Back in October, RJ and I had the honor of hosting my sister and brother-in-law’s baby shower for their first child. As I was scouring pins on Pinterest for favor ideas, I just couldn’t find anything that I was really super excited about that was also cost-efficient. And if you are anything like me, the thought of dropping tons of cash on something I can semi-easily do myself and could make for less than half the cost just makes me cringe. <cringe>
So I endeavored one day to just make the favors for my sister and BIL’s shower myself. And of course, with the help of a very helpful and non-complaining husband who is truly a gem.
I went through a lot of ideas before finally settling on baby food jar candles, like paper baby booties filled with candy, little mini-baskets filled with candy, homemade apple butter, etc.
And then it hit me one day. I have a friend, Kristin, with a lil baby girl who has to go through tons of baby food jars each day. Why not ask her to save the baby food jars and just use those in some way for favors? It fits the theme and it repurposes what will be recycled or thrown out anyways!
Anyways, I thought I’d share with you all how I made these favors in case one day you want to make them yourself for a fun project or for a baby shower you yourself are hosting. Or maybe I’m trying to help other frugal people like myself still put on a good show. Whoever you are, I hope this is helpful!
- As many emptied baby food jars as you need favors. It helps to have a supplier. You know, like a pseudo supplier? Um, yeah, I have been watching Breaking Bad lately, why do you ask?
- A pack of tissue paper in whatever color you want, cut in 4″x4″ squares for the tissue paper flowers on the lids
- Floral wire
- Hot glue gun
- Scrapbook paper with the color scheme you desire. For Jenny and Alby’s shower, the color theme was yellow and gray.
- Soy candle wax (It looks like a bunch of small wax chips in a bag. I used about 4 pounds for 25 favors. Available on amazon.com or your local craft store)
- Soy candle scent (optional, in case you want it to smell nice)
- Small candle wicks
- A microwave-safe measuring cup, preferably with a spout
So I started getting batches of empty baby food jars, and bless her heart, Kristin would wash each of the little jars before giving them to me. It took less than a week to get all the jars I needed.
RJ was so sweet to help me peel the labels off each jar and wash the jars again.
Next, microwave a pound of candle wax at a time in your microwave-safe measuring cup. I used CandleScience candle wax. While the wax is melting, lay a toothpick across the opening of each jar to determine how long the wicks need to be. You can get wicks in bulk on a spool, but I got the precut wicks with a flat metal tab that sits on the bottom of the jar. In order to center the wick so that the candle burns most evenly, you will need to tie the extra part of the wick around the toothpick in order to hold the wick centered. This part can be a bit tricky. If you don’t know what I mean, just look at the picture below.
After the wax is done in the microwave, stir it so the clumps all melt away. After the clumps have been melted, add about an ounce of candle scent if you want to the pound of melted candle wax. Stir until the wax isn’t cloudy anymore.
Next comes the fun part. Carefully pour the melted scented wax into each baby food jar until it is about 3/4″ to 1″ from the top of the jar.
Set the filled baby food jars on a level surface to harden overnight. In the meantime, you can start working on some little tissue paper half-pompoms. I didn’t photo document this process, but you can learn how to make these at Martha Stewart’s website here down in the section at the bottom of the page for making napkin ring holders. I didn’t want my flowers so big so I halved the width of the tissue paper.
After accordian folding the tissue paper, you can cut the unfolded end into a rounded edge, sharp edge, triangle, whatever you feel like to change the look of the flower.
When you are done with the little tissue paper flowers, hot glue gun them to the baby food jar lid. Set aside to dry.
When the candle wax has hardened the next day, cut the wicks of the candle around where the toothpick is.
Now you are ready to decorate the jar however you wish! I used different width bands of contrasting colors of scrapbook paper to wrap around each jar and just glue-gunned them in place. Make each jar different for a little variety! Or you can print out labeled stickers with the names of the guests of honor on it. Whatever you feel like!
Don’t the different flowers types and different baby food jar labels look so fun against the backdrop of the diaper cake?? And now, guests get to take home a favor that they can use very practically, instead of one that they’d probably throw out in a week or two. Not that I’ve ever done that. <shifty eyes>
I did a quick cost analysis to see how I did with regards to cost per favor. On Etsy, the cheapest I found baby food jar soy candles to be was $3 each with $4 shipping. And they weren’t nearly as fun as these candles are! The cost per candle for my project ended up being:
($1 (tissue paper) + $2.99 (floral wire) + $5.80 (5 lb soy candle wax) + $7.99 (5.6 oz soy candle scent) + $2 (scrapbook paper) + $4 (25 candle wicks) + $0 (baby food jars) + $.25 (one glue gun stick) + $2 (toothpicks))/25 = $1.04 per jar!
I don’t know about you, but I’d rather spend a little time making something really cute for $1.04 each than buying something not as cute for $3 each with $4 shipping plus $2 for each additional shipped item.
But that’s just me, and I’m frugal.
Anyways, I’ve been meaning to share this DIY for a while, and hope that you find it useful, informative, and easy-to-follow, should baby food jar soy candle projects ever grace your future!
And if you do try the project, let me know how it turns out! :)