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How to Make Beeswax Candles in Thrifted Jars

My inner goblin self loves cool jars and little containers. Still, there are only so many jars you can really use around the house. That is unless you put a CANDLE IN IT. Here’s how I make beautiful DIY beeswax candles in thrifted jars.

Which beeswax should I use for candle making?

When I make candles I use beeswax from a local beekeeper that I have cleaned myself. It burns great, smells amazing, and looks beautiful.

You can get bricks of beeswax or beeswax pellets on Amazon or from candle supply stores. For the most part, any beeswax you will buy at a store has been cleaned and processed and should be fine for candles.

I will say the pellets aren’t my favorite to use. They have been so purified that I think the smell and color aren’t as nice as a less processed wax.

What kind of jars can you put candles in?

Thicker glass jars, solid metal ones, ceramic, all are good options. I would avoid anything plastic, made of thin material or wood.

This post contains affiliate links, which means I make a small commission at no extra cost to you. See my full disclosure here.

What sort of wick should I use?

If you are making a beeswax candle it is recommended to use square braided wicks. If you are doing tapers use a flat braid wick. I have used flat braid wicks in my container candles and they still work fine, but get the square braid if you can.

flat braid candlewick example from rough and tumble farmhouse

What size wick do I need for making a candle?

Wicks come in different “ply”. The size of your jar will determine what ply wick you want. Measure the diameter of your jar (straight across the middle) then get a ply as follows:

  • Super Small- 15 Ply
  • Up to 2 Inches- 18 Ply
  • 2 to 2-1/2 inches- 24 Ply
  • 2 1/2-3 inches – 30 ply

Why does beeswax make great candles?

Beeswax makes excellent candles because it smells amazing on its own without any additives. It also looks beautiful. Beeswax is especially great because it is smokeless when you burn it. There is a reason they have been prized for centuries!

Supplies for Candle Making

There are literally thousands of molds, gadgets, and cool things you can use for making candles. We’re trying to keep it pretty simple here so I’m just going to list out the bare minimum you need to make some cool candles out of whatever jar you found at the local thrift store.

candle making supplies laid out on a cutting board rough and tumble farmhouse
  • Double Boiler With a Pot for Pouring Candles (see my video below for my simple set up)
  • Jars or desired container
  • Wicks with Sustainers
  • OR wicks on their own
  • Sustainers
  • Popsicle sticks, pencils, or other item to hold the wick up
  • Beeswax

Now I haven’t used it myself, but this looks like a nice little setup with most of what you’d need. Remember though, those wicks might not be the size you need.

How to Make a Beeswax Candle from a Thrifted Jar

Prep the Area

The first thing you should do is get your wax melting in whatever double boiler set up you have on the stove. While it melts you can prep the rest of your area.

Cover your entire workspace with a throw-away material. I like newspaper myself but whatever floats your boat. Beeswax is not easy to clean up.

Wicks

Next, start to prep your wicks. They should be cut to about 2 inches longer than the top of your container

If you are using pre-conditioned wicks you are already set to stick them to the bottom of your jar. More on that in a minute.

If you need to set up your wicks yourself, cut them to 2 inches longer than the top of the jar. Place one end into the metal wick holder, and crimp it together firmly.

Next, you will need to dip the entire wick into the hot wax just once. This coats the wick and makes it easier for wax to adhere to it later, and also promotes a smoother burn/easier lighting later.

Once your wicks are set, dip the metal wick holder into the wax briefly, then very quickly stick it to the bottom of your candle jar. Make sure it is centered. If it isn’t, remove it and repeat the process.

pliers crimping a candlewick rough and tumble farmhouse

Propping the Wicks

Before you pour the candle you will need to secure the wick upright and in the center. You can wrap the wick around a pencil, popsicle stick, etc. Make sure it is nice and straight and as centered as possible.

Setting up

Line all your jars up with their wicks in position. I find it is nice to “pretend to pour” the candles so you can get an idea of how easily you will actually be able to pour into the jars where they are positioned.

Pouring the Wax

Beeswax melts at 144-149 degrees F, but you shouldn’t pour it until it reaches 170 degrees F. At this point all the wax should be thoroughly melted and mixed together.

When you pour, try and do as smoothly as possible with as little splashing as you can. I’ve read it is best to pour sort of along the wick to reduce air bubbles but I find that challenging to do and not make the wick move around.

freshly poured beeswax candles rough and tumble farmhouse

Fill the jar to about 1/2 inch below the top line. This allows room for topping off.

Give the candle a few light taps with the back of a butter knife to help release air bubbles.

Next, poke the surface a few times with a toothpick. This will help the candle to set flat across the top, rather than sort of dished looking.

Topping Off

Once the candle cools enough that the top is solid, you may notice there is a hole forming around the wick or elsewhere. This is when you “top off” the candle. If there is a hole, pour directly into it until it is filled. Then wait again for it to cool. If the hole shows up again, top it off again.

Once no more holes appear, give one last pour across the top for a smooth finish.

Snip the Wick

Before using, snip the wick down to 1/4 inch.

Curing the Candle

Beeswax candles should be allowed to set for 7-10 days before you burn them. If you burn them sooner they will burn rather quickly.

More Bees Please!

Check out how to make tapered candles or clean beeswax if you are lucky enough to get some from a local beekeeper. You can also use your beeswax to make a simple herbal balm.

Watch and Learn

Pin it for Later

pinterest graphic of beeswax candles in old jelly jars from rough and tumble farmhouse

Sources

Candlemaking the Natural Way by Rebecca Iter

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