52 Homesteading Skills in One Year – Project #11: Making emergency candles
There are only a few days before Christmas and I still have gifts to purchase, which means I still have wrapping to do, which means…no, I’m not ready for the holidays. I guess starting kitchen renovations two weeks before Christmas was not such a good idea after all.
So if you plan on dropping by over the next few days, expect to find my house a complete disaster. Cleaning has taken a back seat to putting my kitchen together.
We’re also busy trying to install a wood stove for some much needed heat in our drafty, 200-year-old home. Currently, I have TWO wood stoves (neither one installed) in my living room because the first one we bought was the wrong size. Also adorning my living room floor is the old cast iron sink from the kitchen. It all makes for a nice Christmasy atmosphere.
And if that hasn’t deterred you from stopping by, this may. Holiday guests will be served tea and pickles. Because as you may remember, I made homemade pickles this past summer – only I made way too many and now there is almost no room left in my fridge for holiday goodies. (The pickles turned out great, by the way. Except you might not want to try the cinnamon and cloves combination. Apparently, it’s not to everyone’s taste.)
So what is the point of this blog other than to complain? I completed another project amongst the chaos of the season – emergency candles. And no, they are not called emergency candles because we’ll have to call 911 when our house burns down, as my husband jokingly (I think?) pointed out.
Because I’m thrifty and I don’t like anything to go to waste I made these emergency candles out of lard. It’s a heck of a lot cheaper than soy or beeswax. In fact, it’s often thrown away so why not put it to good use?
Fun fact: I’m also known to use lard or to even save leftover bacon grease to later use as a moisturizer. So if you happen to lean in for a hug over the holidays and think you smell bacon, you’re not crazy. It’s just my cream, which works great by the way.
You will need:
– Candle holders
– Natural wicks and wick stands such as these on Amazon, which cost just 0.16 cents each.
– Tooth pick
– Wax adhesive or hot glue
– Essential oils (optional)
1. Melt lard at a low temperature.
3. Use two pencils or whatever you have on hand to hold the wicks straight and steady in the container.
4. Allow the lard to cool slightly and then pour the liquid (leave some for the re-pour late on) into your holder.
5. Add optional essential oils and stir them in.
6. Once the lard has cooled, use a tooth pick to poke a couple holes around the wick. Then reheat the lard and re-pour onto the surface. This helps create a smooth candle top and eliminate cracks.
7. Let cool for 24 hours before lighting and trim the wicks to about 1/4 inch.
I hope you don’t have to burn the midnight lard like me trying to get everything done before Christmas, but I do hope you enjoy these natural emergency candles. Merry Christmas, my friends!
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