DIY candles from vintage tins

How to make one of a kind candles from vintage tins.

I love lighting candles during long Autumn evenings.
The problem is most of them look exactly the same.
If you, too, fancy some change, raid your storage (or a basement), and use old containers (preferably tins) to make your own unique candles.

Making candles is not hard, but there's a lot of candle making materials to choose from. I will do my best to help you choose the right ones.
I decided to go for soy wax and pre-waxed (soy wax suitable) wicks (ECO 10).
Supplies (what you need):

-wicks with sustainers
-wick holders (crucial when pouring hot wax into a container)

-glue gun or glue dots

Additional (optional) materials:
- coconut oil/ coconut butter/ essential oils (for fragrance)
- orange peels/ petals/ leaf fragments (for decoration)

Please, look at the bottom of the post ('Supplies -what I've used' section) to see all the important numbers (how many containers, how much wax I used, etc).
Choosing the right wick.

When it comes to wicking, there are two important things to remember: candle size & type of wax you're going to use.
Common types of wicks:
LX wicks. Cotton, flat-braided. They work great with paraffin waxes. Great for candles in glass containers.
ECO wicks. Cotton (with paper threads), flat braided. They work great with soy wax. Use them to make votives, pillars, and candles in non-glass containers.
LK  wicks. Cotton, square braided. For beeswax candles.
You can choose from:

-wicks on spools- you need to cut them to the right size and attach them to the sustainers
-ready to use wicks with already attached sustainers (you can choose from different sizes and widths)
-ready to use pre-waxed wicks - they are short, so use them for shallow candles (like tealights). Longer ones may be used for candles made with molds - they keep balance more easily which is helpful.
- wooden wicks -perfect for shallow containers (different sizes & widths available)

Right wick size.
In the nutshell, right wick size will let your candle burn at a normal pace. Not too quick, not too slow (without using too much, or too little wax). To choose the right wick you need to measure the diameter of the containers you're planning to use.
-wicks for small candles (2.5- 5 cm) - LX10 and ECO1
-medium candles (5 to 9cm) - 
LX 12,16, 20 & ECO 4,6,10
-10cm or bigger - 
LX 26 and ECO 10
Please note: every wick size up is 2 cm longer.
More on candle wicking: here & here.
If you're planning to make beeswax candles, please, read all about beeswax candle wicking, which slightly differs from paraffin and soy candles wicking.
What wax to use?

Most candles are made from paraffin wax, beeswax or soy wax. Wax for candle making comes in a form of pellets or flakes to make it easier to melt.
  PARAFFIN is the cheapest, most popular melt used in candle making. It burns faster than beeswax. The fragrance is usually artificially added (unless stated otherwise).
BEESWAX doesn't drip, burns slower, and the fragrance is all-natural (unless it's additionally scented).
SOY WAX is less firm, so it's not a good choice if you want to make candles from molds. It's water-soluble, therefore easy to clean. It burns faster than beeswax.
Please, make sure your wicks are suitable for use with your pellets/flakes of choice.  When you're buying wicks, there should be a note on a package (or in the listing, if you're buying online) stating what kind of wax should go with it.
Wick holders.
Wicks won't stay in place without something to hold them at the top. You don't have to use metal holders, you can use pencils or wooden sticks instead. If you decide to use pre-waxed wicks, a metal holder may come in handy, as you can't tie pre-waxed wicks at the top. I still found a way to secure them, though.

Container and add-ons.
I thought of vintage tins because I knew that will make the candles really special. Every candle will be one of a kind!  And to add the autumny look I decided to sprinkle some early Fall treasures (dried flowers and leaves) over each candle. If you decide to do that, please make sure all the add-ons are in a safe distance from the flame (wick).

Orange peels are popular add-ons, too.  They make the whole house smell incredible. You can also add essential oils or coconut oil (or coconut butter), to add a natural fragrance.

Supplies (what I've used):
Materials and all the important numbers.
-6 tin containers
-425 grams of soy wax flakes
-6 pre-waxed wicks
-one tablespoon of coconut oil
-a handful of dried flowers and leaves
-a saucepan of water
- thick glass container (ovenproof bowl or a jar)
-oven mitts (to handle hot glass container)
- a glue gun or stick-on glue dots
Step by step instructions:
Prepare containers. Make sure they are clean and dry.

You will need a double boiler to melt the wax. It can be a temperature-proof glass container (e.g. thick glass jar) to put inside the saucepan or ovenproof bowl to put on top of the saucepan.

Pour water into the saucepan (at least 500 ml), throw wax pellets or flakes into the bowl or jar, and bring water in the saucepan to the boil. Let pellets melt.

While you're waiting for the wax to melt, use a glue gun or stick-on glue dots and attach wicks to the bottom of the tins. Leave the glue to dry and check on your melting wax.

I've used pre-waxed wicks with already attached sustainers.
If it's melted, you can add a drop of essential oils or 1 tablespoon of melted coconut butter for fragrance. Remember to mix it carefully and thoroughly with the wax.
It's time for wax pouring. To make sure wicks are standing straight while you're pouring the wax, tie them to the pencils, chopsticks, or wick holders. Place holders/pencils on top of the tins. Ask someone to keep tins in place, while you carefully pour the wax (person holding the tins can wear oven mitts, just in case). If you're alone and if your wicks are long enough, you can tape them to the outside of the containers (you can use regular scotch tape). It should hold the wicks, but it can make them a little bit wonky.

Add dried flowers and leaves while wax still is hot.

Let the wax dry completely (overnight would be ideal).

After a few hours (or the next day) you can light your candles and enjoy beautiful smells and flickering flames.

Autumn homemade projects are definitely one of my favorites!  Please check out my other Fall craft tutorials and ideas: DIY & Crafts.

Happy Crafting!


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