DIY Candle Making

This year for the holidays I wanted to try my hands at some DIY candle making. I really enjoy burning candles but they are quite expensive to buy. I found you can make your own candles pretty inexpensively with a few items from Amazon and some things you likely have around the house.

To start I needed to buy a few supplies online: candle wax and wick. I was able to pick up 5 lbs of wax and 100′ of unwaxed wick for less than $20.00 on Amazon, which was really my only expense for this project. For the containers I used recycled and cleaned condiment jars I collected for the purpose, to weigh down the wick I used paperclips, to color the candles I used an old crayon, and to scent the candles I used kitchen vanilla extract.

To make the candles, I followed these steps:

  1. First you need to melt the wax. I used an old Christmas tin to hold the wax because I didn’t want to ruin a nice pot. I used a double boiler method to melt the wax to avoid getting the wax too hot. To do this I simply filled a larger pot with water and placed my tin inside. Note that the wax will float – so I weighed the container down with an old iron.
  2. While the wax is melting, set up the wicks. I tied old paper clips to weigh the bottoms down and wooden skewers to tie the wick to on the top. Make sure that the wicks are well centered, but you can still adjust this while the wax is liquid.
  3. Once the wax is melted you can add coloring by dropping in a crayon. I used a blue crayon for my candles. When the wax was liquid the color was a dark shade of blue, but when it hardened it turned to a pastel blue.
  4. I tried adding normal kitchen vanilla extract to my candles to give them a scent but I did’t have the best results with this. Because the extract is mostly water, it doesn’t mix well with the wax. I ended up with little bubbles of vanilla extract in my candles, which I think actually looks kind of neat but I don’t know if I would do it again. It does smells very nice, though.
  5. Next pour you colored / scented wax into the jars. Make sure the wick is centered and let it sit a few hours until it cools.
  6. Several guides I have seen recommend a second pouring later in the process, to get rid of any bubbles that formed while the wax was setting. I tried both ways; I didn’t do this on my first (white) batch but tried adding more wax about two hours after the first pouring on the second. It doesn’t seem to have made a huge difference, although it does make the top of the candle a little more uniform if looks are important to you.

You can see pictures of the process and the finished candles below. The 5 lbs of wax made 8 candles of various sizes, three big ones and four smaller ones. Overall I’m very happy with the outcome!

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