How to Make an “Everlasting Candle” from Crisco

Posted: May 8, 2012 in General

Thought this would be an interesting project to try, and a fun family activity!



Also check out our post on making candles from old crayolas or how to make candles from a fish!


1 Can Crisco


1-3 Wicks (need to be longer than height of can, cut to match)



1)  Open a can of Crisco. The bigger the can, the better.

2) Insert the candle wick into the center of the can of Crisco. If the can has a large diameter, multiple wicks can be inserted. Leave a quarter of an inch of wick showing above the Crisco to make sure the flame is a manageable size.

3) Even out the top of the Crisco so the candle is smooth.
4) Light the wick and enjoy the candle.
  1. Taylor says:

    how do you insert the wick and make it go all the way to the bottom?

    • Elizabeth Thompson says:

      I don’t know how they did it, but I would use a straw maybe? Insert the wick into the correctly cut straw length. With metal end of wick on bottom of straw opening, plunge the straw-covered wick into the crisco. Remove the straw, smooth Crisco and voila!

    • Sarahl says:

      I would guess you could some kind of stick to push the wick all the way to the bottom since the crisco is so soft

      • bluebirdy says:

        I’d use a chopstick from chinese food delivery, ot even an unbent coat hanger, and does it have to be a wick with a metal bottom? Just string won’t work?

      • truthfully you can use whatever you want, a string will work just fine, its all a matter of how much work you want to make for yourself and the metal base just makes it easier, trying to push a string centered down the candle so it doenst burn at odd angles would be difficult.
        to use home cotton string and make it into a good wick this is what i do.

        1. Cut three strips of cotton string to the length of the candle plus 4 inches.

        2. Mix 1 tbsp. salt, 3 tbsp. boric acid and 1 cup of water in a bowl. Soak the strips in the mixture for 12 hours. Soak more strips if you are making more candles.

        3. Dry the strings by hanging them or laying them out in the sun. Drying times depends on how warm the air is.

        4. Braid three strips together tightly. Tape the end of the three strands to a flat surface to keep the braid from unraveling at one end. It also makes it easier to pull tightly.

        5. Saturate the wick by dipping it in wax. Dipping the wick in wax makes it stiff. The wax coating also makes lighting easier. Use scissors to hold the wick to avoid burns. Let the wick dry.

        6. Tie the wick to the metal or paper piece. This piece holds the wick in place when the wax is poured.

    • Rachelle says:

      That is the question, isn’t it? I would guess using a dowel to poke a big hole…

    • Glennis says:

      Hi there
      I live in australia and am wondering were I can purchase crisco as I am sure it is the product that I used with living in new guinea thank you

      • Holly says:

        Crisco is just vegetable oil in a solid form in a can. I’m sure you can find something in AUS that is similar.

    • Use a BBQ skewer or a knitting needle or something solid. I’ve made these in Girl Scouts years ago and the straw fills up with the Crisco and leaves a hole. You need something skinny and solid.

    • BBQ skewer or knitting needle.

    • Darlene says:

      I think I would take out most if not all of the crisco, then set the metal base in place after I dipped it in wax.melt the crisco in a pan, cool down and gently pour back into the can. This makes sence to me.

      • You can do that, but the wick doesnt have to be dipped in wax, it works just fine without it. Currently my candle has been burning for over 20 hours cumulatively, no issue no fire, nothing and its barely lost any crisco. But as far as safety It would be “better” to put it in a can like this, but you dont need to melt it you can just scoop it out and plop it in there.
        check out the new website where all my new posts will be from here on out

      • Susan says:

        Greatnorthernprepper, that link has a R before the O (in NORTH) and therefore it ends in a dead link.

    • Matthew Hill says:

      You can take a strip of newspaper, roll it and twist it and sink it down into the can, works great, and free! I’ve placed 3 wicks in the small cans, and they last for days.

