Monday, December 3, 2012

soy candles - a tutorial

I am by no means an expert in candle making. I remember making candles with paraffin wax when I was younger, with my mum, who had bought me a candle-making kit. 
And I remember it being messy, and difficult.
Which is why I put off making candles again, but after encouragement from friends about how easy it is, I finally decided to put my hand to it.
They will go so nicely with other handmade Christmas gifts I'm slowly working on!

This is easy enough to do sans tutorial, but a handful of people have asked, and with encouragement from this beautiful friend, here it is! 

Vanilla Soy Candles

1. Gather your supplies.

You will need some containers: I think glass jars look pretty, and I picked these up for free from my local op shop. The small ones are old coffee jars. What is best, is that after the candles have burned out, you can wash them out and reuse them!

You will also need your wicks - the 150mm ones are a good length for small to medium sized jars.
And of course, the soy wax.
I found it hard to gauge how much I would need, as it does seem to melt down a lot.
I bought two kilos.

(I did an ebay search, and found Kandle Kaz to be the most reasonably priced for all my supplies. A bonus for me, she's a Perth-based business too)

Oh, and some fragrance, if you are that way inclined. 
The Vanilla is amazing, and my favourite scent, so that is what I used.

2. Gather some pencils or skewers to hold your wicks up. I simply tied them around the pencil and pulled them down a bit to get the right length. You want the base of the wick sitting nicely in the middle of the jar... yep, it's a little tricky, but you can do it!

3. Place your soy wax into a microwave safe container. I microwaved mine for 2 minutes, but begin with smaller increments to get an idea about how fast the wax melts. You want it to be completely liquid... see, it does disappear a little doesn't it? If you don't think you'll have enough to fill your jar, it doesn't matter, you can top it up afterwards with some more.

4. Now, here is where I didn't get technical. A few drops of fragrance oil into the melted wax should do. Yep, just guess. And maybe err on the side of caution - you don't want your candles smelling so strong they give you a headache! 

5. Pour in your wax carefully. You will probably have to adjust the wicks slightly as they move, but don't aim for perfection - handmade is perfectly imperfect, yes?
If you didn't heat enough, repeat step 3 and 5 (probably don't need to add any more fragrance, but feel free!) until they are filled up to where you'd like.

6. And now we wait! And they start to solidify quite quickly. Within an hour you are safe to take out your pencils/skewers...

7. And snip off the excess wick...

8. And ta da! Ready to decorate, or leave just as they are - they really are pretty enough on their own!

... and enjoy!

9. And all your dishes wash up easily in hot soapy water - voila! Easy!

Here are some teacups I made last month. I also did some in some Johnson of Australia mugs, and a bunch of Quattro Stagioni jars (actually their Red Dot counterfeits), ready for Christmas.

There is just something about the ambience of a candle. 

And something special about a candle at Christmas-time.
It makes me think of Elissa Macpherson's Beautiful: Lavish Devotions for Women
She said it perfectly:

"Candles stand out from among the ordinary, the flame a radiant phenomenon, its substance and form so different from all that surrounds it. Within a candle, for a moment, the power of fire is contained and observable. The flame is a magnet with a mystic and entrancing effect.

In times of prayer and meditation I feel the mystical warmth of the Holy Spirit glide through my soul like a candle. He gently illuminates my soul, bringing to light the hidden places and dark corners. "If you are filled with light, with no dark corners, then your whole life will be radiant, as though a floodlight is shining on you" (Luke 11:36)."

Some cute ideas for gifting/wrapping your candles to inspire you:

I hope you find this tutorial easy enough. I am happy to answer any questions you might have, and I would love to see if you make some too!



  1. Em, this is a perfect beginners tutorial and I love that you have used various vessels for your candles other than the usual jars. Nice touch with the twine and such too :)

  2. Its always been on my to-do list but I've been put off by the mess and how hard it might've solved that!
    I buy some in fowler's jars - they look amazing
    Love the presentation with the twine too

  3. See I told you you were going to have a 'Im going to blog' kind of day.

    Also very good beginners tut. I completely understood it hehe


  4. Thanks for sharing this Em, I never knew it was this simple, I would love to try making these sometime now.

  5. Thanks so much Em! this is great, and I can't wait to give it a go! Your candles look so cute in jars and I love the idea of using a tea cup too!

  6. They are fun to make ,I have just spent time over the weekend making tea cup candles...not soy ones though. Enjoy your candle lit summer evenings. xx

  7. That is brilliant. Thank you so much that's so inspiring! They look beautiful and I'm all inspired to try some!

  8. Great tute Mrs H. Might just be game to try it out :)

  9. thank you. i am inspired to make some simple candles for my friends for christmas

  10. thank you. i am inspired to make some simple candles for my friends for christmas

  11. Love this Em! Great easy instructions :) Thanks

  12. I was just discussing making my own soy candles with a friend today. We were keen to try it, but figure it may be easier just to buy them. Upon reading this though, it's full steam ahead. I'll definitely do a little blog post when we try this out. Thanks for posting Em! :)


I love that you visited, and love LOVE that you took time to say hello!