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By Candlelight

It's always super exciting in the last few moments leading up to a party. You place the appetizers in the hot oven, you hit play on your iPod, and you walk from room to room lighting all of your candles...it's amazing how much atmosphere they instantly add to a room.

Lighting is very important as I like my house to glow with the soft fuzzy light of all types of candles: tiny votives, skinny tapers, and fat pillars. I light so many candles that people often joke there is a 50% chance that my house will burn down at any given party. To avoid this fire-y fate, I follow a strict guideline when it comes to candles. For all of my tips on candles,

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  • Store new and unused candles lying flat in a cool, dry place to keep the wax from melting and to hold their straight shape.
  • The day of your party wrap large candles in a plastic bag or foil and refrigerate for 4-6 hours before lighting. At party time unwrap and light; the candles will burn slowly and more evenly.
  • Discard candles when they come within several inches of the decor around them.
  • Never place candles in hazardous areas (like a low shelving unit, or balanced in a precarious state) because the candle could burn the shelf above it or fall over.
  • Put votive candles in their glass holders in small terra-cotta pots 1-2 inches taller than the votive. This will cause the lit flame to cast a lovely upward glow.
  • Place a pillar candle in a large glass vase and fill the bottom halfway with stones, colored glass, beads, or shiny balls.
katie225 katie225 10 years
i second that comment, cravin! i heard the same thing from a friend of mine. any candle that has any foreign object in it should not be lit, just looked at.
cravinsugar cravinsugar 10 years
I have a warning: If you have those cute gel candles that contain stuff in them, don't burn them, just look at them. I had one I got at the beach which had shells at the bottom. I lit it one day while I was cleaning. I walked by the fireplace (it was on the mantle) and say something out of the corner of my eye. I turned to look and it had foot high flames comeing from it. I was able to fan out the flames, but got liquid gel everywhere in the process and am afraid to ever use gel candles again. I'm all in.
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