The best part of starting a new craft is the shopping, the discovery of all the delightful accessories that can help turn your plain, rolled beeswax candle into a work of art. My best idea so far has been Wilton Cake Accessories. 🙂 The darling little cookie cutters used for fondant are perfectly sized for cutting shapes out of wax for applique onto the completed beeswax candle. I have to say, I’m rather proud of us! Hazel and I worked on our candles for the first time since getting into business together. We not only had a lot of fun, but we completed a project worth to be put in our shop!. First we experimented with mini candles. These were considerably more intensive than I’d anticipated! And very difficult for little hands.
First we took our Valentine’s Day mini cookie cutter set and cut out a couple of hearts. The idea was to simply press the two layers together, sandwiching wick and stick, to make a mini candle!
Unfortunately one layer of hearts wasn’t enough. With just two slices of wax the shape was weak, wobbly, and transparent. The wick and stick were clearly visible, and it wasn’t particularly attractive. So we cut two more layers, and the problem was solved. Four layers of beeswax was perfect thickness for a lovely mini candle. You can really see the difference:
We really liked our end result and so got to work on the next mini candle. I handed Hazel the cookie cutter and told her, “ok, we need four pieces!” “MOM!” she shouted! Why do they have to shout when they’re sitting right next to you??? “WHAT?” I said. “Mom, cutting four is a lot of work. Look what we can do instead!” Then she folded the wax in half.
Ah! Fantastic. She’s already working on problem solving. “This way,” she explained, “we can cut out two at a time!” This was a nice trick, but made it slightly more difficult at the same time. It takes a gentle hand to mash the two pieces together, otherwise the shape is obliterated.
In order to make the two pieces meld better, we use a heating tool. Many people simply use their hairdryer, but I find this cumbersome. Hairdryers are super loud and even small ones are an awkward shape and take up space. We use a heating tool used for embossing:
It only takes a few seconds! Beeswax is very sensitive and is easy to melt accidentally! Not that we had any problems with melting our shapes, lol.
Hazel was able to do both of the heart shapes for our Valentine’s set, but the X and the O proved to be too difficult. The cookie cutters are quite tiny and the X and O were delicate, so I finished those pieces.
Rather lovely, don’t you think? Leave us a comment and let us know what you think about our adventures in business! Keep coming back as we’ll continue posting about our products and processes, and coming in March we’ll be starting a candle give away! Don’t forget to check out Woo Who! on Etsy while you’re at it! We’re growing imaginations!
For Christmas my daughter received a candle making kit from the Magic Cabin and she LOVES it. She’s six and rolling bees wax candles is a task that her happy little hands can handle.
Watching her ponder the color selection and carefully consider the shapes to apply to the outside of the candle it occurred to me that this might be a great way to introduce her to a crafty business. Its not an expensive craft. It doesn’t require a great deal of precision. It doesn’t require a great deal of time. Before mentioning anything to her I looked into the rules for Etsy and minors, and Etsy had this to say:
- You must be at least 18 years of age to hold an account on Etsy.
- If you are under 18, you must have the permission and supervision of a parent or legal guardian who is at least 18 years of age; that adult is responsible for the account.
- If you are under the age of 18, you may not utilize the community features on Etsy (for example: Forums, Teams, Treasury, the blog, and multimedia Online Labs events), unless otherwise specified by Etsy. When using Etsy, those under 18 must, at all times, have the permission and supervision of a parent or legal guardian who is at least 18 years of age.
Perfect! She definitely has my permission, and I’m happy to take complete responsibility of the account and product. Besides, we’ll be making everything together, and she won’t be looking at anything on Etsy I haven’t researched first. Once I was sure this was something we could do, I asked her if she’d be interested? She loves watching me work and look at my Etsy shop, so I wasn’t surprised when she began to glow. I knew we’d hit on something. This is going to be a lot of fun for me, too, because its a no-pressure shop. When working on my shop and making decisions regarding my shop and product everything I do impacts sales. Starting a shop from the ground up with my kiddo is going to be a lot of fun for both of us as most everything children do is more about the process than the end result. 🙂 Stay tuned as we decide on a name, select our shop setup, and begin making our product! I’m eager to hear her opinions on everything, and I know she will give them to me, lol.
Valentine’s Day is one of my favorite holidays. Yes, candy, flowers, and the idea that love is in the air is nice, but truly I love the color palette of Valentine’s. I love chocolate brown and red, pink, cream, and turquoise color combinations, and for me anything I make for Valentine’s can be used year round.
Recently I started working on a Heart Felt Garland. Unlike the felt circle Christmas tree we made using free hand cut circles, I prefer to use a die to cut out my hearts. The dies make the cutting out go faster, it ensures uniformity in size and shape, and its fun to do with kids. I punched out 100+ hearts with my four year old son. He’s super into mechanical things, and he thought turning the handle of the big shot and plucking the hearts off of the cutting mat was the coolest thing in the world! Whether you are cutting by hand or using a punch, cutting out a hundred hearts is time consuming, but we used it as a way to merge our adult and child worlds and spend time together.
