Cheap candles

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by Quint, Mar 4, 2005.

  1. Quint

    Quint Well-Known Member

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    I hope someone here can help me out.

    I need help finding a source for cheap utility oriented candles. I don't need anything fancy just candles that produce light and last a reasonable amount of time. I don't need anything scented. I don't need any colors, white is fine. I don't need expensive beeswax or soybean candles. I don't need some essential oil infused healing candle that has been chanted over by an indian medicine woman. All I need are simple inexpensive white candles in standard sizes that can be purchased a dozen or two at a time. Surely there must be a place where you can buy these things in bulk and not pay 5 or 6 dollars a piece for them.

    I've tried google but alas my reliable guide to all things internet has let me down. All I can find are decorative, scented and other unsuitable candles. Standard white candles I did find were overpriced.

    Any help would be greatly appreciated.
     
  2. sapphira

    sapphira Well-Known Member

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    The most light comes from tapers. I get tons of tapers at yard sales for almost nothing. Have to hoof it to the sales. S.
     

  3. antiquestuff

    antiquestuff Well-Known Member

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    Not interested in making them? You can make them cheaply with either paraffin or 100% stearin. Stearin is better than paraffin, and paraffin needs something like stearin added to it to make it hard enough.
    Tallow is cheap, but bad burning, but mixed with say, 10 ounces of tallow and 3 ounces of beeswax, they work okay, though the burn time isn't perfect...beeswax really is best, for your health that is...just expensive compared to others.

    Okay, if you don't want to make them, have you tried any dollar stores or discount stores around you? Here you can get them for 40-50 cents each, which is pretty cheap. On the other hand, you can get stearin for less than $2 a pound, which makes lots of candles...homemade tallow is very cheaply made with waste animal fats, but kind of gross...beeswax can be bought for $5-$7 a pound online, and is cheaper if you find a good beekeeper around you with some extra. They're easy to make. The point I'm making, I suppose, is the cheapest will be homemade.
     
  4. Quint

    Quint Well-Known Member

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    I never really thought of making them myself. I figured that it had become more a trendy craft thing and the materials would cost more than buying them in bulk.

    I'll have to plead ignorance on how to even go about making candles. Do they make molds or do you have to dip a string over and over in paraffin or wax?

    I've went to the dollar store and and the candles they do have are still sort of pricey and were scented and seemed to be more for decoration rather than light production.
     
  5. Mary in MO

    Mary in MO Well-Known Member

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    Yard sales, goodwill, ask around if people have ends of candles. I collect all the ends and re-melt them down. I make the wicks or buy them if I don't have the time to fuss with it. You might be able to find taper molds in a craft store. I've never used a mold for tapers, just the dip and dip a few million times more method. Actually it's not that much but it takes time. If you want them for lighting I'd recommend something I found that was cheap and pretty safe. We have a catholic supply store here that sells the glass jar intention lights and smaller votives for really cheap. The glass jars are about 3" in diameter and 8" tall. We've used them in storms and outside. They last forever. I would buy a case at a time. The jars are clear and wax is white and odorless.
    Mary
     
  6. glenda

    glenda Well-Known Member

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    I have found for us that I can make my own candles for my own use for hardly nothing. I do what most people have already told you. I look at thrift stores and yard sales but I also look at the local stores for clearance candles. Taper and such type candles. Then when I get enough up I take them and melt them down. I get my mason jars ready to go with the wicks and all and when the wax is melted I pour a small amount into the jars allow it to harden and then add more. It takes a while but when I am done I have enough candles to last a whole year for about two days worth of work... Just a thought. Like you I am not real worried about the sent. I do make sure I try to keep the same scents together and not mix them. Unless I do a candle that is multi colored.. then I will layer the colors.. They work great and well they cost me hardly nothing to make.. Plus I save my jars as the wax melts down and reuse them the next year.. The only thing I have to buy is the wick items and that can be bought online in large rolls that will last a long time. It is just a thought.
    glenda

    Glenda
     
  7. baysidebunny

    baysidebunny Well-Known Member

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    Our thrift stores have dozens of them in all colors and sizes.
    The large orange or green kind don't sell too well but you said your not interested in color anyway. If I was searching for candles, that is the first place I would look.
     
  8. pamda

    pamda Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Dollar Stores have tons of them even in multi count boxes. It's where I get them.
     
  9. Dances In Woods

    Dances In Woods Well-Known Member

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    Standard size?...is that votives? If you have a Hobby Lobby in your area a lot of times they put their votive candles on 8 or 10 for $1. That's when I stock up! I think most are scented but those aren't very strong. Most of the time their everyday price is 5 for $1.

    ....or have you considered tea-lights? you can get a bag of 50 for less than $2 at Wallyworld even cheaper than dollar general.
     
  10. Jack in VA

    Jack in VA Well-Known Member

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    When I was a kid, we use to make them using Toilet paper tubes.
     
  11. WanderingOak

    WanderingOak Well-Known Member

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  12. wildwanderer

    wildwanderer Momma, Goatherder etc....

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    We buy the candles they use for jewish holidays. They sale a box of 74 candles and I pay between 2.00 and 3.00 for them. We stock up when they are at the grocery store, in the kosher food aisle. When I lived without electricity I used about one every two days and it lit the shelter I lived in great when they burned down I used the last bit as a fire starter. They are small you can make a holder using a vegetable can because they are not as tall as the taper candles. With the animals I try to keep them as contained as possible.
     
