Candles are among the most versatile decorating tools. Simple to use, they offer effortless ways to style tabletops, mantels, and countertops. If you decorate with candles, here is a way to save money when buying them.
There is nothing I love better about being at home, especially this time of year when the days are shorter and it starts getting dark by the late afternoon.
Many people get depressed about this happening, but my cozy-loving self looks forward to it.
I LOVE candles! I am always on the search for new candles, holders and cute little containers to hold matches. I am thrilled when I find any or all of them at thrift stores. Then I can add my own style to them as I did with the brass and silver candlesticks I bought last year at a church rummage sale.
I sprayed them silver to decorate my mantel last Christmas.
Michaels craft store is another place where I buy them using 40% off coupons. They have a great selection of unscented white candles of all shapes and sizes.
Now that fall is in full swing, when dusk begins to settle in around 5 o’clock, I reach for the matches and light a few candles in my kitchen and living room.
Before I make dinner, I have a little down time usually with a glass of wine and a favorite playlist filling the house. The closer it gets to the holidays – usually mid-November – that playlist will be all Christmas music.
For me, candles are magical. They provide a soothing or festive ambiance to any room even if it is only a party of one. With flames flickering, candles encourage us to gather close and to linger longer.
I prefer unscented white candles in the house, but have been know to use orange in the fall and red outside around the holidays to provide a special glow by the front door of the house when we have friends coming over. Do you remember that pastime – friends coming over and entertaining in our homes? ;-)
A couple of weeks ago, I was gathering all my candles to see what sizes I still had and what I needed to refill my stash.
A few years ago, I bought a basket full of flat-top pillar candles at a Pottery Barn outlet. They were half-price so I got as many as I could.
I have used most of them and like the 4″ x 4.5 ” pillars and the 3-wick 6″ x 6″ sizes the best. This year, I decided to search for less expensive candles to refill my stash and found them at Walmart for less than half the price.
Comparison: Pottery Barn vs. Walmart Candles
I thought it would be fun to play a little “Copy Cat Chic” or the “Splurge vs. Deal” game. Basically high cost versus a lower cost bargain find.
The candles below can each be bought separately, but to keep the comparison simple, I added up the price for the 6 candles in each photo that both Pottery Barn and Walmart sell.
The Price for the 6″ x 6″ Candle
Here is the price difference for the candle that I like. It is a big difference!
- Pottery Barn White Unscented 3 wick – 6 x 6″ pillar candle – $34
- Walmart Mainstay White Unscented 3 wick – 6 x 6″ pillar candle – $13.96
I went with the Walmart candles this year. So far I don’t see a difference.
Comparing Battery-Operated Pottery Barn vs. Amazon Premium Flickering Candles
While I was organizing my candles, I decided to splurge and order a 4″ x 4.5″ fake – Premium Flickering Flameless Wax candle from Pottery Barn for $64. I always admire them when I go into the actual store. I figured that I love candles so much, why not order one.
I have tried other battery-operated candles over the years and never like the light they emit – it always looks a bit garish in color.
The flickering flame candles are different, the flame moves, making them look very realistic as the flame flickers just like a real flame does.
I also ordered one of these Flickering Sugared Birch Pillars – but it was backordered and I haven’t received it yet. For fall I don’t mind an ivory colored candle like this to use in my decor. I like the natural element vibe these have. If I don’t like the light, I may come up with my own DIY version.
While I waited for the white candle to be delivered, I saw a set of:
- 3 battery-operated candles for a fraction of the cost on Amazon.
They were not flat topped, but I still liked them. So I ordered the set of three that included a timer and remote for $21.00 to do another candle comparison. All the time, thinking that I would be sending the set from Amazon back since I liked the Pottery Barn ones so much.
When the candles arrived I put the batteries in and set them out on my coffee table, then waited till dusk.
I got a big surprise!
You may not be able to see this from the photo, but I was so upset to see that although I love the flat top size of the Pottery Barn candle, the candle and the light coming from it looked olive green. It looked drab – Yuck!
The flicker effect was nice, but I did not like the drabness. I tried it in my powder room where I like to have a candle, but it looked even worse. Every time I am in Pottery Barn, it’s in the daylight, not dark in the store so I was never able to see the candle at night.
The set of 3 Amazon candles (only two are in the photo) have a much whiter – yellow light and look more like the real candle that is behind them on the table. Both the Pottery Barn and Amazon have the same flicker effect that truly looks like a real flame.
Here is a short video to see the flickering flame in action:
Soooo… I kept the Amazon set of 3 and sent back the expensive flat top Pottery Barn candle. And got 3 candles instead of one, plus the timer and remote and saved myself $45! :-)
I prefer real candles, but having a battery-operated one on when I want to take a cat nap is a nice option as I don’t have to worry if I fall asleep with a candle burning. I also like to use battery-operated candles in the powder room and foyer when we are entertaining as I don’t want to leave real ones unattended as the center of the party is in the kitchen or living room.
I do prefer flat top candles, but also like tapers, votives and floating candles and have used them all around the house.
This year for fall decor for my kitchen, I did buy this textured hurricane. When a candle is burning inside, it is so cozy and fall like. This is the medium size. It also comes in a smaller and larger size.
I bought this bubble (seeded) glass hurricane at Target a few years ago. I sometimes use it in my kitchen, and other times on the coffee table in the living room.
And when there is no fire in the fireplace, a few large pickle jar candle lanterns fill the space and make the fireplace cozy.
How to Make Candles Last Longer?
If you enjoy the look of candle glow in your home, one way to keep your candles from burning down too fast is to keep them in the refrigerator placed in freezer bags until ready to use. This will keep the wicks from absorbing moisture while they get cold. If you place them in a freezer, they will crack, so only keep them in the fridge.
How to Remove Candle Wax Drips?
If the table surface or candle holder gets wax on it, here is how to remove it:
- Wait until the wax is hard, then use a credit card to scrape the drips of wax off. Don’t use a knife.
- If this doesn’t remove all of the wax, then soften the wax with a hair dryer and use a paper towel to blot the wax. Wipe away any leftover wax with a towel dipped in a solution of 1/4 cup white vinegar to 1/2 cup water.
How to Make Candles Fit In Holders That Are Too Small or Big?
- If candles are too wide for the opening of the candleholder you want to use, trim the bottom with a vegetable peeler until it fits.
- If the candle is too narrow to fit, wrap some tape around the bottom a few times until the candle fits snugly.
How to Trim The Sides of a Pillar Candle
When a pillar candle starts developing a center depression, sometimes the melting wax extinguishes the flame. To stop this from happening, you can trim the sides of the candle, down to the level of the wick. A vegetable peeler is once again the best way to do this.
How to Store Candles When Not In Use
When your candles are stored for the season or when not it use, the best place to store them is in a cool place. Do not store in a closet near a big sunny window or attic where the inside of the closet may get hot causing the wax to warm and deform your candles. I know this from experience when I went grab a few candles for a party and they were all melted together!