Fun with Container Candles


There’s so much more to do with container candles than just plain candles! You can make them with stripes, or in tilted layers, or add shaped or cut wax chunks to create all sorts of effects like colorful mosaics or even a “fruit” look. Here are some of the things I’ve been doing with mine. (For all the basic directions to make container candles, see How to Make Container Candles, and for even more info, see So You Want to Make Candles–Basic Supplies to Get Started.)

Striped Candles: The easiest “special effect” candle (which makes it one of my favorites).
Simply wick your jar and pour the wax in sections using different colors, letting each section set before adding the next.
Tilted Layer Candles: Find something serviceable around the house to safely prop your jar at a tilt.
Wick the jar and, as with striped candles, pour the wax in sections using different colors, letting each section set before adding the next. (Be sure to prop the wick to keep it straight while it sets.) Turn the jar back upright for the final layer.
Wax Chunk Candles: These are so much fun! Pour a small amount of wax into a something wide like a pie pan. Cut out shapes before the wax completely sets so that it’s still soft enough to cut easily.
The wax is still moldable at this stage. You can even shape chunks into circles with your fingers (sort of like making cookie dough balls). For this candle creation, I’m making little red balls or fruit for a berries ‘n’ cream candle.
Wick the jar and fill it partway with the wax chunks. Pour in a contrasting wax color.
Add the rest of the wax chunks. Be sure to leave some of the chunks showing on the top of the candle.

Berries ‘n’ cream!
Wax chunk candles can be varied endlessly and make really splashy candles if you use a lot of different colors.
I made all of these candles yesterday by reusing candle wax (see Recycling Candles), so I limited myself to the colors I had available or could create by melting color combinations. I’m stocked up on candles again. I have to admit, one of the things I love about making candles is that it’s so easy. Plus, I just love candles!

Anyone have more ideas for playing with container candles? I’d love to hear them!

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Posted by Suzanne McMinn on April 16, 2009  

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33 Responses | RSS feed for comments on this post

  1. 4-16

    Your candles look great, especially the berries and cream candles. I’ve been following your blog for quite some time and you’ve inspired me to dig out those used candles I’ve been saving and try my hand at candle making. Give the giant puppy a big hug for me. I love reading about his escapades.

  2. 4-16

    I used punch cups (the cups that come with a punch bowl). Usually can be picked up at yard sales, thrift shops & maybe the back of your own cabinet. The punch cups are clear, usually have design and a handle for easy moving from place to place. Nice idea for bridal showers, parties etc. Put the candle on a piece of plastic wrap or shrink wrap. Pull the wrap up around candle & tie with a pretty ribbon, raffia etc.

  3. 4-16

    I saw these candles on “How It’s Made” a while back. You might enjoy a look-see.

  4. 4-16

    Mim – do you melt the wax like Suzanne did, into the punch cups? I have put candles in punch cups with coffee beans ( smell great when the wax melts) and beads or rocks before too. Great idea.

  5. 4-16

    Are you selling these in your store? Martha Stewart has a piece on making candles in old tea cups too. Great idea.

  6. 4-16

    Try empty paper orange juice and milk cartons. Just peel the paper away after the wax is set.

  7. 4-16

    Those look great!!! You alway have neat ideas. I want to lean how to make goat milk soap have you ever done that?? I have the goats already, How do you fit everything into your day?Do you have every thing planned out weeks a head of time? You are amazing! Julie

  8. 4-16

    Have you ever tried soy wax? Or wooden wicks? The soy burns cleaner and the wooden wicks crackle like a fireplace.

  9. 4-16

    I make container candles in clay pots and trays- I grew up in the greenhouse business and I still have a love affair with red clay pots. The candles are so pretty and you can decorate them with dried herbs and spices.
    I like your berries and cream candle! It must be so colorful when the wax melts together!

  10. 4-16

    I really need to get out my old candles and bring them back to life. My oldest daughter doesn’t understand why they have been hanging around so long. Besides making the closet smell absolutely delectable, I have plans for new candles.

  11. 4-16

    Good Heavens, woman! What don’t you do? You are one of those irritating people that excell at what ever they do aren’t you? ;)

  12. 4-16

    those are beautiful. I love candles and have oodles of them. I get lots of mine cheap at yard sales. I might give this a try some day.

  13. 4-16

    Jane- yes I melted the wax in a pot and poured it into the cups.

