Having had a quick google, I decided I wanted to go for Soy, as it is a more environmental friendly product, and burns slower than regular candles.
I picked up a kit from MakingYourOwnCandles, which contained enough soy and wicks for approximately 10 candles (and some vanilla fragrance at a discounted price).
Once the candle kit had arrived, I began transforming my old jam jar into something beautiful.
I started by decorating the lid; I toyed with the idea of covering it in fabric, but decided in the end to go with a liberal application of PVA and glitter!
Following a combination of the instructions provided with the kit, and these from the Lorna Jane blog, I set about making my own candle.
To work out how much wax I would need, I measured how much water my jar held (in milliliters), deducted 20% from that figure, and then used that number in grams (I think for my candle, that was about 100g). I then added a handful of extra wax for good measure.
Candle making is a pretty exact art.. ;)
I popped my wax into a ban marie (double boiler) and left it on a very low heat to melt.
Whilst the wax was doing its thing, I washed and dried my jar, and left it on a dish cloth on the AGA to keep warm (the Lorna Jane blog warned that the glass might shatter if the wax was too hot.. I don't know if that's true, but figured it was better to be on the safe side..)
I then had to make a 'waxed wick', which consisted of dropping a length of wick into the melted wax, pulling it out, and holding it taught till it was dry.
With the wick prepared, I poured 1cm of wax into the Jar, and placed my wick in the bottom, held upright by a lolly stick with a hole in the center (kindly provided as part of the kit). *
Once the first pour had solidified, I added two pipets of vanilla scent to the wax, before pouring poured almost all of it into the jar (the instructions in the kit said to leave a little wax to pour over right at the end to fill the dip that forms as the candle cools (like a cake that has sunk).
After an hour, I poured the last bit of wax into the jar (probably not very well, as there was a quite obvious lip where the new wax joined the old, but its all a leaning process; I'll know to use more wax next time).
Once the candle had been left to cool over night, it was almost ready to package up and sent away.
A while back, I was reading through an old issue of Kinfolk, when I stumbled across the most beautiful description of a home; Austin Sailsbury described the things he has learned about creating a home over the years.
'A good kettle and a faithful oven are worthy investments for their work is never done. You cant put a price on dependable neighbors or a view of the sea. And lastly we've learned to put candles in the windows like tiny flickering lighthouses so that friends and loved ones will always be safely guided home.'
The candle quote just just so sweet that I just had to share it with her; I wrote it out on a luggage tag, and attached it to the candle. ♥
One vanilla candle, completely free, sort of..
Have you ever tried your hand at candle making? What scent did you use?
*I made three candles last night, and was wandering how best to support the wicks of the second and third jars (I only have the one lolly stick). In the end I used clothes pegs, which worked just as well, if not better!