I love candles and thought I might dabble in the art of candle making as (I’m sure you aware) candles can be quite expensive. Soy candles are very popular at the moment as they burn cleaner than those made of paraffin wax. I love these little candles and I scented mine using essential oils. They are so easy and fun to make and relatively inexpensive. Oh the possibilities!
The process I used in making these candles was very experimental. I ‘Googled’ some tips and directions on how to make them and pretty much winged the rest. I found that some things that worked for others didn’t for me, so here’s how I made my beautiful little soy candles.
You will need the following materials:
- weighing scales
- soy wax (I ordered mine off Amazon)
- wick holders or tabs
- candle wick
- a large glass measuring jug (or other microwave safe container)
- a hot glue gun (or glue dots)
- your choice of essential oils
- newspaper to protect your work surface
- a spoon
- oven gloves
To start, you will need to determine the amount of wax that you will need to melt. Do this by weighing the jar you are going to be making your candle in. Record that weight and now fill the jar with water and weigh it again. Subtract the weight of the jar by itself from the weight of the jar with water in it. The total will give you the weight of wax that you will need to melt to fill the jar.
Next, prepare the jar for the candle. Make sure your jar is clean and dust-free. Cut a length of candle wick (make sure there is a little bit of excess at the top) and crimp the ‘neck’ of a wick holder firmly around the wick. Secure the wick holder to the bottom of the jar by using hot glue or a glue dot. I found that the glue dot didn’t hold very well, so I tried using hot glue which worked perfectly.
Use a pencil or wooden skewer to hold the wick into place and to make pouring the wax easier.
Before you melt the wax it’s best to have your essential oils ready to go. I looked into this a bit to see how much essential oil you should use. One site suggested 2% of the amount of wax in your candle. Next time, I would be tempted to use a little bit more than this to give a stronger scent.
For my candles I decided to blend some of my favourite essential oils. I used Grapefruit and Ylang Ylang for one and Lime and Peppermint for the other.
At this point make sure to cover your work surface. You don’t want to have to spend hours scraping wax off every surface of the kitchen (cue my Mom’s fond memories of the bright orange, melted crayon candles of my childhood).
So now that everything is prepped you can start melting and pouring. Weigh out the amount of wax that you need and put it into the glass measuring jug. Melt the wax in the microwave little by little, being sure to stir. Be careful as the glass measuring jug will get VERY hot. I melted the wax until there were a few flakes left floating around and then stirred it until those melted. The wax will stay melted for quite some time so there’s no need for a mad-rush-craft-panic. Stir in your essential oils and pour the melted wax into your prepared jar.
Now there’s not a lot you can do but wait while your candle sets. I left mine for a few hours sitting on the counter until they were solid. Once they have solidified, trim the wicks and label them as you like. You need to wait at least 24 hours before lighting the candle.
I read online about putting them in the fridge to speed up the solidifying of the wax, but this can apparently cause cracking so be patient. Also it was recommended to heat up the jars with a hair dryer prior to pouring the wax into it. I did this with one and not with the other and it made no difference, so I would skip this step altogether.
I couldn’t believe how evenly the candles burned and they have also lasted a long time. I’ve burned one for about 4 hours and it’s only gone down about half a centimetre! As I mentioned above, I would consider putting more essential oil in next time to give it a stronger scent, but they are just so darn cute.
I made my labels using stamps and some brown paper, then added some twine. Perfect for gifts or for your enjoyment around the house!