Thursday, December 10, 2009

Container Candles by Martha

These wonderful candles are a fun project that will leave your home beautifully lit and wonderful smelling.

Tools and Materials

2/3 cup Hydrogenated soybean wax or food shortening
2 2/3 bars Paraffin wax
Double boiler
Dye pellets or food coloring
5 teaspoons essential oils (such as vanilla, cinnamon stick, or apple)
Stirring spoons
Container for candle (able to withstand extremely hot water; has a thick base)
Cotton, medium-gauge wick
Popsicle stick
Metal wick holder
Hot-glue gun and glue sticks

Candle How-To

1. Begin by melting your paraffin wax in a double boiler; then add the hydrogenated soybean wax. Add dye -- or food coloring -- to create your desired color; add essential oils to the wax to create fragrance. Stir together and allow mixture to melt. Once the mixture reaches 165 degrees, you are ready to pour.

2. Attach bottom of wick to metal wick holder. Attach wick, now attached to wick holder, to bottom of candle container with hot glue; press into place and let cool.

3. Rest Popsicle stick across the top of candle container; wrap wick around Popsicle stick to prevent it from falling into the candle container.

4. Fill your candle container 3/4 full with wax. A skin will form within 30 minutes; wax will appear solid in about one hour, but it will take 6 hours to set. Be sure not to move the candle while it is still liquefied.

Tip: After burning a fragrant candle, you often wind up with a big, black bulb at the end of the wick that can later wind up in your candle. Remove it first by turning the candle upside down and pulling the black bulb off with a tissue. To make candles last longer and drip less, place them in the freezer two hours before a party.


Hydrogenated soybean wax, paraffin wax, dye pellets, cotton, medium-gauge wicks, and metal wick holders can be found at most craft stores. Essential oils can be found at most health food stores. Special thanks to Harry Slatkin of Slatkin & Co. for giving a beautiful assortment of candles and Zippo lighters to our studio audience. Harry Slatkin & Co. uses their own tree fragrance mix, but to create something similar, you can use 3 teaspoons of fir needle siberian, 1 teaspoon of galbanum oil, and 1 teaspoon of vanilla fragrance oil from International Aromatics, Inc. by contacting

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