Creating a scented jar candle, and giving it a special personalization, can be rewarding and a rewarding hobby. Though store bought jar candles can cost well over $25 for a small jelly or mason jar sized candle, making 10 or more candles of the same size can easily cost the same price. Another benefit of making scented candles yourself is you can add your own scented oils to suite that signature scent that makes everyone think of you. They are wonderful and easy to make gifts year around, and they serve a wide variety of purposes around the home.
Step 1 - Sanitize and Set-up the Workspace
Creating scented candles at home can be a disaster if the jars, equipment, and workspace are not clean and properly set up prior to starting. Put the mason jars and lids through a hot water cycle in the dishwasher to remove any dirt, and sanitize them on a drying cycle. When they are finished, set the jars out on a flat table or countertop surface near the double boiler.
Place the lids in a separate location, as you will not be using them until the candles are dried. Place the wicks into the jars, with the silver stabilizer dot centered in the bottom middle of the jar. Secure the wicks so they stay in the middle of the jar. To do this, take a popsicle stick and place it across the middle of the jar. Carefully move the top of the wick around the the stick, so that it lays over and crooks around the middle of the stick. This will stabilize the wicks while the wax is being poured.
Step 2 - Prepare and Melt the Wax
Candle making kits may be purchased at most hobby and craft stores, however you may choose to use a double boiler method instead. Place the boiler on the stove burner or camp stove burner. Fill the bottom boiler a little over halfway with water. Place the top boiler in the bottom boiler and bring the water to a slow boil.
While the water is rising to a boil, separate the 10 pounds of wax into five two pound stacks. Take one of the two pound stacks and cut it into four blocks. You may decide to cut the blocks down further into eight or more, however, four blocks is generally a good size and amount for melting. Place the four wax blocks into the boiler and allow them to melt.
Step 3 - Adding Color and Scent to the Wax
Adding color and scent to the wax should be done in the double boiler. When the wax is almost completely melted, go ahead and add the scent. Start off with one to teaspoons of scent. Stir the scent into the wax and wait about a minute. If you can't smell the scent, add more, a teaspoon at a time, until you arrive at the strength of scent that you desire. Stir the scent into the wax well, and then add the dye, one tablespoon at a time.
Remember, the dye will darken as the wax sets, so it may be good, if this is your first time making candles, to add a small amount of dye and adjust that amount in later batches.
Step 4 - Pour the Candles
After adding the color and scent to the melted wax, and stirring for at least a minute, reduce the heat and carefully remove the boiler containing the wax. Very carefully pour the melted wax into your prepared mason jars. Pour the wax slowly, and fill the jars to just above where you want the candle to actually start.
When the candle cools, the wax will shrink down, so the added amount is to ensure you get the full candle you want. After the jars have been filled, allow the candles to cool overnight. Remove the popsicle sticks. Seal the candles that are not being used and store in a cool, dry place.