Make Your Own Candles: Step by Step Instructions
You've landed here because you just received your pour-your-own-candle kit.... thank you and welcome! In this step by step guide, I'll teach you how to pour perfect soy candles right in your own kitchen.
You're just about ready to make your candles, but first, a note about safety: Making your own candles involves melting wax to a hot temperature of 185 degrees Fahrenheit over simmering/boiling water. Please exercise caution! If you have children under 18 years old doing this activity with you, please ensure that you as the adult are the one handling the hot supplies. Never directly touch hot wax, boiling water, or a hot stove or you risk injury by burning.
Now, onto the fun part!
In your candle kit, you have:
- 11oz soy wax flakes
- 1oz fragrance oil
- 2 containers: 1 9oz glass tumbler, 1 4oz tin
- 2 wicks, labeled each for glass or tin
- 2 wick stickers
- 2 labels, one for tumbler and one for tin
- 2 warning labels
- 1 stir stick
You will also need to gather the following items from your own kitchen - go do this now:
- A 4-cup heat-proof glass pitcher like a Pyrex, tempered glass mixing bowl, or double boiler
- A small to medium sized saucepan
- Newspaper, old paper bags or craft paper
- Clothespins (2-3) or chopsticks (2)
- Paper towels
- Food thermometer (optional)
Gather these tools and then get ready to make your candles! This whole process will take you about 45 minutes to an hour (plus 24 hours for candles to fully cool).
Prepare your work area: Wax can be a little messy. Choose a spot on your counter near your stove, as this is where we will melt the wax. Cover with old newspaper, cut up paper grocery bags, parchment paper, etc. This is where you’ll work so you can catch drips on the paper that you’ll throw away later. (Don’t worry though; soy wax is very easy to clean if it drips anywhere you didn’t intend it to!)
Get your double boiler going: A double boiler method is how we are going to melt your soy wax. This means you aren’t putting your wax directly on a stovetop or over an open flame, which is much too hot. Rather, you are melting your wax in a heat-resistant vessel over simmering water. Take your small to medium saucepan and fill it about two inches full of water. Set this on medium-high heat until little bubbles form, then reduce to low-medium heat for a simmer.
While waiting for the water to simmer, prepare your containers: Using the wick stickers and wicks labeled for each container (glass or tin), stick the silver wicks to the center bottom of your containers (don’t fret if it’s not perfect; I’ll help you center the wick later). Give them a good push down with your fingers once centered, to get them to really stick.
Melt your wax: This part takes 20-30 minutes, so pour yourself an extra cup of coffee or glass of wine for this step ;). Pour your wax flakes into your glass pitcher. Once the saucepan water is simmering, take your glass pitcher and place it over your simmering water. *CAUTION: Be sure that your glass pitcher or bowl does NOT touch the bottom of the pan! It should hover above the saucepan bottom, over the simmering water. Do not leave this unattended until you're done and the stove is off.* Using your stir stick, stir the wax every few minutes as the flakes start to melt, being careful of the hot steam. You want the wax flakes to fully melt until the wax becomes clear, and no longer cloudy.
If you have a thermometer, start checking the temperature of the wax once it is fully melted. You are looking for the wax to reach 185° F. If you do not have a thermometer, how do you know when the wax meets the right temperature? After the wax fully melts, give it 15 or so more minutes to get it as hot as we want it, stirring every few minutes.
Once your melted wax reaches temperature, carefully take your glass pitcher off of the heat and set it on a paper towel or towel on your workspace (as it will be a little wet on the outside).
Stir in your oil: Immediately pour your entire fragrance oil bottle into the hot wax. Enjoy the aromas coming to life! Use your stir stick to stir in varying directions for about two minutes to blend your fragrance with your wax. Stir slowly and gently! You don’t want to splash molten wax on you or around your kitchen.
Pour your candles: You’re ready to pour! I like to start with the tin, pouring wax slowly to the inside top line. Then pour the rest into your glass. DON’T MISS THIS STEP: Immediately after pouring wax in your candles, carefully (because your pitcher will still be warm) use your paper towels to wipe out the wax residue inside of your pitcher. Set it aside and let it fully cool, and then you can thoroughly wash it out later with warm, soapy water to make sure it’s squeaky clean.
Set your candles: Using your clothespins or chopsticks, center your wick in the middle of your container as best you can, and leave your candles to cool in an undisturbed place for 24 hours. You will watch as the wax cools and turns back to a solid white color. Watching the wax cool is one of my favorite parts of candle making :). Overnight your candles will become completely hardened.
Tomorrow, finish your candles: Your candles are fully hardened and ready to finish! Use scissors or any other sharp cutting tool to trim your wicks down to about ¼” - ½” tall. Put on your labels. If you can stand it, wait another week before burning them so the fragrance has ample time to cure in the wax, which will make your scent stronger when it burns. This is called hot throw. You’ll enjoy the cold throw of the candle until then, which is the scent it gives off even when it is not lit!