DIY Recycled Candle Tutorial: Use old containers from around your house and melt down some old candles

Not a sewing post today, but something I’ve been dying to try for a while now!

I was a little nervous about this project, but it turned out to be way easier than I expected! I had visions of spilling wax all over the stove or burning myself (kind of a concern every time I cook). But with the pouring pot, it wasn’t too bad at all!

I had so many random empty containers around my house, but they were too cute to throw away… I knew I had to turn them into candles.

DIY candle making supplies: wicks, metal bases, essential oils, chopsticks, and wax

DIY Recycled Candles: Supplies

  • Cute containers: tins, glass, mugs, nothing plastic
  • Wax: Candle Remnants, Dollar Store Pillars, Soy Wax in bulk from Amazon
    • you need a lot more wax than I initially expected, so just be prepared. I didn’t get to make all the candles I wanted the first time around.
  • Hot glue gun
  • Wicks
  • Metal Base
  • Chopsticks/ Skewers
  • Essential Oils: I only use lavender 🙂 favorite scent for springtime
  • Pouring Sauce Pan: you won’t be able to use this for food again. Choose carefully.
  • Pot for DIY Double Boiler

Here’s a post with tips for removing wax from old candles.

used lots of pretty containers from around my house to make some new candles

Candle Making Process

  1. Use the hot glue gun to secure the metal base and the wick to the bottom of the containers. Tie the wick to a chopstick to keep it straight when you pour in the wax.
  2. Prepare your double boiler: I used my sauce pan from Target on top of a normal pot. Fill the bottom pan about halfway with water and place candle-filled pot on top. Place on the burner and bring to a boiler
    • the steam from the water heats the top pot – make sure water isn’t touching the top.
      DIY Double Broiler with pouring sauce pan for pouring wax
  3. Wait for the wax to melt… this could take a while
  4. Pull out any extra wicks. Little scraps are ok because the wax will harden around them. Since I melted sticks, I needed to remove the long wick…. I can probably reuse them on another project 🙂
    wicks pulled out of the melted wax of the old candles
  5. Once wax is completed melted and liquid, turn off the burner, and pour into the containers.
  6. Add several drops of your oils. One blogger said 15 drops… I’m still experimenting with this.
  7. Wait for them to harden!

I saw some other blogger tips on what to do about air bubbles, but I didn’t catch this in time. I’ll just pour more wax into the bubble.

air bubbles in the candle wax

Inspiration:

Here’s some inspiration for your project! Let me know if you make any of these! I Would love to see them.

inspiration for more DIY candles

  1. Coffee Candle
  2. Lavender
  3. Pressed Flowers
  4. Recycled Frappuccino cup
  5. Recycled Teacups
  6. Funfetti 
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So you’ve heard of those minimalistic capsule wardrobes… The more I shop intentionally for clothing and for sewing fabrics, I find myself falling into this mindset. I just want everything to match, and I want to wear it every day!

Wardrobe staples are the items that you need to get through everyday life. If you don’t have these items, it can be really difficult to get dressed in the morning. In fact, I think that’s half the problem with getting dressed in the morning. You have this super cute top, but not enough neutral bottoms to decide how to wear it.

This is especially hard during the summer when you don’t want to wear jeans (if you’re like me, you avoid wearing pants at all during the summer – skirts all day every day). When you sew your own garments, you can make the same great fitting item over and over in the perfect color.

Wardrobe Staples

When you’re looking for key pieces in your wardrobe, you should be buying for quality. I usually visit Banana Republic and JCrew for these pieces because I know they will last for years. And if you shop their sales and clearance, you’ll be surprised what great deals you can find.

expanding your closet with handmade wardrobe staples

  • T Shirts: White, Black, Grey, Navy, Navy/White Striped
  • Turtleneck
  • White Button Down
  • Chambray Top
  • Grey Cardigan: Goes with everything!
  • Black Skirt: Lots of pencil skirt options at JCrew, especially in the fall
  • Black Dress
  • Casual Dress
  • Perfect Jeans: Wherever you can find them!!
  • Leggings

Shoes: I don’t have DIY alternatives for these, but they are part of your wardrobe staples… sorry 🙂

  • Nude Heels
  • Nude Wedges
  • Black Heels
  • Black Ballet Flats

DIY Alternatives

I can’t imagine myself sewing a collared shirt – just too much work with all the interfacing and the buttons – so I didn’t include the white or chambray tops in the list below.

