It’s a new year, full of opportunity although it may not feel that way right now. We’ve been dreaming up creative ways we can connect and help each other from home. One of our favourite ideas so far is candle making. The straightforward process is enjoyable, cheap and could generate extra income.
Scented candles are used for a variety of healing purposes such as meditation, prayer, yoga, and creating a soothing ambience. With so many of us searching for ways to comfort and support one another, we’ve gathered together our favourite candle making recommendations to get you inspired.
Purpose-ful glass jars
Your secret collection of glass jars? Consider them repurposed. What better time to get involved in an addictive DIY project that includes a little decluttering. Your stoic stockade of jam, mustard and mayonnaise jars will look every bit the rustic beauties you imagine after you have transformed them into homemade candles. As for those precious Mason Jars you’ve collected? Spoiler alert: they do indeed become the effortlessly elegant candles you imagined.
Simple ingredients, easy process
One of the most popular varieties of candle wax used for candle making is plant-based. It burns cleaner and is generally nicer. Paraffin wax is still available if you’re after old school candles. To keep things simple, consider pre-waxed wicks.
It’s easier than you think
Working out the amount of wax you require is simple. Fill your glass jar with the desired amount of water and empty the water into a measuring jug. From the total ml measurement, take away roughly 20%, and you’ll have the measurement of wax required. Ultra-efficient organisers will enjoy grouping their jars by size!
Transforming Mason jars into thoughtful gifts
Line up your clean glass jars on the kitchen counter and position the wicks inside. Secure the wick base to the bottom of the glass using sticky tape or glue. There are a number of ways to hold the wick in place. Our favourite tip involves placing a strip of card across the top of your glass jar and slicing an opening in the card to keep the wick in place.
We love the ritual of candle making. Heat the wax in a Bain-marie or heating bath. A heating bath involves a larger saucepan half full of hot water heating a smaller saucepan floating inside. The smaller saucepan holds the wax.
Adding essential oils and colour
During candle making, keep an eye on the temperature. Your overall wax temperature must remain below 80 Celsius. If you are keen to experiment with colour, add the dye when the wax reaches 70 Celsius. It’s worth noting that plant-based wax usually needs a bit more colour than paraffin.
After the colour dissolves and you reduce temperature to a steady 65 Celsius, you can add your essential oils. If you add the essential oils at a higher temperature, the scent will evaporate. A recommended ratio of essential oil for a beautifully scented candle is 5 to 10% essential oil to the total amount of wax used.
Interesting side note: essential oils are not the same as fragrance oils. Essential oils such as rose and lavender provide well documented therapeutic properties. The soothing properties of essential oils are helpful and worth reading about.
Completing the transformation
Transfer the hot wax from the saucepan into a jug. Carefully pour the wax into your glass jars leaving just over 1cm available. If you need to, move the wick aside and return to position after pouring. Snip excess from the wick. Leave to set at room temperature.
A few hours later you will be the proud creator of a gorgeous set of scented candles, ready to label and send out to loved ones. Handy label tips include identifying essential oils used and suggesting they don’t extinguish until they’ve melted the whole surface of the candle during the first burn. This ensures that the candle burns evenly from start to finish.
Extra income from mason jars?
Transforming a home craft project into an online enterprise is usually littered with mistakes. Candle making is an exception, because all it requires is your common sense and enthusiasm. It’s relatively easy to create an artisanal product. A quick search on your favourite online trading communities will reveal the broad range of luxurious home-made candles for sale.
Selling your candles is easy. You don’t need a license, but you do need to follow reasonable packaging guidelines. The best place for you to start for more information is the British Candlemakers Federation. If you have been looking for a simple product to sell from home at the moment, candle making could be a rewarding income stream. Think of all those Mason Jars you’ll have an excuse to buy!
Speaking of shops, all the candle making ingredients mentioned here are easily sourced at your favourite hobby shop. There you have it. An engaging, deeply satisfying project, also connecting you with those you love. What better time to send a surprise gift, reminding everyone that springtime and better times are on their way.