How to Make a DIY Candle in a Teacup
I love the shabby chic decorating style and find myself drawn to vintage china in thrift stores or at tag sales.
A while ago I saw candles in shabby chic teacups and knew I wanted to make them myself.
So I raided the local thrift stores and finally made them. Here is my step-by-step, how-to tutorial of how I made my soy candles in vintage teacups.
It’s actually really easy to make them — all you need is the supplies and some patience.
These candles make wonderful gifts and can be customized to any person’s taste.
Not into shabby chic? Why not make a candle out of a coffee cup with a fun saying?
Supplies you will need to make your own candles:
- Teacups: use Grandma’s vintage teacups or buy any teacups you like. I love everything vintage or shabby chic, so I went to the thrift store looking for cute teacups with flowers on them. I also found a few little coffee cups, all for less that $10.
- Waxed wicks with metal tabs: from the craft store. Make sure you buy them long enough; you can always cut them shorter.
- A cup to melt the wax in: I bought an aluminum measuring cup for $2.99 at Home Goods, but crafts stores sell ones specifically for candle making for much more.
- A big pot: you’ll fill this with water and melt the wax in the smaller pot in it.
- A thermometer: I had an unused meat thermometer from the dollar store I used for the first batch, but I ended up buying the candle-making thermometer because I liked that it has a hook that secures it to the pot.
- Soy wax: from the craft store. I only wanted to make soy candles because other wax gives off unhealthy fumes.
- Fragrances (optional): I didn’t add them because I’m very sensitive to smells and not a fan of fragrances, but stores sells all kind of oils you could add
- Heavy glass dish: I needed this to weigh down the small pot with the wax because it kept floating up in the water and turning sideways even with the wax in it.
- Two pot holders: the water, the wax, and the pots get very hot, so be careful.
- Wax paper: I lined our kitchen counter with wax paper and put the teacups on top of it, just in case some wax dripped on it.
Make sure there are no kids in the kitchen so they don’t accidentally get burned.
My friend Viktoria, who makes candles and fragrances for a living, gave me three great tips for candle making:
- don’t cut the wicks too short
- glue the wicks to the bottom of the cups with a little bit of wax before you pour the wax
- the more you let the wax cool before you pour it, the nicer the candles will be
After the soy wax melted, which takes a while, I put the wax pot on a plate on the counter to let it cool down.
Then I took the end of a spoon, dipped it into the wax, and dripped a few drop to the bottom of the cup to secure the wicks.
I didn’t fill the cups all the way because I wanted the flower on the inside to peek out.
It takes about 30 minutes for the wax to harden again. My first batch of candles turned out like this – the surface was “muddled.”
And a few were smoother but had these little indentations.
There had to be a way to get them smoother. So I reached out on Twitter and was told I can fix that by either using a hair dryer or by warming up the candles in the oven.
I didn’t do either, although both ideas sounded logical. Instead, I let the wax cool down more, to less than 120 F before I poured it. And that really made a difference and resulted in a much smoother top surface.
See how great the next batch turned out? And I fixed some of the first batch by adding a thin coat of the cooler wax.
I made these teacup candles for my girlfriend’s Artists’ Open House and also made tons of gift baskets.
It took me hours to wrap everything and attach cute gift tags to them, but this is my idea of fun – I loved it.
I couldn’t stop myself, see?
This is what some of the teacups looked like.
How sweet is this little vintage jewelry box I made into a candle?
I found these four heart-shaped cookie cutters for just a few dollars and though they made a cute Mother’s Day gift with these two coffee cups. These handmade candles don’t have to have a saucer to look cute.
The candles were a hit at the Open House and with friends and family.
Making candles in teacups and other containers is really not that hard – give it a try yourself!