D + D DIY: Marbled Candles with Gracie Chai
Dreamers + Doers highlights emerging artists, entrepreneurs, and up-and-coming ones to watch. Whether it’s starting a new business, creating something beautiful, or just daring to do things differently, we stand behind those taking steps toward something new. Our D + D DIY series brings us a unique craft from one of these talented individuals.
First up in our D + D DIY series is Gracie Chai. Textile artist, illustrator and all-around excellent crafter Gracie is always at work. Whether she's painting scarves by hand for her Etsy store or working on custom embroidery for customers and friends alike, she's always got something to keep her busy. Because we're always so blown away by her projects, we asked Gracie to show us how to make grown up looking candles with minimal supplies.
Photography c/o Gracie Chai
"I have been fascinated with marbling for the longest time now, so you can imagine my glee with it being back on trend. First started in the 1100s, with it being mainly used for decorating paper and books, marbling was thought to be gaudy, old-fashioned and almost left for dead just a few centuries ago. Today, it has charmed its way back into our hearts. A simple way of incorporating a hint of marbling beauty at home is with these elegant candles."
Things you'll need:
- Packet of soy wax
- Crayons, colours of your preference
- Cotton string
- Disposable chopsticks
- A pot
- A bowl of any sort; you can even make one out of aluminum foil like I did lower down in the pictures
- Glass containers, such as recycled food jars and what not, for candles holders; if you can score some vintage ones, even better
- Some paper clips and disposable cups (not pictured)
Optional: essential oil(s) of your choice, if you're keen on making your candles scented
This is your wax melting set up. Fill your pot up with water, place the bowl of wax on it and leave it to boil. This is done so we don't burn our wax. Be careful not to fill your water up so high that it touches the bottom of your bowl. Wax can be hot so please exercise caution.
While your wax is melting, cut up your cotton string into lengths that is longer than your glass containers. These will be your candle wicks.
As your wax is melting, toss them into the melting pot. You want to prime your wicks by fully saturating them in hot wax for at least 10 minutes. Use the disposable chopsticks for stirring.
Once that is done, take them out to dry. Try to straighten them as much as you can.
Once your wax has completely melted into a liquid state, pour it into a disposable cup. To add color to your wax, chuck a piece of crayon into the melting pot 'til it fully dissolves.
Again, while your wax is melting, take the opportunity to prepare your candle container.
Make a slight kink at the bottom of your now dried wick so it sits somewhat flush against the bottom of your container. This is also where a disposable chopstick comes in handy. With no big fuss, slide your wick through its middle, and it will help you prop it up cleanly.
You should by now have two disposable cups of liquified wax. One colored, and one plain. If you're adding scent to your candle, this is the perfect time to drop in some essential oil.
The trick to creating a marbled texture is to let your melted wax cool slightly, but not enough for it to harden. We're looking for a gel-like consistency here. If it's all goopy and stiff, you've let it cool for too long. If it's hardened too far, no biggie; just put them near a heat source and wait for them to liquify again.
Gently pour both cups of wax into your candle container simultaneously. You want the different colors to fold into each other softly, creating that organic marble pattern.
Now for the part that calls for the hardest thing: patience. Give it a few hours for your candle to fully harden before snipping off the excess wick at the top. After that, voila! You now have your very own marbled candle.