I am a crafter at heart and trying new craft techniques and projects is always exciting. I have always wanted to try DIY soy candles but I think I was always worried that it was gonna be a huge investment and something that I wouldn’t make very often. But I have been doing a lot of research to find out the best materials to use when making soy candles. I decided I wanted to try and make soy candles, using antique containers that I love and that I’ve collected and thrift store finds.
Materials Needed to Make DIY Soy Candles
- Soy wax flakes
- Natural Cotton candle wicks
- Natural Fragrance Oils
- Any type of antique or vintage container
- Disposable chopsticks or wick holders
- Candle thermometer (or a meat/candy thermometer will work too)
- Double boiler or wax pitcher (I used a pan from the thrift store)
I actually had some soy wax and a candle kit from a subscription box that is no longer available, I just had never done the project. So I decided to take matters into my own hands.
There are several materials you will need including soy wax, cotton wax wicks, your container of choice, a fragrance, and some kitchen items. I was trying to do this for as little money as possible but also doing it correctly so that I didn’t mess it up. I did a lot of research about materials and I found a great blog: LifenReflection that I found that was the most helpful.
I did end up changing some of the tips that she mentioned. She mentions the need for a candle thermometer. But when I looked these up they look like candy or meat thermometers which I already had both. So I decided to use a meat thermometer that we had several of already.
I would also suggest going to the thrift store and finding a pan or pot that you can get dirty with wax so you don’t use one of your nicer pots or pans for cooking. I picked up this pot for $2.99 at Goodwill and it made the perfect place to melt the wax. If you know that you will be making a lot of candles you could invest in a wax pitcher but I don’t think it is necessary.
Now I will mention that the website above gave some great tips on temperatures for wax melting. So that’s why I think a thermometer is an important asset to have.
I have always been someone who loves candles and I think the most important part of a candle is the fragrance. There are a lot of fragrance oils out there but it’s important to know where the oils come from if you are wanting a more natural burning candle. A lot of candles are made with paraffin and there’s a lot of discussions out there about what toxins these release into the air when they burn. So if you’re looking for something that’s more natural you will want to use soy and natural fragrance oils if you can. I found another great site for calculating exactly how much fragrance you will need.
I am a huge fan of the antique candles that Antique Candle Co sells, and they don’t sell the antique candles all the time but I love all of their candles and all of their scents. I would highly recommend getting some of their amazing antique candles because their scents are amazing and the antiques they find are gorgeous.
Some of the containers I used are antique candles that I had bought from them. Others are ones I picked up at the thrift store and from my favorite Instagram thrift stores because I knew they’d make such a cute candle especially this chicken one, and this crock bowl.
Now let’s get to the actual candle making! The first step will be to melt your wax and you might be wondering how much to use. I found a nice tip that said if you don’t have a scale to measure or know how much, especially when you’re using antique candles or antique containers and you don’t know the ounces. The tip I found was to take your container, fill it with your soy wax to the rim dump that into your melter and then repeat.
The other tip I found helpful was that if you are using true essential oils the melted wax will need to be no more than 120 degrees. Anything over this temperature is too hot and the essential oil would evaporate and then you wouldn’t have a scented candle. And I actually don’t recommend using true essential oils because the amount of oil you need to actually smell the scent in a small candle is a lot and the cost would add up quickly.
When I first started I noticed that it took a while for the wax to melt and it was well over 120 degrees. I wanted to add a true essential oil but I had to wait about 10 minutes for the temperature to get back down to 120 degrees.
After using the essential oil for the fragrance I realized it wasn’t going to be cost-effective so my first candle was not very scented at all because I didn’t want to use the entire bottle of essential oil. On the second attempt, I used a natural fragrance oil which has several advantages one being that it is more cost-effective for the amount of fragrance oil you have to use. I used one of the kids’ old medicine cups to measure out the correct amount.
Another one of the advantages when using fragrance oils is that they can be mixed in at 220 degrees and still have the scent. Stir the wax and oil together for two minutes to make sure that the fragrance is properly distributed.
Now we are ready to pour! Place the wick in your container, either have pre-sticky ones or just dip it in wax to get it to stick. And if you have a container that has a wider surface area you will need at least 2 or more wicks for it to burn properly. In that crock below I should have used 2 wicks instead of the one.
Once the wax is poured into the container you will need something to hold your wick in place. I didn’t want to buy the special wick holders so I found a pair of unused disposable chopsticks that we had a drawer left from takeout. And when they haven’t been broken apart yet they worked perfectly to keep the wick centered and in place.
Now you just have to wait for it to harden and set! It may take a couple days to fully harden. But you also need to make sure that your wax is ready to burn, and from all the research I did says it needs about two to three weeks for your wax to fully harden.
These DIY soy candles will make a great gift for any occassion.