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Tea lights are easy and inexpensive to make and are perfect as handmade gifts. Here are instructions on how to make them along with gift box decorating tips
Making high quality end lights is a lot easier than you would think. All that’s involved is getting a hold of the right materials then melting and pouring the ingredients into the cups. Honestly, that’s pretty much all there is to it. Once you make your own, you’ll be loathe to pay the crazy prices they go for in shops. The holidays are a great time to make them too since most of the materials you need will come in bulk. Handy for making tea lights as inexpensive gifts and keeping some for yourself.
DIY Tea Lights
The instructions are for making 12 individual tea light candles.
Candle Cups and Wicks
The first step is assembling your candle cups and wicks. When soy wax tea lights start burning, all of the candle wax will melt every time you use it. If the wick is accidentally moved during this time it could settle somewhere else in the cup or tip over completely.
What you need to do is to secure the metal wick-tab to the bottom of the cup. You can hot glue them down or use some Blu-tak style adhesive like this. When you’re finished, line the tea light cups up on a sheet of paper so that you don’t make a mess of your work surface.
Melt the Wax
Soy wax will come in flat white flakes and you’ll need to measure out your amount by weighing it on a scale or eye-balling it some. I always use a digital kitchen scale but that’s the nature of my business — when you’re making handmade beauty products it’s 100% essential. Making tea lights can be a little more inexact.
Place your soy wax flakes in your pouring pitcher and melt it in the microwave. DO NOT put the microwave on for several minutes and leave it unattended. Put in on for 30 seconds at a time and stir your wax after each burst. It will melt fairly quickly.
Alternatively you can melt your wax using the double boiler method — one pan sitting in a pan filled with simmering water.
Adding the Fragrance and Pouring
When the wax is completely melted, take it out of the microwave and set it on your work surface. You’ll now need to use your digital kitchen thermometer to keep a watch on the temperature. If you mix in your fragrance and pour when the wax is too hot your tea lights won’t have a smooth finish.
Wait until the wax is 120°F before you pour your fragrance oil into the wax. Stir for a full thirty seconds and take the temperature again. Pour the scented wax into the cups when it’s about 100°F.
Cooling and Lighting
Candles should be left for twenty-four hours to cool before you should use them. After this time has passed, trim the wicks to about 2/16″ and wipe any wax splatters off with a paper towel. Place them in a gift box and decorate it however you’d like. I’ve used fresh greenery cut off my Christmas tree, raffia ribbon, and some ornamental red “berries” that come on wires.
The gift box I’ve used isn’t available on Amazon but I encourage you to look around your local craft shop to see what they have. Alternatively, this gift box is square and made of brown kraft paper. It’s size is perfect for placing just four tea lights inside.
How to Use
The burn time for soy wax tea lights are between 4-6 hours depending on how large your cups are. To use, set your candles on a non-flammable and heat-proof surface and light. Keep away from flammable materials such as table cloths and curtains and keep out of the reach of children.
Soy wax is easy to clean off most surfaces. To get your utensils, pitcher, and thermometer tidy, wipe them first with paper towels while the wax is still warm. This will remove most of it. Then wash as normal in very hot water.