For gifts this year I have decided to make homemade candles. I got the idea to use old tea cups from an issue of Martha Stewart. It's actually quite brilliant since tea cups are already meant to have hot liquid in them so they won't crack when you pour the wax in and the handles make it easy to move the candle while it's burning.
For these candles I used lead-free pre-waxed wicks from a craft store but you can use natural cotton wicks too (I didn't because they don't stand up on their own in the cup so it's an extra step to secure them). I got the tea cups at thrift store. The prices ranged from 49 cents to $1.99, so it was a good deal. I bought some natural beeswax from the craft store to use but found that I could melt down the leftovers from some soy-wax candles I got for Christmas last to make new candles. The wax was already pre-dyed and scented (eliminating yet another step). The only other thing I bought for this craft was an old cheap pot from the thrift store to melt the wax in (no matter how hard you try you can never get all the wax out of the pot).
All-in-all this was a really fun craft and really cost-effective. For each candle I believe the cost is between $5-$8 depending on the size, which is great considering some of the beeswax candles in my house now were purchased for $12 or more. I have decided that will definitely be making all my candles from now on. Not only is it fun to make the candle but I must say I really enjoyed hunting for those adorable cups.