Make Candles at Home without Wax from Common Household Materials - Easy, Quick, Minimalist

How to make candles at home from scratch with lard or vegetable shortening, glass jars and yarn - without wax! Making jar candles is easy. They're low cost, odorless, long burning and perfect for emergency or blackout. With patterned jars, they cast an attractive light. The use of vegetable shortening such as Crisco makes the candles vegetarian/vegan.

If burning for a long time, a layer of molten fat might develop on the surface near the wick. When extinguishing, check that the wick is vertical as the fat resets. This makes it easier to relight. Also, maintain the wick as one would with a regular candle. Trim it if there is an accumulation of charred thread.
<p>Is it possible to add food coloring to these candles to change the color?</p>
<p>Most food coloring is water pasted, so it will not mix well with the oily/fatty melted candle. The cheapest route would probably be to mix in crayons or certain kinds of makeup.</p>
<p>Hi Casie,<br><br>We haven't tried coloring them, so we don't have a direct answer. This is just a guess: if food coloring doesn't work, perhaps melted wax crayons might(?)</p>
<p>Hi Cassie, </p><p>I've just made 5 large candles using this method , I added green, orange and yellow food colouring and the colours have come out a soft pastel shade , really lovely. I have also added essential oil , although not sure we can smell anything yet , I'll keep you posted on that one </p>
<p>Why do people use wax if something so much easier to obtained can be used to make candles? Are there any cons of using vegetable shortening?</p>
<p>Hi Britha,</p><p>The fats used in these jar candles are not suitable for making free standing candles as they are softer than paraffin wax (or beeswax, but that is expensive). Some sort of container is required, unlike &quot;standard&quot; commercial candles.</p>
<p>Hi what is the shelf life for this type of candle, I'm thinking of starting to make them now for Christmas presents</p>
<p>Hi Mandie,</p><p>The shelf life is the same as that of the fat used - plus more since the fat won't be eaten. We have had some such candles sitting for a year. There has been neither degradation in function nor bad smell. Hope this helps!</p>
<p>How long do these candles generally last?</p>
<p>In the jars we use, a conservative estimate is around a day.</p>
Can you add a scent to these candles?
Hi firstnonna, <br> <br>As we were aiming at minimalism for this video, we didn't. You can add a few drops of a scented (essential) oil once the fat is melted - stirring it thoroughly. It's important not to heat the fat more than necessary to melt it (to preserve more of the scent - and to be safer too). <br> <br>As an aside, the candles seen in the video have no noticeable odor when burning - and have the barely noticeable scent of lard/vegetable oil when not. <br> <br>Cheers!
Thanks for the info.
What neat idea, where have I been my whole life not to have thought of this LOL
Hi billandritsch, <br> <br>:-) Thanks! We find it's the simplest things that are sometimes the hardest to divine.

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