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Making your own candles is fun, easy, and inexpensive. Even better, you can create them in any scent you’d like and homemade candles make really impressive personalized gifts!
This trio of candles was made from the cute but otherwise useless small canisters that came in a kitchen canister set, but you can use just about any glass or ceramic container. I like these candles they’re super adorable as a set and they’re easy to extinguish! Simply close the top to put the candle out without filling your room with smoke.
Supplies Needed to Make your own Candles
- Candle wax. It is important that you use beeswax or wax packaged specifically for candle making – do not try to melt down your old crayons! It simply won’t work. I recommend using soy wax because it has a low melting point and is easy to clean up. For a small project like this, you’ll need about a pound of wax.
- Containers. You can use votives, small glasses, jars, or whatever you’d like as long as it won’t melt!
- Do not use a plastic container or something lined with plastic.
- Small mason jars make really cute candles!
- Two pots, one medium and one smallish, or a double boiler. The smaller pot should be able to fit inside the larger one.
- Wicks. You need a wick for each container.
- Essential oils for scenting the candles. This is, of course, optional, but highly recommended!
- Colorant. I didn’t color the wax, but you can. If you decide to use a wax colorant, make sure to get something designed for candle making. Once again, you can’t just use your old crayons. Well, technically you can, but it won’t melt well and I don’t recommend it!
How to Make Candles
1. Prepare your double boiler by placing a couple of inches of water in your larger pan. Place this pan on a medium-heat burner, pour your wax in the smaller pan, and carefully place the smaller pan in the larger one. If possible, try to position the pans so the smaller one does not rest on the larger pan’s bottom. You can usually accomplish this by propping its handle up, as shown below.
3. While the wax is heating up, trim your wicks, if necessary. Allow them to stick an inch or so above the container’s lip so you can position them easily. You can just trim away the excess later!
2. Monitor the wax, stirring occasionally once it starts to melt. Once the wax is fully melted, remove the smaller pot from the larger one and set it on a heat-proof surface, or a cold stove burner. Turn off the burner you were using.
3. Take your time – the wax takes a while to cool. You don’t need to rush and risk burning yourself! If desired, add a couple drops of essential oil to the melted wax and stir to combine. Essential oils are very powerful, so you only need to use a drop or two.
4. Carefully pour or spoon your wax into the containers. Make sure not to fill the containers all the way to the top so you don’t risk sloshing the wax out and burning yourself!
5. Carefully position the wicks.
6. Wait for the wax to harden (this may take several hours, depending on your room temperature) and then trim the wicks down so they’re only sticking out of the wax by about 1/2″.
7. Enjoy or give as a gift!
Cleaning up isn’t as difficult as you’d imagine. Wipe the pot and any spoons you used as clean as possible with paper towels, run under super hot water, and scrub with a normal sponge/soap. This should clean everything out but, if you need to, you can always re-heat the pot, towel the wax out again, and re-wash it. For large wax deposits, place the pot in the freezer for about half an hour and then simply lift it free!
What is your favorite candle scent? I love lavender and mint, but my man tried to make these candles smell like lime. He put a lot of effort into the lime, but I’m not sure how well it paid off for him. At least he participated in the project!
Natasha is a former classroom teacher turned WAHM. She also is a registered yoga teacher and certified life coach. She shares her passion for education with craft tutorials and free printables. She also shares her experience moving through grief after losing a parent and passion for positive parenting. Learn more about Natasha and where she’s been featured.