Thursday, January 27, 2011

It's the bees' wax!

Definitely not as catchy as the bees' knees, but I'm sure there will be a few more groan-worthy bee phrases as the wedding approaches.

Bees have become the unofficial wedding theme. It started slowly and is snowballing to become a buzz-worthy {ha} event. Following this theme, we decided to make all of the candles from beeswax!

Beeswax is perfect because it ties together three of our themes/goals:
~ our main wedding color is yellow
~ it's a renewable resource, and one of my underlying goals is to take care of mother nature whenever possible
~ and, of course, there's the aforementioned bee theme

The image above is used in our invites. More on those soon!

As I've brainstormed wedding projects and crafts, I've been making a concerted effort to look at home for materials first, before thinking about what I have to buy. This has been a lot of fun because it generates a creative challenge that helps to keep costs down and reduces the total impact of the wedding. As you'll see, this project comes straight from the recycling bin!

We're using your average, store bought {or in this case Santa-delivered} bottle cutter to cut the tops off of green beer bottles, and then pouring beeswax candles into the bottom of the bottle!

Last weekend while I was stuck in front of my computer working to make a deadline, my sisters were busy as, dare I say it, bees. {Insert groan here.} We follow the basic three-step technique described in the bottle cutter's instruction kit with one modification. Rather than rubbing an ice cube around the heated etch line, we dunk the bottle into a bowl of ice water, causing the top and bottom to "pop" apart with little effort!

In the photo above, Sarah's etching a bottle on the right while Kristin's heating her etch line over a candle. In the photo below, Kris is dunking her bottle in the bowl of ice water. bing, bang, boom.

If you're lucky, you end up with some nicely cut glasses. After cutting we lightly sanded the cut edges, even though these won't be used for drinking, we don't want anyone to get cut as they handle the candles.

Using a little ball of wax, we attached a wick to the bottom of each glass before pouring the melted beeswax in.

And finally, you end up with something like this, hopefully minus the crack, but that can be filled in with a bit more wax post cooling::

Wait! We're not done, that candle above was a test subject. We wanted to see how well and how long it would burn before going crazy and pouring a whole batch of candles.

How did it go? It was a bit of a failure! We used a pack of wicks that were thin with a wire in them {just a basic pack that was easy to buy from Michaels}. Unfortunately, the beeswax pooled around the flame reducing it to a small flicker. After a bit more research, we learned that we should buy some thick cotton wicks that will pull the wax up, rather than letting it pool. So back to the drawing board; we'll let you know how it goes!

No comments: