Alpha+Mom post,  artsy fartsy,  crafts gone wrong

Summer Citronella Candles!

citronella candle

I’m really proud of this craft. It turned out super sweet. But I have to admit I had a pretty big flop before I got it right.

I did not know that you can’t just walk down the craft store aisle and buy any old wax and and wicking to go with it. You NEED TO READ the package. Because candle-making is a science and not just any old wick goes with any old wax! Who knew! I did this whole candle-making batch, the colors were perfect, I was so excited that I had finally invented another craft of the snow globe soap magnitude and guess what….


place setting

The candles sputtered, sparked and went out cold. I fumed. They were so pretty and yet completely and utterly useless. I couldn’t even gift them. And it’s not like I can just put up the photos and hope people are not like me and do follow directions. I had to re-do it because what if no other wicks worked and it was all a complete flop?!! The last thing I need is a passel of angry crafters after me.

(wicks pictured here are the wrong kind, they stick up straight because they are waxed wire wicks, not the soft flat braided wicks)

Thankfully, praisethelordhallelujah, the new braided wicking worked just fine. The second batch, though not quite as red (don’t skimp on the red crayons!) and photogenic as the first batch, turned out perfectly and burned just fine. And that is how I bring to you my latest craft at Alpha+Mom.

patriotic pastels

Crafting: It’s a dirty job but somebody’s gotta do it.


  • DeeJay

    Those are so beautiful!!! Srsly, you guys need to buy the house that’s for sale next door. We’ll put a gate in the fence between the two so we can visit via the back yard!

  • BeachMama

    Oh man, I love this craft. Where oh where to you get these awesome ideas from? I need to become rich so I can hire you to think of cool crafts and come do them with me.

  • Clownfish

    Hey B, your candles look great!! Perfect for keeping those pesky fliers away during a summer picnic.

  • Life with Kaishon

    They look so pretty! I am not a huge fan of that smell but I know that everyone and their brother uses it in the summer to keep the bugs away! I am a HUGE fan of keeping bugs away : ) Congratulations on your blog luxe nomination. Your pictures are lovely!

  • Mama in the City

    You are so crafty creative and I love those candles, they really are so pretty! I am not at all creative nor crafty and the thought of making candles makes me feel stressed out.

  • Heather

    I’m pretty ghetto and wouldn’t go out and buy wicking to make candles. I am determined to use whatever I have saved, hoarder-style, to craft with. My husband bought 4 pounds of bees wax to finish some wood toys, and it turns out he only needed like half an ounce. So I made some candles with the extras. I made my own wicks by following an online tutorial, basically soaking cotton string in salt water. Then poured the melted wax into mini-muffin tins for tea-light molds. They actually burned, and kept burning. Pretty freakin’ awesome.