Thursday, September 9, 2021

DIY Prairie Candles & The Seasons of Homemaking

 

In answer to “will you be going to work now that you’ve finished homeschooling your family and/or what will you do all day?”

This kind of stuff sometimes... 

the projects you always wanted to try but never had the time. Now is the time. 

That is the beauty of homemaking, there are so many enchanting seasons.


To begin, I prepared a make shift double boiler with a large coffee can.  This bypasses excess clean up as you can dispose of the waxy can afterwards with no remorse and zero extra work. Just add a few inches of water into a sauce pan and place your clean can inside. Add the wax of choice to the can and slowly melt it down (and you have a makeshift double boiler)! I would recommend using either beeswax pellets or soy wax pellets as they are both clean burning (aka non-toxic). Beeswax would be ideal as it has its own clean scent! However, it is quite expensive. I used the remaining soy wax from the last project making herbal wax sachets for these candles. (Some of the links in this post may be affiliate links meaning I earn a small percentage from any purchases).

It begins in your birth home, making your bedroom the place of your dreams ✨ 

As you age, you begin suggesting changes in the entire home (and mother smiles knowing you yearn for a nest of your own).

Finally, you arrive at the doorstep of said domain and desire to make it cozy and comfy for you and dear husband.


To make the "prairie candle" pretty, using a hot glue gun, glue a few dried flowers and leaves to the side of the chosen vessel. I used roses, calendula and the hydrangea and eucalyptus leaves I had dried myself. There is no rhyme or reason, the rustic look is completely acceptable here. I didn't put too much as I wasn't sure of the outcome once the candle started burning. Plus, I didn't want them to become a fire hazard. (Also, it would be wise to line the counter with newspaper or paper bags to make clean up convenient.) Edited to add - See fire hazard warning in comments. 

And then it begins to feel empty and you yearn to fill it with chubby little faces.

If God grants you that desire, the home becomes a training ground for the future Christian generation. It is a time of hard work, physically challenging while mentally challenging your patience and nerves (giving you growth). 
 
For some, the home education process begins and feels like it will last forever. You are tempted to rush through thinking it will never end and at the same time so sad knowing it someday will. 


Next, using a hot glue gun, glue the candle wick in place (centered). My candle wicks came with the bulk soy wax but you can purchase them separately. 

But please don’t hurry.

Because one day, it’s all over! 

Just like that! And here you are, making little prairie candles all by yourself.


Once the wick is in place, use a clothespin to frugally center your wick. They also sell fancy candle apparatus for this but my kit only came with two so I resorted to the handy clothespin for help. 

The rush won’t change the movement of time but it may affect the family memories.

I encourage you to slowly enjoy each season of womanhood. For the day will come when you will have the time and when you see those sweet young “struggling” families (like yours may feel like right now) and you will miss it!

In the meantime dear homemaker, let’s continue to create beauty in all our different stages.


Once my wax was melted down, I removed it from the double boiler and added in about 1/3 of it's volume in coconut oil. I was trying to stretch the candles a bit further. And once it was a bit cooler, I added in some essential oil for scent (I used some inexpensive ones I found on clearance). There is a science to this (ratio) but I'm not much of a scientist so I dumped in what I thought was adequate and called it a day. But if you'd like to be more "professional", you can research the ratio on candle making websites. 

For me (an almost empty nester), it may include creative homemaking projects, visiting/helping a new mother, administering to the sick, spending time with aging parents, learning new skills, getting more involved in the church, etc.


Once the candle cools, you can trim the wick down to 1/4" and they are finished. 

And while doing these things, our adult children see the variety and industry of home life and will carry beautiful feelings of home in their heart and into the homes they will one day have of their own.


As far as the containers go, I used a set of six thrifted etched glasses in the pictures above as I loved the look of them. Unfortunately the etch-work didn't show through that well. 


You can also use recycled jars which I did for the rest of them (see picture above) or recycled tin cans from canned goods (you can wallpaper the can with pretty paper after) or you can also use random tea-cups and so forth. The options are limitless. I can't wait to burn them come autumn and winter!

But remember, never leave candles unattended while burning... 🔥 


In these ways, the homemaker is never obsolete. She is valuable in every season. I will be a keeper at home forever.


23 comments:

  1. These candles are SO beautiful. You make it look so easy. Great post.
    Blessings -

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  2. Lovely. I learned how to make candles from old wax by watching Fairyland Cottage on YouTube. I get a lot of free old candles from yard sales and declutter jobs. I keep them in plastic totes under my son's bed, and when I have the time, I pull out my supplies and spend an afternoon making candles.

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    1. Yes ♥️ thank you for bringing up the frugal way to make candles!

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  3. I don't want it to end! I'm homeschooling now.

    Your candles are lovely.

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    1. I know... it was so bittersweet! I went into a little rut afterwards and had to regroup my heart a bit but was able to rally ♥️ I just had to refocus and reshuffle...

