>> Monday, December 19, 2016
One of my favorite things about the Christmas tree is our wax ornaments we made a few years ago. I wrote about them soon after I made them, but I never quite explained the process. With still a good six days until Santa comes, you surely have enough time to try this out. They make wonderful gift wrapping toppers, too!
Here's some from our collection:
What you'll need . . .
- Beeswax, of course*
- Old pot and glass bowl (or double boiler)
- Spray oil
- Twine or yarn or ribbon
- Something sharp to poke holes
* Alright, with the beeswax, you can definitely head to your local craft supply store and get it either by the block or in little pellets. Don't forget to take one of those 40% off coupons with you to save on it. The pellets are easier to work with, but we've used block wax with no issue either.
If you think ahead next year, consider heading to a local apiary for wax or ordering some online. I've ordered beeswax on Amazon that I use for ornaments, but also for different DIY things, like natural lotion cubes, zero-plastic food wrap, and 5-minute homemade deodorant.
// 1: Lay out all your supplies. Wax sets rather quickly, so you'll want to have the molds ready when it's time to pour. Clear out some space in your fridge, too. I liked putting mine in there to cool.
// 2: Fill a pot halfway with some water and place the glass bowl inside the pot to create a double boiler of sorts. Toss in some shaved wax an melt it over medium heat. I never got too detailed with how much wax. I just did a bunch (a pound) and if I didn't need it all, it would cool a bit while I waited for everything to set. I could re-melt it or store again for later use.
// 3: For my ornaments, I used simple candy molds made from plastic. Though I don't think this is the best practice, it got the job done. Some people use Brown Bag Cookie Molds, and they are gorgeous, but expensive. I'd love to find some of these on thrift for the future. I think silicone molds would work out wonderfully (and be easy to take ornaments out of).
In the end, you just need anything to mold. I got creative and used a decorative dish. Whatever you use, you'll want to spritz just the slightest bit of oil on it. At least that is what I did. Not too much or it might affect your end result. But just enough to help the wax slide out/off when it is set.
// 4: So, once your wax is all melted, slowly pour it into the mold (that's on a level, flat surface). It should start cooling right away. Very carefully transfer your molds to the refrigerator and wait a good 10 minutes before taking the ornaments out.
Just FYI -- I've even experimented with adding glitter and other texture to my ornaments (see image below). I've used green rice to make a wreath, etc. It's fun. Play around. My favorite ornament is the one I put very large flakes of hexagonal gold glitter inside of.
// 5: Once they are out of the mold and completely set (you may need to shimmy a bit), poke a hole where you'd like to thread some twine, ribbon, or yarn. You can even use a paper clip in a pinch. Just make sure you're not too close to the edge or it might break off.
// 6: Storage. Once you're done using the ornaments for the year, I like to store them in plastic wrap. They can break, so use care that they don't have pressure placed on them. I read once if your ornaments get a bit cloudy looking, you can quickly blast them with a hair dryer to make them a bit shinier. I haven't tried that trick myself.
So, there you go! It's a bit late, I admit. But -- honestly? I think these ornaments would be a fun activity you could do in the week AFTER Christmas to save until next year. Or even to make for other holidays. I have to say, they're one of my favorite DIY projects to date.
Oh! And they also add this nice, natural scent to the room that goes well with your tree's aroma. You could even put a couple drops of essential oils in them for good measure.
The countdown begins! Have you finished your shopping? There's a couple more days. Don't forget to check out my 2016 gift lists!