I Dream of FIRE

In pursuit of financial independence and personal fulfillment

30-day experiment No. 2 results: “Creating”

My goal for the past month was to spend at least an hour a day “creating.” I left that intentionally vague, but stipulated the creating couldn’t be tied to my day job or specifically for this blog. How did it go?

Well, an hour doesn’t sound like much time until I look at the clock and see it’s 30 minutes past bedtime and I haven’t “created” anything. I definitely didn’t come anywhere near keeping up with my daily goal, but I did make some progress on one idea I had.

Burn, baby, burn

As cool as the idea of building a Zen water wall was at the beginning of the month, I didn’t get anywhere past sketching the plans. I’ll tuck that project away for another time.

I did, however, do a fair amount of work on my candle idea.

I took empty beer and liquor bottles, cut the tops off and filled them with soy candles scented to match the type of alcohol.

Two things about this little hobby: First, I should have pre-ordered all the materials back in October. By the time some of the equipment and scents arrived, it was already mid-November. Second, it may not look like much, but I actually spent about $200 in supplies and tools.

Granted, I still have lots of stuff left for future candles, but here’s a breakdown of my costs:

  • Diamond rotary wheels to cut the glass: $11
  • Wicks: $14
  • Scents: $67
  • Wax: $35
  • Dyes: $26
  • Pouring pot: $10
  • Replacement part for my Dremel tool that broke mid-cut: $35

The candle I’m most excited about is the Johnnie Walker Black Scotch. I purchased a whiskey scent, and while it doesn’t necessarily match the Johnnie Black scent, it does have a believable whiskey smell. The tricky part about candle dyeing is that the liquid and solid colors are so different. The spot-on dark Scotch-colored liquid wax dried to a far lighter shade of beige. When the candle burns the melted wax will look just like Scotch.

The melted wax just after pouring is on the right, while the cooled wax is on the left.

I have an already-cut Maker’s Mark bottle that I’ll experiment with trying to get that whiskey caramel coloring for the solid candle, which means the melted wax is going to be extremely dark brown.

The green dry vermouth bottle is filled with a green gin martini-scented wax. The beer bottles are all beer-scented, but the wax coloring is trying to mimic the color of the beer that came in the bottle. Again, the melted color is spot on, but the solid color isn’t.

Four different colors, more or less intended to mimic the original contents, except for the green hue of the vermouth bottle. I had green dye, and no Creme de Menthe ready to go.

I’ll continue to perfect the process, especially the glass cutting, which is more art than I expected. Here are a couple of pictures of the stuff I used to make the actual candles.

Yes, that’s a drumstick. I needed a long stirring stick that I didn’t ever care about using for anything else again, and a broken drumstick fit the bill.

What did I learn?

The only other creative things I did were put up some Christmas lights and decorations, which I actually thought about for quite awhile this year, as I’m still figuring out how to decorate the new house. I also helped my daughter make a turkey out of recycled materials for school. I should have taken a picture of that before we brought it in!

Overall, that’s not a lot of creativity, and I found myself without the time, energy, or drive to do more. But I really did enjoy the candle project, and I’ll continue to work on that. If I get better at it, that could even turn into a side hustle. I mean, I Dream of FIRE lends itself to candle sales, doesn’t it?

2 Comments

  1. Good to hear you’re having success with the scents you’ve chosen. I’m looking forward to you getting the cutting part down in hopes that you share. 🙂 Happy December!

    • It’s been tricky so far. Probably a little Internet research would set me on a better path. I wanted to try it first and then worry about perfecting it once I got a feel for it.

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