This is a project I’ve been meaning to do for a while now, ever since I started collecting antique blue mason jars (I’ve shown part of my prized collection here and here!). I used them for my wedding and of course when I bought them I had no interest in the lid since they were just going to be used as flower vases, but I loved them anyway for their old, rusted, metal charm. So they’ve sat for a long time in a drawer, but I finally got them out to make candles with them. I like that the size is essentially an oversized votive candle and I think a grouping down a dinner table would be lovely. I can’t wait to make a summer tablescape with these incorporated, but at the same time I think they would be great on the Christmas fireplace mantel too.
So in order to make these, I suggest you buy a candle making kit rather than trying to source things individually. I got mine at Michael’s but I wish I had gotten this one because the wax is in tiny pastilles so it will undoubtedly melt faster. Either way, make sure before you get started you have:
- Mason jar lids. They need to be the old timey kind and not the type we use today that are in two parts. Or any cool container you can think of!
- Wax. For the mason jar lids, you don’t need a whole lot (I used 3/4 of the brick for all seven), but if you wanted to make a whole big batch or use different vessels, you may want to get extra.
- Thermometer. A candy thermometer will work, but the kit I bought came with special candle-making instructions on it which was helpful.
- Wicks. You can buy a spool of wick string and a bunch of metal tabs if you plan on making a ton, but it’s worth it just to buy them preassembled if you are only making a few.
- Scents and Pigments. Totally optional. I like white so I didn’t add pigment, and I plan on using these at a dining table so I didn’t scent them either. But you certainly could.
- Pouring Pot. Don’t try to use a pot you cook with because you will have a hard time getting all the wax out and won’t be able to cook with it. Get a real pour pot (most kits come with them, or they’re about $10 on their own.)
- A bigger pot to act as a double boiler. Now you can use a regular cooking pot for this since only water will be in it to heat the wax inside the pouring pot.
Step 1: Fill your bigger pot about halfway with water and bring to a simmer. Not a boil, we don’t want the wax heating too quickly (it could catch on fire! Be careful!).
Step Two: If you are using block wax, make sure you chop it in to smaller pieces so it will melt faster and more evenly. Place your wax in the pour pot and place in the simmering water.
Step Three: Stir wax continuously (never leave unattended) until completely melted.
Step Four: Pour in to mason jar lids and let sit about 4-5 minutes.
Step Five: Insert wicks in to wax (I waited just a tad too long for these, you want the wax to be slightly more transparent).
Step six: Lay a skewer or pencil across the edge of the lids to help the wick stay upright while it sets. Let rest about an hour.
Step Seven: Snip the wick to about 1/4″.
Optional Step: As the wax dries, it’s natural to have a slight dipping in the center of the candle. If you don’t like this, you can heat some more wax and very carefully pour some in to fill it. I didn’t mind so I left it as is.
And here they are all lined up down my dining room table! They look great on their own, but I really look forward to setting a table with them in mind. I think they’ll add a great rustic dimension and the short height won’t compete with anything else.
What do you think? Do you have old mason jar lids to make in to candle holders or does this encourage you to start your own collection?