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December 08, 2007

How to Applique Candles with Flowers and Other Stuff

032_pressed_flowers_appliqued_onto_ There's something about a homemade gift.  And let's just leave it at that.

But sometimes, they can turn out okay. 

One gift that's inexpensive and easy to make is a flower-encrusted candle.   

You can quickly create piles of pressed flowers for this project using a microwave flower press.


P1010344P1010328 If you’re making the candle for a handyperson, appliqué an assortment of screws instead of flowers and create a portable Screwing Emergency Kit.



 

032_press_flowers_using_a_ceramic_m The key item you need - a microwave flower press - is a kiln-fired pair of terra cotta slabs with a heavy wool felt lining. This remarkable unit presses flowers in less than two minutes (instead of the three weeks it takes in a traditional press) and preserves the colours brilliantly.


STEPS

Put on some Christmas music and pour yourself a libation.

Count on making a mess. Arrange newspapers and paper towels on the kitchen counter and stove top to catch waxy drips.

Beeswax_sheetP1010325 Melt beeswax in a tin can (you can buy sheets of beeswax, which melt faster than big blocks). I like beeswax because it's stretchy and gooey, so it makes a nice flexible seal for the flowers. Paraffin is more brittle so it tends to chip, crack and crumble when used as an appliqué medium.

Start pressing flowers. Roses take about two minutes. More delicate flowers or leaves may take only one minute.

 Dip your paintbrush into the melted beeswax and dab it all over the back of a pressed flower. While the wax is still hot, press the flower onto the surface of the candle. Then paint lots more melted wax over the surface of the flower so it’s preserved under a thin layer of translucent wax. P1010333 If you're attaching screws to the candle surface, brush on a couple of layers of beeswax and then press the screw into the soft wax. 

When you’ve finished covering the candle with flowers or screws, paint over any blank spots with more beeswax so the whole candle is the same texture and colour.


Carving_knives_2 TIP:  If the appliqué thing doesn’t grab you, try carving designs on the surface of candles using a chip carving knife or traditional v-tool, available at craft stores or Lee Valley. 

Carving wax is way easier than carving wood, so it’s a great project for beginner carvers. You can carve geometric patterns, your company logo (urf!) or wavy, curly ivy vines. Then if you’re really hot-dogging, paint a contrasting colour of beeswax in the lines you’ve carved.  Use subtle wax colours for the 'paint' or it can look garish. Trust me.

Stuff You’ll Need for Flower Encrusted Candles

Microwave flower press (Available at Lee Valley, $29.95 – Item GM420)

Natural coloured beeswax, either sheets or chunks (available at Michaels and other craft stores)

Tin pie plate for melting beeswax

A bunch of fresh flowers, pine needles, cedar, rosehips, or leaves

Big candles (at least 4” in diameter so the dried flowers on the surface are not too close to the flame)

½-inch paintbrush

P.S. If you order your flower press or carving supplies from Lee Valley - www.leevalley.com 1-800-267-8767 - by these dates, you can get your stuff before Christmas)

Pressed_flowers_manual P.P.S. This is Joanna Sheen's GREAT BOOK about using a microwave flower press!  Includes about 30 great flower applique projects for furniture, boxes, frames and vases. 

 

Comments

Abi


Mag,

The flowers and candels are just beautiful, looks like your ready for Christmas. Did you start your Christmas shopping yet? I havent we always wait til the last minute to even go Christmas shopping.

Small Business Logo Design

This sounds really pretty good. Thanks for sharing this great stuff.

Online Logo Designer

These messages are always inspiring and I would rather see quality content, so I’m happy to find many good here in the office.

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