Monday, June 22, 2015

Pin of the Month #4: Scented Orange Candles

The pin of the month for this month comes from Sarah Liploff over at a site called As a someone who thinks that everything could be saved and reused at a future date, I have tons of old candles laying around for the day when I might need them. In reality, I had no idea what I would use them for but then I saw this little beauty of a pin. 

After thinking about how easy this project would be to do in a survival situation, I suddenly realized I need to add candle wicks to my stores of backup supplies. I know it is possible to use moss to make wicks but wouldn't it be nice to have a big supply waiting for you?

So let's take a look at how it's done from a survivalist's point of view:

      What we are going to need:
  • 1 orange  (really all you need is any type of container that can be filled with wax)
  • 2 candlewicks  (lets just buy a bunch and add them to the backup supplies)
  • 20 drops citronella (any mixture of basil, catnip, cedarwood, juniper, lemon, lemongrass, myrrh, palmarosa, pine, rose geranium, rosemary and cinnamon essential oils will work)
  • 4-6 ounces candles (this is where all those old candle stumps get used up)
  • small glass or metal bowl (Sarah suggest that you can also use a can cleaned and rinsed which is perfect for a survival situation)
  • Tray
  1. In step one Sarah scoops out the orange. As I mentioned I think it would be possible to substitute any type of container for this step.
  2. Then Sarah fills a saucepan with 1 cup of water and places it on medium heat. She then puts the bowl on top of the saucepan with the candle ends in it to form a double boiler. She uses the can instead of the bowl to make cleanup easier but I'm thinking in a post-apocalyptic situation if all you could find was two old cans you could still make this work and be able to produce some great candles. Candles would be useful for a very small amount of light when you didn't want to attract attention or for cooking food as well. 
  3. While the wax is melted you add the citronella oil to the wax and then remove it from heat. I'm thinking here if you couldn't buy the oils you could use smashed up versions of the plants listed in the ingredients and they would produce the same effect. It just wouldn't look as pretty.
  4. Then Sarah places her orange on a tray, nestles a candle wick in the center, pours in the wax mixture and lets them cool. The tray is just to collect overflow so you don't make a mess but in a survival situation you may still want to use the tray because every bit of that wax will be very precious.
Thanks again to Sara Liploff over at for sharing this with us!

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Sara F. Hathaway
Sara F. Hathaway is the author of the The Changing Earth Series: Day After Disaster and Without Land. She also hosts The Changing Earth Podcast which blends her fictional stories with educational survival tips. Sara grew up in the country where she developed a profound interest in the natural world around her. After graduating with honors from The California State University of Sacramento with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, she launched into a career in business management. In her fictional novels her research and experience with survival techniques and forgotten life-sustaining methods of the generations past come to the forefront in a action packed adventures. She has used her background in business management to pave new roads for fictional authors to follow and she delights in helping other achieve the same success. She currently lives with her husband and two sons in California where she is at work on the sequel to her first two novels. For more information and a free copy of “The Go-Bag Essentials” featuring everything you need to have to leave your home in a disaster visit:
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