I was browsing around the Salvation Army op shop last weekend, and came across this cute little coffee cup so I snapped it up for the grand old sum of $0.50.
Seriously, if you have any op shops in your area they are a treasure trove for cheap old cups and bowls which make perfect candle vessels! I try and stay away from thin glass, such as wine glasses, and pick the more solid looking items like tea cups or glass tumblers just to be on the safe side.
I also nabbed a set of tea cups and saucers for $2.00, bargain!
Not to be painfully predictable, but I decided that our fresh coffee fragrance would be the perfect scent for my newly acquired coffee cup.
You can use these instructions to make your own candle in the glassware that you have on hand. The biggest problem with using odd bits of crockery is trying to figure out how much wax you need to fill it. But if you use this formula it will make it simple.
How much wax do I need?
- Put your empty cup on the scales and tare the scale to zero.
- Fill the cup with water up to the point where you would make the candle to. I generally stop about 1cm from the top of the cup.
- Take note of the weight. In this instance, the weight of the water in the empty cup is 128 grams.
- Use a calculator (unless you’re a maths wizard) and multiply the water weight by 0.86. So for me, I would do 128 x 0.86 = 110
- That’s how much wax you’ll need to fill your cup! Easy peasy.
Once you’ve figured that out, tip the water away and dry your cup thoroughly… water and wax don’t play nice together!
Now onto the next big question…
What size wick do I need?
We have a handy little wick chart which has our wick sizing recommendations. You can find that here. Remember this is just a guide, and while it works most times, things like fragrance and colour load can alter the size wick you might need. The best thing to do before making a huge batch of candles only to find you needed a bigger wick, is to make a single test candle and burn it. That’s the only way to know for sure.
With that said, figuring out what size wick is generally pretty straight forward. All you need is a ruler.
Measure across the diameter of your cup and use our chart to pick the wick.
I went for the CDN-16 purely because that’s the container I found first. I use both brands of wicks all the time and they’re both excellent wicks.
Making the Candle
Now that you know how much wax you need (110 grams in my case.) Measure it out into a heat safe container. I use microwaveable plastic jugs which I picked up at the Warehouse for something like $2.00 each. I only use these for candle making. You don’t want to be putting these back in the cupboard to use when baking.
For the amount of wax that I needed, I microwaved first for 90 seconds, gave it a stir and checked the temp which was only around 50C, so it went back in the microwave for another 30 seconds, stir and temp check again, it’s up to 70C by now, so into the microwave for 15 seconds where it comes out bang on 83C – perfect!
Add your fragrance. I used our Fresh Coffee fragrance which I loooove. At a 5% ratio I used 5.5ml (110 x 5% = 5.5)
Once you’ve added the fragrance give it a gentle stir for a few minutes so that the fragrance fully incorporates into the wax. You’ll need to wait until the wax cools down to about 60-65C. If you pour when the wax is too hot you can get problems with a pitted top. You don’t need to watch the wax like a hawk during this time, just give it a stir every couple of minutes until you reach the right temperature.
In the meantime, you can stick the wick to the bottom of the cup. I use a wick sticker to make sure the wick doesn’t float up when you pour the wax, then use a wick holder to make sure the wick stays up straight and centred.
Once the wax is cooled, pour it into your wicked cup and wait for it to set. This usually takes a few hours, but for best results don’t burn the candle for at least 12 hours (overnight is best)
Trim the wick to 1cm
And there you have it. A super easy, and not to mention cheap, candle!