When you want to scent the air in your home without burning a candle or setting out potpourri that can be spilled, a stuffed animal dipped in scented wax meets the need -- and adds a sweet bit of decoration to the room, too. The animals are simple to make, but be sure you take all the safety precautions to avoid burns.
Things You'll Need:
- 6-to-10-inch-tall stuffed animal
- 1 pound candle-making wax (enough for 1 large or 2 small animals)
- Candy thermometer
- 1 1/2 ounces fragrance oil
- Candle dye (optional -- use for dark animals)
- Slow-cooker or double-boileer
- Insulated rubber gloves
- Wide-toothed comb, pet comb, or hair picks
- Drying rack
- Baking sheet or aluminum foil
Melt the wax in the slow-cooker or double-boiler until it reaches 170 to 190 degrees Fahrenheit. If you don’t have these kinds of pots, you can put an empty 3-pound coffee can in a saucepan of water. Check the temperature as you are working to be sure it does not exceed 200 degrees to avoid shrinking the stuffed animal.
Mix the fragrance oil into the wax. If you are using a dark-colored animal, add the dye at this point as well.
Remove any clothing, bows, ribbons, or other adornments from the stuffed animal. You can replace them later.
Don your insulated gloves. Do not use regular rubber gloves for this task -- you need the extra thickness of the insulation to keep from burning your hands.
Dip the animal in the wax, rolling it around with the tongs until it is saturated.
Lift the animal from the wax with the tongs, and then gently squeeze it with your hands to remove excess wax.
Fluff the fur on the animal quickly with the comb or picks. Work quickly to get the fur arranged before the wax cools and hardens. If it cools before you stop, you’ll end up with “dandruff” -- flakes of wax falling from the animal.
- If you comb too long and start to see flaking, reheat the wax with the hair dryer, set on low, to melt it again.
Set the animal on a drying rack, under which you’ve placed the baking sheet or aluminum foil to catch drips. Pose the animal while the wax is still warm.
Allow the animal to cool completely and the wax to harden. Now you can embellish your animal with bows, beads, and clothing.
- Do not set your scented animal directly on any wood surface, as the oils can damage the finish. Put the animal on a metal or glass plate to add to the decorative look while protecting the supporting surface.
Pamela Martin has been writing since 1979. She has written newsletter articles and curricula-related materials. She also writes about teaching and crafts. Martin was an American Society of Newspaper Editors High School Journalism Fellow. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Teaching in elementary education from Sam Houston State University and a Master of Arts in curriculum/instruction from the University of Missouri.