The second post in my series The Twelve Days of Christmas: Handmade Holiday Gift Ideas is an idea that was inspired by a project from Martha Stewart. Martha Stewart provides a very pretty tutorial on a great way to incorporate recycling in your handmade gifts. Martha's tutorial suggests reusing remnants of old candles, which I think is a great idea! I just hate it when I have a fantastic candle that, for whatever reason, doesn't burn all the way to the bottom of the wick. It's quite easy to collect scrap candle bits for this project if you are like me and burn candles often. You can simply collect the extra bits throughout the year, keeping them in a ziplock bag until you are ready to melt them down and give them new life.
If you don't have any old candle bits laying around, don't fear. I didn't last Christmas when I decided to make some teacup candles of my own. Instead you can quite easily find great candle supplies at stores such as Michaels. They carry large containers of microwavable soy wax which makes creating these teacup candles a total breeze (a lot easier than the Martha Stewart version, if you ask me). Following the directions on your wax, you can simply microwave it in a glass container--I suggest a large glass measuring cup to make pouring the melted wax into your teacups easier--and once the wax is melted you may add any scents or dyes that you'd like. Wicks, scents and dyes can be found along side the microwavable soy wax in your local craft store. This is where you can really customize the candles! Pick your preferred scent and you could choose to leave the candles white or dye them to match the colors of your teacups. The teacups themselves could be new, or you could search second hand shops such as Goodwill for some great vintage ones! I found some pretty vintage teacups with a simple Asian-inspired design last winter when I made these candles. They were quite cute! Once you have your wax melted, scented and dyed, you are ready to pour the wax into your chosen vessel. Martha Stewart provides a helpful hint of using wooden skewers to help suspend your wick properly in your teacup while you pour the wax and wait for it to harden. After you pour the wax and it hardens completely, you are ready to trim the wick and package your pretty little gifts! I think these would be absolutely darling packaged in little cupcake boxes!
This project is as simple as choosing your teacups, purchasing your candle supplies, microwaving, stirring and pouring! The simplicity of this project is unbelievably when compared to the elegance of the finished product. You could easily make several of these in an hour. Just think how sweet it would be to present a lovely teacup candle to each of your girl friends! They are so chic and remind me of something you'd find at Anthropologie.
If you decide to purchase second hand teacups, or even use some old ones you may have around the house, this gift idea can be quite inexpensive! I believe my soy wax, wicks and chosen scent (vanilla, please) came in under $10. Also, might I note that there are always 40% off coupons for Michaels floating around online. I found my teacups at Goodwill for around $1 each. I was able to make 4 teacup candles with a single container of soy wax. The teacup candles are a really fun, feminine gift! And as an added bonus, after the recipient burns their candle they will have a pretty new teacup to add to their collection.