The holiday season often means crafty times ahead. Whether you are making décor for your home or festive gifts for others it is always good to have a few new craft ideas. These simple crafts make great presents, but can also be used to deck your own halls.
You can make beautiful soy candles by melting soy wax flakes into the container of your choice. These flakes will be found in most craft stores and can be melted on stove-tops or in microwaves. The wax comes in a variety of colors and scents. Plain wax can also be personalized with the scent or color of your choosing as you craft.
Measurement-wise the wax will be half the size melted as it is solid. If you want to make an 8 oz. candle, then melt 16 oz. of flakes. Melting the wax on the stove is very straightforward but can be more dangerous; we’ll go through how to do it in the microwave to eliminate splashing and popping. It is very important to not leave the wax unattended. Watch it through the microwave and remember to use protection when handling the containers.
Start by microwaving your wax for two minutes in a glass measuring cup then stir. Letting your mixture take breaks between cooking cycles ensures that it won’t get too hot. Begin going back and forth between microwaving for 30 seconds to one minute and stirring the wax until there are almost no solid flakes left. The wax should not get above 200 degrees Fahrenheit. Once it has cooled to 120-130 degrees Fahrenheit you can add dye or fragrances to really personalize your creation. When cooling, the wax will become progressively opaque. Wait until it is lightly cloudy and then pour into your desired containers.
Old albums can be found very cheaply in thrift, antique stores and yard sales. Making a record bowl is a great project for the music lover in your life. You will need a record, cookie sheet, brick (or object similar in size and weight) and two oven-safe bowls of differing sizes.
Preheat your oven to 150-175 degrees Fahrenheit. This is hot enough to soften your records, but not melt them completely. Put the smaller bowl on your cookie sheet upside down and balance your record on the back of it. Once your oven has reached the desired temp, place the cookie sheet inside and watch closely. After a few minutes the record will begin wilting and forming to the bowl. At this point you should remove it and gently place the larger bowl on top and upside down, the record in between the two. This forces the record to the shape of the bowls. Put everything back in the oven for 1-2 more minutes and then remove.
Flip the bowls and place your heavy object in the middle for a few minutes to encourage the shape. After a few minutes you should separate the bowls. If they stick together then place them back in the oven to soften slightly. As the record cools, shape it with your hands being wary of the heat. In 15-25 minutes it will be completely cool. The bowl can be used just like any other bowl, but is not dishwasher safe. Rinse it thoroughly before using.