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How to Make Jar Candles at Home

Updated on October 27, 2015
Home made jar candles make amazing gifts.
Home made jar candles make amazing gifts. | Source

Ingredients Need for Homemade Jar Candles

  • Candle Wax
  • Scent
  • Wax Coloring
  • Jars
  • Wicks
  • Wick Holder
  • Pitcher
  • Wax Melting Pot

Homemade Soy Jar Candles Make Great Gifts

Candles are a simple and easy gift for people who have everything. They have a universal appeal to men and women of all ages (including teenagers) and have therefore become an easy gift for anyone on your gift list who doesn't need anything.

Store-bought jar candles can be very expensive. If you've ever browsed through the candle section of Cracker Barrel or visited the Yankee Candle Company, you know that the candles can range in price from reasonable to very expensive.

While these candles are high quality, with the right tools you can produce high quality homemade candles in your kitchen at a fraction of the cost required to purchase these candles from the store. You won't have the name brand, but you'll have the appreciation of your gift recipients because you went to the trouble to personalize a gift just for them.

Why Make Candles at Home?

If you're a crafty person, the answer to why you should make your candles at home is probably pretty obvious: Because it's fun! But if you don't enjoy crafts and you find it easier to simply purchase your candles at the store (regardless of the cost) remember that anything home made can be made with personalization in mind.

Most people love getting home made gifts because of the love put into them, but if you think that's a ridiculous reason to put the effort into a homemade gift, here's an even better reason: You can make the gift match the personality and preferences of the person you're giving it to.

Candles are an amazing example of this. You can give your daughter a black candle that's scented of roses, or a blue candle that smells like cherries. You can give your husband a manly brown candle that smells of fresh linen to make his area at work smell fresh all the time. You can mix scents with colors that don't usually go with them, layer your candles, give them colors (or not!) and make them various shapes depending on the recipient (and your molds).

Everybody loves a personalized gift.

Two-wick jar candle.
Two-wick jar candle. | Source
Anchor Hocking Emma Jar with Glass Cover,10-Ounce,Set of 4
Anchor Hocking Emma Jar with Glass Cover,10-Ounce,Set of 4

The first thing that you're going to need to make container candles is, of course, your containers. These jars are traditional, the type that you'll find in stores, and this pack comes with four of them. This is an incredible price, particularly for gifts! You could also use mason jars for a more rustic jar candle at a lower cost.

 

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Is it Difficult to Make Homemade Jar Candles?

Making homemade jar candles isn't difficult at all! The process is actually quite simple and even the most novice crafters should be able to accomplish this task.

It shouldn't take you very long to learn how to make the candles or to produce them, making this a great project for beginning crafters who wish to produce wonderful gifts for their friends and family. You'll find instructions on this page as well as access to purchase everything you need to make your candles.

Candle Making Jar
Candle Making Jar | Source
Ranger Melt Art Melting Pot
Ranger Melt Art Melting Pot

You may wish to use a wax melting pot to melt your wax, though you do have other options, including the microwave (with some waxes) or a double boiler. This particular melting pot gets excellent reviews on Amazon and sports a very reasonable price. The only other melting pot listed on Amazon is over $300 with no reviews, so this is the one to buy!

 
Eco Soya CB-135 Wax - 10 pound bag, priced per bag
Eco Soya CB-135 Wax - 10 pound bag, priced per bag

At this weight and price, this is the best bargain that you can get on Amazon for Soya Candle Wax. If you're going to purchase online (which is always recommended because of the deals) this is the bag to buy. It contains 10 lbs at a reasonable price and gets high customer ratings.

 

Why Use Soya for Candle Wax?

It's more environmentally-friendly and doesn't shrink as much as paraffin wax does, making it better for container candles.

Step 1: Melt Your Candle Wax

The first step to making your container candles is to melt your wax. You will want to purchase a specific type of wax for container candles, so be careful what you buy. The recommended wax is listed to the right so that you can purchase that on Amazon to use with your jar candle crafts.

You'll have several options for melting your wax and different tutorials will give you different ways of doing this. If you follow Alton Brown, a double-boiler is a multi-tasking tool that can be used for various tasks whereas a wax melter serves a singular purpose.

If you prefer the wax melter, however, you can find one above at a very reasonable price and with great ratings on Amazon.

The wax to the right is the wax you'll want to purchase for this task.

jar candles and wicks
jar candles and wicks | Source
Low Smoke 210Z Wicks - 6 inch: 8 dozen Wicks
Low Smoke 210Z Wicks - 6 inch: 8 dozen Wicks

Your candles are going to need wicks. These come with the sustainers already built into your wicks so that you won't need to purchase them separately. Make sure that you purchase the right size (length) for your container! These are 6 inches.

 

Step 2: Prepare Your Containers

While your max is melting, you should prepare your containers for pouring the hot wax into them. You'll need to place the wicks into your jars (or other containers) so that the person getting your gift has some way of burning the candle that you've made for them.

The recommended wicks are 6 inches long (they do come in longer lengths though for pillar jars) and have the sustainers already attached to the wicks so that you won't have to attach them manually.

