When I first began making candles in 2008, I started with a “How to Make Candles” DVD (haha!) Through a TON of experimentation, I taught myself how to make pillar candles. But it wasn’t long before I decided to start experimenting with container candles.
Mason Jar Candles were the natural choice because of my love for classic vintage nostalgia. Life on the Outer Banks lends itself to a slower, simpler life and for me, Mason Jars are a reminder of simpler days gone by.
Here is a behind-the-scenes look at how our Mason Jar Candles are made at The Outer Banks Candle Company.
Equipment & Supplies We Use
Back in my humble beginnings when I first started making candles, I did NOT have any fancy equipment. As my business grew, it became clear that I needed to invest in more industrial equipment, and along came some larger and more efficient pieces that made my job a whole lot easier!
Some of the specialized equipment we use includes:
- 110 lb Wax Melter
- Infrared Thermometer
- Heat Gun
- Precision Scale
- Pouring Pots
While we have some specialized equipment, many of the supplies we use to make our Mason Jar Candles are still as simple as when I started. Our go-to supplies for candle making include:
- Soy Wax
- Wicks and Wick Stickers
- Wick Stabilizers
- Mason Jars with Lids
- Fragrance Oil
How We Make Your Mason Jar Candle
Once we gather all our equipment and supplies we are ready to start making your candle. Here is each step of how we make your Mason Jar Candle.
#1: Selecting a Jar
We make our classic Mason Jar Candles in three different sized clear jars:
We top each Mason Jar Candle with a metal lid that has a daisy shape cut out of the metal so that you can smell your candle even if it’s not burning!
It takes months to gather these jars from near and far… antique shops, thrift stores, and estate sales… it’s a good thing I LOVE antiquing so much!
While our classic Mason Jar Candles reflect that special vintage nostalgia of days gone by, we also love to pour candles in actual ANTIQUE Mason Jars! A few times a year, we drop a batch of VINTAGE Mason Jar Candles and many of the jars are 100 years old!
These special jars come in lots of styles… clear jars with glass lids and wire bails, aqua-blue jars with old zinc lids, and even commemorative jars that were manufactured to celebrate something like the Bicentennial of the US!
#2: Fragrance Selection
Our signature fragrances at The Outer Banks Candle Company are one of the most special and unique things about our mason jar candles. I have literally spent YEARS mixing, testing, and devouring high-quality fragrance oils to come up with the best, truest, most delightful combinations.
I am often inspired by the coast, nature, and the beaches that surround us here. Take our Seagrass fragrance, for example:
Other inspirations for me include the nostalgia, peacefulness, and sweet emotions that vacation has a way of stirring. This is the case for our Pineapple Mint fragrance, which was inspired by the feeling I get when I’m sitting on a beach, soaking up the warm sun and fresh breeze… with a favorite drink in hand!
Creating new and unique fragrance combinations is one of my favorite parts of my job as a candle maker! If you’re not sure what scent to choose our Candle Sampler Packs are a good way to get aquainted.
#3: Melting & Pouring The Soy Wax
In its pure form, soy wax comes in the form of smooth, silky flaky that look and feel like if you were to shave a bar of bath soap. We start by dumping these wax flakes into the wax melter that holds 100 pounds and heat the wax to a high temperature.
Melting the wax always makes me think of making sweet tea! If you’re from the south, or you’ve ever made the super sweet tea that the south is known for, then you know that you start making ICED tea with HOT water! This is so that all that sugar will dissolve completely and evenly.
The same is true for our candle-making process. We fill each candle with as much fragrance as the wax will hold! So, in order to make sure that all of that delicious fragrance mixes completely and evenly in the wax, we do the mixing at high temps.
Then we let the wax cool for a while before we pour it into the Mason Jars.
Once the soy wax is ready to pour, we make sure the wick and wick sticker is attached to the Mason Jar. Wick bars are used to keep the wicks centered as we pour in the wax.
#4: Curing Your Mason Jar Candle
Temperature and humidity are very important factors in candle making. Candles are temperamental little buggers! We are careful to keep the candle studio at cool, consistent temps with low humidity, in which the freshly-poured candles cure the best.
We keep an eye on them to be sure that air doesn’t get trapped inside as they cool and remelt the tops of them with a heat gun when air pockets form. All of this ensures that your candle burns long, slow, and evenly throughout its entire burn time!
Once the candles have fully cured, we clean them up and trim the wicks. Then they are ready for their labels, and lid, and finished off with a raffia bow.
Things We Do For Best Results
So much experimentation and trial and error have gone into perfecting our mason jar candle-making process. And so much attention to detail and TLC go into each and every batch of candles that we make.
Some of these small details and things we do for the best results include:
- Sourcing the best soy wax that holds a lot of fragrance and has a strong “throw, meaning the candles THROW scent into the air and the smell carries well through the room.
- Using only the highest quality fragrance oils that smell true, pure, and not at all perfumey. It’s also imperative that they don’t contain any harmful substances, such as phthalates or other cancer-causing chemicals. (I have an entire cabinet full of samples that didn’t make the cut just because of this!)
- Brainstorming and experimenting with new and unique fragrance combinations. (SO MANY FAIL along the way on this one… and sometimes this part makes me feel like a mad scientist!)
- Testing wicks for each and every candle size and style to ensure that every candle burns long and evenly, without tunneling or leaving too much wax behind! (Who wants a candle that burns a tunnel straight down the middle and leaves half the wax on the sides of the jar??)
As you can see, a lot goes into creating these simple Mason Jar soy candles. While the learning curve was steep and parts of the process and journey have been challenging, to say the least, I still LOVE making candles, even after all these years!
I love the satisfaction of pouring the hot wax and watching the candles cure. I love the inspiration that leads to a new fragrance idea! I love the finishing touches that add beauty. I love the gratification of a finished product (maybe it is because motherhood is never finished haha!)
And I REALLY LOVE to see and hear about the joy, peace, and happiness that Mason Jar Candles bring people when they smell them and light them in their homes. Long after the candles have burnt out, many of our customers bring new life into their jars with different kinds of repurposing crafts like these snow globes.
The Mason Jar Collection is a mainstay at The Outer Banks Candle Company. Be sure to check out the candles in various container sizes and fragrances.
Mason Jar Candles$12.95 – $26.95
Kimber Smith is the creative founder of The Outer Banks Candle Company. With a degree in art, she has dabbled in many art forms from oil painting to calligraphy to furniture refinishing. And when she’s not busy making candles or managing the high energy (chaos) of life with five kids, she enjoys writing about the journey of it all!