Reviewing Darby Smart: Making Soy Candles

I consider myself kind of a crafty person. I mean, I rocked the crap out of making my own lip balm and painting a pretty tote bag, right? So when the nice people at Darby Smart contacted me asking if I’d like to try out one of their kits, I only hesitated a few minutes.

Then, they sent me this video….

I’m not even kidding when I say I watched it a few times and giggled nonstop. It’s SO me!

So that is the story of how I came to try my hand at candle making.
You think that this isn’t going to go well, don’t you?
Well, you’re a little bit right.

When I received my box, I was super excited to try it out. However, you can’t exactly throw together some hot wax candles while also chasing after an active toddler… so it took me almost a month before I was able to even open the box.

Darby Smart box openedThe instructions seemed pretty straightforward. Well, except for the part of using a “microwave safe glass container.” I don’t have one of those fancy glass containers, but I figured I could use an old Tupperware and it would be fine. {insert ominous music here}

Darby Smart instructionsThey provided me with four different scents to try: bacon, spiced pumpkin, a dozen roses and French vanilla. I decided to mix the spiced pumpkin and French vanilla for my first try…

Darby Smart - scentsSo, I grabbed an old plastic bowl and threw in a few handfuls of wax. Yeah, that’s right I’m living on the edge with the whole ‘not measuring’ thing.

Darby Smart - waxThen, I put it in the microwave for the instructed four minutes and wandered around munching on candy corn. When the microwave dinged, I realized that I might have misjudged the awesomeness of my plastic bowl.

Darby Smart - melted bowlOopsie. So, after cleaning out the entire microwave… I started again with a thicker plastic bowl…

Darby Smart - wax againI put that big ol’ boy in the microwave for just ONE minute this time and started shaving my colored wax (while eating a few more candy corn).

Darby Smart - shave waxThe wax wasn’t quite melted yet, but after just 45 more seconds it was fully liquid AND my bowl was still intact! I grabbed the scents and splashed in some spiced pumpkin, followed by some French vanilla. Nope, I didn’t measure. Just splashed in a generous dollop of each.

Darby Smart - adding scentThen, I filled up a few of the provided votives, added the shaved colors (a mix of the yellow and red) and stuck in the wicks.

Darby Smart - wicksI left them on the kitchen counter for a couple hours while I did other stuff (which may or may not have included eating more candy corn) and when I came back they were BEAUTIFUL! And they smelled darn good too.

So besides my initial mistake of melting an entire bowl in my microwave, I think I did a pretty darn good job at my first attempt at candle making! I have plenty of leftover supplies in the kit to make more candles and think I’ll try the bacon scent next.

Darby Smart - candlesIf you are interested in making your own candles or trying out another fun kit, stop by the Darby Smart website and poke around a bit.

Disclosure: I was provided a Darby Smart kit to review; however all thoughts and opinions in this review are my own. I am not rewarded or compensated in any way if you click through to purchase a Darby Smart kit.

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Tying up my Curtain Strings with Safety Cleats

THIS has been driving me CRAZY.

before  blinds

With a little dude running around, I had to do some childproofing in my living room, which means that the crazy-long blind cords had to be tied up out of his way. I don’t know WHY the cords go all the way to the floor — maybe so the dog has the option to adjust the blinds if the sun is in his eyes — but they looked like a rat’s nest. If a rat made a nest out of cords halfway up the wall.


I tried to tie the knots nicely…if that is such a thing. Nothing worked though. No matter how hard I tried to tuck them away, they looked awful.

I did some googling around, and found some blind safety cleats on Amazon but paying $2.89 for a piece of cheap looking plastic wasn’t exactly ringing my bell.

So I put it off for a while longer.
Ok, like a year.
I WAS BUSY! I swear!

Then, over the weekend I was wandering around Home Depot at a snail’s pace. Really, I was – Jack refused to ride in the cart and insisted on weaving from one shiny thing to another. And shut-your-face if you automatically think that I basically do the same thing. Even if it’s kind of true.

While in the hardware aisle, one of us may have been switching the screws from bin to bin while the other suddenly bust out in a “OHHHHH” like you hear at a firework show. It was like the angels were singing…

project materialsYeah, that’s right. Those sexy things are 2 1/2″ Chrome Plated Rope Cleat’s.

OOOhhhhhh Ahhhhhh!
And a 2 pack was only $1.78!

I grabbed up three packs so I could try them out in my living room and we (slowly) went on our way.

It took me less than 15 minutes to install them all and LOOK HOW PRETTY!

mid install


close up

after viewI’m kind of kicking myself for not doing this when we moved into our house almost two years ago. For a grand total of $6 the living room looks LESS MESSY. I mean, on the walls. Don’t look down at the floor where the toys live.

Have you done a super cheap and easy project where you kicked yourself afterwards for not doing it ages ago? Are you going to run to Home Depot now and buy yourself some fancy cleats? Did you know that they were called “cleats” and not “those cord wind up thingies?”

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1 Can of Spray Paint + A Shabby Chic Birdcage

I realized recently that I haven’t done any fun DIY posts on here in a while, so let’s do one of the easiest projects in the WHOLE WORLD! All you need is some spray paint and something you want to paint. That’s IT!

I picked up this shabby chic birdcage at the thrift store for $4.90. I think it was probably used as a card holder at someone’s wedding because in addition to the birdie door opening there is a latch that you can undo so you can lift up the entire top.


The birdcage was originally painted a beige-ish color and had spots of nastiness and rust on it. It wasn’t too cute, but I liked its size and curves… so into my trunk it went. And there it lived for a couple months because I was too lazy to bring it inside.

Well, I got the urge to do some spray painting… so I grabbed a can of teal paint that was just hanging out in my basement with the spiders.


Two coats later (with no prep-work at all) and check out the curves on this bad boy! Bow chicka, bowwow…right?!


The project cost me less than $5.00 since I had the paint leftover from another project. However, if you needed to buy a can of Rustoleum spray paint they typically cost around $6 and you’d have plenty leftover for other projects.


Have you been spray painting anything lately? What color would you have chosen for my birdcage project? I was originally thinking of spraying it shiny silver and hanging it in Jack’s room like a spaceship…

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