Homemade candles are fun to make and are great gifts that can be personalized by picking out specific containers and scents. Don't want to fuss with a double boiler and a bunch of candle-making equipment? Don't have to! Make thoughtful, personalized, homemade candles using just a microwave.
I made my candles two ways: with color, and scented (both ways are illustrated below). I used Crayola crayons to dye the wax for my colored candles, and just used the natural soy wax straight out of the bag and added essential oils for my colorless candles. I read that crayon wax, while it dyes your candles beautifully, can clog the wick and cause the candle to burn very slowly, or not at all. I used crayon shavings very sparingly and can tell you that yes, unfortunately a candle dyed with crayon wax won't burn quite as well as a candle dyed with dye made specifically for candles —but it will burn! The scented, colorless candles had a perfect flame, didn't burn too fast, and smelled amazing.
Be sure whatever containers you choose are heat resistant! Coffee cups and canning jars make great candle containers. As always, never leave a candle burning unattended.
What You Need
- Candle wax
- Candle wicks
- Glass, heat proof containers to pour candles into
- Glass measuring cup
- Popsicle sticks
- Essential oils or fragrance oils (optional)
- Crayons or candle dye (optional)
- Dixie cups (optional)
- Pencil sharpener or cheese grater
How to make candles dyed with crayon wax
1. If you decide to dye your candles with crayon wax, use a microplane, cheese grater, pencil sharpener, or regular old knife and grind up a tiny bit of color (I used just the sharpened part of the crayon). Place the shavings to the side, or if you are doing a color layering effect, put the shavings into little dixie cups.
2. Scoop wax shavings into a container along with the crayon shavings. You'll end up using a lot more than you think you need, so pack it in!
3. Place you cup in the microwave for 1.5 - 2 minutes and heat through until all the shavings have melted.
4. While the wax shavings are melting in the microwave, position the wick in the container you plan to use. Hold it in place with popsicle sticks.
5. Once you've melted the wax, remove it from the microwave and give it a good stir to incorporate all the color from the crayon.
6. Slowly pour the wax into the container. If you are layering colors, be sure to let the wax cool completely before pouring another layer. You can remove the popsicle sticks after the first layer has cooled.
7. Use a different cup for each color of crayon shavings. If you decide you need more wax in your cup after you've melted the shavings and wax color, just add more shavings and microwave for another minute or so. Stir well and be sure all shavings are melted before pouring the next layer into the container.
8. Pour your next layer, wait until it cools completely, then repeat. Once you've achieved all the layers you like, trim the wick and light your candle!
The photo above of the finished candle shows how light the colors will actually be when they cool. If you look closely, you can see that there is actually a flame on the candle- but its very tiny because of the wax from the crayons.
Old jelly jars and mason jars with lids are some of my favorite containers to use for candles—especially scented candles. Be sure whatever container you use is heat resistant. If you don't plan to dye your candles you can melt larger batches of wax shavings and pour as-needed into multiple containers.
How to add fragrance when making candles
1. Begin by melting your candle shavings in a large glass dish in the microwave (I used a great old Anchor 4 cup measuring glass I found at the thrift store.). If you have a large amount of shavings, set your microwave on high for anywhere from 2-4 minutes. Check process around 3 minutes.
2. Remove melted wax from the microwave.
3. At this point you can do a few different things with your wax. You can add fragrance, or essential oils to the large container, or if you want a few different scents you can pour the melted wax into individual cups to mix in scents. Determine how strong you want your scented candle to be, and add oils accordingly. I didn't want anything too overpowering, but I wanted my candle to permeate the room so I added about 15-20 drops per tea light. Increase/decrease that amount if you have a larger/smaller container.
4. Place the wick in your container, hold it in place using two popsicles sticks.
5. Pour in the melted, scented wax and let the candle cool completely before trimming the wick.
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