Monday, December 3, 2012

Sometimes, it has nothing to do with school...

A group of ladies at my school and I get together once a month to play Bunco (I only just learned how to play - I think it's only fun if you have amazing friends to play with haha).  We all decided that we were just going to bring an appetizer and some money each time.  Well, last month, there was WAY too much food!  Ha!  With that said, we decided to pair up to bring appetizers this time.  I'm amazed by the other ladies' ability to actually cook stuff... I really don't enjoy cooking.  However, I absolutely love baking!! (Let's not talk about the prize at the end of baking when I get to eat what I just baked... That's not at all one of the reasons that I like to bake... not at all.)  Anyway.  I paired up with my friend, Amy.  I told her that I can't really make any holiday-themed appetizers because it's difficult enough for me to make the appetizer - let alone make it cute!  She sent me this picture:

It came from Pinterest.  At this point, I was sort of motivated.  A little flour, Baker's chocolate, and a lot of sugar, and we've got brownie batter!  (By the way, Betty Crocker has a pretty good recipe for brownies... Just throwing that out there.  But you absolutely need an electric mixer.  I tried making it years ago without one, and it turned out gross. Ha!Ha!)  I found these mini cupcake papers at Michael's, and I knew that these would be the cutest freakin' brownies on the planet!

This was what our brownies turned out to look like:

Not exactly the same, but still fabtabulous!  And they were a hit with our Bunco ladies!

Anyway.  Brownies, as much as I love them, are not the reason that I was writing this.  In addition to the holiday-themed dessert, we had a Secret Santa gift exchange.  The problem was that there was a $15 spending limit (which, if you're in Alaska, is darn near impossible to find something that I love).  I found an amazing candle at Michael's the other day, but it was $40!  First, I refuse to spend $40 on a candle!  And second, that was well over the spending cap.  So, leave it to me to find a way to get the candle without spending an arm and a leg. :)  [The truth is, it cost me about $8 since the first candle got ruined - then I bought the glass at Michael's for $8 to make up the difference and added some glitter at home.]

I found this page on Pinterest that said that all I had to do was stamp the image I wanted onto the candle and let it dry.  Easy peasy, lemon squeezy!  Umm... No.  That's where the ruined candle came in because I'm a procrastinator.  My gift was opened, and it was passed around because it was so "fancy." Well, someone took it out of the glass to read the words.  Yeah.  The ink wasn't drying because it was stamped onto wax.  How stupid could I be?  Of course it wouldn't dry!  Oh, geez, was I ever embarassed!  The still-wet ink ended up all over *my principal's* hand!  (I have to admit... it was pretty funny!)  So I shamefully offered to take it back to repair the damage.  I ended up just getting a new candle and completely redoing the gift yesterday.  So, in an effort to save all of you from experiencing the shame that I felt for not thinking that one through (HAHA!), here's a method that makes the stamp permanent.

Here's what you need:

A candle - any cheap candle would probably do.  This one came from Walmart.  The first one came from Michael's.
A stamp
A stamp pad
Tissue paper (not pictured)
Wax paper (not pictured)
A heat embosser (the one that I have isn't in this list on Amazon, but I suppose it doesn't matter... they all work the same way)
Something to put under the tissue paper so the ink doesn't go through onto your surface (learn from my mistake on this one, trust me.  I just used a paper towel after I realized I was ruining my work surface.)

First thing's first:  Stamp your image onto the tissue paper.

Cut around the stamp as closely as you can.  When you heat it up, the less tissue paper you have to worry about, the better!  (I did cut the top margin off after I took this photo.)

Next, wrap the tissue paper around the candle (be careful not to smear the stamp on the tissue paper), and wrap that with wax paper.  You'll want to have extra wax paper to serve as a handle.  I messed that up towards the end, and I ended up heating my hand and denting the candle all at the same time.  Again, learn from my mistake. ;)

With your heat embosser, slowly heat the wax paper.  The shinier the wax paper is, the closer you are to being finished with that section of the candle.  You'll see the tissue paper seem to disappear as the candle melts under it, fusing the stamped paper to the candle.  Be careful not to stay in one spot too long because the candle wax melts quickly under the heat.

Once finished, slowly and carefully peel the wax paper off the candle.

Your finished product looks as good as those awesome store-bought candles, but it costs literally pennies in comparison!

I'm always nervous about giving handmade gifts to people that I don't know very well.  (I just moved to Alaska in July and just met the ladies in this Bunco group in September when school started.)  But the recipient of this gift seemed excited to have it even when it got smeared!  I was so glad about that!  I left the "repaired" candle on her desk this morning when I got to school.  Just before the morning bell rang, she came into my classroom just ecstatic to have it!  I'm pretty sure that is what made my Monday.  The rest of the day was just grand!  (Thanks, Debbie, for loving this gift as much as you did!)


  1. Can't wait to try out those yummy-looking strawberry Santa hats!! :-)

  2. Love it I can't wait to do the Candle it looks awesome .