There is no shortage of ways that candles can light up a wedding ceremony and reception. From including a candle lighting as you say your vows to giving guests a warm and bright welcome as they sit down to a banquet, candles add light and beauty to any wedding celebration.
If your venue does not allow for open flame, wrapped candles make wonderful wedding favors. Give your guests a way to carry some of the light and joy of your wedding back to their own homes.
Find Cute Glassware
Part of the fun of making DIY candles in jars is collecting funky glassware. The containers don’t all have to match–in fact, part of the appeal is assembling a bohemian-chic presentation of different candle colors, shapes, and sizes. That way, your guests can choose their favorites for a more personal wedding favor.
Any time you buy fruit preserves or another product that comes in a glass jar you like, soak the jar in hot water and use a knife to scrape off the label. If you need a lot of glass jars in a hurry, you can usually find a good selection at your local thrift store or dollar store. Only use jars with thick glass, since thin glass can sometimes crack from the heat of a flame.
Ready Your Materials
You can find candle making kits at most craft stores, as well as from Internet suppliers. These include wax flakes or beads and wicks, as well as optional color and scent additives.
Start with clean jars. If they once contained food, wash them until you can no longer smell any lingering scent. If they are dusty, rinse the jars and wipe them until they are sparking clean and dry. This gives the wax a smooth surface to which it can conform.
Candle wicks come with two parts. One is the wick itself and one is a small, metal base. If your base is not self-adhesive, use a dot of glue to press it firmly to the center of the bottom of the inside of your jar. This will hold the wick in place when you pour in the wax. If the neck of the jar is too narrow for your hands, stick the wick in place with a chopstick or spoon handle. Hold your wick upright at the top of the jar by pinching it between two chopsticks or spoons that lie across the opening. Rubber banding the spoons together keeps the wick securely in place.
Melt the Wax
In order to melt wax without burning it, a double boiler system is useful. Heat a large pot of water to boiling on your stovetop. Inside the large pot, float a smaller pot with your wax. The water barrier between the wax and the heat source helps it to melt evenly. Do not allow your wax to boil. Stir it until the wax becomes smooth and liquid. (To clean your pot afterward, heat it until the wax becomes runny and wipe it with paper towels.)
Coloring DIY candles can be tricky, since the dye used is rarely the exact same hue as the candle once it’s cooled. If you’re after a specific color, make a lot of small batches first so you can determine exactly how many drops of dye your color takes.
Most DIY candle kits come with color beads, although you can mix and match color beads in the candle making section of many large craft stores. You also may want to experiment with food coloring and melted crayons as dye. As long as you like the final product, there are no hard and fast rules for what you can use to color your candles.
Do you want your candles scented? Make a few batches, including some unscented ones, so your guests can choose. Many people are sensitive to scents or have allergies that prevent them from enjoying candles with strong fragrances. You can find candle oil in the same section of the craft store as the other candle making supplies, as well as a large selection of scents online.
Pour the Candles
Pour in the color and scent ingredients and stir your wax thoroughly while it is still over the heat. Then, turn off the heat and wait about a half an hour for the wax to cool. When the wax clouds over and looks a little bit slushy, it’s time to pour it into the jars. If you wait too long and the wax is hard to pour, re-heat it briefly and try again.
Time to Decorate
Wait about a day for the candles to set completely. When the wax is nice and firm, it’s time to trim the wicks so they are short enough to fit inside the jar lid. Finish each jar by decorating the lid. This will cover any leftover branding from reused jars. You can stick on personalized label stickers or use fabric glue to cover the lids with attractive material. Tie a pretty ribbon in a bow around the top of the jar for the perfect finishing touch.
If you’re giving the candles as wedding favors, simply screw on the lid and you’ve got a compact favor that’s easy to carry and is ready to use. For an added touch, you can have personalized match books made with your names and the date of your wedding.
If you’re using the candles as wedding décor, you don’t need to worry about decorating the lids. Simply wrap the jars with decorative ribbon and arrange them on surfaces around your wedding venue. The light and warmth will touch all who pass by.
Lisa is a special needs teacher and a hugger. She always makes time for everyone and lightens up everybody’s lives with her presence. When she is not chasing her students around the yard, she finds time to write about what she truly loves, and you guessed it, its people and relationships.