Mother's Day Tea-Cup Candles! by Rachel WebbMaking a tea cup candle is a fun gift for Mothers Day as well as a useful nostalgic decoration. Not only are tea cup candles an easy craft to make but they are a unique way to recycle china cups!
Thrift stores or second hand stores often have a wide variety of china for very reasonable prices. You will want to select a pattern that has a matching saucer or plate and inspect the piece for any cracks, chips or breaks. Clean and dry the pieces of china to prepare them for the wax.
For this project you will need:
Paraffin Wax or Gel Wax
Tea Cup & Saucer
Hot Glue Gun
Chop Stick or Pencil
You can make your candle from beeswax or paraffin wax, a petroleum by-product. Gel candles are also charming in a tea cup containers as well and have a slightly different process in working with this product. Gel wax burns 4-6 times slower than paraffin wax and needs to be melted with direct heat. You will also want to choose a wick one size larger than you would be choosing for paraffin candles. You would also need to hold the candle upside down when trimming the wick, so the left over wick does not get into the smooth wax surface.
If you choose to use Paraffin wax to make your candle you will find it readily available with a high oil content. Available with various melting points, paraffin is also easy to work with.
Quite often kitchens are not readily equipped with a double boiler to use in melting your wax but a "fry daddy" works just as well when heated slowly! To speed up the melting process pre-cut your pieces of wax. To pour the wax into a permanent mold as we are in this craft, the temperature of the melted wax should be between 85 and 95 degrees C (180 and 200 F).
Because the tea cup is a permanent container, there is very little prep work required. While the wax is melting you can prepare the wick. Wicks come in different types and diameters. You can determine the size of wick needed by choosing one size higher for each 2 inches of your tea cup diameter. This will ensure a long burning candle while reducing drip and the amount of smoke released from the candle. Wick is available at crafting and hobby stores and in most cases the number on the package correlates with how large the wick diameter will be.
There are several types of wick to choose from as well. It is suggested that you avoid purchasing wick with a paper core as they tend to smoke more than a metal core wick.
After choosing a wick, measure the depth of your tea cup and add about 3 inches. This should give you enough wick to tie the end of it around a square chopstick, pencil or tongue depressor. Tying the wick with this method will allow you to center the wick in the middle of the candle while the wax is setting up.
When your tea cup is ready and your wax is melted, you can add color chips and stir into the melted wax. (You can also use shredded crayon to color your wax) This is also the opportunity to add any scented oils you prefer. The scent should be added last so that it will not dissipate or be burned in the heat. Wax may shrink a little so I prefer to under fill, wait a few minutes till it begins to harden and add more wax to the tea cup. Don't forget to trim your wick short after the wax is cool.
When the wax is completely cool, use a hot glue gun to secure the tea cup to the china saucer or plate. This will give your candle a steady base and complete the look of the tea cup!
By Rachel Webb
Author Rachel Webb designs large and decorative write-on/wipe-off magnetic fridge calendars made entirely out of heavy-duty magnet! Guaranteed not to slide off when the kids slam the fridge door! E-Mail Rachel@Note-Ables.com and mention this publication for a $2.00 off coupon.
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