The great thing about making your own clothes is finding the perfect fit and then making them again and again 🙂

A Round Up of great wardrobe staples and the perfect sewing pattern

  1. T-Shirt:
    Plantain Tee (Free Pattern!)
    Basic Tee by Seamly
  2. Turtleneck:
    Driftwood by Brooklyn Tweed: Very simple knitting pattern, just takes a lot of yarn
    Paola Turtleneck by Named Clothing
  3. Cardigan
    Wrapped Cardigan by Seamly
  4. Skirt:
    Pleated Pencil Skirt by Delia Creates
  5. Little Black Dress:
    Bonnell Dress by Dixie DIY (I know the pic isn’t black, but have some imagination!)
  6. Casual Dress
    Pleated Fit and Flare Knit Dress DIY by Merrick’s Art
  7. Leggings:
    Sew Simple Leggings by So Sew Easy

Hope you enjoyed this little round up, and that you found it helpful.

Merry Christmas in July!!

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Love these cute little shorts!

I’m excited to add these lightweight shorts to my summer wardrobe! I used leftover chambray fabric from my Sew DIY Baseball Skirt for this pattern, and a plain navy binding (premade from Joann’s, because I’m lazy).

these shorts have a bias binding edge with a tulip side seam

I used the Purl Soho City Gym Short pattern, and their tutorial is super easy to follow. I didn’t bother making a tutorial.

Next time I’ll make these a size smaller because they feel a little loose. Overall I think they’re cute and comfy 🙂

The Free Purl Soho City Gym Short pattern is super comfy !

I don’t really have any other tips because this pattern is so easy!

They were sewn together in about 1.5 hours, so go make yourself a pair right now! I’ll probably make another pair this weekend!

Lightweight Chambray city gym shorts

In other news…

It’s Day 16 of Whole30, and I think we’ve been doing pretty well! I’ve been good with sticking to the shopping list, but I do snack in between meals occasionally. I still consider this killing the sugar dragon, because an apple is NOT a cupcake.

Eric has done really well at his attempt to follow this diet. He east out more often, and always orders within the guidelines. He just doesn’t go out of his way to ensure something wasn’t made with butter or a little bit of flour. He’s doing this more for weight loss, so he’s definitely doing better with that.

Even though it feels like it might be a boring diet, we’ve tried a lot of new things! And spaghetti squash isn’t half as boring as pasta! I really miss cookies and ice cream. Eric misses his Taylor Ham, Egg, and Cheese on an Everything Bagel.

Halfway through. We will make it to the end!

How’s your summer going? Please tell me you are eating ice cream every day! Don’t deprive yourself if you don’t need to!

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marigold jumpsuit by tilly and the buttons...perfect pattern for a summer romper!

I finally bought Tilly and the Buttons pattern, the Marigold Jumpsuit. I could not decide on fabric for the longest time. I’m still not sure this is the best choice for the garment, but it’s pretty cute.

Marigold Jumpsuit Details

  • Fabric: Robert Kauffman Classic Plaid Black
  • I wanteda neutral fabric so I could wear again and again
  • Alterations:
    • shortened the straps A LOT… not sure if this is normal or not.
    • Added another dart to fix some gaping on the side front neckline
    • Shorts 🙂 instead of the pants

I was a little surprised because this garment took me a long time. Maybe it’s because I was binge-watching Pretty Little Liars at the same time, and I was a little distracted. I was working on this for HOURS on Saturday. Like, probably 10 hours. Not so fun. And in the end, I still needed to adjust the bodice a lot 🙁

invisible zipper on the marigold jumpsuit

This almost-perfect invisible zipper was inserted with only a normal zipper foot! Of course, i should really buy an invisible zipper foot

I’m going to blame this on not being a good sewist. I’ll have to go back through and re-read the instructions before I try this again. There’s also a lot of details on the Tilly blog: Here’s a post on getting the correct bodice fit (I just found this now, and I should have read it BEFORE attempting the pattern). If I use a similar fabric on the next one, I’ll probably add an inch to the bodice to it hangs a little better: I do have a little longer torso, but usually patterns fit just fine, and I didn’t think to lengthen it this time.

the marigold jumpsuit

I’ll probably try a drapey-er fabric next time. This is a lightweight cotton, but it’s definitely not drapey enough. And I’ll try a fun floral next time.

The Tilly blog post gives several pattern-hack suggestions, like combining the Bettine Dress Skirt with the Marigold Jumpsuit Bodice. I have the Bettine and the Marigold, so I guess I’ll have to try it!

marigold jumpsuit by tilly and the buttons... handmade by Danielle Wilson

Any other Marigold suggestions out there? I love having a me-made romper, even if it sounds like I really struggled 🙂

Marigold Jumper in Robert Kaufmann Plaid by MostlySewing

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DIY Simple quilted pillow cover tutorial

So I started Whole 30 on July 5 and haven’t had much time for sewing, because I’m cooking ALL THE TIME. It’s not my favorite thing to do… so I can’t wait for this to be over.

These pillow covers are really simple, especially because I used my Sizzix Big Shot to cut out the triangles. I just turned the crank and had 16 triangles! It was amazing to work with. I made covers a few years ago in grey and yellow, and I used this Pottery Barn Tutorial for the envelope pillow back.

