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Candles became a household item to the influx of candle-makers and luxury perfumers. This is a familiar shift for me as candles are my favorite way to lighten my home. This meant making sure that the expensive, fragile jar candles I received as gifts lasted as long as possible. But this year, I have a larger collection of candles made from soy wax.
Making soy candles is an easy, inexpensive, and fun project. You can make many candles for as little as a few dollars from the store. They are great gifts for hostesses, care package recipients, and holiday gift ideas.
It is simple and complex at the same time. It is simple to start; it takes only an hour to make a batch, there are few supplies, and cleanup can be done quickly. However, it can be difficult to achieve the perfect result. This is just a guideline. There are many variables to candle making. From the size of the container, wick type, wax brand, and the properties of essential oils. This is a great project that you can revisit as you adjust your ratios, troubleshoot, and create your favorite scent combinations. This is both a beginner’s guide and a resource to refer to if you want to re-learn candle-making basics.
First Things first: Choosing candle containers
You can be creative with candle containers. You can use mason jars or drinking glasses as well as tins and containers made from candles you have previously bought and used up. I even used a small ceramic flowerpot! You can find matching glassware in thrift and vintage shops. You can also use small bowls or teacups. You can go wild as long as your containers are heat-safe. The majority of ceramic and glass vessels are heat-safe so this is a good place to start.
You can reuse an old candle container by heating it in boiling water until the wax melts. Then, wipe it with a paper towel, and then remove the wick. It may be necessary to gently pry the wick out using a butter knife depending on how attached.
How much wax do you need?
You will need to know how many containers you have to determine the appropriate amount of wax. To save time and avoid math, I fill the container with water and then pour it into a measuring cup. It’s tempting to just guess and skip this step, but it’s the best way to make sure that you don’t waste any wax. This is especially important when making large batches of candles.
Choosing Wick size:
Many factors influence the size of a wick. These include wax brand, container size, and fragrance. Many wick manufacturers offer online charts to help you choose the right size. You can determine if the wick size you chose was too large (a sooty wick which is difficult to extinguish), or too small (a melted wick that does not make it to the edge of the candle). From there, you can adjust your next batch.
Steps 1 – Weigh and melt the wax
Your saucepan, melting pot, or bowl should be placed on the scale. Zero it and then weigh in the soy wax flakes. You’ll need about 1 ounce of soy wax for every 1 fluid ounce (in quantity) that your container holds.
Bring a large saucepan to a boil. If you have a melting pitcher or pot, you can lower it into the boiling water. If you have a heat-proof bowl, place it on top of the pot, just like you would melt chocolate. Let the wax melt, stirring now and again. It may take some time to melt the wax, so be patient!
The wax will look like olive oil when it is fully melted. It will be about 180oF. Let the wax cool to 140°F before you add fragrance or pour the candles.
Prepare the candle containers while you wait for the wax to cool. After each container has dried, apply a little super glue/hot glue to the metal bottom of the wick. Then press the wick into the bottom of the container. To ensure that the candle burns evenly, you might use multiple wicks if you have a large container (such as a flowerpot or bowl).
To keep the wick straight as you pour the wax, it’s a good idea to stabilize it. My preferred method is to cut a hole in the middle of a piece of masking tape and guide the top end of the wick through it. Then attach the tape on either side of the container’s lid.
Step 2. Prepare the candle containers
Prepare the candle containers while the wax cools. Once each container is dry and clean, place a small amount of superglue or hot glue on the bottom of a wick. Press it into the container’s bottom. You may need to use multiple evenly spaced wicks for a larger container, such as a pot or bowl.
Stabilizing the wick helps keep it straight and in the same place while you pour the wax can be very useful. My favorite way to do this is to make a small hole in the middle with a piece of masking paper, guide the top part of the wax through the hole, then attach the tape to the container’s rims.
Step 3 You can use fragrance oil to scent your candles.
To do this, weigh out the essential oil into a small container. Because of their different properties, pure essential oils can be more difficult than fragrances. They tend to produce a weaker fragrance than perfume oils, with some exceptions. You will need to experiment with essential oils overtime to find the right blends and ratios. However, I tend to use the following ratios. If I’m not happy with the results, I adjust the ratio in the future. Step 4. Pour the Candles
There are many temperatures you can pour candles. The temperature will vary depending on the brand and container size. The 120oF to 140oF range is a good starting point. You could even try several batches of candles at different temperatures to determine what works best for you. The candles in the photo were poured at different temperatures to ensure that they turned out well.
After the wax has reached the required temperature, carefully pour the wax into the containers. Be sure to keep the tape and wick out of the way. To avoid air bubbles that could cause uneven results, pour slowly. Before lighting, let the candles cool to room temperature for at least 24 hours.