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Seven years living in the heart of the city and we never lost power once, despite experiencing some pretty intense Midwest storms. All things considered, that’s probably to be expected.
In our new digs on the outskirts of the Philadelphia suburbs, however… Not so much. I suspect we’ll be without power on a regular enough basis that it will be worth having a few things stashed aside to be ready for the outages.
In fact, we lost power just the second night after we arrived. Mother Nature is proving my intuition right.
While I’m not one to store a lifetime supply of bottled water and canned goods in my basement in case of some epic disaster, I figure it will be nice in our new house to at least know where our flashlights are hiding and be confident that they have working batteries (which was probably not the case when we lived in the city).
In anticipation of the big move, I put together for myself a list of things we’ll have in one place for that dreadful night when the storm comes into town and takes the power with it on its way out.
My little summer storm kit won’t prepare our family for days on end without sustenance and clean water, but it will ensure we’re in good spirits to handle several hours or a day without electricity.
In our kit, I included:
- a few kids’ activities like crayons and a coloring book
- a deck of card and a set of Go Fish cards
- Boggle (a family favorite)
- bottled water
- some non-perishable snacks like nuts and dried fruit
- some DIY candles.
Aside from the essential oils, I ordered most of my supplies online, though you could also get them at your local craft store. Beeswax is (surpringly, to me at least) not that hard to find.
Essential oils are blowing up and pretty easy to find too. I grabbed my Nature’s Truth Happiness and Energy essential oils from Walgreens while walking home from daycare a couple weeks ago. They’re hanging out with all the vitamins and supplements.
I’m still fairly new to using essential oils and haven’t mixed any on my own. To dabble in the adventurous world of mixing essential oils, I chose two of the Nature’s Truth blended oils. Essential oils work particularly well to scent candles made with beeswax, so they were the perfect combination for my little project.
With my supplies all set to go, I got to work making the candles. Full instructions are down below, but after setting up the wicks in the jars, I melted the wax, poured it in the jars, and let it sit for a few hours to cool and harden.
It’s all quite simple, but the only tip I point out specifically relates to melting the wax. Be sure to melt the wax in a metal can or something that can be boiled but that you don’t mind throwing away when you’re done using it. You could use something else, but the wax hardens pretty quickly after it’s removed from the double boiler. I wasn’t interested in cleaning anything after being covered in wax, particularly something I would later use for food.
It took less than an hour to craft these things up (and that included spilling hot wax all over my counter).
Seriously, this happened.
I just about lost my mind when I dropped the can and spilled hot, melted wax everywhere. I figured I’d spend the rest of the day scraping the sticky substance off my counter.
Quite the contrary I found out. Once the wax hardens a bit, it’s really easy to peel off in one piece. Sanity was restored.
I let the wax cool for about 30 minutes before clipping the cotton wick with a pair of scissors. With that, I had three homemade candles to add to my summer storm activity kit that could light up the table for a game of Boggle or Go Fish while we snacked on nuts and dried fruit (or whatever fairly long-lasting snacks your family prefers).
You could even make a few extra candles, wrap a little string around them for decoration, and offer than as small gifts to friends, teachers, etc… Or you could just keep them all for yourself, because you did do all the work after all.
If you think DIY candles might be up your alley, be sure to grab the coupon for $1 off your Nature’s Truth purchase.
Whether they be for gifts, for a fun project for the kids, or to finish off your own summer storm activity kit, it’s hard to go wrong with beeswax and essential oil DIY candles. If you give it a try, let me know how it goes!
- 3 small mason jars
- Beeswax, to fill the mason jars ¾ full
- Candle wicks (I used cotton wick)
- Nature's Truth Happiness Essential Oil
- metal can (for melting the oil)
- 3 pencils (or objects to hold the wicks over the jar before filling with hot wax)
- Measure out the desired amount of beeswax
- Place beeswax in metal can
- Boil water in a sauce pan and place can, with beeswax inside, in the water (to create a double boiler)
- Allow beeswax to melt
- While beeswax is melting, set the wicks in the mason jars (or tie the wick to the pencils to let it hang until it touches the bottom of the jar - as shown in the photos)
- Add essential oils to melted beeswax (add as much or as little as you desire. I generally add enough until I can smell it and then add a bit extra)
- Pour melted beeswax into mason jars, ensuring wick stays as straight as possible
- Let beeswax cool for 30 minutes, then cut wick from pencil
- Allow beeswax and candle to set for several hours or until completely hardened