How to Make Candles on a Budget
Candle Making Doesn't Have to Cost a Fortune
Candle making has been on my crafty to-do list for a long, long time. I kept putting it off though, because when I started to do the math, gathering all the supplies needed got to be rather costly. Unlike many other crafts I didn't have any of the materials at home and thought I would have to go to the store and buy everything.
As I moved into re-cycled and up-cycled crafts I began looking at candle making again.
Pinterest is once again the culprit, making me want to make those cute little teacup candles I keep seeing on my boards.
Recently the place I work at had some cute little bowls that went on clearance. They were not teacups by any means, but they were adorable regardless. I knew I just HAD to get a couple, and I just HAD to make my candles, some how!
So I put my thinking cap on, and tried to come up with an inexpensive way to make candles.
This is what I came up with.
All photos (excluding images on any module links) on this lens were taken by Winona Morris or Robert Morris (her husband) Â©2013 to present
Never leave lighted candles unattended.
Keep burning candles away from children and pets.
Make sure to burn candles in/on a heat-resistant dish/plate and away from drafts.
My Frugal Supplies
So, here is a picture of everything I purchased to attempt to make my candles.
1 box of 100 tea-light candles (equal to approx 2 pounds of wax give or take an ounce)
4 clearance ceramic bowls
2 packs of scented candle melts
1 pack of candle wick (6ft)
Total Cost = $16.03 (before tax)
There are other supplies I needed to complete the project, but I had those on hand already so the price was free.
Prices will vary according to location and/or use of coupons.
Budget Candle Wax
With Just a Little Work
Most craft stores sell blocks of candle wax. They have bees wax and soy wax and paraffin wax. The cheapest block of wax in our local Michael's is $6.99 for one pound of "Candle Wax"
Out of curiosity I checked the boxes of tea-lights. They have a box of 50 for $2.99 and a box of 100 for $5.99
Each tea-light comes easily out of its little tin cup. The wick and wick clips are also very easy to remove. The wicks are too short to do me any good, but I set the wick clips aside to re-use.
The box of tea lights didn't have a weight measurement on it, but I have a postal scale.
According to my postal scale 50 of the tea light candles gave me 1 pound (and one oz) of wax!
- I got 100 wick clips, instead of having to pay $3 for a fraction of that amount.
- 1 pound of wax for less than 1/2 the cost of a pound of candle wax.
- Taking the time to remove the candles from the cups, and the wicks/wick clips from the candles.
- The wax used in the tealight ends up looking "chalky" when it is reused for other candles.
- The tealight wax shrinks as it cools, so it did not stick to the inside of my bowl!
Other Frugal Wax Sources
You can hit up your local thrift shops for candles. You might even get lucky and find some actual candle wax there, cast off by some would-be crafter.
We all know that cheap is good, but free is better, right?
If you like candles, there is a good chance you have tons of them around your house. You probably have half melted pillar candles, a few slightly burned tea-lights. Tapers that are just a nub.
Each and every one of those candles can be melted down and re-purposed into new candles!
Different Wax Choices - Buy it New
If you don't want to go through the effort of de-wicking tea-lights, and if you don't have any half used up candles to re-melt you can always buy fresh wax to make your candles with.
The only problem you might encounter would be deciding what type of wax you want to use!
Gel wax, true to its name, does not get solid, but remains a gel. It is also lovely and clear and fun for using to make candles if you want to see fun stuff suspended in the candle!
Beeswax is another organic source for candle making. Plus, it can also be used in cosmetic crafts!
Candle Scents and Wax Colors
Not every one wants a scented candle, but for these candles I did.
You can buy wax scents and liquid scents to shave or dribble into your melted wax. I have read that Essential oils work well too.
Once again, trying to keep this a budget craft, I looked at other ways to scent my candles, and came up with this:
Scented Wax Melt Cubes.
They are highly scented wax cubes, meant to be used with candle wax warmers, either heated by a bulb or an unscented tea light.
These wax melts served a dual purpose. Not only were they scented, they were colored! So they would give my candles a pleasant smell AND a touch of color so they wouldn't be plain white and I wouldn't have to buy candle dye!
Ooohhh, That Smell
Some people love for a candle to fill a room with a lovely scent. Other people simply want to use a candle for the light it casts.
Do you like your candles scented or unscented?
If you have wax crayons, they can also be shaved off into your melted candle wax to add color without scent if that is what you prefer.
More Colors and Smells
The internet is full of sources for candle scents and colors.
The only down side to shopping online is that you can't sniff the scents to see if you like it. You have to go by title alone.
It can't hurt to stick to the tried and true scents like Vanilla or Cinnamon unless you are feeling adventurous.
And with dyes, you never know what you're going to get until you start adding it to your wax!
Concentrated liqud scents for candles. A little goes a long way.
Putting it All Together
I'm not going to go into a lot of detail on how to actually MAKE the candles. I'll save that for another lens.
The short and simple version is:
1. I melted the wax in tin cans.
2. I added my scents/colors.
3. I CAREFULLY poured the wax into my containers.
3. I (impatiently) waited on the wax to cool.
And voila, I've FINALLY made my own candles!
Here are my creations sitting and waiting on the wax to cool.
It can take 12 to 24 hours for a freshly poured candle to solidify all the way through so it will be another day or so before they are actually "done."
I am, however, an impatient person and I could not wait another day or two to share my candle making experience!
I will update with pictures of the solid and burnable candles soon!
A Difference in Wax Types - Shown in one candle.
This is the candle being made in the yogurt container in the image above.
The top (light pink) part was made with the tea light candles and scented with a mixed berry candle tart. The bottom (darker pink) part was made out of "real" candle wax and scented with the remains of a different watermelon scented candle.
The chalky white smudges are a by-product of using the wax from the tea lights.
What do you think of my first candle attempts? Have you ever made a candle?