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Autumnal Centerpiece with Homemade Soy Candles

 soy candles in gourds

I've got to say, I'm pretty super-duper pleased, with my first try at DIY candle making! After researching the many different types of candles one could make, and all the different difficulties one could encounter with each; I chose the soy candle as an easy starting point.  Once that was decided, I then brainstormed on a unique soy candle containers.  Since we're currently in the autumn season, gourds are plentiful in the stores.  I thought, wouldn't it be great to use a natural container like that, for a candle!  



How to Make Soy Candles in Gourds
Supplies:
1. 2 x 1LB bags of soy wax flakes.
2. A candy or candle thermometer.
3. A vessel in which you can double boil wax in.  
(The one you see above is sold in the candle section of the craft store.  You can also use something suitable that you have at home.  Pick something you can use solely for candle making.  This will save you the headache of scrubbing it completely clean each time).  
4. Wicks.
5. An assortment of gourds to your liking.
6. Duct tape.
7. A sharp knife.
8. A large metal spoon.
9. Essential oils, if you wish the candles to have a scent.  
(If you plan to have this be a centerpiece while eating, I would leave out the scent, so not to distort the flavor of your wonderful food.  If you'd like it to be a decorative piece to create an ambiance during the day or evening, use a nice scent of your choice).    

 soy candles in gourds
Instructions:
1. Start, by cutting the tops off of your gourds.  Choose the ones that sit up quite nicely.  The ones that fall over easily can be used as decoration.  


2. Scoop out the seeds thoroughly from the inside.  



3. Place the wicks in the center of each gourd, holding them in place with duct tape as seen below.  (I tried a glue gun, and it doesn't work on gourds).  


4. Set a large pot of water to boil on the stove.   Fill your wax vessel with the 2 Lbs of soy wax flakes and place the vessel in the water to double boil.  


5. Insert a candy or candle thermometer, clipping it to the side.  
6.  Boil it on medium-low heat until it reaches 175 degrees F.  This will take a while, so be patient.  Have a friend to chat with, or cup of tea to sip, while you keep an eye on it.  Do not leave hot wax unattended on the stove.  It can be flammable if it gets too hot, or the boiling water starts splashing.  


7. Once it's reached 175 degrees F, turn off the heat.  Remove the vessel from the water to cool.  
8.  Let it cool down to 125 degrees F.  
9.  After it's cooled, you can now add your essential oil, if you choose to.  (The rule of thumb on how much essential oil to use is no more than 1.25 oz. per pound of wax.   The wax does need plenty of oil to create a good smell, though anymore than this amount, will cause oil seepage in the wax.  I used a combination of Sandalwood, Sweet Orange and Lavender.  It smells divine!).  


10.  Now, you can pour the wax into the gourds.  Do so slowly and carefully.  Fill them almost to the top.  I was able to fill 4 perfectly with the 2 Lbs of wax.  


11. Let them cool at room temperature for 24 to 48 hours before lighting.  Do not let the room get too chilly, or a frosting effect can occur.  (ie: Don't turn the heat off on a cold night, while these set).  


12. You can arrange them with other gourds or autumnal fruits as a centerpiece.  You can give them as gifts, or simply have them dotted about your house or mantle piece.  The creamy white soy wax is a wonderful contrast to the vibrant gourds, and will be an elegant addition to any home! 


Enjoy! 

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