Make Layered Container Candles

  • 01 of 07

    A Variation on the Basic Container Candle

    Layerd Containers Setup
    Layered Containers. David Fisher

    Like votives or pillar candles, container candles can be poured in layers too. The layers can have different colors, or, as is popular these days, different colors and scents. (Almost like getting two candles for the price of one - one scent on the top layer, and another underneath.) There are a couple of extra steps involved, but the procedure is basically the same as in Basic Container Candles.

    For this project, you'll need:

    • Clear glass containers of some sort - I'm using 8 oz. standard jelly jars from the grocery store. Clear mason jars or high-ball glasses work well too
    • A container blend wax - I'm using Astorlite J-300, which is specifically designed for layered container candles, but J50 or other container blend waxes will work too - there are many great ones to choose from.
    • An appropriate wick for your jar and wax - I'm using a 51-32-18z, zinc core wick
    • Color and fragrance as desired
    • Wick bars or a plastic straw to keep the wick centered
    • Basic candle making equipment
    • and a basic understanding of candle making safety.

    Let's get started.

    Continue to 2 of 7 below.
  • 02 of 07

    Prepare the Candle Containers

    Center the Wick
    Center the Wick. David Fisher

    Using a straw to hold the wick, dab a bit of hot glue onto the bottom of the wick tab and press it firmly into the center of your container.

    It's important that it be centered well or the candle will not burn well.

    You can also use the double-sided "glue dots" or "wick- stickums" - they work the same as the hot glue, but are easier.

    Attach your wick bars, or plastic straws to keep the wicks centered.

    Continue to 3 of 7 below.
  • 03 of 07

    Weigh/Melt the Wax

    Weigh the Wax
    Weigh the Wax. David Fisher

    Figure out how much total wax you're going to need for all of the candles, and divide it by the number of layers you're making. I needed about 24 oz. of wax to make three jar candles - in three layers - made for 8 oz. of wax in each layer.

    If you need to figure out just how much wax you'll need for your particular container, use this Handy Container Calculator.

    Put the first 1/3 of the wax into your melt pot and heat it to about 180 degrees.

    Continue to 4 of 7 below.
  • 04 of 07

    Plan out the Layers - Warm the Jars

    Warm the Jars
    Warming the Jars. David Fisher

    O.K. - for these candles, we're making three layers of varying shades of blue - dark on the bottom, medium in the middle, and light on top. (You can plan out your layers however you like.)

    When the first 1/3 of the wax is melted, add fragrance oil and color and stir well. For the bottom layer, I used 8 drops of blue liquid candle dye.

    When the color and fragrance are well mixed with the wax, set it aside to cool.

    While the wax is cooling, get your jars warm. Instead of warming the jars in the oven, like I did in the Basic Container Candles project, I used my heat gun to warm the jars.

    Continue to 5 of 7 below.
  • 05 of 07

    Pour the First Candle Layer

    Pouring the First Layer
    First Layer. David Fisher

    When the wax has cooled to about 130 degrees (and your jars are still warm), gently pour the first layer. Be careful not to spill any wax down the inside of the jar.

    Continue to 6 of 7 below.
  • 06 of 07

    Cool - and Pour the Second/Third Layer

    Second Layer
    Second Layer. David Fisher

    Let the candles cool about 45-60 minutes. You want a solid top of the first layer, but still a bit warm.

    Heat the second 1/3 of the wax to 180 degrees and add the fragrance and color. For the middle layer, I used 4 drops of blue liquid candle dye. Let the wax cool to 10 degrees hotter than you poured the first layer. (eg. If you poured at 130 degrees, your second pour will be at 140 degrees.)

    Give the jars a quick zap with the heat gun - concentrating more on the outside of the jar than the inside. You want to warm them back up a bit, but you don't want to melt the top of the first layer.

    Slowly pour the second layer onto the first, again, being careful not to spill wax down the inside of the jar.

    Again, let them cool for 45-60 minutes. Repeat the step, again heating your wax to 180 degrees, adding the fragrance and color (I used 2 drops for this layer.) and pouring the layer at 10 degrees hotter than you poured the previous layer.

    Continue to 7 of 7 below.
  • 07 of 07

    Finished Candle - Cool - Trim and Enjoy

    Finished Candle
    Finished Candle. David Fisher

    That's it!

    Let the candles cool overnight. Trim the wicks to about 1/4" and enjoy! (For best results, let them cure a few days before burning them.)