DIY Soy Candles

My infatuation with candles started when I was relatively young. The dim lighting that they provide add instant coziness and warmth to any room. Plus, who doesn’t love a wonderful scent taking over their living space?

What’s more, I raised in an environmentally-friendly home in which my brother and I were encouraged to use the purest products available whenever possible. In fact, my mom owned a “green” home decor and interior design studio, which is where my obsession with soy candles in particular began. At the rate I go through soy candles (which can be quite pricey), I eventually decided to create my very own. It has quickly become a beloved hobby.

Because I put hours of time looking into both the best supplies for candle-making and the best way to go about candle-making, I’m excited to share my findings with you! I found a lot of great tips and tricks while researching, and I don’t know about you, but I’m all for making things as easy as possible as long as it doesn’t compromise the quality of the final product.

Now, for some tips and tricks:

  • Tip 1: Nature’s Garden has the best selection of candle fragrance, hands down. I bought many 1 ounce samples of fragrance so that I can have a nice variety of scents. Plus, Nature’s Garden recommends using 1 ounce of fragrance for each pound of wax since their fragrances are more highly concentrated than other suppliers’ fragrances. I’m all about perfect ratios!
  • Tip 2: World Market has adorable containers (not necessarily meant for candles). I especially loved these, these, and these. The generic candle containers offered on suppliers’ websites just weren’t cutting it for me.
  • Tip 3: I bought the remaining supplies from Candle Science. Their products are high quality, yet affordable. Plus, their website really guides you in buying the best products for your needs.
  • Tip 4: Many DIY websites call for supplies and steps that are simply unnecessary when it comes to making soy candles in particular. Specifically, pouring pots and thermometers are not needed, because soy wax does not need to be heated, cooled, and poured at very specific temperatures like other waxes do. Melting soy wax in the microwave is a perfectly okay thing to do and makes the project much, much simpler.
  • Tip 5: Unbeknownst to me prior to researching this endeavor, the type of wick you use is extremely important. There are not only different kinds of wicks, but also different sizes of each kind of wick. Essentially, the kind of wick you choose should be determined by the type of wax you plan on working with, and the size of the wick you choose should be determined by the width of the containers you plan on using. Otherwise, tunneling will occur (the worst!). Candle Science’s wick guide is extremely helpful. Thanks to their recommendation, I’m going with their pre-tabbed ECO Wicks in various sizes.
  • Tip 6: Also extremely important is the type of wax you buy. Clearly, I’m partial to soy wax, mostly due to the fact that it’s all natural. Even in the realm of soy wax, however, there are different waxes for different types of candles (think: container candles vs. votives vs. pillars). Candle Science recommends Golden Brand’s 464 Soy Wax, as it is ideal for container candles and has an amazing ability to hold fragrance.
  • Tip 7: Candles are typically made on pound-of-wax basis. I highly recommend investing in a kitchen scale so that you will know exactly how many fluid ounces your wax will yield once melted. To put it simply, one pound of non-melted wax results in 16 fluid ounces of melted wax. Knowing this makes selecting the proper quantity of containers much easier. For instance, one pound of wax will be enough for one 16 oz. candle, two 8 oz. candles, four 4 oz. candles, etc.

Now that I’ve filled you in on some tips and tricks, let’s do this!

What you’ll need:

  • container(s) of your choice
  • Wick Stickums
  • pre-tabbed wicks
  • large microwave-safe container
  • kitchen scale
  • 1 pound soy wax
  • stirring utensil
  • 1 ounce fragrance oil
  • wick bars

What you’ll do:

  • prepare your containers by applying pre-tabbed wicks to the bottoms of the containers using Wick Stickums
  • using your kitchen scale, measure out one pound of wax into a large, microwave safe container
  • microwave on high for 5 minutes; remove with pot holders and stir (if the wax is not fully melted, microwave for 30 second intervals until melted completely)
  • add 1 ounce of fragrance to the wax and stir for 2 minutes, allowing the wax to cool
  • pour the wax into your containers
  • center the wicks using wick bars and allow to cool overnight
  • the next day, trim the wicks to 1/4 inch
  • apply the lids and allow to cure for another 24 hours before burning

*Note that the photos posted show two 16 oz. candles. Thus, I used two pounds of wax, requiring me to repeat the process twice.

Let’s just say that I am absolutely thrilled with the results! This extremely simple process yields beautiful, high quality soy candles that burn evenly. The fragrances I chose, Mint Mango Tea and Honeydew Pear, smell delightful, and the containers I used accent my apartment’s decor fabulously. The best part: I’ve found a fun, cost-effective, and fool-proof means of feeding my soy candle addiction.

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