sloth, siobhan, sloth head

Pete, Morris, and maybe Siobhan

candles

One of our favorite projects around this house is to pick up strange mugs from thrift shops and turn them into coffee-scented candles.

This picture is an old one (and we ended up selling the two mugs in the photo), otherwise I would re-snap the shot so you could clearly see “MORRIS” under the cat’s head.  It was my favorite of strange-mug finds because the minimalism was graphic design genius.  You really can’t go wrong with a floating cat head and a name under it.

In fact, it’s hard to go wrong with any floating head and name:

sloth, siobhan, sloth head
Dave wants us to make a mug with this design for our next candle, which is my theory as to how weird mugs end up in thrift shops.

When making these candles at home, we kept the project kid-friendly and didn’t do it entirely from scratch.  We just bought the microwaveable wax, tossed in our coffee grinds, placed the wick in the cup, and poured the wax in.  They snap a bit when they’re lit so they’re not perfectly safe for bookshelves or kids rooms, but they make fun candles for bathrooms and kitchens– and they smell delicious!

Let there be light, and when possible and desired– let that light be coffee scented.

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The Daily Post’s Weekly Photo Challenge: Let There Be Light : http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2013/11/29/photo-challenge-lights/

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Have you ever made your own candles? Do you own a mug with your name on it? What’s the strangest mug in your cupboard?

103 thoughts on “Pete, Morris, and maybe Siobhan

  1. What?! Coffee scented candles?! Okay, the Queen has to hear about these… fire, perfect for me, coffee, perfect for her, candles, perfect for both of us… Yep, these will have to make an appearance in the kingdom at some point… now, to find a random mug, with a floating head and a name…

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    1. It’s pretty much delicious. 😀 If you get really into it, there’s actual coffee extracts you can buy that make it smell even stronger– but we like to use our few of our favorite beans and our old grounds for something. When Michael’s is having a sale, we pick up the wicks and the microwavable wax there. 😀 And I guess it doesn’t need to be in second mugs with floating heads… 😉 I suppose someone could use a nice candle jar or something artsy… 😀

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                1. Haha, I actually love that song. My favorite of their guesses for the fox is “Wa-pa-pa-pa-pa-pa-pow!” I wish all animals made that sound. 😀

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      1. Those were my questions: you said coffee grounds and I saw beans (so the beans just float on top – don’t they put out the flame?

        2nd: where to get the microwavable wax… now I know – Michael’s – right up the street.

        Rara – thank you for such a nice gift idea!

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  2. We made candles for my daughter’s 11th birthday party. I remember it taking forever for the wax to melt. All of the sleepover girls were going crazy. But they had a fun time decorating their glass candle holders and taking the candles home with them the next day. Your idea looks like a lot of fun.

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    1. We buy this microwaveable wax– it melts faster so it’s easier to make a mess if you’re not prepared, but patience is not one of my virtues. 😀 Decorating glass candle holders sounds lovely! I bet they all came out great. 🙂

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  3. The strangest mug in my cupboard is pink with a golden crown on it (and other frou frou – clouds and a white cherub!) and the words Queen of the Day. I have no idea where that came from but it never sees the light…is right at the back of the cupboard. No one in this house wants to use that mug! I’m sure someone else would love it…

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  4. Coffee smelling candles? In a mug?? Where is mine!!! Oh as a coffee addict I must have this! I must I tell you! Strangest mug in my cupboard? Hmm It will have to be the one that has a MAX written on it in bright red. Have no idea who or what Max is.

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  5. I wasn’t aware that you could buy microwavable candle wax… I recall my brother going through a phase where he liked to melt down candles and make his own. This was also his phase of continuously almost burning down the kitchen.
    Love the sloth 🙂

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    1. Oh yes! It’s much easier– though not as long-lasting as doing it the slow way. I’m still in my almost-always-burning-down-the-kitchen phase, but luckily this project doesn’t cause too much mayhem. Though I did drop one batch of the wax all over the counter once… that was a mess! 🙂

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    1. It’s a fun project! I’m sure there’s others online who have an actual measurable recipe for it– Dave and I just wing it! Still, it works out each time. 😀

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  6. I have made my own candles when I was a teenager. Had a whole process set up – and not only it was fun, but very useful, too, since our summer house commonly had blackouts and I kept it well-stocked with candles.

