Craft Away the Sad Part 4: DIY Soy Candles

Congrats dear readers! You’re about to finish up with the Craft Away the Sad program. I have one final *fancy* craft for you!

You can have the best smelling apartment in quarantine with DIY Soy Candles šŸ™‚

Do you smell coffee??

I taught myself how to make candles after receiving a homemade candle as a gift from a friend. My curiosity was piqued, and one candle making kit later, I have all the soy candles I could ever want.

To get started, it might be easiest to buy a candle making kit as a baseline. But in case you want to pick out your own items, here’s what you need:

  • Pouring pot (a metal pot with a lip for pouring)
  • A Stock Pot that you will only use for candle making
  • Something to stir such as a knife or spoon that you will only use for candle making
  • Infrared Thermometer ($15 from Amazon)
  • Soy Candle wax ($25 from Amazon or CandleScience)
  • Fragrance Oil (Around $2-5 from CandleScience)
  • Tins or Jars ($20 from Amazon or Uline)
  • Pretabbed Candle Wicks (Around $2 CandleScience)
  • Clothespins
  • Newspaper/paper towels for spills
  • Hot Glue Gun
  • Scale that will mesaure in ounces
  • A few glass bowls for measuring
  • A cooling rack
  • Optional: dye

Candle making itself is easy, but the tricky part is proportions and temperature. Depending on the diameter of the jar, the shape of the jar, the volume of the jar, etc, you need a different wick. To save you the hassle and keep things simple, I’ll tell you exactly what I buy.

  • 20 glass jars with a 3″ diameter, 8oz
  • 100 Eco 4 6″ Pretabbed Wicks
  • 10 Lbs of 464 Golden Soy Wax
  • 1 oz of fragrance oil per lb of wax

You’ll have some extra wicks, but that’s okay. They’re cheap and then you can make more candles in the future! Since each jar holds about 7.5 oz of wax, you can make around 20 candles with a little wax left over.

When I want to make candles, this is what I do:

Using the scale, measure out around 29 oz of wax into the pouring pot. If I were making these to sell, I would be super consistent. Since they are just for me 28.92 ounces is close enough!

Fill up the stock pot a little over half way with water. Set the pouring pot into the stock pot so it floats. Put the stock pot onto the burner and turn on to medium high.

Using the hot glue gun, glue one pretabbed wick (per jar) to the bottom of 4 jars.

Clamp the wick from the side using the clothespin (so the wick will stay centered while you pour wax).

I’m using 3 8oz jars and 2 4oz jars #math

Put newspaper under the cooling rack and set the jars on top of the cooling rack.

Periodically check on the wax while it is melting. If it bubbles, it’s too hot and you need to turn the stove down to medium or medium low. Resist the urge to stir- this will cause air bubbles and your wax will ‘cave’ when it’s poured into the jar. Basically, it creates an undesirable sink hole in your candle šŸ™‚

The brown swirl is dye that I forgot to add earlier šŸ™‚

Check the temperature with the infrared thermometer. Once it reaches 180 degrees Fahrenheit, take the pouring pot out. Add 2 ounces of your candle-safe fragrance oil and dye if you’re using any. Using your stirring device of choice, gently stir in a figure-eight motion and try not to create air bubbles. I usually stir for about 30 seconds.

A little extra fragrance oil is A-okay! Just check the side of the fragrance oil bottle for safe proportions šŸ™‚

Now, let the wax sit until the temperature cools to around 120-125 degrees Fahrenheit. Now you may pour it into your jars!

Some more tips:

  • Try not to wiggle your table or do jumping jacks while these are cooling or it will create a weird texture
  • Once you start pouring your wax, do not stop until the jar reaches the lip. Resist the urge to ‘even the candles out’ or add more wax. Pouring more than once will create sinkholes. You get one chance per jar to pour the correct amount! But you also don’t want to pour too quickly or too slowly šŸ˜‰

Voila! Around 4 hours later, your candles will be hard-ish. I wait about a day before trimming the wicks to about 1/4″ using a scissors. Wait 3 days before burning, and for best results use within a year or keep it covered with a lid. So fancy!

What are your favorite fragrance oil scents? Mine are coffee and orange!