Back when I revealed my Upcycled Baby Food Jar Candle Holders, the top suggestion I got was to fill them with homemade candles- specifically soy candles because if you're going homemade, you might as well go natural. I resisted at first, reluctant to adopt yet another craft that would take up valuable time, space, and money but finally talked myself into using part of a Michael's gift card to begin my initial decent into the realm of candle making.
I decided to go with the microwavable soy wax this time because I figured it would be pretty tough to screw that up. I also decided to save the experience of making my own wicks for next time, opting for the already assembled, pre-waxed wicks (wow, say that ten times fast). I used Elmer's glue to secure the wicks to the bottoms of the jars (they do sell a special sticky wax stuff that is specifically made for this purpose but why get that fancy on the test run when Elmer's works just fine?).
I measured out some soy wax chips, popped them into the microwave, and simply followed the instructions for heating the wax in the specified time intervals.
It took a while due to my pathetic microwave (you may remember me mentioning my "lame" microwave before) but the wax finally melted and reached the desired temperature of 180 degrees Fahrenheit. I used clothespins to keep the tops of the wicks centered and dumped the hot wax into the jars. It ended up taking the whole pound of soy wax chips to fill the five jars of various sizes.
Here's what the wax looked like an hour later...
I waited until the next day to trim the wicks...
...and test them out.
Here they are after their initial three hour burn- not bad!
Obviously using plain white soy wax is not very exciting and makes it nearly impossible to see the glass etching on the jars so my next candle making adventure will hopefully include coloring of some kind. As with the playdough Experiment, the search is on for a natural, chemical-free dying option. Although, if I could figure out how to color candles with Kool-Aid, maybe it would make me eligible for some sort of crafting award- or a Nobel Prize! I can dream can't I? Anyway, delusions of grandeur aside, I would also like to experiment with beeswax and my own wicks sometime soon.
So, just as I had feared, I'm treading in dangerous crafting waters. Thankfully, so far, the time involved has been minimal (it would have been even less with a "real" microwave), there aren't a lot of tools and supplies to take up lots of space (since I'm using the baby food jars as my containers instead of candle molds and such), and I haven't spent any of my own money (thanks to Uncle Randy, Aunt Samantha, and Cousin Ryan for the gift card that made this adventure possible). I'm pretty sure the time is coming though when I go completely overboard and start subscribing to Modern Candle Maker Monthly and scoping out warehouse space to store all of my candle making paraphernalia. This is just the calm before the storm. Perhaps I should just go join my local chapter of Candle Makers Anonymous before everyone else finds out how easy it is to make your own candles and becomes as obsessed as I am about to be.