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    1. That’s awesome. 🙂 It’s always been a fun, but fairly pointless hobby for me– luckily there’ve been no blackouts to necessitate them. Did you scent your candles?

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  7. It seems that the grounds would burn, but I’m taking your word for it on this one, I trust you implicitly. Weirdest mug….Hmmm…. probably the yellow one that says Nachocheese on it. hahahaha… more like Nacho coffee. hahaha.

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    1. Haha, aww, thank you. 🙂 The grounds do occasionally burn a bit, hence the sparking I mentioned– but it’s really negligible. It doesn’t smell like burning nor does it make it mess– it just occasionally goes spark-sizzle. 🙂 I wish I had specific quantities to tell people, but we just sort of wing it. 🙂

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        1. I’m up till about 4am most nights, though on this particular night, I’m doing nothing of importance. 🙂 It’s sort of nice! An earned day of silliness in reward for being a grown up all day. 🙂

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  8. I never owned a mug with my name on it, mainly because it isn’t that common of a name. Never occurred to me to go the custom route, but I am not a coffee drinker so mugs really aren’t used by me often.
    I am tempted to hit the thrift store this afternoon and get a random mug for the kid now.

    I have never made candles but I had a coworker who did. Their best selling scent apparently was “Mary Jane” *ahem*

    I love Siobhan! Both the cute sloth here and the name in general. We had a family friend with that name and I thought it was the prettiest name ever, though I was confused the first time I saw it written down 😉

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    1. I love the name, too. 🙂 It was the first thing Dave thought of when I proposed making our own floatinghead-plus-name mug, so I suppose he must like it too! 🙂

      My name is never on a mug either, though there’s a goodly number of dinosaur mugs around– so I call it a win. 😀 Thrift stores have the best random stuff ever, but the mugs always entertain me the most. 🙂

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  9. I’m not a very crafty person, I’m afraid – I haven’t done anything like that since I left primary school 🙂 But I do adopt cups in thrift shops! I don’t have any with my name on – I’m keeping that option for when Alzheimer sets in 😀

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  10. As a kid, I used to melt down plain candles and pour the wax into glass jars, and use the candles as gifts. Love, love, love the Morris mug, and the sloth looks like a winner too.

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  11. Oh man! I made sand candles in the 70’s 🙂 These days my crafty side is drawn to wood. I saw old chairs in half to make shelves or turn old wooden framed windows into picture frames.

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  12. My mother used to BUY stuff at tag sales that had other people’s names on them. Our house was filled with trinkets made for weddings of people we’d never heard of!

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    1. I had no idea the Morris mugs were a thing! 😀 I’m so glad I did this post so that mystery would be solved. 🙂 Thanks for reading, xo! (Also, I’m sorry for being so late in my reply. I’m playing major catch up after my shower slip, 🙂 )

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    1. Ooh, let me know if you give it a try. 🙂 (Also, I’m sorry for being so late in my reply. I’m playing major catch up after my shower slip, 🙂 )

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      1. Don’t worry about being late Rara…I really do know the problem of keeping up with notifications…and it doesn’t at all help when something like a shower slip adds to the already complicated operation! 😉

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    1. Coffee is one of the best things ever! 🙂 (I love your new avatar by the way. Also, I’m sorry for being so late in my reply. I’m playing major catch up after my shower slip, 🙂 )

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    1. I had no idea Morris was a thing. I just assumed some friendly pet owner loved his cat a lot, ha! 😀 For some reason it never occurred to me to Google it! 🙂 (Also, I’m sorry for being so late in my reply. I’m playing major catch up after my shower slip, 🙂 )

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    1. Oh yes! Making your own candles is a blast! They’re more loveable that way… plus, I like them better because they always smell like whatever I want them to smell like. 🙂

      (Also, I’m sorry for being so late in my reply. I’m playing major catch up after my shower slip, 🙂 )