  14. 4-16

    You make me want to try making candles again! I made quite a few 40 years ago in Berkeley. My favorite molds were quart sized milk cartons – the square, waxed ones. I remember making some lacy candles by putting crushed ice in the container before adding the wax, leaving little holes in the candle where the ice had been.

    I love your sheep train photo! Good to see that Annabelle is at last getting in touch with her ovine side! (Don’t worry – I had to look it up!)

  15. 4-16

    I really like the look of the berry and cream.

  16. 4-16

    I love, love, love the sheep train. You have really got everyone in order, huh? Your charges are better behaved than the average grade school class!!

    Annabel looks so proud that she’s a big-girl sheep now!

    Working hard at

  17. 4-16

    Well, nobody else has asked to buy the Berries ‘n’ cream candle-yet. So let me be the first to offer…I want it! I want it! I want it! Are you intending to sell them in your store?

  18. 4-16

    I am thinking that on the berries and cream one if you had done a core candle in like a heavy dixie cup. Peel the cup away, place core candle in the center of the jar and then added the colored cubes around the core candle, then fill with the cream color wax; you would be able to get away with making more berry and cream candles with less cubes having to be made.

  19. 4-16

    LOL, well, I think I need to perfect my technique first!

  20. 4-16

    I had a great idea for Christmas presents, I was going to make candles in Christmas mugs, bought about 50 for little of nothing, needless to say, I still have about 50 mugs. Maybe this year!!

  21. 4-16

    Suzanne, How much more pretty and Perrrfect can you get? I still…want it..want it. You are my HERO! It makes me :happyfeet: to come get here in the mornings and read your Blog. LOL, good job.

  22. 4-16

    They’re all so gorgeous. :purpleflower:

  23. 4-16

    I love the train picture!!! What a hoot!!! Anabelle looks so cute.
    I haven’t made a homemade candle since I was a teen. Very pretty!!

  24. 4-16

    Your candles are beautiful!

  25. 4-16

    You are amazing! :happyflower:

  26. 4-16

    Suzanne, I think you pick “craft days” to have. One day you make cakes, pies, cookies…or one day you make cheese…or one day is candle day. I love that! LOL

    We used to have these candles in Germany, that were very popular and I wish I could see my sister’s picture of one she had, but it would drip different colors of wax – they were so cool. So, they had to be tall/tapered…but the wax would be all different colors and dry like that, running down the candle. People put them in wine bottles that had basket type bottoms of straw. Stuff like that. The wax would dry in a pretty shape too, trailing down the candle, like lava…

    Anyway, I LOVE all your candles – they are so pretty!

  27. 4-16

    Oh, your layered candles remind me of a jello, I loved in the early 70’s, called “Jello 1-2-3”. It had like a solid layer, then a mousse layer, then a creamy layer…it was so cool. LOL

  28. 4-16

    Hi Suzanne!

    I am a new blog reader and I have to tell you I LOVE YOUR BLOG!! You are living my life, I am so jealous. I love animals, have always wanted to live on a farm, although I am not a writer I wrote 1 romance novel and 1/2 of a suspense novel (both sitting in the garage). :( I also wanted to ask what kind of dog Coco is….I have seen his type in different places and I just LOVE his adorable little face!

  29. 4-16

    Hi, Michelle! Coco is a Great Pyrenees!

  30. 4-16

    I’ve enjoyed reading your blog very much since discovering your site a few months ago. When I saw your ideas about candlemaking I was reminded of how we used to make homemade candles. One idea we had was to pour orange wax into a round ice-cream container that was partially filled with small ice-cubes. The ice-cubes left holes in the wax and after removing the container it looked like a chunk of cheese! We then decorated the “cheese” with little plastic mice for fun ;)

    Can’t wait to read more of your ideas and recipes!

    (from Southwestern Ontario, Canada)

  31. 4-16

    Love the berries and cream candle.

    I have been picking up various containers for candles since your post before Christmas. I found a bunch of the old fashioned jelly jars (the kind with the flat tin lid, not the screw on lid) and some cute little fluted tartlet pans. I intend to use the jelly jars for Christmas gifts, and maybe make floating candles with the tartlet pans.

  32. 4-16

    Wow, these look fantastic. I’m going to have to try this some day. And you photographed them beautifully too!

  33. 4-17

    I love the Berries n’ Cream!! How imaginative!!! This is what I would call crafty, girl!

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