Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Tea Cup Candle Tutorial

Here's the tea cup candle tutorial I promised.

You will need

lump of Bees wax (the melted volume can be difficult to gauge as wax is usually sold by weight but it should 'look' like it would fill your required number of tea cups)

wicks (pre primed and with aluminium bases can be purchased from ebay for $3.00 for 25) You can also purchase 'un-primed' wicking* from craft stores). As a rule, the thicker the wick, the better it will burn with Bees wax. 

tea cups

wick holders ( icecream sticks with small holes drilled in them, also purchased from ebay $2.00 for 20)

double boiler (I used one BIG saucepan for my water bath and two smaller ones for my wax)

metal tea strainer

candy thermometer

baking tray

Before you get started:

Make sure you have everything you will need laid out (once you get started pouring you have to move quickly)
Have your oven pre warmed and set at 50 degrees.
Ensure your tea cups are clean and without dust. Place your cups on the baking tray. If you are using pre primed wicks and wick holders place the primed wick end through the hole in the wick holder. Place the wick  into the tea cup so that the metal base sits flat on the bottom of the cup and the wick holder sits across the rim of the cup. The wick should stand up straight and without slack.
If you are using un-primed wicking,  you will need to prime it by dipping the wick in you melted wax and hanging it over a chop stick to harden. You can then cut your wick to length (about 3cm longer than the depth of the cup) and stick one end to your wick holder leaving the other end to hang in the centre of the tea cup.

you're now ready to get pouring!

The trick to making your own bees wax candles is to get the temperature of your wax correct before pouring. Ideally you should get your wax to around 77 degrees before you pour your candle. This is why we use a double boiler and a thermometer, it is a gentle way to heat your wax and reduces the risk of your wax over heating and subsequently cracking after it has been poured. Bees wax contracts quite a bit as is cools, the slower your candle cools, the less likely it is to crack!

If your using un-  refined bees wax like I did you will need to melt your wax block in the double boiler and strain the wax before you start to remove any debris. Get your wax up to 80 degrees before you strain it. I used a couple of old saucepans from the Oppy to do this, straining the wax from one directly to the other and then straight back on to the water bath.

Once your wax has been filtered and has cooled slightly to 77 degrees you can begin to pour your candle. I used a milk saucepan to pour my candles as it has a pouring lip and allows for greater control. Carefully pour you wax into the tea cup pouring close to the wick and stopping about 1cm from the lip of your cup. When you have finished pouring all of your candles, carefully transfer them to the oven and then turn the oven off. Shut the door and leave the candles overnight to set. 


*Note, the pictures above are just a rough guide (taken shamelessly after the fact)! I'll update the tutorial with new step by step pic's when I get some wax and pour a new batch. :)


  1. thank you - it has been so many years since I made candles! I remember it being so much fun!

  2. What a great collection of tea cups and a fantastic way to use them!
    Love your blog...I'm a new follower now! Eleesa

  3. Great tutorial - I've never made candles before but if anything could entice me to it's these beauties. I have to agree with you about the whole Spring/ Daylight Savings/ birthday thing (are you a Scorp too or a lovely Libran?). I feel like I have more of a spring in my step too although more time doing things outside means less blog time!

  4. Oh yay! Thanks for this I can't wait to give it a try!


Thanks ever so for taking the time to say hi!


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