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  4. Thank you for this! It took my awhile but I've come to embrace telling people I'm a homemaker and that I homeschool my youngest. I'm amazed at the different reactions I get from people. I'm also learning to enjoy each season of my journey. And thank you for the tutorial. Those candles are beautiful and I wondered how you got the pretty dries to stick to the jars. Now I know! I'm thinking a trip to the second hand store for thrifted jars and I'll be giving homemade candles for Christmas this year!

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    1. Thank you so much for sharing! Just keep in mind to be sparse with the dried flowers to keep the candle from being a fire hazard! They do make wonderful gifts ♥️ Who doesn't like to burn a candle in the chilly months especially? 😊

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  5. Lovely post! Now I am thinking of trying to gather supplies to make these with my teen daughter. Totally agree with you on the seasons of homemaking. I have just next school year, then my homeschooling years will be over, after 24 years!

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    1. This is a great project with your teen daughter ♥️ and I am sure you are enjoying every last minute of your homeschooling career 💕

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  6. I just love this blog. I have it saved on my homescreen on my phone. When I need to feel surrounded by "my people" I come here.
    I love telling everyone I am a homemaker and we homeschool. I want more women to consider it..

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    1. Ah... that makes me so happy to hear ♥️ thank you Rizpah!

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  7. Wise words! I’ve followed you for years and am enjoying your posts again.
    I finished 30 years of home schooling last year - and the transition has been hard! I have kept busy, but there is something about being “fine” that feels so final.

    I also own my own candle business, selling to local shops. I do quite well but last year felt called to life coaching women through transitions. Mostly because I knew I could have done better if I had some counsel.

    Just a tip for you given in love - as a “chandler” I’d caution your use of dried flowers along the edges. The leaves may not cause a problem, but if those flowers catch on fire, the wax could overheat and the whole jar could become one huge flame.

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    1. Congratulations on 30 years! That is a long time to create new habits after... I know I had to reshuffle my priorities in the home... and once I did that, I was able to handle the change better... And thank you for the tip! I knew I had to be sparse with the flowers for said reason but your warning will have me keeping an eye out when burning them...

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    2. Congratulations on 30 years! That is a long time to create new habits after... I know I had to reshuffle my priorities in the home... and once I did that, I was able to handle the change better... And thank you for the tip! I knew I had to be sparse with the flowers for said reason but your warning will have me keeping an eye out when burning them...

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  8. I, too, am in the same stage. Its actually a hard time for me. After spending the majority of my time raising my daughters, I found myself at a loss, though being a homemaker has always been my main occupation. I hoped I'd be a grandmother by now, but both my daughters are single, with the Lord having yet to send them husbands.

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    1. Oh Debra, I completely understand what you are saying... I too thought I was close to becoming a grandmother but unforeseen events has changed that and it was hard to cope with. It seems there is a delay in marriages right now... many are being raised that all the ducks need to be in a financial row before marriage (in our day, we just figured it out as we went) or many have so many hobbies that keep them away from desiring marriage (from my perspective).. that is a blog post in itself 😔 but we continue to pray and rely on the Lord's timing 🙏 In the meantime, I had to reshuffle my thinking in the household... Putting more effort in different areas like home organization which my daughter enjoys doing as well, adding in homemaking hobbies to do together... enjoying walks and hiking and bikeriding with my daughter and so forth... learning new skills (like sourdough) there are so many rich activities to do in the home. We are never at a loss when we apply them.

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  9. I sometimes wonder what women are thinking when they ask a homemaker ~ What do you do all day? Or they comment saying ~ I would go crazy if I had to stay home all day, and they usually have little ones to take care of.

    All you write about JES, is such a beautiful reminder of what it means to be a homemaker.

    These candles are so pretty! You always have such great ideas, and all the things you make are lovely. Thank you for sharing about your homemaking, and all that goes into making a house, a home.

    You are a blessing JES!


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    1. Thank you so much for your kind encouragement ♥️ It means a lot 🥲

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  10. JES, your posts give some encouragement and real ‘hygge’ to my heart during a very difficult time. God bless you in this new season of your home making life :-)

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    1. Thank you so much ♥️ and may God send his comforting sprit to you during this difficult time... ♥️ Sending love!

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  11. Dear JES,
    Candles have been on my list of things to try making for a while now, and yours are so lovely.
    I do love your sentiments. I am just beginning our homeschool journey, so I am in those years with little ones. I do try to remind myself on the hard days that one day I will have all the time in the world, the thought of which has me aching knowing that I will miss all the hugs and kisses and snuggles, the giggles, the childlike devotion and wonderment. Each time is a time to be cherished, and God has given the homemaker useful tasks and opportunities during each one. I had similar questions asked in the early parts of our marriage, while we struggled for 6 years with infertility, but I knew my calling and that God still desired for me to be in the home. There is always work to be done and ways to bless others from that sphere. Thank you for being such an encouragement throughout my homemaking "career". ❤
    Love, Kelsey

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    1. I love everything you have shared here Kelsey! So many truths ❤❤❤

      And I thank you for your encouragement ❤ the feeling is mutual ❤

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