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I few weeks ago I found this nifty chalkboard crate at Yankee Candles. I found it in the their clearance section (and it came with two pieces of chalk). I figured I definitely can find use for the crate, which I almost immediately did. I had been looking for gift ideas for a friend, so I decided this crate was going to go to her. Now, what should I put inside was the question. I did think I can just buy candle jars to put inside the crate. I know, not much creativity in that one. But how about this…instead of buying them, I make them! I decided I was going to make my own candle jars. I’ve never made candles before, but there’s a first for everything!

I went the candle recycling route rather buying a brick of wax. I don’t know this for a fact, but for some reason I felt that may be a better starting point. My thought process was this: Pre-made candles are already in color and scented, and I just have to melt them. Of course, since I’ve never made candles before, I have no idea what I’m talking about (hehe).

I gathered up my supplies: candles, recycled jars, wicks, hammer, knife (to use as the chisel), and double boiler (created my own by using a small pot I didn’t care too much for). It wasn’t so bad making the candles, just time consuming and messy. And just when you think you are done, you really are not. Once the candles cool and harden, you are next confronted with the voids in the center of the candles. ARGHS! I did read that voids can occur, but my voids were deep! So back to melting more candles to fill the voids and waiting for them to cool and harden. Since the first time the voids were so deep, the second time around there was a slight concave that I could have left alone but opted to fill for a completely flat surface.

Here are my tips to you if you have never made candles:

1. Do your research so you know what to expect. I did a little research, but it was a five minute research to just get the basic idea and winged the rest. Not good!

2. Do not cut your wick until the wax is completely cooled. I made the mistake of cutting the wicks because the wax appeared to be hardened even though the jars were still warm to the touch. The next morning I not only found voids, but the wicks shrunk! So I had to melt the wax in each jar to remove the wick and put a new one in. If I did my research, I may have known not to cut the wick. I would have saved time!

3. Cover your work space. It does get messy! Use things that you won’t mind throwing away if you need to.

4. Expect voids, so be sure to have extra wax.

I really love the look of candles in mason jars. The jars I used are recycled jars from marshmallow fluff and pickles. As I have said in previous posts, SAVE YOUR JARS!

Since I had to replace the wicks, it was hard to tell if they remained straight in the wax, so I hope the candle burns straight down. I guess I’ll just have to wait for my friend to tell me how my homemade candles worked! :D

Oh, just as a cute touch, I tied the chalk to the crate with lace. I always feel like lace is such a nice touch to anything that looks rustic:) Don’t ya think?

Linking up at these parties.