat. Peppermint Candles. They are so wonderful that I find myself thinking of them in June, craving another batch!
However, I also make candles for reasons not so aesthetic. 😉
Imagine this: You are literally picking up the pieces after an earthquake. By a miracle, your home is still standing, but you're without power. Things in your area are well enough that relocation is unnecessary, but your children are crying all the same. The sun is going down. Darkness is creeping in, and they feel it.
You head to your closet, your pantry, the garage, or the box under your bed…
Thanks to your homemade candles, you have the ability to bring warmth and hope to the family members huddled together in your living room. Oh, the joy that comes from being able to bring comfort to your family during a trial!
Light is one of the most important aspects of preparedness. No matter the type of disaster, you want to be able to provide light.
Sources of alternative light include:
- wax candles
- clay oil lamps
- hurricane lamps
- glow sticks
I keep several different sources on hand for good measure. The most comforting are my peppermint candles. They make wonderful homemade gifts for friends and family. They smell heavenly. You can mold them or make them in a variety of containers, and making them is far easier than you'd expect.
You will need:
- saucepan for water
- melting pot
- peppermint essential oil
Melt wax using the double-boiler method. Place the melting pot, 2/3 full of wax chunks or chips, inside a pot of water. Melt the wax on low heat until it is liquified, but do not let it boil. If using a thermometer, bring the wax to approximately 170 degrees Fahrenheit.
Add essential oil, 5 to 10 drops at a time, until you reach your desired level of scent strength.
Before filling containers with melted wax, you need to set the wicking. Cut the wicking to a length a bit longer than needed for the candles, drop one end into the containers, and wrap the other end around round object(s) (a thin dowel, firm straw, small tube, pencil, pen, etc.). Lay the round objects across the tops of the containers and make sure the wicking has very little slack.
Pour the melted wax into the prepared containers. Let cool completely, then use. Enjoy!
A Few Notes
The beautiful thing about making your own candles is that you get to tailor each aspect to your liking. The type and shade of wax, the thickness of wicking, the scent, and the containers/molds you choose are all a matter of personal preference. Use your imagination and get creative!
Can I use glass containers?
Yes, but it's a good idea to warm the glass before adding the wax. This will ensure that you don't crack the glass in the process. It's the same principle as heating your jars during canning. Hot liquid + cold jars = messy cleanup and a little too much danger than we like.
Do I have to use beeswax?
Nope! I prefer beeswax because it melts slowly, promoting even burning. However, you can use soy wax, palm wax, or tallow just as easily.
Do I have to use peppermint oil?
Absolutely not! I use peppermint more than any other oil because it's one of my favorite scents. Also because it's one of the stronger-smelling essential oils, which means I can use less. However, you can use any essential oil you like. Wild orange oil makes a great-smelling candle. Burning a lavender candle in your home can be extremely therapeutic.
What kinds of containers can I use for candle-making?
Create candles in glass canning jars, used mint tins, tea cups, sea shells — whatever item of which you might have an abundance. I purchased a tapered-candle mold from a local wholesale (and online) store called GloryBee Foods, and it's my favorite.
NOTE: If you're using a mold, make sure you follow the manufacturer's instructions for lubricating the mold before you pour wax into it. Beeswax, especially, has a tendency to stick if the mold is not lubricated properly.
My candles are cracking! What did I do wrong?
Try melting the wax at a lower temperature next time. If your wax is too hot when it's poured, your candles may crack.
How do I clean my melting pot?
First of all, never pour wax down your sink drain! It will clog it quicker than a duck on a Junebug. Pour the extra wax into a disposable cup or container to harden, and wipe the melting pot with a rag or paper towel. Rather than using soap to clean your melting pot, try 1/2 cup of white vinegar instead. Swish it around and scrub the remaining wax from the bottom and sides of the pot.
Light is miraculous! It can change our hearts, warm our souls, calm our fears, and bring us together. For centuries, people have gathered around light in homes near and far. Jesus is the Light of the World. Light is vital to our emotional, spiritual, and mental well-being.
What is your favorite form of light? How do you plan to provide light in the event of an emergency?
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