Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Citrus Candles

These citrus candles are great little decorations for a winter event you might be hosting. They're natural and cheap and give off a pleasing aroma. They won't last more than a few hours, but they bring a little cheer to dark winter days.

Back at the beginning of the month, we had a period of time where it was either snowy, rainy, or way too cold to have much fun outside. The kids and I came down with bad cases of cabin fever, and I got desperate and started showing Maggie my Pins and letting her pick what we'd made next. One morning, she picked these citrus candles.

It seemed a little adventurous, but I was game for anything that would keep us busy and interested and decided to expand on the idea with a clementine, a grapefruit, a lemon, and a lime.

The tutorial at the link above is clear and easy to follow, but here's what I'd add:

1. If your piece of fruit isn't going to sit flat, slice off a bit of the end to make it stable.

2. Go ahead and slice the fruit entirely across, just above the halfway mark. Once you dig the first piece of fruit out, the rest come much easier. But the clementines were the easiest by far. I suspect the author above knew this. Also, it's rough going if your hands are riddled with excema. Seriously rough going.

3. I finally used a good sharp paring knife to cut out the fruit of the lemon and lime.

See the cut lines around the center wick and outside rind?

4. The thinner center wick you leave, the easier it is to light. Lighting the wick is actually the hardest part, and I highly recommend using a long-handled lighter because it would take A LOT of matches and probably burnt fingers to get these things lit. It probably took 3-4 minutes of direct flame to get the thicker wicks lit. However, once they're lit once, it's much easier to re-light. 

The center wick has to turn completely black before the candles will light.
5. Also, my candles leaked olive oil so I would keep them in dishes (like above) to prevent messes.

6. Finally, do watch them carefully. As you can see in the top picture, even if you cut the tops quite wide, they will scorch as the candle burns.

Upshot? Not the easiest project, but a great result. Cheery and sweet-smelling, these would be great party decor. And stick to clementines--they're the easiest.


  1. I think your blog ate my comment. Did your blog eat my comment?

  2. Ugh, yeah it so did. If this is a duplicate, just delete one.

    Those candles are cute - you are so damn crafty! But citrus on eczema hands? You need kitchen gloves, woman. Trust me - I live that life. Granted, I like my bare hands in contact with whatever I'm doing in the kitchen, but after having my eczema hands laced with lemon juice and screaming my head off more than once (you'd think I would learn...), I try to be a bit more smart. Not big ol' purple rubber kitchen gloves like you use for cleaning and scrubbing - like food prep gloves a la lunch lady style. Get the tighter fitting ones. Just remember non-latex if that bothers your skin. :)

    1. I have a negative sensory reaction to kitchen gloves (and to wool). They're too confining and humid. Makes me crazy.

  3. What an awesome mum you are to go on creative adventures like this with Maggie! This is such a wonderful idea. I love creative projects that can be done with items you already have around the house. Candles are such a beautiful way to bring warm and cosiness into a home in winter. I was an exchange student in Sweden when I was a teenager and the Swedes would all place candles on their windowsills in winters. The houses looked so gorgeous and inviting from the outside and it really was a morale boost in the freezing weather :)

    1. Awww, thanks, Lizzy. I try to stick with projects that can be made with what you have lying around and with very little else. We live on a pretty tight budget so I have to be picky with my projects. Plus, I like that policy philosophically.
      I remember a story on FTSF about someone studying abroad in Sweden, watching horror movies, and thinking a ghost was knocking on the door. That must have been you!

  4. What an amazing idea! I would never have thought about that... we have some clementines that have begun to go bad. Weekend project? Thanks! :)

    1. I hope you try them and they turn out! But how you have clementines long enough for them to go bad? My children inhale them like oxygen.


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