Thursday, December 27, 2012

DYI Survival Candles

Everyone is in for a big treat today!  My friend, Renee, made survival candles and is going to share them with you.  When I saw she was going to be making them I quickly begged asked nicely if she would be willing to do a guest post on them.  She gladly obliged my groveling and did.  :)  

DIY Candles - Reeeneeebear Style

A while back I re-pinned a how to make your own survival candles.  Like most pins I have, it is an awesome idea that I would probably never get around to doing.  However, after having our own power outage and almost gagging because all I had at the time were cinnamon candles, I decided that perhaps this would be a super useful project.  

I decided to go about this a little differently.  I wasn't crazy about turning two of my pots into a double broiler.  I'm all about easy and fast clean up.  So I decided to use my electric skillet and some aluminum pans.  This worked really well so I'm going to share it with all of you!

The Materials:

8 oz Canning Jars - I got mine at Walmart.  They were very inexpensive.  I want to say it was around $10-15 for 2 cases (24 jars).  

10 lb bag of Soy Wax Flakes -  I bought these from  You do have to pay for shipping and it seems crazy but all in all you get a 10 lb bag of  really easy to use wax for around $24.

5" wicks -  Now there are a couple ways you can go about this.  You can buy the tabs and wicks and make your own or you can go the lazy way and buy a jumbo bag of pre-made wicks here at  They run at $6.22.  The shipping looks crazy, but the same people ship the wax and the wicks so they only charged me shipping for the wax.  Both items came in the same box.  

Large Pan - You can use your judgement on this.  I got a small square cake pan.  You could get a larger pan   if you want to melt more wax at one time.  This worked pretty well for me.  I could fit 2 smaller pans in at one time.  Although to make all 24 candles, it did take me a couple of hours.  This is what I used:

You don't really need 3 but I couldn't buy just a single one.  

Small pan -   I chose a Mini Loaf 5 pack.  These are the exact ones I used:

I really recommend this size for melting the actual wax.  I was actually able to skip the "measuring cup" step and just pour the wax directly into the jar from the pan.  

Electric Skillet - You probably already have one of these.  If not....then WHAT do you use when making pancakes?  Seriously??!!  :)  Okay if you don't have one, you can get a cheap one at Walmart.  I think mine was in the $20 range.  

Ove Glove - Okay, cheesy as it may seem, I have 2 of these things.  My mom got them for me for Christmas and I really love them.  You can usually find them where all the "only seen on TV" stuff is.  I see them at Target all the time.  You probably don't NEED one, but it sure made things easier!  

Let's Get Busy!

Now that you have all the stuff, let's make some candles!!!!!!

1.  Set up your skillet and turn it on!  I set it at 350 degrees.

2.  Place the larger pan directly on the skillet.  Fill this pan halfway with water.  

    1.  Fill up the smaller pans with wax.  Go ahead and fill them all the way to the top.  Trust me.  It will be alright!

    2. I really recommend this size for melting the actual wax.  I was actually able to skip the "measuring cup" step and just pour the wax directly into the jar from the pan.

  1.  While you are waiting for the wax to melt completely, start prepping your jars.  This consists of taking the lids off and putting a wick in there.  Don't worry about if things are perfectly centered or anything.  We will work on that later!
6.  Okay, now that your wax is all the way melted...

it's time to pour it into the jars.  I put on my handy ove glove and just picked the small pan up by the sides and poured the wax into the jars directly.  To start out only pour about one inch of wax in each jar.

Now go ahead and center the METAL part of the wick.  The actual wick will be leaning every which way.  That's okay.  Right now we just want the metal part centered.  After that wax has cooled a little bit, you can straighten the actual wick.  By having a little bit of wax in the jar and letting it cool, you will be able to pull on the wick without the metal part moving.  While you are doing this, you should start melting 2 more pans of wax.  

I would keep pouring a little in each jar so you can give that wax time to cool.

See how the wax has dried and now I can straighten my wick without moving the whole darn thing!  This really doesn't take very long.  The less wax you put in, the faster it dries.  Just make sure you put in enough to cover the metal thing.

  1.  Eventually, you can pour in the rest of the wax.  Don't fill them all the way up to the top.  Leave some room.  I only filled the "smooth" part of the jar.  

Now your wick might go wonky.  Don't worry.  You will have plenty of opportunities to straighten it as it dries.  Here you can see my candles at varies "drying" stages.  It looks funny but they will all turn out the same.  I promise.

  1.  When the candle is almost all the way dry (meaning you can press on the top and your finger only makes a small indent or better yet none at all!), go ahead and trim your wick.  I wish I could tell you a length, but to be honest I just trimmed them short enough so I could put the lid on :)

See and the wick is centered for the most part!

Clean up after this project is a snap.  If you spilled any wax on your counter top it is very easy to scrape off and doesn't leave a residue.  The pans you can either keep for your next candle making adventure or throw them away!  

Congratulations!  You have successfully made emergency candles!  I kept the canning jar box and put the candles back in the box for easy storage.  I also slipped a little pack of matches in each row just in case I couldn't find my Aim N' Flame  :)

Now I'm not sure how long these candles will last.  I went ahead and burnt one just to see how it worked and it is a very nice burning candle.  It burned very even.  I had it going for about 4 hours and it barely burned any of it at all so I'm thinking they would last a pretty long time.  I suppose if you wanted to get all fancy you could get some scent to put in there or dye to make the wax a fancy color, but I wanted these for the sole purpose of having something in case of an emergency.  

Either way, now I'm ready for the next time the electricity goes off or the zombie apocalypse!    

Isn't this awesome!?!  I am going to make some of these.  I also think they would be great to give people as a little "survival" gift.  We just had a blizzard here last week, but we were lucky enough not to lose power.  About 5 years ago we weren't so lucky!  We lost power for 5 days!  On the 5th day my husband and I drove an hour away and paid an enormous price for a generator.  We have since gotten a box installed on the front of the house so all we have to do is plug in the generator without running extension cords.  We can run the furnace, deep freeze, fridge, water heater, and one kitchen outlet.  If this isn't enough then we can also run the extension cords.

Having a generator is all fine and dandy, but if your power is only going to be out a few hours then you don't want to go to the trouble of setting it up.  These candles are PERFECT!   Plus you won't be knocked out by the scent of cinnamon...or in my case pine.  :)  I love pine scented candles.  lol

Let us know if you make these! 

This post has been linked up with Frugal Tuesday Tip
Homemade Mondays 


  1. I totally made some survival candles for the Mayan apocalypse. So glad I was wrong about that one. Lol. We just bought a big thing of crisco and inserted wicks. Supposedly they'll burn for 45 days. Haven't tested them, though. Saving for an emergency. Yours will probably smell a ton better.

  2. Awesome! Let me know if it works when you use it.

  3. Looks super easy, I like your double broiler substitution! Candles will always come in handy. Thanks for sharing on Homemade Mondays, this site is adorable!

  4. I made candles awhile ago and I used wax instead of the soy flakes. The best part was using any leftover candles to make new ones. Especially if they are just for power outages, I highly recommend it. I told all my friends to save candles that didn't burn very well and I made new ones :) Super easy and even cheaper!!