These wicks have already been waxed for you, so they do not need to be dipped into your heated wax. If you choose to purchase a length of wick and crimp your own sustainers (as illustrated in the video at the end of his page) then you'll need to dip your wicks yourself.

Metal Candle Wick Centering Device (6 pieces)
Metal Candle Wick Centering Device (6 pieces)

These wick centering devices will keep your wick centered in the container while the wax dries.

 

Keeping Your Wick Centered

When preparing your containers, you'll need to keep the wick centered in the jar. You have several options for doing this, including wick rods and candle tack, or using a wick centering device such as the one recommended to the right. Whichever device you choose, you'll want to make sure that you've held your wick centered before pouring your candle wax.

Some tutorials recommend the use of a clothespin (clothes peg) to hold the wick in place.This isn't something I've tried but it may be useful for those looking for something around the house that can be used for this purpose. If you try it, make sure to leave a comment to tell everyone how it works!

This is part of Step 2.

Candle with long wick.
Candle with long wick. | Source
CandleScience Candlemaking Thermometer
CandleScience Candlemaking Thermometer

If you're looking to purchase all your supplies online at the same time, purchase this thermometer. Otherwise, buy from the grocery store -- you'll probably save some money!

 

Step 3: Check the Temperature of Your Candle Wax

The next thing you'll want to do is to check the temperature of your candle wax. You should be able to use a standard cooking thermometer for this. A decent thermometer is recommended to the right, but you probably already have one of these in your home kitchen. If not, consider purchasing one from the grocery store for a lower cost.

Varying sites give different information on the temperature of your wax. It will melt as low as 120° F, but higher temperatures are required in order to make the most of your fragrance oils. You may need to experiment with this a bit, but most tutorials seem to agree that the magic temperature for adding fragrance that is effective is between 180° and 190° F.

CandleScience Candle Making Pitcher
CandleScience Candle Making Pitcher

You need a wax pouring pitcher to make your pouring of the wax into your containers more precise. The longer the pour spout the better, as it will help you to direct your wax.

 
CandleScience 35 Piece Candle Dye Chip 7 Colors Sample Pack
CandleScience 35 Piece Candle Dye Chip 7 Colors Sample Pack

This wax dye is mixable and gives precise instructions on how to use it. You get a sample pack here with several colors included in the pack, so that you can experiment.

 

Step 4: Add Color

If you're going to color your candles, this is the time to add the dye to your wax. Make sure that you've poured your wax into a pitcher (if necessary -- it shouldn't be if you've used a wax melter that employs the pitcher to melt the wax, but if you've used a double-boiler or a wax melting pot, you'll need to pour your wax into a pitcher. See below) before adding the dyle.

Dye comes in two forms: Liquid and Chips. A chip sample pack is listed to the right, giving you a number of colors at a single price.

The key to adding color to your wax is to take it slow. Your color will look darker when it's liquid but it will be lighter once the wax has dried, so you want to be careful about how you add your color. Once you've mixed it, drip some of the melted wax onto a cloth or paper towel and wait for it to dry so that you can view the color and add more if you wish. Remember that you can't take dye out, so go slow!

fragrance oils
fragrance oils | Source
CandleScience Candle Scent Classics Fragrance Sampler with 4 Bottles
CandleScience Candle Scent Classics Fragrance Sampler with 4 Bottles

These are the best fragrances that you can purchase on Amazon and they come at a very reasonable price. You have several different scent ranges to choose from: This is the classic, but there are several seasonal options as well!

 

Step 5: Add Fragrance

Before you add the fragrance to your wax, you'll want to pour it into a wax pitcher. You will find a link to a suitable wax pouring pitcher listed above. If you're wondering why you should use the pitcher instead of pouring directly from the melting pot into the container, there are two reasons.

  1. You'll get a much more precise pour with the pouring spout on your pouring pitcher.
  2. Adding the fragrance to the pouring pitcher makes for easier cleanup than the melting pot.

(This won't be necessary with some methods as you will have melted your wax in the pitcher in the first place. In this case, simply ignore this step, as there is no need to pour your wax from one container into another at this point unless you've used a double-boiler or a wax melter).

As stated above, the fragrance should be added to your candle wax somewhere between 180° and 190° F. Use a high quality candle making fragrance for the best results. You want the candle to have a strong scent when burned (otherwise, don't add fragrance oil at all).

Step 6: Pour Your Wax

Now that you've added your color and scent to your candle, you can pour your wax into the containers that you previously prepared. Make sure to pour precisely so as not to get wax on the outside of your container!

The wax will need to dry before the candle turns to its final shade and fragrance, so allow the candle to cool before adding any embellishments to the jar to make it pretty for gifting!

Once everything is cooled, trim your wax and your container is ready for embellishments.

© 2014 Becki Rizzuti

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    • beckisgiftguides profile imageAUTHOR

      Becki Rizzuti 

      4 years ago from Indianapolis, Indiana

      Ecka, I've never tried these waxes for jar candles, but I don't /think/ that they'd work because the paraffin wax will pull away from the container's sides and you won't get the look that you're hoping for.

