When a reader reached out and asked about wax warmers, my mind turned towards a more hairy issue. I wondered why anyone would want to DIY something like that, especially since the device must keep a constant and precise temperature. After all, waxing is a cosmetic procedure that can still go wrong, so it’s better to be smart and safe.
And then, I had my fifth morning coffee. Once caffeine managed to buy me those few essential IQ points, I saw the wax warmer sitting on my desk. My friend made me the wax warmer for me and long story short, I now owe her a box of brownies.
So, let’s pretend that my little blunder never happened and check out 3 ways you can DIY wax warmers at home today.
DIY Wax Warmer Dish
As long as you have a source of heat and a heat-resistant dish, you have a wax warmer. This means that you can put a steel or a ceramic dish over a teapot trivet or USB mug warmer, and you have an effective solution.
But what if you are rather good at pottery? What it would take to make a ceramic wax warmer dish from scratch? There’s a little hack that makes this an easy project, so let’s get straight to it.
- Gather the supplies. Pick the clay you like the work with. It doesn’t matter which one it is since the dish won’t have to handle extreme heat.
- Create 2 pieces. One needs to be at least 3 inches wide at the base and 4 inches tall. The other can be any shape or size, as long as it nestles easily into the first one. This is the trick. You’re not trying to model everything from a single piece but putting them together like Lego.
- Leave the pieces to dry (leather hard stage). Now it’s safe to cut out a door for a tealight in the first piece, then stack and join the pieces together. Wet the edges and let the gravity do the rest. Leave to dry to bone dry stage.
- Fire up as usual or per instructions that came with your clay and glaze.
- Speaking of glaze, you can leave this piece without one, but you will have to use a liner to protect it from wax. Pick glazes and paints that are safe for use on kitchenware since those are not going to be damaged by the flame from the tealight and melted wax.
- When finished, add wax melts and enjoy!
DIY Wax Warmer Mason Jar
A project that can be completed within minutes, without exaggeration.
We don’t need anything special, and you probably have all the supplies already. A mason jar, a jar ring, porcelain or steel dish, and a tea light. Anything else we can add to this list will solely work as a decoration.
- Gather your supplies. Use a pint-sized mason jar. It’s big enough to keep everything stable and secure, but not too big to become energy insufficient. Use the ring that matches the size and a dish that can safely nestle inside the opening.
- To put everything together, place a tea light at the bottom of the jar. Screw on the ring and use a candle lighter to light the tea light. Place the dish on top, add wax melts and enjoy. Simple as that.
- To paint the jar, use heat-resistant acrylic paints. Make sure to let them dry completely before using the warmer.
- To decorate with glass, crystals, or anything else, attach them by applying clear bonding heat-resistant glue. Leave to cure completely before using.
- You can also drill holes in the jar to create a lace design. Not only will it look interesting, but it will also improve the airflow around the tea light. However, you can’t use regular tips and will have to get your hands on diamond tip bits or tile drill bits.
- You can also play with shadow figure designs. You have a couple of ways to do so. First, you can create a sleeve with white paper and black cardboard cutouts. Place them before adding the dish with wax melts, and you’re done. Another option is to get a metal wire or a laser-cut design and place it inside the jar. Then, dilute matte white acrylic paint and spray paint the jar (or use another paper sleeve).
DIY Electric Wax Warmer
Since playing with electricity is a no-no unless you know what you are doing, we’ll hack finished products. Here are 2 ways you can DIY a wax warmer using lamps.
For the first version, we will use a torchiere style lamp. This is the type of lamp that looks like a goblet, and to it we will add a simple ceramic dish, creating a sort of a bain-marie/double boiler situation.
Be careful when picking a lamp for this project. It needs to have a stable base and a cord long enough to comfortably reach the area where the lamp will be on display. Otherwise, it may tip over and, in the worst-case scenario, cause a fire.
- Gather your supplies. Next to a torchiere lamp and a ceramic dish that fits into it perfectly, you will also need a 20W bulb. Don’t use an LED one since they don’t produce enough heat.
- If you want to paint or decorate the lamp in any way, do it now. Keep in mind that those decorations will be exposed to heat and pick appropriate paints and adhesives.
- Replace the original bulb from the lamp with the 20W one. Run a test to make sure that everything works properly. Also, check for fumes from the paint. If you can smell them, wait a day or two before using the lamp.
- Place the ceramic dish on top of the lamp. The dish has to be heat-resistant, but other than that you can use anything you want. Depending on the size of the lamp. Sake cups or sauce bowls may work (and look) great.
- In case you want to secure the dish to the lamp, use a hot glue gun. This is not a permanent solution since the heat will soften the silicone, but that also means that you will be able to remove the dish when it’s time to replace the bulb. Plus, it will be easy to reglue.
- Add the wax melts and enjoy! Make sure that the lamp stays out of reach of pets and small children, and don’t leave the lamp unattended.
Most commercial candle warmers look like regular table lamps. So, let’s hack one of those and create another type of electric warmer.
The lamp will need to bend downwards. Ideally, you have chosen one of those designed for students’ and crafters’ desks. It doesn’t matter if it’s a bit ugly, we can fix that. Library lamps tend to have the shape we are looking for, and they are rather attractive.
We will also need a trivet or a holder for the candle. We can either build a base or, if you’re feeling lazy, find a nice coaster. Also, we will need that 20W bulb again.
- Gather the supplies. You may need some carpentry tools to build and attach the base. A saw, sander, and a drill should be enough. You will also need some hardware to attach the lamp to the base.
- Build the base. This can be a bit tricky. Reading lamps usually attach to the desk directly, so you will have to figure out how big the base should be, so the lamp doesn’t tip over. Use heavier timber for bigger lamps and watch for the center of gravity for the entire setup. If you don’t want to bother, find a lovely coaster or trivet and call it a day.
- Decorate the lamp and the base. Remember to use heat-resistant paints and adhesives. Leave everything to dry or cure for a day or two before moving to the next step.
- Put everything together. If you’re not making a base, find a spot to secure the lamp. If attaching to the base, remove the bottom clamp and secure the lamp using preprepared hardware. You can pick it up in most hardware stores in the section where you’ll find everything light-related.
- Replace the light bulb with the 20W one. And just like before, go for a test run.
- Place a scented candle and enjoy! This setup is more stable than the first version, but you should still keep it out of reach of children and pets. Since the wax is enclosed in a jar, there should be less chance of accidents, but still don’t leave the lamp unattended for long periods.
Other Ideas Around the Web
Not wowed by what you saw above? Check out these ideas from other websites.
- Not a full-on project, but a simple hack that can turn anything that produces heat into a wax warmer or makes the cleanup easier. Learn the secret here.
- I love Ikea Hackers, and I love their spin on an electric wax warmer. See the full tutorial here.
- This is an awesome one and perfect for those who are looking to make something different. See the step-by-step tutorial for a glass wax warmer here.
I’m a stay at home mom with our two kids. I really enjoy doing crafts with my kids however, that is typically a challenge with how limited their attention span can be and how messy it gets. So, I’m always looking for ways to make crafting an enjoyable experience and creating fond memory for all of us.