How to Make Your Own Jar Candles at Home
Candles serve a number of purposes in any type of decor, be it a room in the house or in your office. Not only do candles add to the overall appeal of a space, many of them are also scented with fragrances to help cover up any odors. Of course we all know that candles can be easily purchased at a local retailer, but for the “do-it-yourselfers” among us, making candles from scratch may be a more attractive alternative to buying from a department store. The benefits to doing so are numerous, but most importantly making candles at home allows us to create candles that offer scents of our choosing rather than whatever the retailers try to sell us.
Despite what many may think, making candles from home is particularly inexpensive, and can even be more cost effective than buying from a store if you’re interested in acquiring many candles of the same fragrance. You’ll need a few items to begin creating your own candles. I’ll be focusing on Jar Candles as these types of candles are among the easiest to create and are without a doubt near the most popular of candle styles.
To get started, you’re going to need a stove top, a decent-sized pot, a metal coffee can, an anchored wick, a jar, a glue gun, a few Popsicle sticks and some wax. Your wax can either come from unused candles you already have lying around your house or packaged paraffin wax. On average, a quarter pound of wax is more than enough to fill a 12 ounce jar or container. You’ll also be wanting some fragrance oil in any scent of your liking, and oils like these are sold in almost any fragrance you can think of. If you are planning to dye your candles, crayons will do the trick. I also encourage you to keep some safety gear handy since you will be working around extreme temperatures. A pair of good safety goggles and gloves are recommended. Any items you don’t already have lying around your home can be picked up at a local hobby store.
Start by gathering your materials in a centralized area so you have easy access to everything. Before melting down your wax, it’s a good idea to prepare your jar(s). Each candle will need a wick, so prepare a wick at least three inches longer than the depth of your jar. The wider the jar, the wider your wick will need to be to promote an even burn of your candle. If each wick is not already attached to an anchor, you will need to do so at this point. Wick attached, glue each anchor to the bottom of a jar, securing each wick as close to the center of the jar’s base as possible.
Set your stove top burner to a medium-to-high temperature; your wax will need to heat up to around 160 degrees to reach the ideal consistency. Fill your decent-sized pot with 2 to 3 inches of water and place it on the burner. We’ll be using a double boiler type method to heat the wax, so we’ll be placing our coffee can in the pot of water. Cut your wax into smaller chunks to speed up the melting process and drop it into your coffee can. If you are using old candles for wax, be sure to remove any old wicks with a fork or similar utensil once you are able to do so. Exercise extreme caution when heating your wax, and should your mixture catch fire, cover your pot, turn off the stove and refrain from dousing a wax fire with water.
Once you are able to stir the wax with a spoon, you can begin to add any dyes or fragrances you would like your candle to include. The amount of fragrance you add should be chosen at your discretion, but keep in mind that a little bit goes a long way. When adding crayons to dye your candle, be sure to remove as much of the paper from the crayon as you can. Continue to stir until both the fragrances and dyes have mixed with your melted wax.
We will now begin the process of filling any jars with wax. Before pouring your wax, grab a Popsicle stick and place it across the top of your jar. Wrap or drape the excess wick across the Popsicle stick, encouraging your wick to remain as centered as possible within the jar. Carefully pour your wax into the jar, all the while making certain that your wick remains centered. Leave around an inch of clearance at the top of your jar to ensure that any lids can be reattached if necessary.
As your candle begins to cool, it will usually shrink in size within your container. If you find that your candle requires it, add additional melted wax as needed. Your candle may need a day or more to completely cool. Becoming over anxious and using your candle before it’s ready could very easily undo all of your hard work, so be patient and make sure your candle has had plenty of time to cool before lighting it. Once you are certain your candle is ready, cut your wick so that ¾ of an inch to an inch is left protruding from your candle. Your candle is now ready to burn! Play with various fragrances and dyes to create your ideal candle.