DIY Blackout Candles (6 for $25)

If you came here for a full tutorial on how to make candles, you might want to find a more experienced candle maker. This post is really more of a PSA than a DIY tutorial. After a horrific blackout experience, I decided it was my duty to inform the lovely public how to be more prepared in the event of a power outage (because I was not and I still have nightmares about it).

Skip to the DIY instructions

I am afraid of the dark. I still haven’t received the adult superpowers everyone else has that makes them fearless of all things possibly lurking in the dark. So as I sat in the living room watching TV, you can imagine the sheer fear that fell over me when all the lights around me flickered off.

Of course, when the lights did go out, my self-centered, anxiety-filled brain immediately thought that only my power went out and someone was trying to harm me. Also, my laziness reached a low point when I realized I only had 6% left on my phone (mind you I was just sitting at home waiting until the very last minute to get up and get the charger). Que me frantically trying to get my phone turned on and unlocked to turn on the flashlight, which seemed far longer than it was due to all the adrenaline my body just dumped on me. I finally get the flashlight on and frantically wave my phone around to check for any predators. I eventually come to my senses and realize the power went out, and I was not about to be the inspiration for the next hit slasher film.

I sigh a breath of relief realizing that I wasn’t going to have to delve into all my horror film knowledge to try and fend off my personal attacker. I immediately realize I’m wasting my precious battery life (5%) and need to find a flashlight. I think for a few moments and realize I have no clue where one of those things might be. I then think about where candles might be, and wearily realize they are in the cabinet above the fridge. I should also mention that I am a 5’1″ (~155 cm), terrified adult. So I wander into the bedroom (which may be homing a murder) and quickly snatch up the step ladder.

It is at this point that I hear a noise. The noise in question came from the only room I have yet to check for an attacker (which at this point I still thought might be a possibility). I heard what I thought was something falling off a shelf in the shower. So instead of using my phone battery to get out the candles (4%), I decided to check the shower for an intruder. Since I am here typing this, you can bet I didn’t find squat.

Now that I feel a bit better there is hardly a chance for an intruder, I start the journey of getting candles down. I struggle to reach the bottom of the cabinet above of the fridge but eventually pry the sucker open. I try to stretch toward the first candle, stand on my tippy toes, and eventually have to half leap and half lunge toward the candle. I finally get one. I turn around and place the prized possession on the kitchen counter and then suddenly realize I have no idea where a lighter might be. It is at this point I would like to bless Derek’s smart butt for placing the only lighter we own next to the candles like a real adult. I check the candle cabinet again, find the lighter, and let out a little ‘thank God’.

I am still running off adrenaline and fear and am shaking trying to hold the candle and light the lighter. I get the candle lit and realize that I need way more of them before I could turn off my phone light and feel halfway comfortable. The candle I managed to find was about two inches (~5cm) in diameter and letting off a farts worth of light.

I get back on the step ladder and try my whole half leap half lunge again and am so far from reaching the next closest candle. I panic and decide to grab one of the bar stools. These bar stools were cheap off amazon and make me feel a bit uncomfortable to just sit on. Plus, they are top heavy. I grab the sucker and throw it in front of the fridge. This all happens out of pure fear thinking I was going to be doomed with only one small candle after realizing I was now at 3%. I get on the chair, almost topple over, but manage to get all of our candles down with my half leap half lunge stunt.

I get all the candles lit and in place and still am at 3%. I’m feeling good, think I’m the next Wonder Woman and do a little celebratory dance. I realize my laptop has a full charge, but don’t have the proper adapter to charge my phone off it. But hey, at least I can play solitaire or mess with MS Paint in the meantime.

But wait, there’s more! After finally getting comfortable, regularly screaming at the cats to stop messing with the lit candles, and spilling wax all over a table runner, I get a massive headache. Why? Because I got 8 different candles going with 8 different scents all mixing to create a headache-inducing fog that’s overwhelming the apartment. I open the back door to a chilly 35°F (~ 2°C) and try to get the nauseating scent out.
So the night ends with my cats frantically chasing each other in excitement, me sitting in a blanket cocoon playing solitaire on my laptop in candlelight for over an hour. I could hear my neighbors cheer when the lights came on. So for those that are still with me…

Heed my warning: Get unscented candles. Make them easy to access. Store the lighter near the candles.

diy blackout candles


I picked up 6 bowls for $2.99 from GoodWill, 9 pounds (4kg) candle paraffin wax for ~$15 from Michaels (50% off coupon), 6 long prepared candle wicks for $2.99, and candle wick tabs for $1.99. The reason I decided to make my own is that I couldn’t find cheap, large, unscented candles anywhere.

All Materials Needed:

  • Unscented Candle Wax
  • Candle Safe Containers
  • Wicks (with wick tabs) or
  • Wick Tabs
  • Double boiler (or equivalent to melt wax)
  • Spoon or ladle to mix wax and transfer wax into containers
  • Wax adhesive (or just use hot wax to stick wicks to the bottom)


  1. Melt your wax in a double boiler or in a glass bowl over a simmering pot of water (add enough wax, chopped into large chunks, to fill your container halfway).
  2. Once some of your wax is melted, pour a small amount into your clean, candle containers and stick the bottom of your wick in it (or use wax adhesive). Let that cool for a moment so it hardens.
  3. Fill your containers a little at a time and let it slightly harden in between while you straighten your wicks.

Voila. You just made some life saving (?) candles for your next blackout that will hopefully be uneventful.

Here is one of the fire-explorers:


Share with me one of your blackout stories below!

Sing-off image 3





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