Today, I’ll walk through how to make your own concrete container candles. Concrete-votive candles add warmth, light, and fragrance to any space, adding to your modern, industrial or minimalist decor.
What you’ll need:
- 1lb Wax: I use IGI-4625 paraffin wax from Candlescience, however almost any candle wax will do! (1lb = 454 grams)
- Concrete Votive or Planter: here I’m using my 4″ Cube Planter. For instructions, please go here
- 1 ounce Fragrance Oil: Also bought from Candlescience
- Optional: Wax Dye chips or liquid dye
- Several wicks. For this I use the LX-24 wick from Candlescience
- Melting pot and wax thermometer
Step 1: Melt the Wax
Use a double-boiler setup to heat and melt the wax. Heat until the wax reaches it’s recommended temperature (usually about 180 – 190*F). This 4″ Cube just happens to hold almost exactly 1lb of wax. You can weigh it out if you have a scale, if not you can just eyeball it and add more later if you’ve melted too much.
Step 2: Fragrance & Dye
When the wax has reached it’s pouring temp, add your desired amount of dye. Liquid dye usually only requires a few drops. Certain dyes are more potent so be careful! I used 12 drops of black dye for every pound of wax to get a nice opaque black wax.
Add any fragrance you have chosen. Most fragrance oils are rated for 1oz oil to 16 oz wax. Fragrance oils are more cost effective when bought in larger bottles, but most retailers offer small 1oz sample bottles either for free, or for a dollar or so which are great for testing new scents or for small projects. Follow manufacturers recommendations, adding more fragrance oil does NOT necessarily mean stronger scents! Sometimes over-adding FO can actually hurt the performance and throw of your candle.
Mix SLOWLY and don’t over-mix! Fast mixing or overmixing can introduce air which results in bubbles caught in the wax!
Step 3: Place the wicks
Choose two wicks (in a line) or three wicks (in a triangle formation) and wrap them around a pencil to hold them in the correct spot. Make sure the wicks are standing straight up. Clothespins can also work well for holding up wicks.
Step 4: Pour!
Smoothly pour the hot wax into the middle of your concrete vase. Keep pouring until the wax level is about 1/4 or 1/2″ from the top, and stop! Allow the wax to cool for 1-2 hours. If you have wax left over in the pot, cover with aluminum foil to keep it warm.
Step 5: Re-pour
Almost all waxes shrink as they cool. Because of this, you will need to do a second pour to get a nice flat top to your candle.
It may help to prop up your wicks a little higher so you can fill the wax to the top.
Reheat your wax and slowly pour over the top until the vase is full.
Step 6: Trim Wicks
After another hour or so you can trim your wicks to 1/4″ and you’re done! Allow your candle to sit at room temperature until fully cooled. There are many types of waxes and fragrance oils, some wax and oil combinations require several days to “set” before they have reached their full fragrance potential. This is especially so with Soy waxes.
Step 7: Enjoy
You’re done! Place your awesome new creation on a sturdy flat surface, keep away from drafts and flammable objects, and enjoy.
Candle-making is a fun and easy way to get more versatility out of your molds and concrete products. These concrete vase candles offer more value to you and your customers; not only will they fill a workspace or home with light and frangrance, but when they are burnt out they can be re-filled or be filled with soil and used as a planter! Designing for end-of-life scenarios like this helps us reduce waste and repurpose what we already have.