- Mrs. Mouse
- 9 years ago
- Wedding: September 2009 - Barr Mansion
Recently, I attempted my first ever wedding DIY project! I wouldn’t say the results were outstanding, but I definitely learned a few lessons. Keep reading to find out how to make eco-friendly soy candles for your reception and ceremony decor. Soy candles are one of the easiest kinds to make, which is lucky for me since I’m new to DIY.
The finished product
Gather all of your supplies.
- 1 mason jar, tea cup, or other vessel for your candle
- 1 bag of soy wax chips
- 1 package of wicks (they come in strands like a ball of string)
- 1 package of wick holders (the little metal things that hold the wick to the bottom of the candle jar)
- 1 microwave-safe cup or bowl with a spout for pouring
- 1 pencil or clothespin to hold the wick in place
- 1 pair of scissors
- some type of adhesive to make the wick holder stick to the bottom of the jar (more on this later)
Note: Make sure that you have the appropriate sized wicks for your candle jars—they need to be the right size to ensure that your candle burns properly. Just make sure you measure the diameter of your jars before you buy the wicks. You can get the wax, the wicks, and the wick holders at your local craft store—I got all my supplies at Michaels. The glass I used to make my candle in is a recycled candle holder from Yankee Candle Company.
Why, yes, that is a Battlestar Galactica toaster.
Choose your jars and clean them out if necessary. I chose to use empty jars that I cleaned out and saved specifically for this project—most of them are mason jars in different sizes. Some of them used to have candles in them, so before I could reuse them, I had to get the old wax out. I used to work in a restaurant where we put tealights on the tables every night, so I am an expert at cleaning out candle wax. First, boil some water on the stove (I use my teakettle). Then, pour the water into the container with the old wax in it. Let it sit for about three minutes. Then, using a potholder or towel, dump the water out into an old coffee tin or other random container you have lying around.
Caution: do NOT dump the waxy water into the sink, as it can clog up your pipes.
Immediately take a paper towel or two and wipe out the inside of the jar. Depending on the amount of wax, you may have to repeat the process once or twice. It even gets all of the soot out!
I reuse my votive holders all the time by using this process to clean them out. I keep a plastic Folgers can under my sink to dump the wax water in. When it gets full, I pour it out outside, making sure to dig out the big chunks of wax that float to the top and throwing them away.
My wax holder!
Thread the wick into the wick holder. This isn’t too hard. Make sure that not too much of the wick is sticking out from the bottom of the wick holder, as it should lie flat against the bottom of your jar. You can go ahead and bend the wire that is sticking through the wick holder flat against the bottom–the instructions on the wick holder package said to use pliers, but I just used my fingers.
Stick the holder to the bottom of your jar. This one’s kind of tricky. First, I tried super glue, as I found some instructions online that suggested it. It would not stick at all! It just kept sliding around on the bottom. Then, I tried double-sided wrapping tape, which was even worse than the super glue. Finally, I tried this heavy duty, double-sided tape made for mounting stuff to walls–that didn’t work either. I gave up, and just placed the holder in the candle and hoped for the best. Subsequently, I found out that basically any adhesive will work, as long as you let the wax cool a little bit before you pour it. If the wax is too hot, it will unstick the adhesive from the bottom of the jar. Keep in mind that the wick holder only needs to stick to the bottom for as long as it takes for the wax to be poured in and cool. Once the wax cools, the wick holder will stay in place.
Ah, the wick holder. The bane of my existence.
Melt the wax. I bravely forged ahead with the wax portion of the event, hoping the wick would somewhat stay in place. I made the rookie mistake of melting the wax flakes in a regular bowl, with no pouring mechanism. You are laughing at me right now.
The unmelted wax chips.
Pour the wax. I didn’t realize my mistake until I took the melted wax out of the microwave–how was I going to pour it? This is why, my friends, you must melt the wax in a container with a spout! I used this handy dandy hot chocolate maker my brother and his girlfriend got me for Christmas. Hopefully I can clean it out and make hot chocolate in it again!
The handle is key, as well.
I filled this container about 2/3 full with wax chips and put it in the microwave for five minutes. This was enough time to melt all the wax, but you might want to start with two- or three-minute intervals to make sure you don’t overheat the wax. If it’s not fully melted after the initial melt, just keep zapping it in 30 second intervals until there are no more flaky bits left in the wax.
Now, grab your wax pourer with a potholder and start pouring your wax into the candle jar. I had to do three rounds to fill the jar. Make sure not to overfill! At this point, I just left the wick alone and let the wax start to cool for a while.
Position the wick. I waited about two hours and noticed that the wax had begun to harden, but it was still very liquidy in the middle. I took advantage of this opportunity to reposition the wick at the centermost point of the jar, and I held it in place with a pencil, like so.
Look, ma, no hands!
I waited until the next morning, when I walked into the kitchen and saw my beautiful new candle, ready to go. Luckily when the wax cooled, it lost that icky yellow tint. I trimmed the wick and admired my handiwork.
To read the original post, click HERE.