Pillow Cover Details

  • 24″ square pillows
  • 4″ half-square triangles
  • 36 squares per pillow

Supplies

Tutorial for Pillow Covers

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the next monthly installment of my mini scrapbook challenge - june!

Moving along in my mini scrapbook album for the year… Today marks the Scrapbook Sunday next to the end of June, so here’s the June recap!

  • Drew’s Wedding!
    • We went to the wedding of Eric’s childhood friend right at the beginning of June! It was so fun, and we’re super happy for the couple!
  • Lancaster with Shannon
    • Shannon needed some wedding planning help, so Stefanie and I drove out to PA to finalize some details. Of course, we had to stop in the adorable city of Lancaster and sample some coffee! Love spontaneous day trips!
  • Quilted potholders:
    • New project that I discovered this month. These are super quick to sew up, and they’re the perfect housewarming gift! More on those in this post, but I had to include it in the roundup because I love the colors of them so so much.
  • Father’s Day:
    • My dad insisted on Hawaiian shirts for Father’s Day. I know it’s a little bit of a cliche, but he really wanted them! and doesn’t he look so happy in this pic?
  • My 26th Birthday:
    • This year has been a little weird for me, but it’s always great to celebrate with a giant chocolate chip cookie and some ice cream.

This month went by wayyyy too fast, and I can’t believe I’m halfway through the year already. I’m really happy with the work I’ve put into the blog over the past six months – if anything, just keeping on a fairly regular schedule.

This month I also started focusing on Instagram marketing a little more (I bought an online class, and that has been super exciting!), and I’ve been writing more (always the goal!).

Anything big happen for you in June? Are you looking forward to July? I already know next month’s recap will have a lot pictures of food, since we’re doing the Whole30 Diet starting July 5!

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Happy Friday everyone! And Happy July! Summer is in full swing, and I’m so excited for this long weekend!

As usual, I have a lot planned for this relatively short amount of time, but I’ve been on a roll lately, so I think I can do it! Or most of it.

LIFE PLANS:

  • Hang out with friends 🙂 We’re having another couple over tomorrow that we haven’t talked to in a while, and I’m so excited to see them!
  • Float around in my donut pool float
  • Read Anne of Green Gables! For some reason I only had books 1, 4 & 6, so I ordered the rest through Amazon Prime. Ready for beach reading!
  • Enjoy my last few days before Whole30!
  • Empty my pantry of non-whole30-compliant food 🙁

SEWING PLANS:

  • Finish the TieDye quilt (backing and binding)!
  • Make my adorable peplum Marthe Blouse
  • Order fabric for the Tilly & Buttons Romper. I’m making this in a short version, and I just can’t decide what fabric I want! Solids? Gingham? Florals?
  • Shorts from this free Purl Soho pattern: I have some leftover chambray that needs to turn into something.

Ok, if it rains one day I might be able to finish all the sewing projects :/ A few of them need to get done in order for the blog to happen, so I’ll prioritize when necessary.

What fun plans do you have for the long weekend? Any exciting sewing projects? Any books you’re reading?

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This little watermelon wall hanging is not my best work,  but its kind of cute :)

I love this free pattern from Suzy Quilts, which I shared back in the Picnic Season Prep post, but I didn’t feel like making an entire quilt… Someday, but not now.

So I made this little mini wall hanging! I was deciding between 1 slice or 4 slices, and went with only 1 slice. At first, I thought it would be cute with just one slice, and then it turns out I’m pretty bad at sewing curves, so I gave up after 1.

Mini Watermelon Wall Hanging

So I started cutting all the pieces of the template. There’s a “Rind 3” piece which I think is a combination of Rind 1 & 2.

Then I sewed them together, and I thought it was going well… until I ironed it and it looked like this:

Looks like I need to practice sewing curves...

I had to trim off a lot of fabric to square this off…

squaring off my watermelon slice squared off and ready to add sashing to my watermelon block

So then I added some sashing around the edges and the appliqué seeds to finish it off.

For quilting, I had some extra batting lying around and not-my-favorite pink fabric for the backing. Aaaand I haven’t done the binding yet, because I’m worried it will be obvious how it’s not quite straight :/ Oh well. I’ll add an updated photo if I decide to finish it off.

Watermelon mini quilted wall hanging

Anyway, I’m glad I didn’t attempt the whole watermelon quilt, because I would have been upset with my curves-sewing ability. At least with one block I was able to cut it down as much as I needed to.

I like making mini quilts of my favorite quilt blocks. Sometimes an entire quilt can be intimidating, especially with tiny pieces or intricate paper piecing. But you can just making one block, quilt it as much as you want, and keep it on your wall as inspiration!

Definitely making more of these in the future 🙂 And hanging them in my little studio!

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