DIY: thrifted wine glass candles

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I recently visited a shop in Zürich that sells tons of supplies for crafting and making jewelry (Leibundgut), and found so many supplies to make stuff! It really inspired me, just walking through all the isles and looking at all the stuff they had! One of the (many) things I picked up was wax to make candles. The wax comes in the form of little droplets, so it melts quicker. I also bought coloring, I chose turquoise-green, which I used in small amounts to dilute the color to a minty color.

I wanted to use thrifted little white wine glasses for the candles, because I see a lot of pretty ones at the thrift stores here in Switzerland. I found only 2 white wine glasses but got a few other glasses too, and a smal bowl, each cost me only 50 cents!

If you want to make candles like these, you'll need:

  • wax for candle making (you could also use beeswax, I want to try that soon!)
  • wick
  • (thrifted) glasses
  • scotch tap
  • optional: coloring and essential oil for scented candles (I used lavender)
  • a big pot and a bow (or a double-boiler)

So, first I filled the glasses with the wax droplets, then poured the droplets into a metal bowl and added a little bit more wax to be sure I had enough. I also added the little droplet of coloring (it's solid and dissolves with the wax), and then put the bowl in a big pot that I filled with water (only half way). I set the temperature to medium-low, so that the water stayed just below boiling (according to the instructions on my pack of wax droplets it said the wax needs to be around 90° C to pour it).

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After the wax had melted, I added about 30 drops of my lavender essential oil, stirred, and then dipped the bottom of the wicks in the wax and placed them in the middle of the glass (the wax helps it stick to the bottom), and attached the wick at the top so it would stay still when I pour the wax in. I tried different things: a pencil, thin wooden sticks and scotch tape. The scotch tape alone worked best! I simply made a cross around the wick using scotch tape (see photo below!). Then I poured the wax in to the glasses.

If you're making colored candles, I think it's important to make a little more wax than necessary and let the leftovers harden, because once the candles harden, they get holes!

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this construction for keeping the wick in place worked best!

this construction for keeping the wick in place worked best!

about an hour after pouring the candle...

about an hour after pouring the candle...

... 12 hours later. It might have helped to tie the wicks taught so they stay straight. live and learn :)

... 12 hours later. It might have helped to tie the wicks taught so they stay straight. live and learn :)

As you can see, when I checked on the candles the next day, holes had formed around the wicks. Apparently this is normal, but I wasn't prepared for it! So next time I will make more colored wax and reheat it, so I'll have the exact same shade to fill the holes. I noticed that the holes were more pronounced the higher and slimmer the glass was. Also, the higher the glass is, the more important it is to secure the wick so it doesn't bend while the wax hardens.

As I didn't have any leftover I just melted some more of the wax droplets and added some coloring, hoping it would match, and even though it didn't exactly, I still like how they look :)

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I only lit one for this picture, I kind of want to save them until I have a place to group and light them together. I like how they look standing together, all different shapes but different shades of the same color. Plus, I've heard they burn better if you keep them for a couple of months. I might make a few more to give as presents next christmas!

Posted on February 25, 2013 and filed under DIY & Crafts.