Homemade Holidays: Crock Pot Candles

December 8th, 2009 - filed under: The Farm » Home

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Growing up in my house, we always made our own holiday gifts. We were pretty poor, and I suppose it was our only option. But it was never presented to me like that (I didn’t even know what ‘poor’ was, really, and I had a stupendously fabulous childhood full of ‘thing finding’ and ‘government cheese’. But that’s another story.) It was all about crafting our caring into something unique, something personal. My mom and I made play-doh ornaments, or baskets of baked goods, or clay coffee mugs. And, I guess, the tradition has just continued.

The first holiday season that Damian and I spent together, I was a starving college student. So I thrifted the softest cashmere sweater I could find (this was pre-vegan), disassembled it, and sewed it into a pillowcase. I needlepointed ‘Damian’s Head Here —->’ into the corner. Damian, who is sort of obsessed with really soft things, loved it. It’s still on our bed.

Last year we made all our gifts together – our attempt at canning. All our friends and family got our truly terrible plum syrup, sugar-free strawberry jam, and tomato starter sauce. Hey, it was our first time! And it’s the thought that counts, right?

Anyway, there I go reminiscing. Pregnancy and the holidays have got me all nostalgic! But all of this story-telling serves a purpose: to introduce this years gift projects. First up – candle making!


How To Make Candles In A Crock Pot

All you need is some wax, some wicks + wick bases, and some candle-holders. I used soy wax because it’s vegan and I think it makes superior quality candles (just my preference, I love soy candles!). It’s available at any craft store along with a selection of other options. I used precut wicks that came in their bases, because they were really cheap. But you can also buy wick string and cut it yourself. Both are available at the craft store. For candle holders, I just used a bunch of shot glasses I’d purchased years ago for a party, and never even opened. You could also upcycle your old candle holders, or hit the thrift stores for anything from shot glasses to tea cups, whatever you can imagine can become a funky candle holder.

Optional additions include color (candle dye is available at the craft store) and smell. I used eucalyptus essential oil, but you can also buy scents specifically designed for candles (though you certainly don’t need to and can use any essential oil you’ve got). You’ll also probably want a wooden skewer for stirring hot wax (a chopstick or a length of wire, like from a hanger, would probably work just as well)

Once you’ve gathered all your supplies, set aside some time when you’ll be around the house for a couple of hours. I made these candles on Sunday afternoon, whilst cleaning the kitchen and then suggling with the husband for movie time. Just make sure you’ll be nearby and available for frequent checks. You don’t want to deal with a waxy mess (or worse!).

1) Spoon the pieces of wax into your candle holders and arrange them in the bottom of the crock pot. Don’t overcrowd and definitely don’t stack! Turn the crock to high, cover, and go do something else.


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2) 20-30 minutes later you can check back. Your wax will probably be melted and you’ll probably notice your candles aren’t as full as you’d like. So carefully add more wax to each container. You may have to do this for a few rounds.


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3) When the candles are as full as you like and you’ve let them get good and hot and melty, it’s time to add the essential oils. You’ll need to call for an assistant. “Assistant!”


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3.5) He was very helpful. So, using a dropper add 5-15 drops of your odor-of-choice to each candle. I wanted a more mild, mellow vibe so I only used 5 drops. If you were to use color, this is where you would add the dye as well.


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4) Stir it up! (note bulging belly creeping into the pic)


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5) Add your wicks. Carefully insert them and make sure they’re centered. They should stay straight up on their own, so don’t worry about that.


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6) Turn the crock pot off. Leave it uncovered. Go do something else.


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Over the next few hours the wax will cool and harden. They’ll be hard enough to handle if you’d like to remove them after a few hours, but give them at least 6+ hours before you really toss ‘em around. They need plenty of time to get good and set.

And that’s it, just a few hours of monitoring and six easy steps gets you these adorable, customized gifts that anyone would be delighted to receive. They’re so cute, no?


