Candles are one of the best gifts you can give - and they're easier than you think to make. Today, we're making some great projects with wax.
*Just a friendly reminder that melting wax should never be left unattended. Also, due to the flammable nature of the wax, a double boiler setup is always recommended.
A. Container candles
1. Find a container
2. Affix wick with hot glue
3. Secure with clothespin
4. Break up your container wax and melt following instructions
5. Add colour and scent
6. Pour wax into container
7. Top up container when cooled
Cut off pen
pour pot with melted wax
pot of hot water
block of wax
broken wax colours and scents
The first project we're making is a container candle.
This is a great little project to make before the holidays or to give as a wedding favour. There's a little prep work involved, but you can make a lot of candles very quickly.
When you're choosing a wax to use for your candles, ask the experts at the art store which wax is best suited for containers. These waxes burn at a slightly lower heat and are best for throwing scent. There are lots of different kinds of wax available at your art store - choose the right one for your project.
Set up a double boiler to melt your wax. Use a little pot with simmering water and put your pour pot into the water. Add in my wax chunks to melt.
Now you're going to add your wick to the container. The easiest way to do this is with a cut off straw or pen. Just take a pre-tabbed wick and feed it through the barrel of the straw. Add a little hot glue to the end and centre it in the container. Slide the barrel off the wick.
Now you're going to take a clothespin and secure the top of the wick. It's helpful to get the wicks that are taller than your container for this method. By securing it to the pin, it will help keep the wick straight once you pour the wax over it.
When you're set up at home, you can preheat your containers. Just put them on a tray and into the oven at 150 degrees F (that's like a "Keep Warm" setting). It's not absolutely necessary, but it can improve the finished product.
Once your wax is at the proper temperature (you can check using a kitchen thermometer and by following wax manufacturer's instructions), you can begin to add the scent you like. Candle scent comes in either solid or liquid. With the solids, you'll want to break them up into little pieces and add them a bit at a time. Think about how you want to use the candles - if they're meant for the dining room, it's probably best to avoid scenting them altogether. Just add in the pieces and give them a good stir.
Now you can add the colour to the wax. Food colouring will not work for this. You might have heard that crayons will work and we've tried them - they're not bad. But for truly consistent colour that blends easily, make sure you pick up some candle dyes when you get your wax.
Add in your colour, a little at a time until you get the colour you like. After you add in a bit, give it a good stir and then do a test. Just take a little of the wax and drop it onto some white paper. Protect your table or countertop underneath because the wax is quite hot. If the colour works for you, then you can move on to filling your jars.
Carefully fill your container leaving enough room for the lid, if there is one. Keep back some of the wax to use if the top sinks in while it cools. You won't need that until later though, so don't put it back on the heat.
Once your candle has completely cooled, you'll notice that it's sunken a bit in the middle. Take your wax from before and reheat it to 185 degrees. This way, it will adhere better to the layer underneath it and it won't show a seam. Just touch it up by pouring some wax in to level it off.
Trim your wick to about 1/4" and you're ready to go.
Decorate the outside of the container with scrapbooking letters or beads for an extra personal touch.
B. Dipped wax votives
The next project we're making is a dipped wax votive. This is a really easy project and you can have the kids help you out.
1. Fill a water balloon with warm water
2. Dip into hot wax
3. Roll on table to get bottom flat
4. Repeat till desired thickness
5. Let cool completely
6. Break balloon and remove from wax shell
7. Use votives with plastic cases
tea lights in plastic
Get some water balloons and fill them with warm water. You want to make sure it's warm or you run the risk of the balloons breaking in the wax.
Now you're going to take your balloon and dip it into the wax, making sure you don't go over the level of the water inside the balloon.
Dip the balloon 2 or 3 times, resting a little in between each dip to let it set.
Every once in a while, set the balloon down on something smooth to help set the flat bottom
After about 50 dips, you'll have something that looks like our finished votive. You can do as few as 30 dips and as many as 80 - the fewer dips you do, the more transparent the votives will be.
Let it cool completely and then you can break the balloon. Remove the broken balloon from the shell and you'll have this beautiful, organic looking votive.
If you want a smoother top to the votive, you can heat up an old frying pan on your stove and gently rub the votive in the pan. This will give you a nice smooth edge.
You can use a battery operated tea light in these or pick up some tealights that have a plastic cup since it won't transfer heat to the votive