A Nest for All Seasons A Nest for All Seasons: Candle-Making Basics (Gift Idea Alert!)

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09 October 2014

Candle-Making Basics (Gift Idea Alert!)

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***Portions of this post have previously appeared on Crafts Unleashed.  Thanks to Consumer Crafts for the supplies!

Supplies needed to make your own giant DIY candles:


The first thing you will need are wicks! You can buy wicks online (around a dozen for $1) or simply make your own! Making them at home is fairly easy.  You will be melting wax for your candles anyway, so it is easy enough to prime some wicks while you are at it. You simply need wax and a fairly thick cotton twine. (For a large candle like this, string needs to be quite thick or else it will quit burning as you get lower into the candle.  Smaller candles can handle smaller string wicks.  You also might consider adding TWO wicks to this candle, but make sure to keep them at least an inch and a half from the outer glass edge of the candle.  If you are new to candle-making, perhaps try making a mug candle or tin candle to start small!)

dipping wicks

Dip the string into the hot wax and then place it on waxed paper or a non-stick paper plate to dry. 
Dip a few times until the string has a good coating of wax on it.
Tie a weight to the end of the string (a coin or brass tack will work).  

making wicks

Once your wicks are made, it is time to start making your DIY candles! Cut your giant slab of wax into chunks and melt them in an old crock pot or pot on the stove (at a very low temp!). One slab of wax will make quite a few of these candles. I ended up making one giant candle and three mug candles and still had this much leftover:


When the wax has fully melted, add a generous amount of scent (I used Gingerbread Orange, but any scent or essential oil will work!). I use about 10-20 drops per "chunk" of wax and about 1/3 of the bottle total for a giant jar candle like this. You really want the scent to come out when burned, so don't be stingy!

When you add your melted wax to the jar, you want to have the wick in place and centered.  Do this by attaching the wick to the bottom of the jar with a bit of melted wax or hot glue.  To secure the wick while pouring, you can tie the wick to a pencil lying on top of the jar or do what I did and tie it to a kitchen cabinet handle directly above your work station. (see it??)

Use a funnel to pour the hot wax into the jar (be careful!) and make sure the wick is completely centered. Allow the wax to dry and start melting the next chunk for the next layer.

funnel setup diy candles

HINT: Doing this project on a wooden cutting board is a good idea as any wax that spills, 
dries and flakes easily off wood, but is a PAIN to get off of stone counter tops!

scraping wax off wood
To top off the DIY candles jar, I made a little cover design with gold vinyl 
on my cutting machine and then wrapped the finish product in burlap and twine.

10 candle vinyl lid detail crafts unleashed amy renea

WARNING -- NEVER leave your DIY candles unattended, and do not burn past the last little bit of wax.  It hypothetically could catch fire (though I have never had this happen!).  Keeping the wick trimmed keeps smoke down and the flame a reasonable size, reducing the chance of fire as well.  For a SUPER safe version, simply pour wax into jars with scents, WITHOUT a wick and melt them on one of THESE!  They only cost around 6 dollars and reduce safety concerns greatly!


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