DIY Weddings

Candles DIY

romanticozromanticoz North Carolina member
First Comment
So my fiance and I have decided to give candles as favors at our wedding. BUT.... I have no clue where to start. 

1. I have acquired these super cool glasses. All of them are different sizes and shapes. There are roughly 80 of them. 
2. I have time on my side. I have about 7 months left until my wedding. 
3. I am on a budget; so I wanted to buy the supplies soon. Please don't forget budget.

What to do??
Where to buy?
Rough cost? --How much would you recommend..? 

We decided on candles because we might make one for our unity. But yet again we are stuck..well I am. I am a DIY bride and Gez does it seem to add up. It does save money for me to make my own items and it fits my personality and theme. 

Re: Candles DIY

  • To save money? Skip the favors.

    You could use the assorted glasses on your tables as centerpieces instead.
  • 1) Make sure the glasses are tempered and capable of withstanding the heat given off by candles.  Safety first!  Not all glass is created equal.  Shattered glass burns aren't fun!!!

    2 & 3)  Your options are (if the glass is tempered)...  Go get some spray paint and spray the glass and put an unscented tea light inside and use them as your centerpieces then give them away to guests...  That'll cost you under $50 unless you spring for a nicer candle. 

    I recycle candles as my donation to our church (melt down leftover nubs from the altar candles - typically a 51% wax blend)..  Knowing what I've got into my basic set-up (temp controlled melting pot from the big box store, wax filters, filter fabric, something to get wax from the melting pot to the pouring jug, metal pouring jug, molds, mold release wick, bobby pins/sticks to hold wicks, etc.), let me simply say unless you are using someone else's pouring setup, "Just pick up the phone and call the girls down at Dadant & Son's Candles and make an order of what you want in 100% Beeswax candles already made - you'll save a TON!"  If you still choose to DIY, purchase wax in bulk from a beekeeper (~$7-8/lb., and if they're 8oz. size containers that's around 45lbs. of wax), purchasing wax from the craft store or online is going to bankrupt the budget (most online sites charge $12-$18/lb for wax and then there's shipping), and it's going to take more wax than you think it will depending on the size of these..  For ease of working, beeswax is the friendliest material as it doesn't shrink as much when cooled and is a neutralizer.  Make sure your work surfaces are covered!  Wax is a PITA to get off of surfaces.  I typically only do pouring in the winter out in the garage because it's quicker, easier, safer, and less tempermental.  Use an old shower curtain on the floor to keep the floor clean..  Hope this gives you a better idea of the cost.  Pouring your own candles can be really cool, but even a cheap set-up is expensive!!!  For wax supplies, colorants, and molds - I'd recommend Mann Lake Ltd. or Dadant & Son's Bee supply.  For the Unity Candle mold, silly as it's going to sound, use PVC pipe in your desired size with a hole drilled in the bottom of the cover and LOTS of mold release spray... 

    I was a DIY Bride too, the hardest part was coming to the realization I couldn't do it all and that from time to time it really did cost double or more than if I'd have just hired it out without including what the value of my time was.  We had a Candle Maker friend make our Unity Candle (she's now in her late 80's and still winning the shows with her work!) - it was SO beautiful! It was a 12" tall angel with a pillar cored out in the back that held a votive - the work she did was STUNNING!  I'd have never been able to do that myself!!  (she's who gave me the PVC trick!)

    Good luck!!!

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  • edited September 2015
    I agree with @MesmrEwe. Unless you know for a fact they are tempered you don't even want to put a real tealight in them. I make tea lights for a local soywax company. I have a special melting pot, thermometer, pitcher, scraper, and then of course plastic tealight cups that are CSPC approved and only melt at super high temps and wicks with a metal holder/snuffer in the bottom. Unless you buy wax and wicks on a large scale they are super pricey. If you were making 8oz candles (think small jam jar) you would need 32lbs of soy wax for 80 jars. (I dunno about paraffin..) i bought my own 50lb box of soywax thru my boss. Including shipping it cost 70 bucks but if they hadn't ordered it with their crate of wax shipping was going to be $15 more. I know it's a little bit more per lb to order in smaller quantities although paraffin may be cheaper (but certainly harder to clean up). Beeswax is nicer but more expensive And harder to clean up. If you're really set on making your own candles do some research and buy tempered candle jars/glasses from a candle supply store.

    It would technically be cheaper to find a mom and pop candle store to make some candles with a personalized label. I would list my boss's company but im afraid it might be a vio ;)

    Buut i see you're also in NC so if you're interested maybe you can pm me.

    Edited for spelling. Dang auto correct.
  • Just an idea - you could always go to your local farmer's market or craft shows and see if there's someone there who makes candles for you if  you want them super individualized. I will agree with everyone that there's a lot of supplies needed for making candles and it can get pricey. I'm lucky enough that my mom makes candles and soaps as part of her business so she's going to help me with my centerpiece candles. 

    Soy and beeswax have less shrinkage - paraffin you get a decent sized dip in the open end of the mold due to shrinkage. 
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