Summer nights are the perfect time to line a table with pretty, colorful candles. This year I decided to forgo the normal taper candles in favor of a mixture of glass jars filled with colorful candle oil. The result gave me a table that is a mix of the Old World (where I imagine oil-lit candles dotted along summer tables) and my bright, modern taste.
The candle jars are incredibly simple to make. I grouped mine with a couple of different size jars and colors in a corner, but I could definitely imagine them lining large banquet tables or spread along a path toward the house for a most wonderful way to light up the night.
To make the colorful glass jar candles you will need:
- Glass jars
- Long-strand, untreated cotton wick
- Wax dye
- Paint stirrer
Start with a collection of clean and dry glass containers. Use mason jars, leftover applesauce jars, jelly jars or baby food jars. Any type of glass jar with a metal lid will work for this project. Upcycle your jars into something awesome.
1. Make a hole in the middle of each jar lid. To do this, place a nail on the jar lid and gently hammer it straight down. After the hole is made, pull the nail straight up and out.
2. String the cotton wick through the glass hole. Leave the wick long enough to reach down into the oil, and even coil a little for a longer burn. Trim at the top about 2 inches tall. Having the wick be untreated is very important to this project. A treated wick will not keep the flame long. Find these at your local craft store.
3. Fill the jars with your oil of choice. We experimented using a couple of different oils for these lights. We tried citron oil, tikki torch oil, basic paraffin wax oil and olive oil. The tikki torch oil was my favorite and seemed to keep the wick lit the longest.
4. Stir in melted wax dye to create a colorful display. Start with a small amount of wax dye and add more slowly as you stir with a paint stirrer. I noticed some craft stores even sell pre-colored liquid wax, which would be an even easier alternative.
5. Dip the wick into the oil, fully submerge it, pull it through the hole, tighten your jar lid and light the wick. As the wick burns down, simply pull up more of the wick to keep on burning.
These candles are perfect for celebrating summer with outdoor picnics and parties!
Photos by Victoria Hudgins