The Golden Thread

DIY Emergency Candles - Very Cool How-to
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Author:  Lynnwood [ Sun Nov 11, 2012 11:01 pm ]
Post subject:  DIY Emergency Candles - Very Cool How-to ... ndles.html


DIY Emergency Candles


Candles are an easy-to-use source of emergency lighting and a little bit of heat. I'm shocked to see some of the prices that are charged for long burning candles sold for survival or emergency preparedness - if you want to buy a dozen or so candles, the cost really starts to add up.

Never fear! You can make your own survival candles at home for cheap, using high-quality, long burning soy wax. It's an easy project - the materials are easy to buy and you won't need any specialized tools.

The materials you will need are:


--Soy wax flakes. These are commonly used in making scented candles and are sold in craft stores or Amazon. I bought a 5 pound bag from Amazon for 12.79 shipped - right here. A pound of wax will fill around a 24 ounce container, give or take. You can use other wax, but soy is affordable, typically has a longer burn time than other waxes and has some other beneficial qualities (all-natural, renewable, etc.).

--Canning jars. I purchased a dozen 8 ounce jars from Wal Mart for around $8. If you have jars around the house, no need to buy 'em. We've used jars from jams, sauces and so on for candles in the past.

--Wicks and Tabs. You can find these on Amazon, eBay and at your craft stores. You'll want your wicks to be a bit longer than your candle holder is tall. I have 100 tabs and 100 nine inch wicks on eBay for about $10 total.

The tools you will need are:

--Scissors: For cutting the wicks to size

--Double Boiler: For melting the wax. I don't have an actual double boiler, so I just get a large pot, fill it about 1/3 to 1/2 of the way with water, and then nest a slightly smaller pot inside.

--A Pouring Device: I just used a pyrex measuring cup.

--Protective Gloves: We'll be using boiling water and hot wax, so you want to keep you hands safe.

The steps are simple.


First, you'll want to get your wicks ready. If your wicks are way too long for your container, you'll want to trim them down to approximate size. I had 9" wicks here. Insert the wick into the tab - I found it helpful to use my Leathman to "tighten" the mouth of the tab around the wick, but it's not a must. If you buy pre-tabbed wicks then you can skip this part.


Put your wicks in the jars. Don't worry if they're not centered - we'll fix that after we pour the wax. Now it's meltin' time!


This is my "double boiler." Works well enough. Using a double boiler helps melt the wax gently, avoiding risk of it catching fire, burning, etc. You could probably do it without, but it's not hard to improvise so why not?


Here are the flakes beginning to melt.


And now fully melted.


Carefully transfer the melted wax into your pouring container. Then, pour away! Don't worry about the container - soy wax is all natural, non-toxic and cleans up fairly easily. Beware if you have a soy allergy, though.


Don't fill the jar up the whole way - leave some room between the wax and the top of the container. You'll want to center the wicks at this point. Then, take a break and let the wax cool and harden up. Almost done!


Last step. After the wax has cooled, trim the wicks as needed--you want the wick to be about 1/4" above the wax. Then, screw the lids on and you're ready for storage!

While some advertise 70+ hours of burn time for 8 ounce candles like this, they're more in the ballpark of 40 to 50 hours, and you'll get the most life out of them if you burn the candles four hours at a time. Since you would only use the candle for about 4 hours every evening, a single candle should last for around 10 days of regular use. Not bad! You can of course use different sized jars--bigger for longer burn time, or multiple wicks for more light.

Including the purchase of new jars, my cost per candle is around $1.62. With recycled jars, it's under a dollar.

These aren't crap materials, either--these are the same quality of materials use for high-end aromatherapy candles that sell for $20 a pop. Another plus - the combination of soy wax's lower melting point and the protective glass jar make this a safer source of light when compared to other candles, oil lanterns and so on.

One modification that I plan to make it to include a booklet of matches inside of each jar - cheap and makes sure you've got a way to light the candle if it's pulled out of storage during a power outage, etc.

The site has many more interesting DIY Projects as well!

Author:  L2L [ Mon Nov 12, 2012 7:57 am ]
Post subject:  Re: DIY Emergency Candles - Very Cool How-to

Awesome post Lynn thanks for sharing :clap :clap :clap

Author:  Bluebonnet [ Mon Nov 12, 2012 9:02 am ]
Post subject:  Re: DIY Emergency Candles - Very Cool How-to

Well, I will be darned! :yamon

:clap Lynn - thank you, thank you, thank you!

Never, ever would have thought of this! A most excellent post. :heart

Author:  L2L [ Mon Nov 12, 2012 2:13 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: DIY Emergency Candles - Very Cool How-to

Anyone know if the pots we use to melt the wax would be rendoured uselss or could we just wash them and re-use them :hmm

It says that the soy wax is all natural so I dont see any harm in using regular cooking pots?

Author:  Bluebonnet [ Tue Nov 13, 2012 7:36 am ]
Post subject:  Re: DIY Emergency Candles - Very Cool How-to

No harm. My Grandmother used to melt Gulf Wax in regular pots to seal jelly jars. Just takes a bit of work to remove the wax residue.

Wait until it dries and then pry it out with a butter knife.

Author:  L2L [ Thu Nov 15, 2012 7:13 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: DIY Emergency Candles - Very Cool How-to

Awesome thanks blue

Author:  fr33kSh0w2012 [ Thu Nov 15, 2012 8:37 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: DIY Emergency Candles - Very Cool How-to

How to Make Scented and Colored Candles

things you'll need

  • Wax
  • Thermometer
  • Fragrance
  • Liquid dye
  • Stainless steel spoon
  • Waxed paper

1.) Melt wax and let it cool. Before you add either scent or dye, you have to allow the wax to cool down a bit. Using a thermometer, wait for the melted wax to cool down to 160 degrees, which is the right temperature for pouring the wax into your molds.

2.) Measure the fragrance. You don't need a lot of fragrance to add a nice scent to your candles. The ratio is one ounce of fragrance to one pound of wax.

3.) Add the fragrance to the melted wax. While stirring the wax with a stainless steel spoon, add the one ounce of fragrance and mix thoroughly.

4.) Drop your color into the melted wax. After you've finished stirring the fragrance, add one drop of liquid dye into the mixture. Liquid dye is very concentrated, so you don't need a lot of it to get your desired color.

5.) Stir the dye into the wax. While the wax cools further, stir the color until it's evenly distributed.

6.) Check your color. Scoop out a small amount with your spoon and pour it onto a piece of waxed paper, allowing it to cool and harden for one minute. This will give you an accurate sample of what color the candle will be.

7.) Decide if the color is right. For a softer, more pastel shade of the color, stick with one small drop. If you prefer your scented candle to be a bolder, darker shade, add a bit more dye until you're satisfied.

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