Just make it!
By Roshni Riar, Staff Writer
Holiday shopping comes with a lot of pressure. Between braving busy shopping malls, finding the perfect gift for someone in your life, and not spending a fortune, the whole experience can be stressful.
One way to avoid all of that is to make some gifts yourself! However, it’s hard to know where to start when it comes to making gifts for other people, but that’s where I come in. I’ve provided two DIY holiday gift ideas that are easy to make, affordable, and sure to be a hit with the people in your life.
All you’ll need is:
Small pre-tabbed wicks
Paraffin or soy wax flakes (they’re better for taking on colour and smells than beeswax)
Essential oils or fragrance oils of your choice
The most important thing to remember when making your candles is to have everything ready before you start melting your wax. Pick your colours and scents ahead of time, depending on the preference of who is receiving the batch you’re making. Line up your tealight cups and place the wicks in the centre. If you have any chopsticks, place the wicks in between two chopsticks laid horizontally on top of the tealight cup so they have support when you pour the wax.
The best way to melt candlewax is by using the double boiler method. The less intense, indirect heat is best for melting chunks of wax evenly. Once the water is boiling, turn the heat down to medium-low and place your wax into the bowl (careful, the bowl will be hot!), stirring until it’s melted. Depending on the number of candles you’re hoping to make, you can add more wax.
Once the wax is melted, break up a coloured crayon and mix in half slowly, adding more crayon depending on how vibrant you want the finished candle to be.
Once the wax is coloured to your liking, take it off the heat and let cool for a moment. Then begin to add your essential or fragrance oils. Drop them in slowly while mixing, adding about six drops for every cup of wax you have. Get creative if you want! Mix and match a bunch of scents; my personal favourite is vanilla, mint, and black pepper.
After adding the scent, slowly pour the wax into your tealight cups, leaving a bit of space at the top. Let them cool overnight and when the wax is hardened, you can trim the wicks accordingly and package them up with wrapping paper or small gift bags.
Polymer clay ornaments
All you’ll need is:
A variety colour pack of Scupley polymer clay
Black, white, and gold acrylic paints
Christmas themed cookie cutters
Preheat your oven to 275 degrees, roll out some polymer clay to about a quarter-inch thickness (or try rolling three different colours together to make a marble effect), and cut out the shapes you would like to make. Poke a hole at the top of each shape for you to thread some ribbon through after it’s hardened. Paint clear glaze on the front of the ornaments and place in oven.
Bake for 15 minutes, then let cool for another 15 minutes. Using a thin paintbrush, brush gold acrylic paint around the edges of the ornament to give it a funky finish. With another thin paintbrush, you can add the initials of the people you’ll be giving the ornaments to. Let paint dry and then thread through some ribbon, tying to create a loop.
With your candles ready to go, you can tie your ornament to the wrapping to complete the gift. The ornament can act as a gift tag before it’s put on the tree, so it’s a nice two-for-one. Even when the candles you’ve made have burnt out, the ornament can be put up year after year and will serve as a nice reminder of the time you handmade and personalized something for someone in your life.