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Happy Holidays!
sign-off

  • Anonymous

    So you put a hot glass container, full of hot wax, into another cold container full of ice? *wow*

  • Donita

    I am a member of Craftserver forum. Used to be known as Candletech. We candle makers go through thousands of dollars on testing. Anyone can make a candle…..and usually it is ok…..but always test you candles before EVER giving them to anyone. I agree with the soy vs. paraffin. I have used everything. I use scents made especially for wax and essential oils. Check out craftserver. There are years and years of discussions and pictures of candle making. http://www.donitalouise.com This is my little website. I don’t make candles much anymore because I am a caregiver for my husband who has MS. I have had STORES. Love candlemaking. I love playing with flowers and wax. :) I started back when I was a little girl doing the ice cubes in the milk carton and making wicks out of string. Then I had to learn the real way :)

  • Anonymous

    And what keeps your wick attached to the bottom of your container?

    Lead has been banned in wicks in this country for decades. There are standards in place to control the amounts. There are other non-lead metals used in wicks, also.

  • Anonymous

    Please, if you can’t handle that math problem, do not attempt making candles.

  • Anonymous

    Other than clogging the wick…………….

  • Anonymous

    It isn’t so “easy”.

  • Anonymous

    OMG!

  • Anonymous

    It simply isn’t the safe way to make candles. If you want to make something that has the potential to burn someone’s house down, don’t you want to do it the correct way with the correct materials? Or how about when you get a call from someone’s lawyer because the gift you gave them exploded & burned their new carpet & now they want to see your liability policy on your candles?
    Hmmm…

  • http://www.facebook.com/lesliedgray Leslie Gray

    B…. point taken on heat and flashpoints….but it sounds to me like you are having a bad day… maybe a toddy will help you feel better? How about a nap?

  • Anonymous

    No, the ignorance of these comments is just shocking. I happen to take candle making very seriously, as everyone should. I make sure my products are SAFE & it is clear most here just want to do a cute little craft as cheaply and easily as possible. Candle making is not easy & it is not cheap. It is something that can burn houses down or even take lives. It’s not something to be flip about. The internet is ripe with cutesy little candle how-to articles & it’s sad. The owners of these blogs will not take any responsibility when these projects take a wrong turn. Someone has to speak up…

  • http://www.facebook.com/jallwardt Jeanette Pringle Allwardt

    The wick doesn’t need to be attached to the bottom. If it suspended in the correct place with the correct length of wick and a weight on the bottom while the melted wax is added, then once the wax cools it will hold the wick in place without it being attached to the bottom.

  • Syrinx

    You know B…It sounds to me as if you have gotten on a high horse because by others learning to make candles, they MIGHT be taking something away from you!

    I have been making candles professionally for over 20 years. You my dear need to get out of the dark ages. She specifically said to not use drinking glasses or thin glass. I have in fact forgotten to add color and aroma and done it while wax was in molds with out issue. You keep going off on flash points and fires… were your traumatized as a child? Do you even know how many people have been making candles in their kitchens for, I don’t know, CENTURIES!!! Just because you think you know it all, realize that there will always be someone out there that knows more.

    For quick and easy candles, that you don’t have to sit and babysit, I think this is an awesome idea. B–Shut up!

  • Victoria

    i love it they r so pretty bet they smell good also.thought candle making was harder this is so easy thank you

  • http://www.facebook.com/janicegoodman Janice Goodman

    As a kid we went through the years of candlemaking. It is easy! I love the idea of using the crockpot.

    Crayons work great and you start with a little shaving, then add more as you want darker colors. Trial and error, and the worst that can happen is you melt the wax and start over.

    I never used perfume or cologne for the scents.

    I used the metal wick holders and suspended the wick tied to a pencil from the top of the jar or mold.
    Be sure to trim the excess wick before you burn, burn in a safe place away from anything and never leave them burning when you leave the house.