      Old candle pieces will work well for votives, however, as long as you follow the method to pour twice. I'm not sure about crayons, but I don't see any reason not to try it with votives and see if it works. I'm certain old bits of candle work for votives because I've done it.

    • profile image

      Ecka 

      4 years ago

      Can you also use old crayons and bits of old candle? I have a lot that around the house.

    • beckisgiftguides profile imageAUTHOR

      Becki Rizzuti 

      4 years ago from Indianapolis, Indiana

      Thank you for the feedback!

    • tiffany delite profile image

      tiffany delite 

      4 years ago from united states

      another great hub! thanks so much! blesssings.

    • beckisgiftguides profile imageAUTHOR

      Becki Rizzuti 

      4 years ago from Indianapolis, Indiana

      Depending on the mold, it's basically the same process for molded (votives or tapers) as it is for container candles except for removing the wax after it cools. I've mostly done molded candles, too. My favorite used a blown-out egg as a mold.

    • Toytasting profile image

      Toy Tasting 

      4 years ago from Mumbai

      I use to make candles earlier for friends. But, they were basically molded ones. I have never tried the jar ones. The way looks very simple. I would surely try this out soon. Thanks for sharing this information. :)

    • beckisgiftguides profile imageAUTHOR

      Becki Rizzuti 

      4 years ago from Indianapolis, Indiana

      Thank you! It's tons of fun, and less expensive (typically) than buying jar candles at premium prices.

    • profile image

      mikesquid 

      4 years ago

      i love the idea

    • beckisgiftguides profile imageAUTHOR

      Becki Rizzuti 

      4 years ago from Indianapolis, Indiana

      Thank you so much for your feedback everybody! Greatly appreciated.

    • Eiddwen profile image

      Eiddwen 

      4 years ago from Wales

      A great hub and voted up.

      Eddy.

    • rudra007 profile image

      Veenoo 

      4 years ago from India

      Really good one. Thanks for sharing.

    • beckisgiftguides profile imageAUTHOR

      Becki Rizzuti 

      4 years ago from Indianapolis, Indiana

      Thank you so much, Thundermama!

    • Thundermama profile image

      Catherine Taylor 

      4 years ago from Canada

      Loved this hub. I am a big candle fan and love the idea of making my own. The instructions and pictures were super.

    • beckisgiftguides profile imageAUTHOR

      Becki Rizzuti 

      4 years ago from Indianapolis, Indiana

      I've done a lot of recycling old candles in the past. Not so much more recently because it's not as easy with container candles as it is with the nub ends of tapers, but recycling them is an excellent way to get the wax. I've used excess to dye as well, though it's not the greatest option for coloring the wax.

    • Deerwhisperer profile image

      Brenda K Krupnow 

      4 years ago from Ravenden, AR

      Thanks for the great ideas. I also make candles at home because doing so allows me to be the chemist I always wanted to be without doing all the math and spending a lot of money. Thus, in so saying, I often consider myself to be what you might call a candle recycler because I have taken some of your ideas one step further. Instead of purchasing a lot of expensive oils, I sometimes make my own. But that involves a lot more time and effort. So most of the time I simply save my nearly used up candles (particularly the more colorful and highly scented ones), clean them up, break them into small pieces, and either add them to the clear wax I am melting or I will let the wax cool slightly and add bigger chunks for a more interesting effect in both looks and fragrance. Thanks again for the amazing hub.

    • beckisgiftguides profile imageAUTHOR

      Becki Rizzuti 

      4 years ago from Indianapolis, Indiana

      You're very welcome! I hope you're successful. Candles are a ton of fun.

    • VVanNess profile image

      Victoria Van Ness 

      4 years ago from Fountain, CO

      I have tons of empty jars just waiting for an article like this! Thanks!!

    • beckisgiftguides profile imageAUTHOR

      Becki Rizzuti 

      4 years ago from Indianapolis, Indiana

      Thank you so much!

    • beckisgiftguides profile imageAUTHOR

      Becki Rizzuti 

      4 years ago from Indianapolis, Indiana

      Probably not. You're probably using paraffin wax instead of soy wax. Try soy and see if you don't get better results from it!

    • ChitrangadaSharan profile image

      Chitrangada Sharan 

      4 years ago from New Delhi, India

      Very nice and useful hub!

      Well illustrated with complete details. I would try this one for sure.

      Thanks for sharing, voted up and pinned!

    • Ann1Az2 profile image

      Ann1Az2 

      4 years ago from Orange, Texas

      Interesting and useful. I've made candles at home and always have a problem with the receding in the center - I think it's because the wax was too hot! Thanks for sharing.

    • beckisgiftguides profile imageAUTHOR

      Becki Rizzuti 

      4 years ago from Indianapolis, Indiana

      Thank you so much, Sage!

      I've used egg shells (blown out) to make pillar candles before. That was quite a task but quite interesting to do. It's so much easier than you'd think to make candles at home, you know?

    • WiccanSage profile image

      Mackenzie Sage Wright 

      4 years ago

      I've done this, this is a great tutorial. It was a great way to use up all those baby food jars we'd collected when our kids were young. It's a fun project and very rewarding because I love the look of candles in the home. Makes great gifts too. Voted up, nice work.

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