I had a fun idea for home decor. But it didn’t go so well. Want to see anyways?
Here are the facts, Jack:
I collect candles from garage sales. Even if they’ve been used once or are a little banged up, I can stomach paying $0-$2 for a big candle that will burn for weeks instead of an $12-$25 candle that I could buy retail. Many a time, they’re tossed into those free bins at yard sales, and the real treasure is when you can cram 80,000 tealights into a paper bag during those precious church “bag sales”. Can you believe it? Perfectly good candles. So, I’ve accumulated have a lot. And it’s good, because I burn candles almost daily during the fall and winter months.
I picked up these two from who-knows-where, who-know-when, and even though they looked like they were stored in the bottom of a box of holiday stuff in grandma’s attic for 20 years, they were unused, large, and unscented. Wins almost all around.
Because they were a little dinged up, appearing both dented and discolored in spots, I volunteered them for this project I had been thinking up. Drip-dyed candles. Think: A combination of Martha Stewart’s dip-dyed candles and these crayon art pieces that have been circulating Pinterest this summer (amazing DIY interpretation as shown by Erin B. Inspired):
The concept, to make drippy lines of colorful crayon wax all down the sides of the candles, adding a little flair (picture me flipping my hair) and helping to disguise the bruises and dents on the candles. Because I only had one 24-pack of crayons to work with, I wouldn’t have had enough to melt in a crock pot a la Martha Stewart, but picking and choosing a color palette that was both very autumnal and very match-matchy to my new living room color block art seemed to be a good idea. At the time.
I taped said selection of reds, oranges, red-oranges, peaches, to the top edge of the candle with some blue painter’s tape.
And then, with a simple Wagner heat gun (something that Pete has owned for helping to strip paint), I blasted the crayon tips on the lowest heat setting. The lowest setting still gets pretty wildly hot, even enough to burn the crayon paper and start a small fire (whoops), but is gentle enough to keep the wax-flying chaos under control.
I carefully shifted the crayons while I melted them, careful not to singe my fingies, to help the wax dribble on different areas of the candle. I should also note to be careful how long you hold that gun at the candle itself. Because the candle is made of wax, and will start to soften and morph a little under the heat generated. In my experience, it wasn’t enough to damage the candle, and I observed the crayons melting much more quickly.
Here’s the first problem: The dribbles weren’t falling straight like I hoped. Partially because of the strength of the heat gun making it splatty, partially because it was my first time playing with these substances and it was a learning experience.
Instead of looking like autumnal-happy-matches-my-mantlepieces, it was looking like oozing blood, which, with Halloween just a few days away, I decided was still OK. It wasn’t the intent, but I can let it fly. Also, what I’m showing you here is the best side of the candle. The other angles weren’t as perfectly drippy.
I forged on with candle #2 by planning a style that was more like Martha Stewart’s dip-dye model, except instead of dipped, I’d drip the wax onto the lower area to simulate it looking dipped. Ah, I thought it would be nice and clean.
Clean, no. Weird, yes.
The second candle was going so poorly that I actually just let loose on the white area and let the drips do whatever they wanted. Lost hope. Looks a little like a 1st grade art project.
Not what I intended. But Halloween appropriate, so ho-hum. I think they look murder weapons. Mental note, I need to catch up on this season of Criminal Minds.
At least they’re still burnable, so it’s not at all a lost cause. Very soon my evidence will be gone-zo.