homestead_720

Illustration by Brittany Evans

As the temperature dips, going out can be a chore. First piling on the requisite layers; if you bike, braving the biting wind; then peeling them off at your destination — it gets old. Instead, we recommend a cozy night in. Light some candles, coat your face with balm and sip away on some tea — all made by you. And, of course, bask away in your supreme comfiness.

Scented Candles

Materials

  • Wax
  • Your choice of scented oils
  • Jar or other heat resistant container 
  • Crayons
  • Wick string
  • Double boiler or a large pot with a smaller metal bowl
  • Metal wick sustainers
  • Tacky glue
  • Pencil

Directions

  1. Gather all materials. Wax can be purchased by the pound at craft stores or can be recycled from old candles. One pound of solid wax will equal about 20 fluid ounces of melted wax, so keep this in mind when measuring out your wax and choosing your container.  The container for your candle can be any jar, such as an old glass pickle or jelly jar, as long as it is heat resistant.
  2. Set up the container for your candle. Thread the wicks through the metal sustainers, then glue the sustainer to the center of the bottom of the container.
  3. Lay a pencil across the opening of your container. Pull the wick taught, then tie or tape it to the pencil. This will ensure that your wick is in the center of the candle.
  4. Break up your wax into small pieces to ensure even melting. Then, using a double boiler (or smaller bowl or pot inside a larger pot of boiling water), melt the wax until the mixture is completely liquid. Stir frequently.
  5. As the wax is melting, add your color. You can choose any color you want, or mix several. Peel the crayons, break them into smaller pieces and add them to the hot wax.
  6. Remove the wax from heat, then add your scent. You can use scented oils from a craft store, or essential oils for a more natural candle. Work quickly to stir the scent in before the wax starts to solidify.
  7. Carefully pour the wax into the container, and allow it to solidify at room temperature. This will take a couple hours. When the candle has solidified, trim your wick about 1/4  inch from the wax. Your candle is now ready to add warmth to your home!

Lip Balm

Materials

  • Microwave-safe bowl
  • Small container for lip balm
  • Essential oils (optional, to add flavor)
  • Lipstick (optional)
  • Grater
  • 1 teaspoon beeswax (or Candelilla wax for vegan alternative)
  • 2 teaspoon coconut oil

Directions

  1. Pour 2 teaspoons of coconut oil into your bowl.
  2. Using your grater, grate beeswax. Measure out about 1 teaspoon and add it to the coconut oil. (Note: To make more lip balm, simply use any 2:1 ratio of coconut oil to lip balm.)
  3. To add a tint, add a few small pieces of lipstick to the mixture. This is a great way to repurpose old lipstick that melted during the summer heat.
  4. Microwave the ingredients on high for 30-second increments, stirring each time, until the mixture is completely melted and combined.
  5. If adding essential oils for flavor or scent, add them to the mixture after it has melted.
  6. Pour the melted mixture into your container. You can use empty metal mint trays, contact lens cases, empty tubes of chapstick, small paint tubs, or any small jar or container you have around. Get creative!
  7. Allow the lip gloss to cool at room temperature for an hour.
  8. Your new lip balm is ready to use! Tinted lip balm is great for keeping your lips nice and moist during the dry winter months. Untinted balm can be used on any dry skin, including the face.  

Herbal Tea

Materials

  • Assorted leaves, flowers, herbs and spices
  • Paper towels
  • Jar
  • The Fine Print Magazine (optional)

Directions

  1. Gather ingredients from your garden or outside. You can use almost any non-toxic plant parts, from sage to mint to clover to lemongrass. Get creative and explore combinations of herbs, as well as ingredients like citrus zest and flowers.
  2. Place your gathered herbs on a paper towel in a clean, dry place where they will be undisturbed. Place a second paper towel on top to protect them from dust. Allow them to dry naturally for 10 to 14 days.
  3. Once your herbs are dry, put them in an airtight container such as a glass jar. Add any spices such as cinnamon, ginger or anise leaves.
  4. For herbal blends, allow tea to sit in the jar for a few days before brewing. This allows all the flavors to blend and create a consistent flavor.
  5. Your tea is now ready to brew. Enjoy it on a cold, rainy day while reading a book or this issue of The Fine Print!