Here at Assembly we love to DIY candles. There are so many options for personalization when making your own. Of course there's the scent to think about, but you can also get creative with the container!
If you're interested in making your own one-of-a-kind candles, join us for a future Soy Candle Making Workshop in the studio where we share all our insider tips and tricks. We also have a Soy Candle Making Kit to make your own at home!
Once you have your candle making equipment and supplies, one of the big decisions is the container for the candle. Curious about what’s safe and what’s not? We thought we’d help you out with some do’s and don’ts when it comes to picking one out! Because while that coconut shell looks like it would make a great tropical candle, it could in reality cause more flames than vacation vibes.
Stating the obvious, your container needs to be heat-safe. Most glassware, ceramics, and tin will work, but there’s a few things to consider:
When picking glassware, keep in mind it needs to withstand heat, hold wax well, and is not likely to crack. A crack while your candle is lit could be disastrous! Some glassware can be too thin. Canning jars are a great option. Not only are they cute, but they also meet the guidelines of withstanding heat and holding wax well. Besides picking an acceptable glass, there are a few best practice precautions you can take to make sure your glass doesn’t crack.
Firstly, always pick the right size wick for your candle. Overwicking your candle can lead to too much heat on your glassware, potentially causing cracks. If you’re unsure of what size wick to use, check out this “Wick Guide” that generates the perfect wick for your candle based on the diameter of your container and the type of wax you're using. Secondly, make sure your wick is centered. An uncentered wick could cause an excess of heat on one point of the glass, potentially causing cracks.
You also want to make sure your container is not porous (able to absorb liquid). Ceramics are great to use for candle containers, but they need to be properly treated so that they are no longer porous. Porous, unglazed materials, such as clay flower pots, can actually act as a wick, making your flame grow to the rim of your container, and you could wind up with a much bigger flame than intended. So stick to something that doesn’t soak in liquids such as ceramic bowls and mugs.
Your container should also not leak, which again, should be obvious. But some metal tins have seams on the side or the bottom that cause them to leak. So inspect your metal tin before using it, and maybe even fill it with water to check for leaks before pouring hot wax into it!
So when deciding if your container will make a safe candle, there’s 3 questions to ask yourself: 1) Will it crack? 2) Will it potentially catch fire? 3) Will it leak?
If you’re stumped or unsure, you can also always purchase a candle container through companies that sell candle making supplies specifically. Also, old candle container jars are already a great candle container! If you want to re-use an old candle jar, try this trick: Pop it in the freezer for a day or so. The cold causes the wax to shrink and harden, making it easier to remove. Then grab a butter knife (nothing sharp, please!) and dig the wax out with it. Scrape off any remaining wax. If there are any soot stains on the top, rubbing alcohol on a cotton ball removes it easily! Then wash with soap and water and allow to dry.
With all that being said, any container can be an unsafe container if left unsupervised! Just because you’re following all the rules when picking your container, don’t trust that it’s 100% safe and neglect it. Every candle still needs to burn on a heat resistant surface and nowhere near drapes, plants, or anything flammable!
What did you make a candle out of? We’d love to see! Leave a comment below or tag us at @assemblypdx!
I’ve been going to antique/thrift stores to find unique & different containers. Candle Science is a fantastic site (where your wick guide leases you to) for wicks/stickers and wax! I made 7 candles yesterday using “toasted pumpkin spice” and “red berry balsam” oils for their scents. Perfect for the upcoming season and gift giving. Wish there was a way to post the photo of them to share with all of you.
Hi Rebecca! Yes, assuming that your vessel is made from glass you should be able to reuse it to make a new wax candle.
Are prayer candles vessels heat resistant to new coconut wax?