Follow these easy instructions and learn how to make homemade soy candles. These candles make lovely homespun gifts for Christmas, Mother’s day or as a hostess gift.
I prefer to make these homemade soy candles in a large batch to have on hand for gifts or just to use day to day in our home.
Warming the Cold Days
Here we are again, heading into the darker colder days of the year. Time to start lighting the fire in the fireplace or wood stove, time to snuggle up in a warm sweater and drink hot tea and time to bring out all the candles that bring so much delightful atmosphere to the cold dark days.
My candle stash was low and so it was time to make more. I don’t often light candles in the summer as the sun stays up so long but here on the east coast of the US we are about to loose an hour of daylight this weekend. With the darkness coming so much earlier in the afternoon, I know I’m going to want to have all the candles out again.
We love using candles at our dining room table during dinner, especially in the winter. I remember watching the flame and the slow drips of the wax down the sides of the candle as a child. My mom was good about creating a beautiful atmosphere at our dinner table.
It is hard to carve out that time to be intentional when life demands busyness. Here I wrote a post all about creating a beautiful atmosphere for family dinners in an effort to slow down and connect with the people you are closest too.
Several Christmas’s ago I made these soy candles to give as Christmas gifts. Although I was a bit intimidated at first, I found they were really quite easy to make.
Giving something homemade and useful brings me a lot of joy, saves money and adds that extra special element to a gift that a store bought gifts just doesn’t have. They can also be customized to your liking with scents and containers.
Why Use Soy Wax to Make Candles?
Many store bought candles have extremely strong scents and are also extremely toxic to be breathing in. I think many people can attest to what it is like to walk into a candle store and leave with a headache.
Once you breath those smells in, your body has to figure out how to get rid of all the toxic junk. Since our world is full of so many toxins, I try to keep your home as free from toxins as possible.
Personally though, I really don’t like the smell of the average store bought candle. I think they smell fake and too strong, so I prefer candles without a scent or just a light scent. I tend to light candles to enhance the atmosphere mostly anyway. Using high quality essential oils is a much better way to freshen the air with healthy scents. Also baking fresh bread or apple pie can help keep the home full of delicious smells!
Soy wax is non-toxic and pretty easy to work with in my experience. It is also easy to add some light natural scents by using essential oils. You don’t need to worry about giving anyone a headache by burning these candles.
Thoughts On Scenting Homemade Candles
I do like to lightly scent most of my homemade candles, especially if they are going to be used as gifts. You can purchase candle fragrance but personally I try to avoid the artificial stuff. I like to scent mind with essential oils.
I like using a high quality essential oil for most of the time. Went it comes to candle making that can make the price per candle sky rocket pretty quick. In the case of making candles, I will use a brand like Now essential oils. They are still 100% pure but much cheaper that some other brands out there.
Adding in some dried flowers, fruit or foliage to the wax is also a fun way to add in a little more scent and beauty. Plain white soy candles are also beautiful too!
Supplies for Making Homemade Soy Candles
- Soy wax
- Recycled glass jars or mason jars (8 ounce makes a really nice size for gifts)
- Hot glue gun
- Double boiler or pouring pot – Iike a dedicated pot for just making candles as wax can be messy.
- Clothes pins or pencils for keeping the wick straight
- Lavender essential oil – optional (the scents are endless – peppermint, citrus, pine, pumpkin spice, rose, etc.)
- Dried lavender flowers – read about how to dry your own lavender flowers here.
How To Make Homemade Soy Candles
Step 1 – Melt Wax
Place double boiler or pouring pot into a large pot of simmering water. Fill pot with wax and melt. As your wax melts down keeping adding in more until your pot is mostly full. My pot holds 32 oz of melted wax. That’s four 8 ounce mason jar candles.
Optional – during this step soak wicks in a little bit of essential oil to increase the scent while burning.
Step 2 – Heat Jars
While your wax is melting, put your candle jars on a sturdy cookie sheet and put in the oven at the lows temperature. Mine is 170° F. Heating the jars up will prevent them from cracking when you pour in the hot wax. It also helps the wax to cool slower which keeps the wax from cracking or pitting as easily.
Step 3 – Finish Melting and Add Essential Oils
Soy wax starts to melt at a pretty low temperature around 120°F. Some articles I’ve read say to heat the wax to 180 degrees. I haven’t found this to be necessary for making these candles. It just adds more time because then you need to wait until the wax cools. My wax is completely melted around 150°F.
Let the wax cool until the temp is 130°F, then add in essential oils.
1 oz of essential oil to 32 oz of melted wax. Stir well to make sure the oils get incorporated.
**Don’t add the essential oil in if the melted wax is heated over 150°F because this can cause the oils to burn off. Then the scents of your candles won’t be as strong. Wait for it to cool off.
Step 4 – Secure Wicks and Pour Wax
Use a hot glue gun and add a small dot of glue to the bottom of the wick. Using a long kabob stick gently press the bottom of the wick to the bottom of the jar.
Carefully pour hot wax (temperature at about 120-130°F) into jars leaving a little space on top.
Place the wick through a clothespin or wrap it around a pencil to keep the wick straight and centered while the wax completely solidifies.
Optional – To add dried lavender flowers to the top of your candles wait until the wax just starts to solidify. Then sprinkle the dried flowers onto the tops of the candles.
Step 5 – Let The Candles Cool
Sometimes the candles with get pits or cracks in the wax. I find that is the wax is allowed to cool slowly this helps to keep that from happening. Also if you can avoid bumping or moving the candles as they cool this also helps.
Wrapping the jars in a thick towel, or in a warm place, or placing back into the cooling oven will all help to keep the wax from cooling to quickly.
Let the candles cool for at least 24 hours before lighting. They burn better if they have cooled for several days.
How to Fix Cracked or Pitted Wax
If you do get cracking or pitting there are a few ways to fix the problem with soy wax. Placing your candle in the oven at the lowest temperature until the top melts or poring just a little more melted wax on top are two ways that work well.
Some recommend using a hair dryer but I found this to not work well. It took a long time to melt the wax on top and then the melted wax started to spray around a bit.
The Cost Breakdown
- Soy wax – $35 for 10 lbs (5 lbs per twelve 1/2 pint mason jars)
- Recycled glass jars – free
- Mason jars – 1/2 pint mason jars from amazon aren’t the best price. I prefer to purchase mine from local stores. Walmart sells them very inexpensively as well. – $8
- Wicks for 100 – $7
- Pouring pot – this can be free if you already have something to use as a double boiler or this one from amazon is $10
- Now lavender essential oil 4oz – $26
- Dried lavender flowers from amazon – $10 or free is you dried them yourself.
Cost per 1/2 pint mason jar candle scented with lavender and topped with dried flowers is about $6.50 per candle.
It can also be much less expensive if you decide to make unscented candles and already have most of the tools you need.
The wax and wick work out to be about $2 per 1/2 pint mason jar!!! That’s pretty inexpensive gift!
More Essential Oil Scent Ideas
- Citrus Blend – orange, lemon, grapefruit, tangerine
- Rosemary and Lavender
- Rosemary and Lemon
- Cinnamon and Orange
- Cinnamon and Vanilla