I have always loved candles. Cleaning the house doesn’t feel finished until the couch pillows are fluffed and a candle is lit. Guests coming over? Make sure a couple strategically placed candles are lit for ambience and air freshening. A date night at home after the kids have gone to bed? Candles. I love the way the way they look; I love the way they smell. But, until a couple years ago, I didn’t realize how easy they were to make. They require a few supplies that aren’t typically laying around the house, but they are easily ordered (thank you Amazon Prime) and then candle making can commence!
- 1lb. Soy Wax
- Large Saucepan
- Wax Pouring Pitcher
- Candle Wicks
- Candle Thermometer
- 1 oz. Candle Fragrance Oil or Essential Oils
- Containers for Candles: Mason Jars, Teacups, Tins, etc.
- Spoon for stirring wax. (I keep a large plastic spoon with my candle supplies.)
First, cover work area for easy cleanup and set out your containers. For this tutorial, I used 1 lb. of wax which filled three half-pint jars. I later made another batch that filled the two 12 oz. tea cups. I like to have extra containers prepped just in case there is an excess.
Next, attach wicks in the center of your candle container. You can buy special wick stickers, but a dot of hot glue will work just as well. Don’t worry about them being straight, you will fix that after you pour the wax. As long as the base is in the center of your container, you are good to go.
Now that your containers are prepped and ready, it’s time to move to the stove. Fill a large saucepan with 1-2 inches of water. Fill the wax pitcher with 1lb. soy wax and place the pitcher in the water. Melt on med-high heat. You can bump up the heat if you are watching carefully but do not leave it unattended.
Stir occasionally and monitor the heat of the wax with the candle thermometer. Do not leave the thermometer resting on the bottom of the pitcher. This can distort the accuracy of the temperature. Instead, clip the thermometer to the edge of pitcher so that it is low enough to be in the wax, but not resting on the bottom. One pound of wax does not fill my pitcher enough for the thermometer to rest in the wax. To monitor temperature, I hold the thermometer down in the wax for 30 seconds, read the temperature, and then clip it to the side again.
185 degrees Fahrenheit is your goal! As it melts, choose which fragrance you want to use (if you have more than one choice). You will need 1 oz. of fragrance for each pound of wax you use. There are many candle fragrances available. I used Pumpkin Ginger Streusel and it smelled like Christmas in my house for a couple days! Essential oils are also extremely popular right now. You can use any brand of essential oil you prefer. Personally, I can’t afford to use an entire bottle (or 2) of expensive oils for a candle! I bought some cheap oils from the store specifically for candle making. As always, make sure you do your research on oil safety and which ones are safe to burn.
Once you hit 185 degrees Fahrenheit, add your fragrance. Stir it in well and then remove it from heat. If you continue to heat it, the fragrance will evaporate.
Now, you can take some time to wash some dishes, fold a little laundry, make lunch, read a book to the kids, anything that keeps you close by to monitor the temperature as it drops. The ideal pouring temperature is between 125 and 135 degrees Fahrenheit.
I poured these at 135 degrees Fahrenheit. If the wax is too hot, you will have sink holes in the finished candles. If you find you have sink holes, you can pour at a cooler temperature or heat your containers before pouring the wax in them.
Here we go! Pour the wax into your prepared containers.
TIP: Use a paper towel to wipe out pitcher, thermometer, and spoon immediately. Cleaning off the wax in liquid state is easier than when it has hardened. Plus, washing wax down your kitchen sink is probably not a good idea.
Once you have filled each container with wax, use a clothespin to center and stabilize the wick while the wax cools.
If you notice your wick is not centered, you can adjust it slightly while the wax is still in a partial liquid state. However, do not move it around when the top of the wax has started to solidify. This will result in moving the wax away from the wick.
Leave the candles to set up for at least 24 hours before burning. Once the candles have solidified completely, remove the clothespins. and trim the wicks to approximately 1/4 inch.
Your candle making is complete! You can decorate the outside of the container, wrap one up for a gift, or simply light and enjoy!
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