Kids like crafts and, for a while now, we’ve offered child-friendly kits for making candles with beeswax sheets. However, the candles we see all around us tend to be container candles. These are usually created by melting container wax in a “double boiler” and pouring it into the glass jar, tea cup or whatever. This is all very well, and we have some lovely kits for making container candles but until now they’ve not been suitable for children (except, perhaps, older children under very close supervision).
So, we’ve come up with this recipe for creating a jam-jar container candle without needing the double boiler setup or handling molten wax [remember to click the Print button top left to print them out]
What you need
- Containers – these should be specifically suited to candle making. You can see our range of candle containers by clicking the link
- Wax pellets (standard, paraffin wax – not container wax which comes in blocks). For variety, and a nice sweet aroma, you can also use a mix of beeswax pellets and paraffin. Our Wax Refill Pack is perfect for this job and you’ll get several jam jar candles from one bag.
- Wick – see our wick sizing guide to decide which one you should choose. Err on the smaller side if in any doubt
- Self centering tab or similar to fix the wick to the bottom of the jar
- Blutack or similar
- Optional – some candle making dye
- The secret ingredient – a hair dryer!
- Some oven gloves
How to do it
Important: of course, even though we’re not using a double boiler, a hair dryer is still very hot and the glass will heat up quickly. So this is a recipe suitable for older children and supervision is essential.
- Cut the wick to size and pass it through a tab, using a pair of pliers to carefully close the neck of the tab (you may need to help the child with this step)
- Attach some blutack to the underside of the tab and fix it to the bottom of the jar/container with the end of a pencil if your fingers don’t reach. Make sure it’s nice and tight
- Pour the wax pellets into the jar, keeping the wick roughly central. You might want to try having alternating layers of beeswax and paraffin wax. Fill it to just beneath the neck of the jar – don’t overfill – as I did in this picture, resulting in the pellets going everywhere when I turned the hairdryer on!!
- If you’re using dye, break it up into small pieces and sprinkle around the wick on top of the wax pellets
- Put on your oven gloves, turn the hair dryer up to maximum and point it onto the wax. It will take some time to begin melting, make sure you move the head of the hair dryer around to distribute the head evenly
- What will happen is that the paraffin wax will melt and seep down the container. You can keep going until you get the effect you’re after: some people prefer to see the pellets further down, some prefer it to look solid.
- You might want to heat the outside of the glass if you find an area that looks uneven
- Top up the wax if it sinks too far and quickly melt it to form a plug at the top to seal the candle
- Leave it to cool – make sure you don’t touch it until it has cooled down.