So it's the end of the school year and time to recognize our teachers for their hard work and dedication. I'm the room mother for my oldest daughters class and I wanted to organize something that would be very memorable for the teacher. Of course the whole school is accepting donations to be split among the staff but I wanted the teacher to feel how much we appreciated her. I stewed on ideas for days and finally decided to pull the trigger on one, hoping I could pull it off. I couldn't find anything about it on the internet to know if it would work or if anyone else had already tried it, which made it a very risky venture.
My idea was the Blessing Candle. Similar to the 'jewelry in a candle' concept, only the candle would contain little blessings, bible verses, memories, and notes of gratitude instead. I did a beta test to see how a note would hold up in the melted wax of a candle and it failed miserably. I had to tweak the concept so I put the note in a small ziplock-like baggie and THEN wrapped it in heavy duty foil. It survived the melted wax. So I headed to the store to pick up my actual supplies to get started on making the candle.
I sent an email out to the parents and requested that their child (parents were welcomed to participate as well) write a small note for the teacher on a piece of paper no larger than the size of a business card. Once the "blessings" were all in, I set an afternoon aside to work solely on the candle creation. It does take a significant amount of time, but the end result is a beautiful keepsake that will make a memorable impression.
- Strong (thick) candle container or glass container of your choice
- Scented oil (or not)
- Metal bowl
- Small zip baggies
To start, make sure each blessing is folded up very small and insert in to baggie. Then fold the baggie and wrap snuggly in foil.
Bring water to an almost boil and insert metal bowl containing a block of wax. Wait for the wax to melt down. While you're waiting, place your wick in the center of the candle container and tape the top to a pencil, knife, or popsicle stick and rest on top of the candle container to keep the wick from moving about.
Once the wax is melted down, add a few drops of scented oil.
Pour the wax into the candle container and wait for the wax to begin to set (this is the time consuming part, to help speed it along, I placed the candle container inside a bowl of cold water).
Once the wax has begun to turn from translucent to opaque you can begin to add a few wrapped blessings, or notes.
REPEAT until you reach the top of the candle container.
Then decorate container as you wish. I made sure to include little poem and an organza pouch with tweezers inside so the teacher could retrieve the blessings without burning her fingers in the wax. She can also keep the notes in the organza bag as a keepsake after the candle has revealed all of it's "blessings".
I did find that if you tried to add the next layer of wax too quickly, it would re-melt the previous layer, letting loose the blessings to float about. Not too big of a deal, I would just have to watch for it to set up again and shove them back down into place.
The students have since presented the candle to the teacher and she went home and burned it immediately and said it was the most thoughtful gift she had ever gotten (score!). It was her idea to keep the notes in the organza bag afterwards too. :)
So a risk turned out to be a success! What a way to end the school year!