Making your own Christmas Gift Idea

Budget101 Discussion List Archives Budget101 Discussion List Making your own Christmas Gift Idea

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      Since we’ve been talking about making your own Christmas gifts, I was

      searching the interenet & came across flower pressed candles. Seeing

      that we’re in flower season, I thought this would be perfect to make

      with the kids. We’re going to make a bunch of these for teachers at

      school, my husbands staff at work and relatives.

      Tools and Materials

      * Microwave flower press (Available at Lee Valley Tools, $29.95 –

      Item GM420)

      * Natural coloured beeswax, either sheets or chunks (available at

      White Rose and other craft stores)

      * Tin pie plate for melting beeswax

      * Fresh flowers, pine needles, cedar, rosehips, or leaves

      * Big candles (at least 4″ in diameter)

      * 1/2-inch art paintbrush

      The key item you need for this project is the microwave flower press,

      a kiln-fired pair of terra cotta slabs measuring 6″ x 6″. This

      remarkable unit presses flowers in less than two minutes (instead of

      the three weeks it takes in a traditional press) and preserves the

      colours brilliantly.

      Steps

      1. Put on some Christmas music and pour yourself a libation.

      2. Count on making a mess. Arrange newspapers and paper towels on

      the kitchen counter to catch waxy drips.

      3. Melt beeswax in a tin pie plate. The reason I use beeswax and

      not paraffin is that it’s more stretchy and gooey, so it makes a nice

      flexible seal for the flowers. Paraffin tends to chip, crack and

      crumble when used as an appliqué medium.

      4. Start pressing flowers. Roses take about two minutes.

      More

      delicate flowers or leaves may take only one minute.

      5. Dip your paintbrush into the melted beeswax and dab it all over

      the back of a pressed flower. While the wax is still hot, press the

      flower onto the surface of the candle. Then paint lots more melted

      wax over the surface of the flower so it’s preserved under a layer of

      wax.

      6. Add more flowers to the candle surface. When you’ve finished

      covering the candle with flowers, paint over any blank spots with

      more beeswax so the whole candle is the same texture and colour.

      7. If you’re making the candle for a guy, use screws, nuts and

      bolts instead of flowers and he’ll have his own workshop candle for

      screwing emergencies.

      If the flower-pressing thing doesn’t grab you, try carving designs on

      the surface of candles using a chip carving knife or traditional v-

      tool, available at craft stores or Lee Valley Tools. Carving wax is

      way easier than carving wood, so it’s a great project for beginner

      carvers. You can carve geometric patterns, or your company logo

      (urf!) or wavy, curly ivy vines. Then if you’re really hot-dogging,

      use a contrasting colour of beeswax to paint in the lines you’ve

      carved.

      Tammy

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Budget101 Discussion List Archives Budget101 Discussion List Making your own Christmas Gift Idea