Summer view

Summer view
A View From Our Deck

Monday, August 25, 2014

Making Jar Candles Can Be Dangerous

A lot of my ideas come from Facebook and Pinterest.  Some of them work out and some of them don't.  Recently I saw a very cute idea that used a variety of jars that were made into candles.

I thought this was a perfect little project for me.  I was wrong.

I proceeded to gather all the supplies necessary to do this project.  It takes a jar, a cover, some type of oil, a variety of lamp parts and washers, something to drill or punch a hole in the cover and a wick.

I got my supplies together.

  I chose a small jar for my first try because it wouldn't waste a lot of oil in case it didn't work.  

A hole drilled in the jar cap. 

The first thing I did was drill a hole in the cover of the jar.  It had to be about 3/8 inch to fit the threaded nipple.  Next I secured it with a washer and a coupling on top and a washer with a hex nut on the bottom.

Washer with the coupling

Washer with the hex nut

Everything went together well.  I filled the little jar with some pine sprigs and filled it with olive oil plus basil.  I bought this oil but didn't like cooking with it.  I like basil but it was infused in the oil and too strong for my taste.  Rather than throw it away, I used it in this project.  Next I needed a wick.  The instructions said that you could make a wick from a cotton t-shirt, so that is what I did.  I soaked the wick in the oil and threaded it through the nipple.  I screwed on the cover, and it was ready.


I lit the jar candle and the flame was bright and beautiful, but it went out right away.  I lit it again and the same thing happened.  Next I took the t-shirt wick out and replaced it with a wick from an old oil lamp we had.  I went through the same process, and it also went out several times.  I thought that the oil with basil wasn't the correct type of oil.  I poured it out and replaced it with some old canola oil I had.  I repeated all the steps but that didn't work either.  The next day I went to the craft store and bought some candle wicking.  I was sure I just didn't have the proper wick.   Again I threaded the wick through and lit the candle.  It burned for a while but I could hardly see the flame.  I pulled the wick higher and it burned bright for a few seconds then dimmed to almost nothing quickly.  Darn it all.  I wanted to make these candles.  So I went out in the garage and got the container of Ultra Pure.  It is a smokeless and odorless liquid wax paraffin.  We had it for some outdoor torches.  I put this liquid in the jar, replaced the wick and lit it.  Voila, I had a flame.  It was a very nice flame.  It burned for several minutes so I put the candle on the kitchen counter.  I started to do dishes and was working in the kitchen when I turned around.  The whole lid was on fire.  I panicked and was about to grab it with the Ove-glove and throw it outside.  Fortunately my husband came into the kitchen and told me to wait.  He said it would burn itself out.  It did and nothing was damaged.  Apparently the threaded nipple on the inside acted like a straw, and when it got hot it sucked the oil out of the container and caught on fire.  I want to try it with a shorter nipple that isn't down into the oil or much less oil.  My husband told me that he didn't want me messing around with it anymore.  He really would never trust these candles.  Someday I may sneak outside and try a method with less oil, but for now I will leave well enough alone.

So BEWARE....making Jar Candles can be a dangerous project, and I don't recommend it unless they are NEVER lit.