Once I had my pile of hearts, I lined them up in the pattern I wanted to stitch them in. This is far faster than picking through the pile for the right size when its time to stitch on a new heart. (By the way, I’m using premium red felt. Premium felt is thicker than the regular eco felt, and the red is richer and deeper. The thickness of the felt gives the shapes structure. If I was using eco felt for this project I might do two-ply hearts. Doubling up on the hearts would give it depth as well as structure.)
Stitching the garland is easy! Make sure you have a good tail of thread at the beginning, and back stitch on the first heart as you would any sewing project. *Note – don’t leave too much space between the hearts as you sew! Regular sewing machines are not made to create thread chains as sergers are, and leaving too large a space between the hearts can cause your bobbin thread to jump and the machine to bog down. As you can see as my hearts run out the back of the machine, the tip of the first heart fits right into the cleavage of the next heart.
By the time I was through I had a heart felt garland length of 9.25 feet! 🙂 I’m going hang it from hooks around the ceiling of my children’s room. Like I said, I love chocolate brown, turquoise, red and cream. Up next is painting their walls turqoise, the bed chocolate brown, and the windowsills/door frames cream! 🙂
Would you like a heart felt garland? Of course they’re available for purchase in my Etsy shop, however after I finished my lengthy garland, I made a mini garland of large and small hearts measuring approximately 26 inches. It would be perfect to hang in a window or off a doorknob, and I’m giving it away!!! Please visit Woo Who! on Facebook and click our “LIKE” button! Then return to this post and leave a comment telling me you did. If you’ve already been to our FB and joined us, check out my Etsy shop and comment on an item in the shop that you like and why! I love feedback. This give away will end on February 14th. 🙂
So easy! So fun! Most people have the ingredients lying about, and normally we would too. Except we actually needed them so of course they were no where to be found. We hopped in the car and after a quick trip to Walgreens, and I use the term quick loosely – it was me, three kids and the dog – we were mixing up a batch of Cloud Dough!
You’ll need baby oil and flour. Yep, that’s it.
I gave the kids a half scoop measuring cup and they each got to make four scoops. This is not a specific mix by any means, so it doesn’t matter if the scoop is half full or heaping, but they each had approximately two cups of flour in their bowls. Then I used a quarter measuring cup to measure out the baby oil.
Then its nothing but fun! They decided immediately that it was too crumbly so we added an eighth of a cup more oil and then it was perfect. Its soft and maleable – like moonsand but not gritty! It vacuums up easily and the kids had about as much fun cleaning up as they did playing. 🙂
Uh-oh. Christmas break is looming! What am I going to do with the kids?!?! Well, of course I’m going to send them to Grandma‘s house for a while, lol. But not the whole time. I’m going to have to bust out the recipe book.
Today we make Glow in the Dark Slime!
Glow in the Dark Craft Paint (readily available at Michael’s craft stores)
4oz Elmer’s Glue
Two bowls for mixing (we’ll be making two separate solutions and then combining them!)
First, pick a bowl for the glue mixture. We’re going to squeeze that entire 4oz bottle of Elmer’s into a bowl! This is great work for little hands: they can squeeze to their little hearts’ content! If a mom were to do this by herself she *might* take the cap off the glue all together and dump it a lot faster, but kids do like to squeeze out the glue, and if they get tired (bonus) you can take the cap off for them, too. 🙂
Then we’ll add one cup of warm water to the glue, and 2-3 tablespoons of the glow-in-the-dark paint and start mixing. We used a small whisk, but a potato masher or large spoon would work just as well! (*NOTE* The glow in the dark paint at the Michael’s by my house came in several colors, however it also came in a neutral, glows only, non-color. If you only have the non-colored glowing paint available to you, add yellow food coloring to give it a nice popping color when its in the light!)
In the next bowl we will combine 1/3 cup water and 2tsp borax. We added r two tablespoons plus one teaspoon of the borax solution to our glue mixture. However if you want a stiffer slime, add a bit more borax solution!
And voila! There we have it. Now shut your kids in the bathroom – you’ve got about thirty minutes before they get bored, go watch t.v. – something with a grown up theme! LOL
Oh Blogosphere, thank you for the constant influx of inspiration!!! Julia Crossland posted the cutest Christmas tree how-to ever! And as usual I thought to myself, “now why didn’t I think of that???” I have felt in abundance. I have bored kids. I have needles and thread. So we got busy.
My kids don’t have the fortitude to sit and do something beginning to end, especially if it takes longer than
two five minutes. This project is easy to break up into sections, and sometimes this makes it even easier to do with multiple kids. For example, my daughter wakes up early while my older son sleeps later. She cut the circles over several days before the sun came up. Once the circles were finished, I cut a length of brownish felt, ran a line of glue down the center and rolled it up. Later on I sat with my four year old son and the circles my daughter had cut and talked about the size of the circles and how to stack them to be tree-like, largest to smallest. I then, when the glue was dry, threaded the trunk onto the embroidery thread and handed the small, pointy needle to my four year old and he started threading the felt circles.
I didn’t do dots or any guiding marks, I just explained we wanted the thread to go through the middle if possible. It pleases me that our tree leans off center in places. My son is a little off center himself. Then I cut a star and stitched the edges – my daughter helped initially but its hard for little hands to stitch something so small. She asked for help and I took it over.