Can't get into the floral smells and garish artwork of storebought candles? Nope, us either. So we came up with our very own DIY version to make a reusable rustic candle that any guy can be proud to burn in his home. (Or log cabin?)
Scented candles can be quite expensive and usually super fragrant... which is totally fine if you're relaxing at the spa with cucumbers over your eyes. (We're not judging...) So, we suggest making your own affordable candles in a reusable container that can be filled up over and over. Light it up.
How To Make a Reusable Rustic Candle
- Rustic mug or container (try an enamel mug designed for camping, or an old cup from the secondhand store)
- A penny
- Essential oil of your choice. We recommend: cinnamon, pine, cedar, or citronella (acts a mosquito repellent too!). NOTE: It's very important that you check that the oil is suitable for candle making as some oils can only be used for low-temp projects (e.g. soaps).
- 1/2 a pound-ish of wax - For this project we used 24 candles from the dollar store. *See more details below.
- Candle wick (you can buy one at your local craft store or you can use one from the melted candles).
- A chopstick or wooden skewer
- A bowl and a saucepan to make a double boiler.
* You can purchase wax at your local craft store, but it can be a bit pricey, at around $20 or more per pack. Instead, we went to the dollar store and bought a few packs of "emergency candles." For the amount needed for this project we spent around $4.00 USD.
1: Make a double boiler by placing a bowl over a pot with water (make sure the water's not touching the bowl). Bring water to a boil and reduce heat so it simmers.
2: Add wax/candles and let them melt. Add a few drops of the essential oil. Stir with a chopstick.
3: While everything is melting - "glue" the penny to the candle wick by using a few drops of wax. Place the penny right in the center of the cup and tie a knot around the chopstick to keep it from moving.
4: *Carefully* start pouring the hot, scented wax into the cup. Save a a bit of wax for any touch ups.
5: The wax will contract a bit while it cools down. If it shrinks too much around the edges, use the left over wax to fill up any holes.
6: Cut the excess wick and light it up!
- Got wax on your clothing? No worries, just place a piece of newspaper on top of it and iron it on high heat. Once you get rid of it, rinse the spot in hot water.
- Don't want to use a double boiler? Then buy microwaveable soy wax at the craft store. Nuke it and follow the same steps above.
- NEVER heat the wax directly on the stove as it could ignite. Yikes!
And...that's it. Once the candle is consumed, refill it with more wax. That's another brand new candle for just a few bucks. Use it at home while reading, in the kitchen to get rid of strong smells, or to light your camp in the backcountry.
This post was originally published in June 2013. We're sharing it again because it's camping season!