Save Beaucoup Bucks: Make Beautiful Candles at Home
A girl can never have too many candles. If I’m honest, I’m a bit of a candle hoarder. Especially in the dark winter months, I love being surrounded by the softness of candle light. The downside? Decent candles are expensive, and can pretty quickly bust your wallet. Happily, I just discovered how easy it is to make your own candles at home, and it will save you beaucoup bucks, too!
How do I get started making my own candles at home?
You’ll need to gather a few supplies. Luckily, they can be bought locally if you really want to get started this minute, or you can order them online. Here’s the basics:
- a double boiler (Or, if you’re cheap like me, you can cobble together a makeshift double boiler: go to a thrift store and buy 2 sauce pots, one a little smaller than the other. Fill one with about an inch of water, and then rest the other inside it and melt the wax in that one.)
- the wax of your choice. I like soy waxbecause it’s not toxic like paraffin, which is made from petroleum. Beeswax is lovely, but more expensive and doesn’t do well in containers.
- You can use cotton wicksor wood wicks. Cotton wicks are about half the price of wood, but the wood ones are pretty cool and can be easier to work with because they don’t slump over in hot wax.
- optional: wax coloring and fragrance. I made the mistake of trying to use food coloring to color a candle once, and it was like oil and water, which I should have known! So, if you want to color your candles, melt crayons or use colored wax that is made for dying candles.
- Note 1: You might notice in my photos that my wax has an amber tint to it. That’s because I had the “brilliant” idea to color my candles with some mica powder I had lying around. It’s really beautiful stuff, so how about throw that in the wax, right? WRONG! Mica powder doesn’t evaporate and it keeps the wax from evaporating when you burn your candle, resulting in a candle which does not stay lit. It basically suffocates itself. That was a big bummer that I learned the hard way. (I’m a person who loves to experiment and bend rules, so I learn a lot of things the hard way. Hopefully, my blog will help you to not fall into the same pitfalls that I do!!)
- Note 2: You can use essential oils to give your candles a beautiful fragrance, but be aware that you will need about a half ounce per pound of wax. Most essential oils come in 1/4 ounce bottles, so we’re talking a lot of essential oils! It’s up to you, of course, but another option is high-quality fragrance oils. They are synthetic, but they’re a heck of a lot cheaper than EOs!
OK, I got my supplies! Now what?
Let the candle making begin!
- Set up your double boiler: Add about an inch of water to the bigger pot, and then rest the smaller pot or a metal or heatproof glass bowl inside. You don’t want too much water, because you don’t want it to splash into your wax.
- Keep your heat on medium to med-low. Add your wax flakes or pellets.
- Stir gently as the wax melts. If you want to add color or mica, add it when the wax is mostly or completely melted.
- Meanwhile, you want to add your wick to your candle container. Use the adhesive sticker or adhesive wax to stick the wick base to the bottom. If you’re using cotton wicks, you will want to make sure they stay upright. Some wick packs come with a handy wick holder; mine didn’t. If yours doesn’t either, you can suspend a popsicle stick across the top of your container and tie the wick to it. You can see I taped the wicks to the sides of my containers, and that worked pretty well. If you have wood wicks, you don’t need to worry about the flop factor!
- Once you’ve secured your wicks and melted your wax, you can add your optional fragrance.
- Now you’re ready to pour! Very carefully pour your wax into your container, and voila! You just mad .e your own beautiful candle at home and saved yourself beaucoup bucks!
- Here’s where you can get creative, too: I like to add some dried lavender buds or rosebuds to the tops of my candles for a beautiful and luxurious effect. You can add other dried flowers according to your taste. Have fun and experiment!
- This is probably the hardest part: you have to let your candles completely cool, which can take several hours. Let them sit overnight, and then they’ll be ready to burn, baby, burn!