I just wanted to share with you my grunging process. I started out with a white pillar candle I got at a garage sale for 50 cents. I put it in my makeshift double boiler that is a gallon food tin and a stock pot I bought at a garage sale to use this way and also for when I tea dye.
Then I took all the little tea lights out of their metal casings and took out the wicks. I bought a bunch of boxes at Dollar Tree in the half price bin. I didn't care too much about the scent because the cinnamon and spices are so strong, it covers it anyway.
I also had a bright red half pillar candle that the wick was messed up on, so I put that in the pot too. As it melted down, I pulled the wick right out of it. In my experience, the color of the candle doesn't matter so much because the wax is a transparent color when you melt it down, it is not opaque like the candle. I don't use paraffin wax or store bought candle making wax. I am always on the lookout for cheap, broken, clearance candles. After the holiday sales are the best time to get candles when color and size doesn't matter. I put them all in a box to store them, then pull them out to grunge or melt when I have a good supply. Next time I grunge, I'm going to add vanilla to the pot, I forgot to do that this time.
I bought 6 boxes of these 6-count of 5" emergency candles at the Dollar Tree. They are the perfect size for most candle holders. I cut the wicks off because I don't want sparks from the spices. I know some people don't do this but I just want to be careful. So mine are just for looks instead of burning. It's easier to cut the wick after they've been dipped a few times.
Then the real fun (and mess) begins!
I mix cinnamon and nutmeg in a bowl. I immerse the candle in the wax for about 10 seconds then pull it out with metal tongs. Then I roll the candle in the bowl. I'm always stocking up on those latex household gloves when Walgreen's has a coupon 3/1.00 or 2/1.00. I use those and throw them away when I'm done. The tongs leave marks in the candle, but after I roll the candle in the mixture, I rub it between my gloved hands lightly so it pushes the cinnamon onto the candle and evens out the tong marks. I do 3-4 at a time, let them cool after each dip then repeat this over and over again until I get the thickness I want and the candle is completely covered. Some people end with a dip in the wax. I end with a dip in the mixture because I think it's more grungy that way. But the best thing about that is you can see it both ways and decide which way you like better.
The bigger (pillar) candles I actually had to use my gloved hand to roll it around in the hot wax. It was warm and the glove was covered in wax but it wasn't hot enough to burn me. I just use my scraper on the glove and scrape it back into the hot wax. Same thing with the wax build up on the metal tongs.
The hardest for me was the battery operated tea lights because I had never grungied those before. I finally learned that I just had to cake it on with the spreader. A little wasn't cutting it and it can't be thrown in the pot. I'm glad I saved these for last because what I finally did was let the wax cool slightly and then spread it on like icing. After a roll in the mixture, they turned out pretty good I thought.
Quite messy, yes indeed! Rich asked me if I realized what a mess I was making. Hehe! I wish I had an after clean-up picture. I had to scrape a little wax off the counter top and the stove top but it all worked out great. I was afraid I was going to scratch the ceramic stove top, but I didn't. Can't even tell that big mess was once there!
I'll have to post some pictures of what I did with some of my grungy goodies. I hope you give it a shot sometime, it was so much fun to see the progress! And just like anything else that you create, the finished product makes you smile and realize it was all worth it!
Edit 02/11: I just wanted to add that I put my burner on med-high to melt the wax. When it melts down, I put the burner on as low as it will possibly go for two reasons. This keeps the spices from melting off. The candle also dries quicker which keeps it from having too many drips hanging off of it. It is then not too hot for me to rub in the drips.
Also, if you'll read through the comments, you will get lots more great suggestions! Lots of women use crock pots for their waxing because it's less of a mess they say. I say, whatever works best for you and the easiest is the way to go.
Don't be afraid to jump in and give it a try. I was... I waited a few years before I finally just did it then I was mad at myself for waiting SO long! Just like any other craft... you learn as you go. Wax is so forgiving... if you mess up, just stick it in the melted wax again and give it another shot.
Please email me if you have any questions! I'm happy to help out in any way that I can.