Something about the cooler months ahead makes many of us think of candles – their warm glow and nostalgic fragrances are completely appealing when it’s chilly outside. This tutorial will show you how to recycle your glass bottles (whether it’s wine bottles, sparkling juice bottles, or even glass soda bottles) into candles that not only look festively serene, but they also smell wonderful, too. DIY Christmas gift idea? Don’t mind if I do.
In order to make a glass bottle candle, you’re going to need to remove the bottom portion of a glass bottle. Following the guidelines and tips in this glass bottle cutter article, score then cut a glass bottle or two so you have a container in which to create your candle.
Use hot glue or glue dots or even double-sided tape to attach your candle wicks to the bottom of your recycled glass bottle bottom.
Tip: I used glue dots here because I was too impatient to heat up the glue gun, but they had a tendency to come undone when I poured in the hot wax. Nothing a pointy skewer couldn’t take care of, putting them back into place, but still. I’ll use hot glue next time.
Secure the candle wick bases firmly to the bottom of your glass bottle bottom.
Support your candle wicks, in the upright and straight position, by holding them in place with chopsticks, pencils, or bamboo skewers.
It’s a good idea to support the wicks on at least two sides, four if you can. They will want to move around when hot wax is poured into the base, so the more secure they are now, the easier it will be for you later on.
Now it’s time to get your candle wax going. Pour your soy candle wax flakes into a candle making pitcher. This pitcher is great because it holds a lot of wax, it is nice and deep, and the handle doesn’t get hot so you can pour it when the wax has melted.
Volume-wise, you’ll want to use about twice the amount of flakes as what you’ll want in melted wax, because the volume decreases as the flakes melt.
Place your candle making pitcher into a deep pot of boiling water. I found it helpful to hook the handle over the side of the pot.
Even with the handle hooked, your pitcher will likely float a while until some of the flakes have started melting. Give them a stir every so often so the chunks melt faster.
When the soy flakes have completely melted in your candle making pitcher, remove the pitcher from the boiling water.
Check the flash point of your candle scent(s). In this instance, the flash point is 210 degrees F. So when I’m cooling the wax, I want to make sure it’s well below this flash point before I add in the scent, or it will evaporate, leaving your candle fragrance-less.
Use a digital thermometer, and cool your wax down to below the flash point, generally between 150-175 degrees F is a good range.
Pour your candle scent into the wax. A good ratio is about 1 oz of scent per 2 pounds of melted wax, although you can vary this one way or the other, depending on your own preferences.
Stir the scent into your melted candle wax for 30 seconds or so.
Pour the wax into your glass bottle bottoms, taking care to not pour the wax directly onto your wicks. That has a tendency to knock them out of place.
Pour all the candles you want to pour at this point, while the wax+scent is in a perfectly melted and mixed state.
Let the candle wax sit for at least 6 hours; overnight is better. When it is solid, use scissors to snip off the wick about 1/2″-1” above the wax surface.
Use your fingernail or a dry rough rag to wipe off any wax that may have spilled that is now noticeable because it’s dried. Or just leave it there, as it will melt when you light the candle anyway.
And there you have it: beautiful, yummy-smelling DIY glass bottle candles for yourself or to give away.
The candles smell well and add a lovely personal touch to any holiday setting.
Happy DIYing, and merry Christmas gift-giving.