Clothespins. They’re practical and cute, and have taken the crafting world by storm. There are so many ways to use them and dress ’em up. Here are some of my favs from the web:
Paper Bunting with Clothespins via Oh Crafts
Clothespin Banner via Pure Joy Events
Clothespin Planter via Shelterness
Stamped Clothespins via Ellemenoh
Clothespin Frame via Morning Creativity
WHAT YOU THINK MATTERS: What other clothespin craft ideas do you love?
To start off March National Craft Month, I figured I’d give you the low down on some of my favorite craft projects I’ve pinned (and here’s a shameless plug to follow me on Pinterest!).
Tie Died Tissue Paper Tassel Mobile via Going Home to Roost
DIY Hammock via Going Home to Roost
Repurposed Baking Pans and Lawn Mower Handle via Knick of Time
Repurposed Crate into Side Table via Infarrantly Creative
Painted Bottles DIY via La Chica de la Casa de Caramelo
Postcard Calendar Journal via Design Sponge
READER FEEDBACK: share links to your favorite craft projects in the comments!
Maybe you’ve noticed most of the posts around here lately haven’t been related to crafting…at all. Well, I’m not gonna lie, another creative rut has hit. What is it about these past few months? But since March is only a few days out and the fact that it’s National Craft Month, I figured I couldn’t get away with not posting about crafting. Right?
Now I can’t promise much (especially since Krav Maga is taking over my weeknights right now), but once a week for the month of March I’ll post something related to crafting, whether it’s something I’ve made, that I want to make, or just something I find cool. Fair enough?
And to really up the ante here, I want YOU to play along! Leave comments with links to your favorite crafts you find on the web or, better yet, things you’ve made. Fair enough?
You can find all March National Craft Month posts here.
This is just another one of those DIYs that I am asking myself why I waited so long to do. Candle making is so easy, it just takes a little prep work and patience.
These adorable little jar candles will be favors at Katie and Jon’s wedding next month. Neither of us had made candles before and luckily Katie did a little research beforehand so she had the appropriate hardware available (which I wouldn’t have since I failed to do the research, way to go Katie!). For candle making supplies and tips, check out Candlewic.com.
You’ll want to get a wax pouring pot and have a large metal spoon on hand as well for stirring. In addition, you’ll need wicks and tabs. It’s easier to purchase wicks with tabs already attached and there are also a few different types of wicks, two of which I am familiar with. Katie bought cotton wicks with no coating, which are a more economical route, especially if you’re making 120 candles. One of the drawback is that they do not stand on their own so you either need to purchase wick holders or reset the wicks as the wax hardens. We did the latter and it turned out just fine. On the other hand, I have some cotton wicks coated in wax at home, which are a little more pricey, however they are more sturdy so no resetting or holders needed. The burn time may also vary depending on wick coating and braiding. A bunch of factors come into play with regard to burn time and Rustic Escentuals has a pretty good write up if you’re interested. Below is an example using the wick holders, which we ended up not really needing, but they do help.
Another tip regarding the wicks and tabs: using a tacky glue, adhere the wicks/tabs to the bottom of your jar(s) before pouring in your wax so they don’t shift.
Speaking of the wax, it would be helpful to know how it melts down, measurement wise. We chose to use soy wax flakes, (but you can also use wax blocks ) and as you can imagine, measuring a cup of dry flakes melts down to a considerably less amount. We measured 10 dry cups of flakes melting down to approximately 50 ounces, about 5 ounces per cup. But since the wax is measured in weight versus volume when purchased, you may like to know that we also measured 20 pounds of wax melting down to approximately 430 ounces, about 21.5 ounces per pound. We made 123 3.5 ounce candles in 4 ounce jars.
We found that the most efficient way to melt the wax is a cup at a time, adding a cup of dry to the already melted wax, up to about ten cups. One cup melts much more quickly than ten at a time as too many flakes all at once just clumped together. But when you pour a cup of dry flakes into already melted wax, they don’t clump at all and since each flake is surrounded by hot wax, they melt exponentially faster.
Once the wax is melted, take it off the heat before adding your scent since you don’t want your scent to burn in any way. Apparently there is a particular heat to reach or not exceed when melting your wax, adding your scent and pouring, but we didn’t get that scientific. Winging it worked for us. We used a scent made particular for candle making, but you can also use essential oils, which I plan to try out soon. Eucalyptus anyone?
As far as how much scent to use, our scent suggested anywhere between 2% and 8% scent to wax. Using our approximate average of about 6% scent to wax, 32 ounces of scent made all of our 123 3.5 ounce candles.
When pouring your wax, it’s helpful to keep a paper towel or napkin on hand since the wax may drip off the edge and down the side of your pouring pot.
Also keep in mind when pouring your candles to leave a little room in the top of your jar or mold after the first pour, because it is recommended to top it off with a thin layer. Basically, the wax will harden as it cools, but many times the top layer will be wavy or have air bubbles; however, when you are pouring a very thin top off layer, the wax dries more evenly since it is such a small amount of wax.
Wax beginning to harden after first pour:
Hardened wax after first pour (notice the dimpling?):
And after the top off layer dried:
Then just trim the wick:
Stay tuned for an upcoming bottle cutting DIY where we upcycle empty food jars and bottles to candles and candle covers!
P.S. – thanks for not minding my cell phone tutorial photos. We made the candles on a whim (sort of) and neither of us had our actual cameras.
This is a project I’ve been meaning to do for quite a while now. Why it took me so long to actually do it, who knows. Especially because this project is so simple and inexpensive!
Active Time: 15-30 minutes
What You’ll Need:
What To Do:
Draw or stencil your design onto the eraser. As you can see in the photo below, I erased my drawings a few times! I definitely should have used a stencil.
Now it’s time to cut out the negative space of the eraser. I like to trace my design first, then cut away the rest. When making your first cut, try to use a straight edge of your drawing (if you have one) and cut down about half way into the eraser. Carefully carve out the rest, being sure to cut away from your body and fingers so you don’t stab yourself like I did. Guess I still haven’t learned my lesson from all those times I thought I could defy the inevitable, decided to cut towards myself and of course stabbed or sliced my hands and fingers. Some things never change.
Once you’ve carved out your design, clean up any strays (I had lots!) and you’re ready to stamp.
Maybe next time I’ll make a chevron stamp! What are you going to make?