After some trial and error, I’ve made three different candles!

Left: Roughly half bacon fat, half soy wax (you can also use beeswax). Alice and I made this together. I tried 100% bacon grease, but it’s just too soft at room temperature and doesn’t hold up the wick as it burns. This and the middle candle both use wooden wicks, they are from a cheap bag of fondue sticks and work great. Does it smell like bacon? Not really, if it does it’s very subtle.

Middle: 100% butter! Just melted and poured. The simplest to make. The wooden wick makes it crackle and pop as it burns, which is nice. Another way to make a wick is a small wooden skewer wrapped in a bit of paper towel, shoved into the butter.

Right: Thick cotton wick + hole cut in mason jar lid + cute jam jar = olive oil lamp! Took a bit of tweaking because it would not wick the oil up all the way from the bottom. In the end I added a bunch of water, which is heavier than the oil and settles on the bottom. This keeps the oil near the top and wicking into the flame. This is my favorite because olive oil burns clean and lasts a long time. You can adjust the height of the wick/flame, and you can refill it just by unscrewing the lid!

All of these use common household fuels you have lying around, are easy to make, and end up being much cheaper than buying candles or lamps + paraffin. You can add scent with essential oils. All of them burn very clean, no black smoke.


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