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Crafts Domestic Church Hannah M. Ink Slingers Lent Liturgical Year

Celebrating Lent with A Homemade Candle

Candlemas is coming up on February 2nd! There are three occasions that are celebrated on this day: the presentation of Jesus, Jesus’ first entry into the temple, and Mary’s purification. Traditionally, you can bring candles to mass on that day and have them blessed by your priest. What could be more special than having a blessed candle that you made yourself?! Well, I’ll tell you what could be better: A blessed candle that you made yourself that also is used to help keep yourself on track this Lent! Lent begins on February 13th this year- and we all struggle with sacrificing something we love- whether it be food, coffee, or a television show we enjoy watching. During this Lenten season when you’re having a tough time you can light your candle and pray instead of eating that cookie or flipping on the television!

This year I decided to abstain from coffee. I searched high and low for a small trinket to represent coffee and had a tough time. I found a small teapot charm, which would work just fine, but then the idea hit me. Why don’t I just put my candle in a coffee mug? So I went to Starbucks and got a couple coffee mugs on clearance so instead of reaching for a cup to pour my coffee in, I can light my candle.

I attached a Saint Paul medal (who is my saint for the year) and a cross to one of my candles so I say a little prayer then light it for the rest of the day and it serves as both a prayer candle as well as a delicious scent for my whole home!

Supplies:

1. Candle wax- I used soy wax, but you can use beeswax or paraffin as well. When choosing your wax, make sure that it isn’t “tapering” wax. We aren’t making tapered candles; we are making container candles so you’ll want to get wax that can be used for molding or container candles.

2. A container to pour your wax in to for your finished candle. I used a small mason jar and a coffee mug for mine- you can use almost anything you want, as long as it’s not plastic. 😉

3. Something to melt your wax in. I used a cooking pot and a glass measuring cup- they sell containers specifically for melting wax, or you can use a double boiler. I didn’t have a double boiler so I used a metal cookie cutter to raise my measuring cup off the bottom of the pan.

4. Wicks. It’s best to get pre-waxed and pre-cut wicks for easy crafting. You can also buy rolls of wicking as well as wick bases and dip your own.

5. Something you can use to twist the wick around and keep in place- I used a pencil.

6. A dab of hot, tacky, or super glue.

7. A thermometer- A candy thermometer works great.

8. Optional supplies include: fragrance oils, colorant, ribbon, saint medal, crucifix or cross and something representing what you’ll give up for Lent this year.

 

Here’s whatcha do:

1. Melt your wax to around 165 degrees. It’s really important that you monitor the temperature of your wax and never let it exceed 300, because it can catch fire around 350 degrees. If your wax catches fire- do not use water to extinguish it- use baking soda or a lid.

2. Put a dab of glue on the bottom of your wick base and secure to the bottom of your container. (I like to have this done before the wax is ready to be poured)

 

3. Remove wax from heat and thoroughly stir in coloring and fragrance.

 

 

4. If you have something representing what you are sacrificing for Lent, put it at the bottom of your container. You can also put in a crucifix or saint medal for a special meaning.

5. Pour in your melted wax, leaving a little bit of room at the top.

 

6. Take a pencil or other object and twist the wick around it until it sits flat on the top of your container. Make sure the wick is completely centered for a safe and even burn.

7. Do not move your candle while wax is still melted. Let sit overnight, or around 6-8 hours to allow the wax to fully harden.

8. Decorate your container with ribbon or other decorations for a personal touch.

Enjoy!

 

Don’t forget to practice candle safety- and always blow it out before leaving the house 🙂
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Crafts Domestic Church Ink Slingers Lent Liturgical Year Marie

Crown of Thorns Centerpiece

I will begin by saying that I cannot take credit for this idea. I saw it several years ago on a blog and have spent the last month (since I decided that this would be the year that I finally made one) looking for the blog I saw it on so that I could give credit where credit is due and I can’t find it. This tutorial is not the only way that you can create a Crown of Thorns centerpiece for your family this Lent, but it is one way. If you don’t want to craft one you could buy one – but I put this one together for around $10.00 (much more economical than the ones shown here).

There are other ways to make one for your family, such as the one that Catholic Icing featured a few days ago, or you can make one out of dough, but I liked this one because it’s something that can be brought out year after year.

I wanted to make this project because I am a very visual person and I felt like having a visual reminder of Christ’s sacrifice would be a powerful tool for my Lenten journey this year. When I’m struggling with my Lenten sacrifice (giving up ice cream and other junk food) all I have to do is look at that Crown of Thorns sitting on my dining room table and remember that Christ died for me – the least I can do is not eat ice cream until Easter.

These are the supplies that you need for the first step. I just used a hot glue gun that I already owned (and glue sticks) and toothpicks from our pantry.

I used an 8″ grapevine wreath, which I ordered from JoAnn Fabric & Crafts because I couldn’t find one that size locally.

I trimmed the toothpicks to 2/3 the length because I personally am a tad bit obsessive and felt that a full length toothpick was too long and out of proportion.

You could certainly leave it original length if you wanted. I just threw away the bottom 1/3 of the toothpicks.

Then begin placing the toothpicks in the gaps of the grape vines and glue in to place with the hot glue gun like this:

There is no set pattern to follow. I just tried to space them out around the wreath and put them in the gaps.

When I was totally finished I had placed 70 thorns around the grapevine wreath as a nod to Jesus’s instructions on forgiveness:

“Then Peter came and said to Him, “Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me and I forgive him? Up to seven times?” Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven.” ~ Matthew 18:21-22 (NAB)

but you could put however many thorns you felt were necessary. Remember, I’ve admitted that I’m a visual person so I like to find symbolism wherever I can.

Some people would leave the wreath like this, but not only am I visual, but I’m slightly obsessive and rather a perfectionist. I wanted it to look like a crown of thorns and not a crown of toothpicks so I took it outside (excuse the lawn, it is late February – normally it’s covered up by snow) so that I’d have good ventilation.

After it was spray painted I brought it back in to dry

I found a bowl and put some play sand (purchased at our local Menards) in it to serve as a visual reminder of Christ’s temptation in the desert (which is commemorated in the Gospels of Matthew, Mark & Luke) and placed the finished product in the bowl

Have a blessed Lent my friends.