Friday, June 15, 2012

DIY liquid paraffin candles

So I've been reading How to Survive the End of the World as We Know It: Tactics, Techniques, and Technologies for Uncertain Times by the founder of survival blog and I started getting a little depressed. Sorry to disappoint but I do not have a retreat in a hilly or mountainous region 300 miles from a metropolitan area fully stocked with two years of food and a stand-alone photovoltaic power system all upwind from nuclear facilities.  I'm doomed!  But I'll do what I can.

It's still tornado season and we get some wicked storms with resulting power outages.    Salt N' Prepper's DIY 100 hour candles post inspired me to make these candles:

DIY liquid paraffin candles

You will need:

  • small Mason jars (I used 1-cup jam jars my mom found at a garage sale)
  • round lantern wicks (not candle wicks) bought at a hardware store 5 for $2.39 
  • liquid paraffin (cleaner than kerosene)
  • canning lids for every candle you want to make
  • 1 canning ring for every candle 
  • a screwdriver
  • a hammer
For each candle, you need two canning lids, one with a hole and one without.

canning lids

First, poke your holes in one of the two canning lids.  I recommend flipping the canning lid over and poking the hole from the bottom up, using the screwdriver and the hammer. I found the rough edges on the top side helped keep the wick from falling back through the hole.

Use a screwdriver and a hammer to pierce the canning lid

Next, get a wick, fold it in half, and use the screwdriver to push the middle of the wick through the hole so that just a small part of the wick (less than a centimeter) shows through on the top side
Use the screwdriver to push a small part of the middle of the wick through the hole

wick from the top (it's been lit already!)

Take your Mason jars:

cup sized jam jars

 And fill them with your liquid paraffin:

liquid paraffin

 Place the canning lid with the hole and the wick on the filled jar and screw on your canning ring:
canning rings

 Light your candles!


When you're done using your candle, unscrew the canning ring and place the second, hole-free canning lid over the wick to prevent the liquid paraffin from evaporating.  Then screw the canning ring on over both canning lids.

Sealed when out of use

So much more romantic than flashlights!  Way more light than my wax or soy candles, too.   

What are some small prepping projects you've done?


  1. Replies
    1. Thanks! Please let me know how yours turn out if you try it.

  2. After you burn the candle, do you have to pull up more wick? If so, wouldn't it make more sense to put only one end of the wick through the lid instead of the middle of the wick? thanks for the idea!

    1. I haven't had to yet- but let me know how that works out please. Thanks!

  3. You could probably use any kind of oil, right?

    1. That's a really good question, I'd love to try one with coconut oil. Let me know if you try it please!