Living A Simplified Life!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Milk Carton Candle Instructions

You are going to need the following supplies:
Newspaper to cover your work area
Cardboard milk cartons - quart, pint or half pint sizes
Paraffin wax - you can buy large blocks at the craft store or smaller amounts at the grocery store (the kind you use for canning)
Wooden or metal skewers or old pencils to tie your wicks to
Candle wick material, and metal tabs (can purchase separately or already cut and together)
Coloring (old crayons work great, or small blocks of color from craft store)
Scenting oil ( purchase at craft store or health food store)

You Are Ready To Start

Prepare the work area by covering it with newspaper to catch all the drips.
Cut the milk carton to the size candle you want to make. Cut off the top flaps of the carton, and then cut it to at least 1/2 inch above the height you want the candle to be.

Cut a piece of wick that is 2 inches higher than the top of the milk carton. It’s better to buy wicks that have the little metal tab already attached to the base, and that are already coated with wax (so they stand on their own). If they are uncoated, you will need to dip them in melted wax and lay them flat on wax paper until the wax has cooled and hardened.

Wrap the free end of the wick around the middle of a wooden skewer ( I use old pencils), and then lay the skewer across the top of the milk carton. The skewer helps keep the wick in place and upright.

Melt the wax for your candle. I always make a double boiler, using a sauce pan for my water and then an old clean coffee can, which I have bent the top of to make a funnel shape. You are going to use the wax in several steps, so keep it melted.

Add fragrance. Choose a pure essential oil fragrance you like-available at health food stores and online. Depending on the size of your candle, add between 5 to 10 drops of essential oil to the molten wax, and gently blend it in using a wooden skewer or an old wooden spoon before you pour it into the milk carton.

When the wax has melted, scoop up a small amount of wax. Pour the wax into the carton so that it covers the metal tab. You may need to hold the skewer in place as you pour the wax so the wick does not shift. Hold it in place until the wax hardens.

Fill the milk carton with wax up to 1/4 to 1/2 inch from the top of the carton. Let the wax cool until it is hard. You should expect the wax to shrink somewhat, so plan to top off your candle to make it level. Let the wax cool completely again. If needed, repeat the topping up step. After set and cool,
trim the wick to 1/4 inch above the top of the candle.

Insert a butter knife carefully between the edge of the candle and the carton, and gently lift it around the edges to loosen it. Then snip a cut on one side of the carton, and carefully peel it off until the candle is free.


If you like, for added visual drama, add some ice cubes to the milk carton, allowing them to stack randomly on top of each other, but not too many, or the candle will have too many holes.  You can also use a plain taper candle in the center of this type of candle, eliminating the need for the setting of your own wicks.

You can also add decorations to the outside of your plain candles, using several different mediums. You can use paper cutouts from scrap booking supplies, attach them using melted wax. Once adhered, cover over the top, using melted wax on a small paintbrush to make an even coating. You may want to do this several times.

You can also etch a monogrammed initial into the side of the candle using a sharp knife. Using colored melted wax, carefully fill in the indented monogram. If you drizzle over the edge, carefully scrape it off while still warm and slightly hardened.

Let your imagination run wild, you can do lots of different creative things!

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