Friday, August 13, 2010

Courtney- DIY Candles

Hi everyone! I am Courtney and you may know me from You Will...Won't You?

                I'm super excited to be able to share a quick DIY that EVERYONE can do! No  sewing, knitting, drawing/art skill required!!

                   Let me start off by saying that I love candles. Like, a lot. 
At my first commercial photo studio that I was freelancing at, one of our main clients was a candle company. Needless to say we were able to take copious amounts of candles home with us. This resulted in a surplus of wax left over after burning.
So this DIY is about 'making' your own candles but in a much more approachable and reusable kind of way.
It starts with those jar candles or ANY leftover candle that is past it's prime. I have tons of them. When I was younger I didn't know that there was a certain way to burn candles and care for them. I would light them for a half hour then leave the room, having to blow out the candle. This resulted in many jars having a thick layer of wax along the sides of the jar and a deeply sunken wick. I couldn't just throw out the candle. They smell too amazing for that! So I started making my own little candles. I promise you that you can do that same and even make your franken-candles from any leftover wax you might have. I keep all of my wax and that way I can sneak some sub-par wax into a really fragrant candle without destroying the aroma. You can also add essential oils to create your own custom candle scent.
So here we go!

Supplies Needed:
Mini Hotplate/Coffee Cup Warmer
Jar Candle or Glass Jar to hold misc. wax
Empty clean glass votive candle holders
Birthday candles
Pot Holder

First, I use a hot plate/coffee warmer/whatever to warm the wax. Depending on how much wax is in the jar it could take about an hour to warm it into a thin liquid. Once you notice that it is thin (really you could leave it in the jar on the hot plate all day. It will emit a lighter aroma than it normally does) we are ready to pour. Carefully touch the jar to see if you need a potholder to hold the glass or not. More often than not it is not too hot to touch. 
Now all you have to do is fill up the clean glass votive jar. Since I like to make things as easy as possible, just wait for a bit for these candles to cool. Once there is a pretty noticeable 'skin' on the wax you can go ahead and insert you birthday candle. This way the heat from the wax won't melt the birthday candle and make the wick waver from side to side.

Once the birthday candle is inserted all you have to do is let them sit to cool! To expedite this process just pop them in the fridge for a bit. Did you know what cooling your candles before you burn them helps them to last longer and burn evenly?!
 Now you are ready to conquer candle making- the easy way.

These votives are my favorite to make but I also make 3 wick jar candles too! For this candle I used the same process but in many steps to get the layered effect. Adding three wicks allows this large jar candle to burn easier as well.
I can't wait to see what everyone comes up with. Enjoy!


  1. this is such a great idea!! I've wanted to do this but could never think of a good way to get a wick in there... birthday candles = simple and smart!! thanks

  2. This is awesome! I can totally do this one!

  3. yay courtney!! I am totally going to try this !!

  4. Love this, thanks Courtney!


  5. You're a clever one! I smiled when I read through this post!

  6. Courtney just posted exactly what I always needed to do! I have all these Yankee candles and they don't burn all the way to the bottom so there is at least an inch left of yummy candle wax just being thrown away..

    The use of birthday candles is something I never even thought of!! luv it..

    Now I can't wait to try it and love the layered look too w/a cool shaped glass.

    thanks Courtney & Lindsay!!!

  7. i never thought to use birthday candles. putting the wick in was always so frustrating when i made candles, now i just might have to try again :)

  8. Definitely I'll give it a try!

  9. Love this idea!
    I am a candle freak!
    Thank you for sharing!


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