Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Tea Cup Candles

For Mother's Day gifts, I decided I'd use a great "green" idea I saw in a Martha Stewart "

Green Crafts" link. The idea was to use old tea cups and fill them with candles. I started by sifting through old teacups at Goodwill and other thrift stores and ended up with these cups and one adorable teapot.

Then I melted old wax from unused or partially used candles lying around the house, and I also used some new votives that I bought and took the wick out of before melting. I melted the wax within a smaller pan that was submerged in hot water. The directions said to use a wax or candy thermometer but I did not to this, and we will consider that decision in a bit. So, I melted the wax completely and, meanwhile, I set up my teacups. I cut wicking and put them through the small metal wick stabilizers.... all available at any craft store. I used plyers to close the metal hole of the stabilizers onto the wicks. Then I used bamboo skewers to tie the wick onto so that the wick would stay centered within the cup.

Then, just pour the wax in! You'll want to leave a little space at the top so you'll have a wick. Don't fill it all the way to the top. I made sure the wick was centered before leaving it to dry. Most of the candles dried very well, but the ones in the white teacups dried strangely, very bumpy, and I'm wondering if this is because I did not have the wax at the correct temperature. I just figured melted wax is melted wax, ya know?

Here is a finished pic of some of them, for some reason I can't find the pics of the other ones completed. These green ones dried great, but the other ones dried bumpy and I think you can catch a glimpse of that on the above pics.

Needless to say, Grandma, Mom, and Mother-in-Law loved their Mother's Day gifts!


  1. It was really nice to see how your candles turned out! I think they are very lovely. And I wouldn't mind those bumps you mentioned, I bet they settle down nicely once you kindle the candles.

  2. OK now THAT is an awesome project! I tried making candles a few years ago but it didn't go well at all - I didn't have an appropriate wick stabilizer OR the little metal bits for the bottoms - yours are much more beautiful :-)

  3. Awesome! Love seeing the progress shots. Great work!

  4. The green ones turned out beautifully! Nice job.

  5. Having a wax thermometer is not terrifically important IMO. But not all waxes are equal; some melt at lower temperatures and some need much more heat. I suspect the 'bumpy' texture on the certain candles came about because two waxes got melted together, and one cooled to a solidifying point before the other one did. It's probably not a big deal, I'm sure the candles will burn just fine.

    Something to watch for, though, on the white mugs as you burn them; if your wicks are too thick, the candles will burn too hot, and should not be burned for more than about 30 minutes at a time. The mugs risk heating up too much, and the last thing you want is for one to crack and have hot wax spill everywhere. That's kind of an extreme worry, the cracking part, but just keep an eye on them while they burn.

    Fun project though! And the green ones turned out so pretty!

  6. Lovely candles! Makes me wanna do some to...