I love the smell of an “apple harvest” scented candle in the fall. Nothing gets me in the holiday spirit quicker than the scent of cinnamon spice while hanging ornaments on the tree, but for those of you who are spending twelve dollars on deliciously scented soy candles- this post is for you.
I’ve been making my own candles for three years now and not only are the cost effective, but you also know exactly what ingredients/chemicals you’re burning and therefore breathing into your lungs. They also make the perfect gift for just about any quick-gift need occasion- new neighbors, house warming, hostess gift. You can have a basket full made up in advance and never have to worry about showing up empty handed again.
So while I’m going to give you all the steps to make your own candles, there’s one thing you should know in advance… I don’t measure. It’s like an Italian grandmother’s recipe for meatballs, I just pour stuff in a pot and stir, but don’t let this scare you. The process is so easy, that you’ll eventually find your own rhythm and recipe.
• Clean Empty Jars (I use recycled canning jars, I hate to buy glass jars, when we recycle so many)
• Wooden skewers (they should be long enough to lay flat across the top of your jar)
• Wicks (I buy all my candle supplies from Candle Science, I prefer the pre tabbed ones. There’s a wick guide to help you figure out what size wick to buy for the approximate size of your jars)
• Wax (I prefer Soy, but it’s completely up to you, remember the more you buy, the less you have to buy later with additional shipping. I buy in bulk.)
• Fragrance (this is entirely up to you, pick your favorites. Mine are Apple Harvest and Clean Cotton. It’s better to buy in bulk with fragrance as well, unless you’re unsure about the scent. Remember 1oz of fragrance will scent about four small-medium candles.
• Old Pot (something you will designate for candles, that you don’t mind getting wax in, think garage/estate sales)
• Small metal container with a spout to melt the wax in (I made mine out of an old metal coffee can and bent a spout at the top to pour out of. If you want to get all fancy you can buy this for $10.)
• Dye (I never use dye. It seems unnecessary, but hey they’re your candles. I like the creamy white color of the soy wax personally)
I know this may seem like a lot, but I swear once you give it a go, you’ll never buy another candle again. These are so much cooler.
1. Line up your jars over something you don’t mind hot wax spilling on. I use an old wooden cutting board.
2. Wrap you pre tabbed wick around the skewer until it barely touches the middle of the bottom of the jar. This keep s the wick in the middle and upright so you don’t have to hold it there until your candle hardens.
3. Begin melting your wax in your double boiler set up. (I’m all high tech over here with my coffee can and old pot. If you get large balls of wax taking a long time to melt, take a skewer and break them up.)
4. Now stir in your fragrance and dye if you’re using it. Here’s where things get very “guessy.” They say to use no more than 1 oz of fragrance per pound of soy wax. I know exactly (by the rings on the inside of my coffee can) how much fragrance to use. You may have to experiment a bit with this. This site may help, but it’s really not an exact science.
5. Now that everything is melted and stirred together, you’re ready to pour. Pour to the start of the lid threads, leaving at least a half inch of wick showing at the top of your candle.
6. If your wick moves during the pouring of the wax no worries. You have some time after pouring to move it back into place before you should leave them alone to harden.
8. After the candles have hardened, remove the skewers and cut the wick. You’re ready to enjoy the sweet smell of success.
Remember to keep the lids on the candles you’re not burning to preserve scent. Enjoy!