AP NEWS

Candle crafts tap creativity

March 3, 2019

Crafting is enjoyed by children and adults. Even the most ardent arts and crafts enthusiasts might be surprised to learn that their favorite hobby can offer a number of benefits related to their health and well-being.

Research shows that regularly engaging in crafts can have tangible health benefits. The rhythmic and repetitive movements of certain crafts, as well as the need to focus one’s attention, can produce a calm that helps anyone, including those who may experience anxiety, according to health and self-care resource Berkeley Wellness. In an online study published in the British Journal of Occupational Therapy that surveyed more than 3,500 knitters, researchers found knitting was “soothing” and “restful” and had meditative or zen-like qualities.

The sense of accomplishment after completing a project is another great reason to engage in arts and crafts, which also may boost cognitive health by protecting certain neurological pathways in the brain.

There are many ways to engage with arts and crafts. Woodcrafting, painting, mosaic work and metal arts are some popular activities.

One time-honed craft activity that is good for beginners or advanced crafters alike is candlemaking. Today’s craft stores sell many different types of waxes and products that can produce beautiful scented candles.

Candles can be housed in various vessels, but a clever turn is to use teacups or mugs to mimic the look of popular beverages. There’s also the reassurance that such beverage holders can withstand hot wax.

Start by visiting a craft store and choosing a type of wax. Gel waxes are versatile and can boil, pour and set up easily. They’ll also be mostly translucent, which is great for replicating the look of various drinks. Follow the instructions on the packages for usage and invest in coordinating wicks, colorants, and appropriate scents.

It’s also necessary to choose a style of candle. In a teacup, a tea-colored hued wax paired with a lemon scent can be reminiscent of a hot cup of lemon tea. Use other glasses or mugs to replicate the looks and scents of hot chocolate, mimosas, cappuccino, and much more.

As you become more comfortable, experiment with incorporating molded wax embellishments, such as lemon slices, ice cubes, berries, or even cinnamon sticks. This will help drive home the realism and whimsy.

Treasure these candles for use around the house, or gift them to others on special occasions.