Perfecting the Art of Grubby Candles

To my surprise, my little grubby candles were a huge hit at my co-op and I have been putting off making a new batch because of what a giant MESS the whole process is. It’s fun, but it nearly gives Greg a heart attack every time I make candles and wax gets splattered all over our kitchen and is a royal pain in the @$$ to clean up. Anyway, I did make a new batch and I think they came out even better than the last.

I know I already posted a tutorial on these but I figured more pictures couldn’t hurt. I have also been not-so-crafty lately, so I felt obligated to document this recent craft endeavor. šŸ™‚

I started by melting some big candles from Wally World…I like to use these ones because of the color and strong, yummy scents. You can also use any left over wax you have lying around.

The votives I like to use are these:

These off-white votives come 16 to a pack and are significantly cheaper than the scented ones, that’s why I use them. Plus you’ll be packing on scented wax – so you’ll still have a yummy smelling final product.

Again I used my ghetto double boiler that I use solely for candle/tart making…

Then pour some of the melted wax into a disposable tin container. I get these 3 to a pack at the Dollar Tree. Let the wax stiffen up a bit so it’s more of a gooey texture, as opposed to runny (only takes about a minute). Basically when it’s JUST cool enough to work with. Set the votive down in the middle and “pack on” the wax, like you’re packing a mini snowball. I usually wear gloves….it’s WAY messy.

Then set aside on wax paper, or in my case foil…I was outta the wax paper. Anything to keep the wax from getting all over your table.

This is what they look like after they dry…

And then a final dip in wax “seals” it up and gives it a cleaner look, while still being deliciously “grubby!”

Some came out more chunky than others. I much prefer the one on the left.

Awww, how cute!

Finally, I packaged them up since they will be for sale in my booth. I use candy-making “treat bags” from the baking aisle at the craft store. They come in a variety of sizes while being very cost-effective (100 bags for like $2-$3??). Finished off with a little homespun tie…my favorite “country” accent.

*One thing I forgot to do before packaging was dust them with cinnamon. D’oh! I love that look. This is an easy way to add even more of a country feel.

I will display them in this shallow wooden box. The perfect height for my itty bitty chunky candles. I am pricing them $1 a piece, which is probably a little low for the work involved. I try really hard to price things reasonable and at a price that the average joe can afford. I want people to enjoy them, because I know these types of candles can be so expensive in the big country stores!!!

I DID try making these types of chunky candles with the BIG candles seen in the first, top picture. It was a major craft FAIL. LOL. I have to work on those before I dare take any pics!!!

Off to an estate sale and two thrift stores this weekend on the other side of town that I normally don’t get to go to. Let the treasure hunting commence! Have a great weekend my crafty peeps! šŸ™‚

20 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Deborah
    Feb 10, 2012 @ 15:58:45

    I have been wondering for quite some time how those candles are made! Thank you for taking the time to inform those less crafty!


  2. Karel Hamilton
    Feb 10, 2012 @ 16:10:34

    Thanks for the candle making lesson. So easy and so cute….and SO messy. But worth it. I’m pinning your article šŸ™‚


  3. cheryl
    Feb 10, 2012 @ 16:24:42

    Thanks a big bunch for sharing. I guess I should give this a try.


  4. Marisa
    Feb 10, 2012 @ 20:01:36

    Adorable idea. I can’t wait to make some and give as gifts. Thanks for the tutorail.


  5. Mardell
    Feb 13, 2012 @ 12:25:37

    CAUUUTE! šŸ™‚ Thanks for the great tute. I’m curious how they burn…do they get messy? Did you find any goodies this weekend? Hope you’re keeping warm!
    Happy *Heart* Day!


  6. sherrym2
    Feb 28, 2012 @ 00:37:14

    Thanks for sharing your process the packaging with added homespun tie. Stuff like that sells me on items. šŸ™‚


  7. Cindy Shamblin Buchheit
    Apr 07, 2012 @ 11:04:00

    First I want to say that I am in love with your awesomeness! And YES awesomeness is a word! are so talented!! Thank you so much for sharing all of your ideas! Im gonna tell all my friends about you!


  8. Becky Seibert
    Oct 12, 2012 @ 23:37:18

    Did you leave the candle in the tin or did you remove it. Love the look!


  9. Becky Seibert
    Oct 14, 2012 @ 13:23:47

    I didn’t say that right. The tea lights come in the little metal cup. Do you leave the cup on and pack around that or do you remove the cup.


  10. Lynne
    Oct 24, 2012 @ 09:42:32

    Awesome! Love those candles and can’t wait to make some-


  11. Wendy Felty
    Oct 05, 2016 @ 15:52:02

    These are adorable! I have a spot in a vendor store and would love to give these a try. If you don’t mind me asking, how much do you sell them for? Thanks!!!


    • Eyeballs By Day, Crafts By Night
      Feb 05, 2017 @ 11:16:22

      Hi Wendy! I sold them for $1 per candle and they flew off the shelves. Sorry for taking so long to reply…the blog has been on the back burner for a while. Hope you had fun making them, if you ever did try it. Thanks for your comment and hope you’re having a nice winter! Maggie


  12. Debbie Shiman
    Jul 17, 2018 @ 12:06:29

    Have you done this to melts or tarts? Iā€™m trying to figure out how to do this easily.


  13. stacie ash
    Jan 02, 2020 @ 17:29:37

    Do you use votive candles or tea lite candles?. The picture you posted of votives looks like tea lite candles in foil. If it’s tea lite candles do you remove the tin before grunging them up?


    • Eyeballs By Day, Crafts By Night
      Jan 16, 2020 @ 09:03:55

      Hi Stacie! For that particular project I used votives that came without the foil holders. If you get ones with foil then yes, I would remove them. Hope that helps. That was a fun project and I need to make more soon! Thanks for following! Maggie


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