You can also have just as much variety with your homemade poured candles as you can with fancy, store-bought container candles, since you can vary the shape of your jar, change the color of your wax, and even add essential oils for a healthy scent.
To make your own poured wax candle, you’ll need the following:
- repurposed glass container: This should be a container that you’re confident is heat-resistant, and it should be in perfect condition, with absolutely no chips or cracks. I usually upcycle food storage jars, such as Mason jars, small pesto or tapenade jars, or other glass food storage containers that can withstand high temperatures.
- eco-friendly natural wax: Choose beeswax, which is the wax that I’m using for this project, or a vegan beeswax alternative. Do not use paraffin or similar petroleum-derived waxes.
- natural fabric wicking: Depending on the wax that you use, cotton and hemp wicking can both be both good options.
1. Prime the wicking. Just as you do when making hand-dipped candles, prime the wicking by dipping it melted wax, allowing it to cool, and then straightening it with your fingers. This will make the wicking easier to work with, since now it will be stiff but malleable.
2. Measure out the wicking for one candle. Now that the wick is stiff, it’s easy to measure it out so that one end will just touch the bottom of your glass container. Wrap the other end around a pencil that’s balanced across the rim of your container. I often don’t cut the wicking at all at this point–if you wait to cut the wicking until you’re finished with the candle, then you’ll have zero wasted wick.
When the wick is measured and set up, remove it from the glass container and set it aside.
3. Pour a thin layer of melted wax into the container. If you poured the entire container full, you’d melt the wax that’s stiffening your wick, and it would float off-center. Instead, pour just a thin layer–a half-inch or so–of melted wax into the bottom of the container.
4. Insert wick. NOW put the wick back into the container, centering it evenly from bottom to top. Let the entire container rest until that bottom layer of wax is completely hardened.
5. Pour the candle. When the bottom layer of wax is hardened, so that you’re sure that the wick will stay put, you may pour the rest of your candle. You can simply fill the container with melted wax to about 1/4″ from the rim, or:
Add color. On top of the hardened layer of wax, drop a few chunks of soy or beeswax crayon. Pour a new layer of hot melted wax to cover the crayon, and watch as the crayon melts and dyes that layer. Let harden and repeat.
Add scent. Add several drops of your favorite essential oils, just before or as you’re pouring the wax. Add more than you think you want, since some of the scent will burn off as it’s put into contact with the hot wax. Let harden.
A candle made this way will last for a LONG time, and when it’s finally burned out, fill it back up for a whole new candle!