  13. Don Armstrong

    Don Armstrong In Remembrance

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    Over here we just get them at the grocery store, usually near the matches. Ask the staff - they may have plain old use-in-blackouts lighting candles in a different place than dining candles. I bought some recently. Prices ran from about US$1 equivalent for a generic packet of six and on up. I checked the weight though. That packet weiged 250gm. A better brand ran 15% more price for 333gm, which is a better deal since heavier=more wax=burns longer. I ended up with some coloured dinner-table candles though, because surprisingly a packet of ten cost only 50% more but weighed 500gm.
     
  14. BCR

    BCR Well-Known Member

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    I also buy the white Jewish candles. But I can get utility candles at a local store that come two ways: short, fatter white candles and, the ones I really like- the tall white candles in a glass jar that have no scent and no writing on them. They burn safely a long time. You can also buy these in stores but they usually have religious pictures or stuff on them....that can be removed to improve light output.
     
  15. antiquestuff

    antiquestuff Well-Known Member

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    Dipping can be done, but molding is easier. You can get some taper molds here:www.candlerock.com

    You have to buy the plastic two part mold, a stand, and if you get the 12 inch one, two long clamps. Sounds hard, but isn't. Once you get the mold, make sure it locks tight together, if not shave off any plastic bits stopping it, and what I do is use some duct tape, a real tiny piece, and tape the end of the wick in the wick slot, and put the mold together, then center it and tape with another small piece of tape on the outside top of the mold. Pour the wax in, pour again if needed. Oh, you have to cut some plastic off the top, which is actually the bottom of the candle, to make a hole for pouring the wax. Okay, maybe this sounds hard, but I'm sure you could figure it out. Just melt the wax in a tin can in a pot of water, like a small sauce pan, and try to bend out a little spout shape on the can to make it easier to pour. I think if you saw one of the molds you would see what I mean about a small slot at the tip of the candle shape for the wick and needing to cut a small hole in the top of the mold. Pretty easy with a sharp knife.

    You can find metal molds, but they're different, and far more expensive. Lehmans has them, and you can probably find one used somewhere too.

    You can get some wax here:http://candles.genwax.com/home.htm just click on "candlemaking" and you will find what they sell there...stearin or what is also called stearic acid is pretty cheap in bulk. Paraffin can have some bad things in it, so I'd rather use natural waxes. Stearin is made from tallow often times, and has been around since the 1800's. Candles all stearin used to be called "adamantine" candles because of their hardness.

    Okay, if you cannot find real cheap candles try making them. Tapers do give the best light of course.
     
  16. motivated

    motivated Well-Known Member

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    I get them cheapo at big lots and walmart. But for light to see by I think glass oil lamps are cheaper to use at night and I dont have to worry about them as much. I just line them up on the mantle or set one in the center of the dining table. I have also made candles in empty cans, with white wax.
    Jodi
     
  17. antiquestuff

    antiquestuff Well-Known Member

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    Yes, if needing long-term lighting, lamps of some kind are far better. Kerosene lamps work well and kerosene, though rising in price, is still cheap because you use so little for lamps. An antique Coleman table lamp is wonderful for reading by, but noisy, and if you have no experience with one, you may not want to....they're dangerous if used wrong, and not all are easy to light like today's lanterns...some take several minutes of heating the burner to light...
     
  18. JWH123

    JWH123 Well-Known Member

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    I second BCR's recommendation of the religious candles. I've seen them in Wal mart somewhere, but I can count on finding them in the grocery store in the spanish/chinese foods section. Right there next to the Goya and Old El Paso stuff.

    Glass candles with a pretty heavy-duty glass enclosure, about 2 1/2" diameter and maybe 8" tall. I understand they're supposed to burn for something like 5 or 7 days straight, they're 'vigil' candles. Cost? About a buck.


    The only drawbacks are the glass (somewhat breakable) and difficulty of getting a match down inside after burning for a while.

    John
     
  19. willow_girl

    willow_girl Very Dairy

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    If you don't mind red or green ones :D you can usually find them deeply discounted right after Christmas!

    I just got a box of 8 on sale at Wal-Mart for $7. That included 2 big pillars, 2 medium-sized, and 4 jumbo-sized votives. But they were the scented kind (hazelnut ... mmm! mmm! :D ).

    Hey, slightly off topic, but here's a tip for folks who like scented candles for their fragrance. Rather than burning them, get one of those little individual burners that are sold to put under a coffee cup to keep it warm. Place the candle in a jar and put it on the burner. The heat will release the scent, and it will last a long time (months), much longer than if it were burned!

    I also do this with odds and ends of candles I've burned, or ones where the wick has disappeared into the melted wax, making it difficult to light.

    I got a bunch of these dirt-cheap at the salvage grocery awhile back and had trouble lighting them, too! But if you happen to have a bamboo skewer, you can set the tip on fire and stick it down inside the jar to light the wick. :)
     
  20. KindredCanuck

    KindredCanuck In Remembrance

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    If you freeze cheap candles for 48 hours they won't drip when you burn them

    KC~

    Thought about using an paraffin lamp ?