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      1. I’m so sorry Rara… I hope you are good as new as soon as possible. They say so many awful accidents happen in the bathroom. 😦 Sending you healing energy. xo

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    1. A fellow sloth lover! Hurrah! I did my report on them in the 4th grade when you have to talk about your favorite animal… they’re awesome! 🙂

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    1. Those always come out so beautifully! Dave does those, but I don’t have the patience… I’m always in the freezer seeing if they’re frozen yet, ha! 😀

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  13. I was obsessed with candle-making when I was about 10-13 or so. My favorite thing to do was get ice cream dishes and soda glasses from thrift shops, then make candles that looked like sundaes and ice cream sodas. This required letting the melted wax cool just enough so that you could scoop it with an ice cream scooper, and using a hot metal skewer to poke through all the wax scoops to make a place for the wick. Now you’ve made me want to try this again, especially since all I’d have to do is pour the wax into a mug! Not to mention that microwaves didn’t even exist (or barely) when I was originally making candles, so I’m looking forward to microwaveable wax!

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      1. Sodas are the easiest, like your coffee mugs (wax poured into a glass), but with a scoop of “whipped cream” on top. And you’ll have to use the hot-skewer trick to make a place for the wick. Dang! Now I want to make candles again, and I have sooo many other projects to do first!

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  14. I have Homer and Marge Simpson mugs from the thrift shop and I collect Elmer Fudd stuph so I also have an Elmer Fudd mug that I love. I haven’t made candles in them, but a cool idea! I have made my own candles in the past. 🙂

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    1. Elmer Fudd stuph– that’s awesome! 😀 My little brother is a big fan. 😀 (Also, I’m sorry for being so late in my reply. I’m playing major catch up after my shower slip, 🙂 )

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      1. I think I’d be tempted to eat the coffee beans, even though I know they taste bitter. I’ve done things like that before. 😀

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    1. 😀 Yay for coffee lovers! And yes, I love candles in the winter… even though we don’t get a terrible winter out here in California. There’s something calming about them. Thanks for reading!!

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    1. Amazing! The soft drink can thing sounds wonderful– doesn’t the can get all wonky when it has the hot wax inside?? (Also, I’m sorry for being so late in my reply. I’m playing major catch up after my shower slip, 🙂 )

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    1. Haha, Arden, my dear, if I make the sloth candle– it’s absolutely yours. 😀 (Also, I’m sorry for being so late in my reply. I’m playing major catch up after my shower slip, 🙂 )

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    1. Aww, thank you! I’m glad you enjoyed seeing the candles. 😀 (Also, I’m sorry for being so late in my reply. I’m playing major catch up after my shower slip, 🙂 )

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  15. Morris the cat was probably before your time, Rara. He was a commercial cat for some brand of cat food, I think. Still, I love the floating head and name. Might have to do that with a cat head and “Fox.” 🙂 {{{Hugs}}} Kozo

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  16. I posted my questions above, but need to pause to say thank you again, Rara! I burn candles from the moment I get up until I leave the house or go to bed. The little votive ones – unscented. I am not a scented candle fan because they’re usually too strong after a short bit. But, coffee – oooohhhh, ya got me now!

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    1. So, of course, I had to go see if anybody had measurements… – too funny – from complicated to sublime – yours is better, Rara! (naturally)

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      1. Got the stuff! Everything except the beans, which I’ll get tomorrow. Do you mix ’em with the was and coffee grounds or just sprinkle ’em on top?

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        1. Did you get a chance to try this out, Hunty?? 🙂 (Also, I’m sorry for being so late in my reply. I’m playing major catch up after my shower slip, 🙂 )

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          1. I’ve not tried yet, Rara – I was hoping if you felt better, you could answer my question: Do you mix ‘em with the wax and coffee grounds or just sprinkle ‘em on top?

            Then I saw the number of responses – close to 100 and said, hmm, might just have to jump for it!

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  17. When my first husband & I were first separated, I was so poor I had no money to buy gifts for my family, so my daughter & I made homemade candles in Dixie cups, using parafin was you melted on the stove & then we used old crayon stubs to color the wax. We made layered candles of rainbow colors & everyone got one as a gift.

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