DIY: Mug Candle

Good Morning and Happy, Happy Wednesday! This year, for Christmas and Hanukkah, I decided to give a personalized homemade gift to my mother, father and stepmother, along with each of their store-bought ones. For their gift, I went to the websites of each of their alma mater's bookstores (Emporia State, Johns Hopkins and UW-Madison, respectively) and purchased a mug showing the school's name on it. Then, using candle supplies I bought at Hobby Lobby and Michael's, I created candles inside of each mug! I did this all last weekend, but had to keep it a secret until after the holiday weekend so that no surprises were ruined! And so, here is a tutorial that's easy to follow for you to make these awesome candles yourself!

Note: There are no candles in these yet!
First things first, I gathered all of my supplies:

Natural Soy Wax
Microwave Safe Container (for melting wax)
Wick and Wick Holder
Essential Oil Fragrance (I used vanilla)
Not Pictured: Hot Glue Gun, Chopsticks, Scissors and Newspaper

Then, I set to work getting my wicks ready. First, I cut them to size using the really scientific method of eyeballing it, as seen here.

Please ignore my creepy hand.
Next, I slipped one end of the wick into the wick holder and applied some hot glue to ensure it would stay. Then, using a little extra hot glue, I placed it into the bottom of the mug and held it in place for about a minute. When I moved my hand, it looked like this:

Pretty cool, huh?
 I then attempted to use a pencil to keep the wick in place. Please note, as you will see below, this accomplished nothing.

Then, I set down newspaper on the counter and poured some of the natural soy wax into my microwave safe container (a plastic one from IKEA) to melt it. The instructions told me that I should put it in the microwave for 1 minute at a time to let it melt slowly. Except that I'm a rebel so after I discovered that that could be really tedious, I started just putting it in for 3 minutes since that melted it all at once. After removing the wax from the microwave, I poured a small amount of fragrance into the wax - just to scent it slightly.

Then, I slowly poured the wax into the mug. Now, I apologize for this, but I have no pictures of this actual step because the first, second and third times I tried it, it didn't really work out. And I almost gave up on the whole situation - I was incredibly frustrated and thought about just foregoing the entire idea. BUT, I kept with it. The problem was that every time I poured the wax into the mug, the wick moved. And I don't mean a little bit - I mean it would completely start to float in the middle of the wax. So, after my third try, I got smart. After my third try, I switched from the pencil to chopsticks. Ah, genius.

And, lo and behold, it worked! Using the chopsticks kept the wick and wick holder in place! It didn't remain perfectly center, but that's okay! The key point here is that it stayed at the bottom of the mug. Then, I was able to fill the mug with wax. When you do this, only fill it about 3/4 of the way up, because you'll be adding more wax later. After letting it set for about 30 minutes or so, you just need to poke a couple of holes near the wick to release any air pockets, and then add a little bit more to your desired fill line. After it is all done, it will look this:

I used a pre-waxed wick in this candle.
Then, using scissors, cut the wick to your desired length and voila! You have made your very own mug candle! These gifts are personal, sentimental and a great homemade gift to give at the holidays - or any other time during the year! Despite the minor frustration during the middle of the process, I had a great time making these and will definitely be making them again in the future! 

I hope you're all having a great holiday week! Did you make any awesome homemade gifts for the holidays? Did you family love them as much as mine loved these candles? I hope so! And I hope you all enjoy this beautiful Wednesday! 



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