Handmade Gift Challenge: Giant Gingerbread Homemade Candles

Need a $10 gift that will serve as a serve-all gift for hostesses, sisters-in-law and random friends alike? I have the project for you today! These giant jar homemade candles are cheaper than you might imagine and they are honestly HUGE! We are talking bigger than the biggest size of Yankee candle, bursting with an orange gingerbread flavor and some fun add-ins.  Ready to start crafting??

Giant-Homemade-Candles-Crafts-UnleashedTo create 5-6 of these homemade candles, you will need the following supplies. These homemade candles will end up costing just about $10.00 each. (Better than the $25 price tag for the big Yankee candles, right??)

Supplies needed to make your own giant homemade candles:

duoThe first thing you will need are wicks! You can buy wicks online or simply make your own! Making them at home is fairly easy.  You will be melting wax for your candles anyway, so it is easy enough to prime some wicks while you are at it. You simply need wax and a fairly thick cotton twine. (For a large candle like this, string needs to be quite thick or else it will quit burning as you get lower into the candle.  Smaller candles can handle smaller string wicks.  You also might consider adding TWO wicks to this candle, but make sure to keep them at least an inch and a half from the outer glass edge of the candle.)

dipping wicksDip the string into the hot wax and then place it on waxed paper or a non-stick paper plate to dry. Dip a few times until the string has a good coating of wax on it. Tie a weight to the end of the string (a coin or brass tack will work).

making wicksOnce your wicks are made, it is time to start making your homemade candles! Cut your giant slab of wax into chunks and melt them in an old crock pot or pot on the stove (at a very low temp!). One slab of wax will make quite a few of these candles. I ended up making one giant candle and three mug candles and still had this much leftover:

DSC_0155When the wax has fully melted, add a generous amount of scent (I used Gingerbread Orange, but any scent or essential oil will work!). I use about 10-20 drops per “chunk” of wax and about 1/3 of the bottle total for a giant jar candle like this. You really want the scent to come out when burned, so don’t be stingy!

When you add your melted wax to the jar, you want to have the wick in place and centered.  Do this by attaching the wick to the bottom of the jar with a bit of melted wax or hot glue.  To secure the wick while pouring, you can tie the wick to a pencil lying on top of the jar or do what I did and tie it to a kitchen cabinet handle directly above your work station.

filling inside of gingerbread candleUse a funnel to pour the hot wax into the jar (be careful!) and make sure the wick is completely centered. Allow the wax to dry and start melting the next chunk for the next layer.

funnel setup diy candlesHINT: Doing this project on a wooden cutting board is a good idea as any wax that spills, dries and flakes easily off wood, but is a PAIN to get off of stone counter tops!

scraping wax off woodDid you notice the brown liquid in the photo above? Here is another look:

inside candleSince you are building the homemade candles in layers, you can make some cool effects with each level of the wax. Add coloring for different colored layers, add whole spices around the edges (not by the wick) for visual interest AND scent or add liquids to make scented “pockets” like these. I added whole cloves to the bottom layer and intermittently through the layers of this candle as well as a few whole cinnamon sticks. You place them around the edges of the candle so they get warm and give off a scent, but you don’t actually want them to burn, so that is why you don’t place them directly around the wick.

For the scent pockets, wait until the wax is about 1/3 to halfway firm. It will still be liquid-like, but very thick. Pour in a small amount of extract (I used vanilla) around the edges of the jar and the wax will repel creating a pocket (seen above). Make your final candle layer wax only so the liquid will not spill out.

To top off the homemade candles jar, I made a little cover design with gold vinyl on my cutting machine and then wrapped the finish product in burlap and twine.

10 candle vinyl lid detail crafts unleashed amy reneaWARNING — NEVER leave your homemade candles unattended, and do not burn past the last little bit of wax.  It hypothetically could catch fire (though I have never had this happen!).  Keeping the wick trimmed keeps smoke down and the flame a reasonable size, reducing the chance of fire as well.  For a SUPER safe version, simply pour wax into jars with scents, WITHOUT a wick and melt them on one of THESE!  They only cost around 6 dollars and reduce safety concerns greatly!

Giant-homemade-Candles-Crafts-Unleashed-2I hope I have inspired you to create these great homemade candles! What scent would you make your giant homemade candles?


About Amy Renea

Hey y'all! I'm Amy Renea, a freelance photographer and writer based out of Hershey, PA. I spend my days chasing children and chickens around the back yard, sipping on dandelion tea and munching on sweet potato chips. Come visit the Nest for All Seasons to learn more about my food, photography, DIY designs and modern garden living! www.anestforallseasons.com


  1. JaneEllen says

    Very good tutorial, think I just might be trying this. Have to assemble all my supplies first. You make it look doable inspiring me to try. Never made candles before but loving them and the scents they bring to home are something I enjoy, (sometimes it covers up doggy smell). Pinning this for future projects. Need to find jars
    with lids, have a bin out in yard to keep glass jars for future use. I try to do projects that stretch my experience, your tutorial has captured my curiosity, great post. Happy Thanksgiving.


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