      • That works great as well good observation!
        check out the new website where all my new posts will be from here on out

      • Matthew Hill says:

        Now I’ve gotten obsessed with this and apparently have way too much time on my hands, but I’ve taken crisco, melted it on the stove, mixed in about 30 percent or so used oil from the deep fryer, threw in some vanilla extract and food coloring (just fooling around) and it works great with the twisted newspaper AND sends off a vanilla scent……

        I use this at a cabin we have that has no electricity, hence my experiments…… We run 12-volt lighting, but these are great for sitting around the table playing cards or whatever…. I’ve also made up a batch and put the mix into tin cans, to have a bunch of them. I think you could get away with even adding more used oil to the mix; saves money and has a sort of ‘gel’ consistency.

        Next project? A Gasifier, working on putting one of those together up at the cabin, save on gas and run a generator with scrap wood from around the cabin…..

  2. Ashley says:

    I think the best way to insert the wick would be to 1: Insert the wick through a straw 2: Then insert straw down the middle of the Crisco 3: Easily slide straw out and the wick will be left. ( I would recommend a skinny straw like the red coffee ones so that there isn’t room around the wick when the straw is removed.) OR Using a wooden kabob skewer you could simply use the tip of the skewer to push the wick down into the Crisco.

  3. vicky bryant says:

    very cool

  4. Jupiter says:

    Ahhhhhh….excellent idea.

  5. Susan says:

    Taylor, the wick will not burn up as it floats on the surface. No need to it to go to the bottom.

  6. Sandra Mosley says:

    This is a great idea. I wonder about the can starting on fire. Aren’t the cardboard cans?

  7. robyn says:

    How do you stick the wick in without getting crisco up to your elbows?!?!

  8. soldierzgirl says:

    since unused crisco is already smooth, and she uses the phrase
    “3) Even out the top of the Crisco so the candle is smooth.”
    she likely means you’ll have to scoop a well out of the center of the can of crisco so you can drop the wick in. there is no way you can insert a flimsy wick into an entire can of crisco. if you use something like an apple corer, you will get a much neater well. the crisco will have to be packed back in tightly so as to burn properly.

  9. Nicole says:

    I was wondering the same thing.

  10. anything you want to use would work, most of those wicks like the one pictured have that metal bottom so you can use a straw (good one not disposable) or anything that is hollow like that, hollow metal tube, fork, knife chopstick, just press it to the bottom and then kindof beat the bottom on the counter and the shortening will fill whatever gap was made by whatever device used. The only time you really need to worry about it starting on fire is is your wick is WAAAY to long on the exposed end and a big flame is formed (but thats only towards the end life of the candle and theres a chance of the flame hitting the side. The other is if you use multiple wicks, which is a good method as well, just make sure they are not close to the edges so that when it burns down it hits the edges.

    Sorry this took so long to approve your comments and respond!
    This is the “old blog” and i have since moved the blog/podcast/resource info sections to one central location at

    Thanks for stopping by !

    let me know how this works for you and if there is anything else i can do!

  11. Susan says:

    I just saw a video on Youtube where a camper put a stick in as a wick (coated with a dab of crisco) and it worked just fine!

  12. [...] Original Source: [...]

  13. tinaweha says:

    I saw another video that showed a housewife using a strip of rolled up paper as a wick. I would not leave this flame unattended. I would not use it around small children or jumpy pets. I would not use it if your lights went out due to an earthquake because it might fall over. As long as you use it with reasonable precautions, it’s a good backup plan for some situations.

  14. [...] great tutorial for an “everlasting candle” in [...]

  15. ruth says:

    melt the crisco put the wick in the can, attach to a dowel and lay the dowel across the top of can and pour the crisco back in the can and let it get cold again.

  16. Dawn says:

    but what sort of scent does it put out?

  17. Dawn Ockomon says:

    How about adding a scent to it? Any suggestions? Would one put a few drops of essential oil, mix gently?

  18. Linda says:

    does it smoke or give off an odor?

  19. Liz says:

    I love this idea!

  20. LJ says:

    Seems like it would be a lot easier to just remember to keep a flashlight or lantern around, especially one of the wind-up types that doesn’t need batteries.

  21. Jean Evans says:

    Guess you could take some regular long candles and stick them in the can
    and have your wick stiff enough to use.

  22. Laura says:

    Does the burning Crisco candle give off an odor?

