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tea cup candles

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DIY – Scented tea cup candles

Do you have a hard time throwing away stuff that’s practically useless? Do you stuff it in a drawer, telling yourself you’ll come up with something it’ll still be good for? Here’s a suggestion for what to do with leftover wax from candles that are technically burnt down:

Tea cups: my latest thrift-store hunt. Wick: some linen cord.
For the wick it’s important that you use a cord from a natural fiber, since, you know, you’re going to light it. I used linen since it happened to be around. Cotton works, too.
To make the wick not drown in the wax, I wrapped a rubber band around the cup …
… and hung the linen cord over it. One mustn’t be stupid, as the Swedes say.

Now this step I forgot to document in pix: melting the wax. I just put the chunks into a tin can, which in turn I placed in a pot filled with water. Heat until the wax is melted. I put the linen cord in there, too, so that it would soak up some wax (which I imagined would keep it from burning too fast). Also, I added some tea tree oil. I am sure any essence works, but I probably wouldn’t use anything that’s not organic.

And this is the result. You like?
I do!

These are going into the bathroom. I don’t like having the fluorescent light blinding me when I brush my teeth at night, so I’ve been decking out the place with tea lights. To state the obvious: this is prettier.

Thrift-store raid

I can never go into a thrift-store without buying a bunch of stuff. So I am equally thrilled as terrified by the fact that here in Sweden thrift-stores (called „loppis“, short for „loppmarknad“ = flee-market) are all over the place. I kid you not: even when you’re driving on the loneliest road through the woods you’ll find signs (some hand-made, some „real“, like the official signs for a town or something) saying „loppis“.

I have, however, found a solution for my problem. Not going in. Yes, unfortunately that is the best thing I have come up with so far. The positive thing with my addiction is: it is relatively cheap. I regularly find myself with a basket full of stuff in the line for the cash-register, preparing myself for the supposedly inevitable heart attack I am going to have when I hear the total. Kind of like at IKEA, you know, where you end up picking up a bunch of small items on the way, which you never planned on buying but now that you’re here, and they’re so cheap, and then at the cash register you find out that you misread the price (or rather: the tagging on the shelves was misleading), and everything is much more expensive than you thought but you don’t feel like bothering with returning the stuff now that they’ve already scanned everything – you know what I mean?

Only, that at a Swedish loppis that’s not how it turns out. I am surprised every time by how a ton of stuff can cost so little. Everything is really expensive here (well, I guess that’s relative, I suppose the Norwegians would disagree but compared to Germany it is – and I do still compare, even after two years, sigh) – except for thrift-stores. Those are really cheap, and the only chance of me dying of a heart attack there is from the anxiety I build up myself while waiting in line.

So, yes, there are a lot of things that are great with thrift-stores: it’s obviously better from a environmental/consumption point of view if we re-use stuff that already exists, instead of throwing away old stuff and producing new stuff all the time. It’s cheap, so I can afford buying a ton of stuff even when I don’t have much money (which is most of the time). And it’s fun. The less central/known the location of  a thrift-store, the higher your chances of finding real treasures. Even better when the people working there have no idea what stuff is worth (well, better for me, that is, I guess).

But regardless of all the pros – stuff is still stuff, and accumulating it, no matter where you get it from, still clutters your home. Consumption is consumption is consumption … If I didn’t restrict my visits to these places, and my „feng shui bible“, I might as well be one of those hoarders that you see on tv.

This week, I broke my self-imposed prohibition. I have been to three thrift-stores, it cost me 316 SEK (ca. 50$ | 38€), and here is some of my booty:

Lately I have been buying a bunch of plates …

Because I am obsessed with (making) these three tier servers:

Obvs also made from plates found at various „loppises“.
Yes, I am aware that we have no possible use for more than two of these, so anything I am making from now on, I will somehow have to get rid of …
I especially dig plates with this kind of delicate flower pattern.
This lovely can was only 5 SEK ( = 80¢ | 0,60 €), and I thought it would be perfect as a gift – filled with some chocolate chip cookies, maybe?
Both Peter and I have been wanting to have these kind of spoons for when we eat sushi. Well, actually we don’t want the spoons for the sushi but for the miso-soup that comes with it. 15 SEK ( 2.60 $ | 1,80 €) for 4 spoons. Not bad, eh?
I bought two of those brass forms …

… because I thought I could use them when I try this recipe for making your own bath bombs.

Oh yeah, and the tea cups I got because I want to make …

… these kind of candles.

This retro beauty is for my sister, if I can find a way to mail it to her safely (she lives in Jena and used to live in Mainz – how freaky is this?):

Hm, you can’t see it in this picture but it also has a stamp that says „Schott Mainz“, so …

I also broke my biggest no-no: I am not allowed to buy any new fabric until I have made something from the tons that I already have hoarded. But I just couldn’t walk past this:

50 SEK ( 7.80 $ | 6 €) …
… for about 1,5m x 3,2m (1,6 x 3,5 yards)
Now all I need is an old arm chair that I can make over! Or professional help …

Or professional help re-doing an old arm chair!

Like so.

Also, I bought …

… this enamel-coated plate …
… at 40 SEK ( 6.30 $ | 4,80 €) one of the more expensive purchases. But I just HAD TO.

 

Why? Apart from that I think it’s adorable, I want to exchange all the plastic dishes with enamel (both for health and aesthetic reasons) in this lovely picnic basket:

Do I need to mention that this is also from a loppis? 50 SEK (7.80 $ | 6 €). My best buy this year so far.

Now you know the severity of my condition. If you know of any cures or remedies – please don’t tell me! I can’t imagine my life without loppis treasure hunts.