Monday, January 7, 2008

The Prototype

In a love/hate relationship that started a couple of years ago, I've learned a few of things. Hot wax that gets spilled can seriously burn a child or ruin a table. Cooled, spilled candle wax is really annoying to clean up. Then there's the thing everyone knows: The greater the number of lit candles in your house, the greater the chance you'll end up burning your house down (chances increase exponentially with each addition of a small child to your home.) In spite of all that, I still love candles. The idea of "fake" candles used to strike me cold. Enter four small children, and I'm warming up to the idea. Restoration Hardware has some wonderful artificial candles- they flicker, they're really realistic, and (beginning this year) they're battery operated instead of being strung on a clear cord that you plug in- so now you can place them anywhere. They're also sort of expensive. In a way they are a value because they're candles you never need to someday I will probably buy some. Until then, I wanted to improvise. I had some extra pillars I hadn't used yet that I bought on clearance for about .50 each. They seemed like good guinea pigs for my experiment. I will add right now that I know these pictures are terrible. I took them early this morning and now as I see them on the computer, they're not so good- but I really wanted to just get my post done, so here they are in all their sub-standard glory.

Basically, I wanted to try to create the same thing the RH version had, using real candles and fake tea lights. I bought some at Target last fall and got some more for Christmas. They're great and really realistic (random flicker and all) if hidden. By the end of the experiment I had the technique pretty much down and although I think these turned out pretty well, I'm excited to try it again for better results. If you want to try it yourself, throw me a comment and I can explain the trial and error process and what I found works best to get a nice cavity without losing the walls of the candle. (It was extremely simple, you just have to be around all day to mess with them every once in a while.) The candles are great for a mantel or bookshelf- anywhere people can't see directly into.

Next time I'll buy candles of different sizes and shapes to shake it up a little... Here's what it looks like inside.

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