Back in October 2015 I had a little spur of the moment and decided to sign up for a three week volunteer trip to Ecuador the following summer. Well, I decided to put a down payment of $700 on the trip, without thinking at all about how I was going to actually pay for the final total (I was so excited, money didn’t even come to mind). Let’s look at it this way, I was a full-time student living paycheck to paycheck, in my own apartment with roommates, working a decent job… but also loving the freedom to use all money on wine and pizza. I had to find a way to raise some money so I could go run around with monkeys in a rural village and hike some wicked volcanoes.
During hours (maybe minutes) of research, I came across a YouTube video where the blogger created candles for a very cheap price, WITHOUT WAX!
Instead, she used a shortening called “Crisco”. I calculated how much all the products would cost me and felt like I was Bill friggin’ Gates. If I sold a small candle (250mL) for $5 and a large one (500mL) for $8, I would make double the profit! I was so ecstatic to start. Luckily, my dad was kind enough to help me in the kitchen because I’m not the best chef in the world dealing with a stove and hot material (Shout out to Steve for being the real MVP). SO without further a-do, my step-by-step to making some cheap but very cute candles.
I buy all my jars at the Dollarama. Usually I’m able to find a pack of 3 Mason jar knockoffs for $3 ($1.00 a bottle). They are the exact measurements I need and also just frickin’ adorable!
Use of Crisco:
Small candle (8oz or 250mL) – need ½L of Crisco for each jar
Large candle (16 oz or 500mL) – need 1L of Crisco for each jar
I actually buy all my scents from Walmart in the candle section, usually named “wax fragrance”. I’m obsessed because they come in some pretty great smells (apple pie, fresh linen, cinnamon, lavender, etc) and only cost $1 each! They are quite small bottles, but work amazing with my jars!
Small candle – need ½ bottle of fragrance for each jar (so 1 whole bottle will fit 2 small candles)
Large candle – need 1 whole bottle of fragrance for each jar
I found that buying wicks at Michaels or another craft store were so expensive for what I get, so I went on EBay and ordered 50 6” wicks for $4.00!! They are a little big for my small candles, but cutting them in half doubled how many I have to use.
Extra Pretty Things:
Lastly, I bought some sparkles and ribbon to decorate my candles (totally optional). You need very small sparkles in order for them to stick to the side of the jar (similar to salt texture), but if you add a teaspoon amount before adding the wick or liquid, you can put the lid back on and swish the sparkles around. After making the candles, I tied some ribbon around the rim of the jar to make little bow to add some OOMPF to it.
WHAT TO DO:
I’ll explain using a large candle because that seems to be the easiest measurements.
SO this is my plan of beginning to end to making a homemade candle:
- Grab a 500mL jar and add a teaspoon amount of sparkles, add the top and swish around
- Glue gun wick to the bottom of the jar, try shooting for the center
- Place the stove on medium heat and put a large pot halfway full of water on top
- I go for the double-broiler method so I use a large measuring cup (Pyrex) to add my Crisco
- With 1lb of Crisco, I add the Pyrex cup into the boiling water and start stirring the contents until fully melted
- Once Crisco is fully liquid, remove from heat and let cool (but not too much, I usually take the temperature and find the perfect time to add fragrances is at 140 degrees Celsius)
- Add the full bottle of fragrance to the liquid, stirring frequently (smells so yummy)
- Pour the contents into the jar, and secure the wick with a pencil and some tape
- Let it solidify for a few hours and ENJOY!
Apologies I’m not the ultimate best at explaining how to make this little craft, it’s definitely easier to look at a video and see exactly what they’re doing. So if you didn’t quite get what I was putting down and want to try the candle making out for yourself, I suggest going to the YouTube search engine and typing in “Homemade no wax candle”, a video by Lisa Pullano. It’s so fun and easy to do (plus extremely budget friendly!!! – who the heck doesn’t like to save money). I was able to make a few hundred dollars for my trip using this method, especially since lots of moms, as well as my girl-friends LOVE candles and sparkly things (I had to keep a few for myself because I loved them so much!).