Those smart Swedes have a fantastic word: fredagsmys. It means to curl up indoors on a Friday night while lighting candles, cuddling under a blanket on the sofa, eating candy, and watching a movie. Is there anything better on a cold fall/winter night? Lighting candles around the house makes it so cozy and warm; even a somber rainy day can be brightened up by lighting a few candles in the window. I started making my own candles when we were in Turkey and the only selection was Yankee Candles at the BX. No offense to Yankee Candle lovers, but the scents are just a little much sometimes.
So, in the spirit of fredagsmys , you can totally make your own candles! You do have to buy a few necessary items upfront, but then the costs are minimal going forward. I really think you save a lot of money making them at home versus buying them at a store. Plus, you have more control over how they smell. For the containers, you can use old jam jars, tea tins, tea cups, anything really that is sturdy, heat resistant, and doesn’t leak. They make wonderful presents too. I especially like this pretty advent candle for the holidays:
So put on your Colonial Williamsburg Candlemaker Hat on and let’s do this:
Wax chips– I use soy wax since it burns longer and cleaner. I have bought wax on Amazon from here and here. I have looked at Michael’s but all I could find was Beeswax there.
Wick centering device– purchased from here. You can also use two pencils/pens taped together.
Wicks– purchased from here.
A hot glue gun
Fragrances (Cue Donna from Parks & Rec!)– these are only necessary if you want scented candles. I bought this set around the holidays and loooove it.
An old pot with a pour-able edge (I got one at Goodwill for $0.50)
Making the Candles:
First, heat up your glue gun and glue your wicks to the bottom of your candle vessels. Set these close to your stove and place your wick centering device on top of a vessel.
Next, melting the wax: I have found that about 1 pound of melted soy wax yields 18 fluid ounces or so, or 2 ten ounce jars. It will be different for normal wax or beeswax. 1 pound looks like a lot of wax, but after it melts there is much less than in its solid form. Ah, physics. Anyway, measure how much liquid your candle jars hold and melt an appropriate amount of wax. I’d start off melting 2 cups of wax and go from there.
Melt your wax on medium heat. After the wax has melted, take it off the heat and stir in your scents if using. I use 2 tablespoons (1 ounce) of oil for every pound of soy wax.
Pour the hot wax into the candle jars (while using your handy wick centering device) and let cool.
Once the wax is firm and cooled you should cut your wick down to 1/2 an inch or so.
P.S. You can also add food coloring to your candles if you’d like some color. The white is so pretty though!