  23. Mimi says:

    Burning any kind of oil will give off fumes and residue. If you are sensitive to them, they can make you sick, but otherwise, there isn’t really enough to do anything harmful. I think this candle would be an “emergency only” item.

  24. Robin Ell says:

    How about adding citronella to repel mosquitos? tea light or would oil be safe?

  25. Ive never thought about citronella, if you try it let me know!

    This will give off a slight odor and if you do have sensitivities to things like this i would definitely be careful in using it.
    But this is more of a Survival emergency use type thing, in that if the power goes out and they say itll be out for the next 9-14 days you probably dont have that many candles in your house so this could be something that could be used to make light more available to you and your family!

    Thanks for all the comments! this has been my most popular post by far!
    and my full site is up and running at the domain of

  26. Nancy Ashley says:

    One word of caution: Crisco will flame if it gets to hot so never leave this burning unattended and as with all of my candles….I never burn them where the flame could reach something such as the cabinets or a shelf on the wall should the flame get to high. Really a neat idea though. Someone suggested melting the crisco and repouring after the wick was in place, but if I remember correctly (haven’t used Crisco in a long time) after melting it does not turn back to a completely white solid. Seems to me it is softer and has a yellowish color.

  27. TAMMY K says:


  28. Lissa says:

    Has anybody actually tried this?

    • Yes I have and am producing a video for it, and will have it up on youtube this weekend i hope!

      Will show step by step (like the article) and will light it and let it burn for 30-60minutes (time lapsed to the end for you all) so you can see how far it burns down in one hour and will comment on the smell, etc.

  29. Terri Scott says:

    love this idea & a wonderful way to use old cans of Crisco.

  30. Eloise says:

    Woud it work to melt the shortening on a low burner…..insert the wick. tie the top to a stick or wooden spoon handle across the top and let the shortening cool to solid again?

  31. I have a youtube video out now on how to make one of these and see how it works!


  32. Alice says:

    You don’t have to use just the wick. Just buy a cheap tapered candle and stick it in and there ya go! I’ve done it before.

  33. Yvonne says:

    Will the Crisco catch on fire or is the flame temperature too low to ignite the Crisco?

  34. Vonnie Williams says:

    Use a dowel just a bit larger than the metal holder for the wick. Push straight down in the middle and refrigerate or freeze until Crisco becomes more solid. Remove the dowel and viola–place the wick in the hole, fill the hole with melted Crisco and candle is ready to go.

  35. Crystal says:

    To insert the wick in a mess free way poke a small hole in the hole of the car ( use a nail of a very small drill bit etc) and than thw wick will push right threw ( the metal bottom of the wick will be on the outside bottom of the can)

  36. mix in some fragrance oils before inserting the wick to get your favorite aroma.

  37. [...] Below are the directions for the Crisco Candle from The Great Northern Prepper. [...]

  38. [...] 2) Insert the candle wick into the center of the can of Crisco. If the can has a large diameter, multiple wicks can be inserted. Leave a quarter of an inch of wick showing above the Crisco to make sure the flame is a manageable size. 3) Even out the top of the Crisco so the candle is smooth. 4) Light the wick and enjoy the candle. via [...]

  39. Teresa Dew says:

    I’m wondering if you could dip out some of the Crisco and put it in some jars, packing it down good, of course, insert the wick and make one for every room in the house. I’m also wondering if this would be a very inexpensive and easy way of making your own homemade candles by maybe adding a few drops of essential oils, whipping it into the Crisco with an electric beater, then filling the jars and inserting a wick. I think it would be along the same line as an oil burning lamp; only with a scent. What do you think?

  40. Alena says:

    How about saving coffee cans, especially the metal type. Filling it with crisco, pack it down, and insert 6 inch long “emergency candles” down into each one. It should burn evenly, and the wick is “set” by the candle.

  41. Sunshine says:

    does anyone know what the approximate burn hours are?

  42. AGM says:

    But, But, it’s NOT possible to buy a CAN because the containers are not metal any more do what to do now? Maybe just transfer the Crisci into a metal can…maybe from a craft store or just recycle?

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