  • http://www.facebook.com/janicegoodman Janice Goodman

    How arrogant!

  • Elizabeth

    This was awesome! I followed your instructions exactly (but used antique tea cups I had laying around instead) and they turned out perfectly. I added lavender essential oil and purple crayon. I loved using the crock pot instead of my stove like I did last time. They have been burning perfectly for a few days now. No candle explosions or anything ( ;

  • alka

    Thank you. The process seems very simple and sweet. Let me also try one.

  • redwoodlover

    your blog is adorable !!!! im making these as we speak !!! cant wait to see how they turn out !!!

  • knga

    Oh my gosh, we get it! You’re a candle making expert! It’s nearly impossible without your extensive knowledge and craftsmanship to make a candle. Isn’t it exciting that others are discovered the craft you love? This doesn’t make you less of a candle maker or human. No one is going to stop buying your candles buddy, just because we’ve learned to make them easily in a crock pot.

  • Anonymous

    Maybe. But it’s true. It’s not as easy as putting wax in a crock pot of all things & using crayons & then any random wick. I feel bad for all the recipients of these Christmas gifts…

  • Anonymous

    Professional candles for 20 years & yet you forget to add the FO occasionally? hmm..

    & I’ll “shut up” if you grow up.

  • linda g.

    Impressive

  • Stephanie

    - hardier comparative of har·dy (Adjective)
    Adjective
    Robust; capable of enduring difficult conditions.

    – ‘Don’t tell people that THEY’RE (contraction of ‘they are’) stupid…

    – And various other poor grammar choices. Think before going off on someone. Have you even SEEN the GLASS used for some of the Glade, etc. candles these days?

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  • Willow

    Clearly FormerlyKnownAsB has nothing better to do than contradict and whine about every comment made that they don’t agree with. Find something better to do. There are several people who’ve used this method who haven’t had a problem. Your unnecessary banter is getting you no where.

    I tried this earlier with canning jars and some chopped up candles I had lying around and it worked wonderfully. Thank you for sharing this awesome technique in candle crafting.

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  • Kristin

    I like this idea! Canning jars are so popular right now!

  • Kristin

    Question: Can I use wax from old candles and melt them together?

  • http://bonzaiaphrodite.com/ Sayward Rebhal

    I haven’t tried it using this crock pot method, so I can’t say for sure. But I know other people do that for other methods, so I’d say it’s definitely worth a try!

  • mary

    Lol. Wow to all the debate below. Actually cried laughing. Thank you. :) Also good tut!

  • mary

    Lol. Ty knga! Cried laughing at your comment.

  • anne56

    Do you think I can use baby food jars for this?

  • http://bonzaiaphrodite.com/ Sayward Rebhal

    Absolutely!

  • anne56

    Thank you will try it soon and let you know how it works

  • Irritated Candle Lover

    Does anyone else want to seriously slap the efff out of “FormerlyKnowAsB.” God damnit jerk, get the hell off the post so I can read what the HAPPY people have to say and let me burn my goddamn house down with my goddamn home made candle if I freaking want to! Know one cares how you think candles should be made, that’s why it’s called DIY genius, so we don’t have to listen to freaking morons like you who get to make foofy candles for a living while we have to make our own freaking presents because we cant afford your $40 3oz pieces of shite! I am thoroughly agitated now!!

  • Irritated Candle Lover

    And for the record, I am a Grammar Nazi; “Know one cares” should be “no one cares”, but autocorrect has foiled my ranting again..

  • Racism is Whack

    I smell a troll

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  • erikc

    Could not have said it better!

  • David

    It’s too bad someone goes out and makes an effort to do something nice for people by showing us how to make these candles and then you come along with your comments. You are the type of person who champions for safety labels on poptarts and labels on hair dryers telling us not to use them in the shower. Go away. Please just go away. If you do not have the common sense to make these and use them in a safe manner then natural selection needs to take its course.

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