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 making kit, you have:
- 100% soy wax flakes
- Premium, toxin-free fragrance oil
- Candle container(s)
- Wick stickers
- Labels (if applicable)
- Warning label(s)
- Stir stick
You will also need to gather the following items from your own kitchen or around your house - go do this now:
- A heat-proof tempered 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, chopsticks, or other long tool that can rest on the sides of your candle container and hold your wick steady and centered while it cools
- Paper towels
- Food thermometer (optional)
Gather these items and 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, but that's part of the fun! 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. to catch drips and protect your counter (don’t worry though; soy wax is very easy to clean up with warm, soapy water 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 suspended 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 candle container(s): Using the double-sided wick stickers and wicks labeled for your container(s) (glass, tin, or wood bowl), stick wicks to the center bottom of your containers (don’t fret if it’s not perfect; I’ll help you center the wick later).
If using a wood bowl, I suggest to start with one wick in the very center, and then adding the other two wicks in an even distribution across the length of the bowl. Give the wicks 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 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 food 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 hot and a little wet on the outside from the steam).
Stir in your fragrance oil: Immediately empty your entire fragrance oil bottle into the hot wax. Enjoy the aromas coming to life! Use your stir stick to gently stir in varying directions for 1-2 minutes to blend your fragrance with your wax.
Pour your candle(s): You’re ready to pour! Slowly pour your scented wax into your pre-wicked jar. If using a wood bowl, fill until about 1/4" from the bowl's rim - you don't want the hot wax spilling out of the bowl and onto your furniture!
DON’T MISS THIS STEP: Immediately after pouring wax in your candles, carefully (because your pitcher or pot will still be warm) use your paper towels to wipe out the wax residue inside of your pitcher. It's easiest to do this now, before the wax hardens. 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, chopsticks, hair clips or other oblong tools, straighten and center your wick in the middle of your jar/container as best you can. Leave your candles to cool in an undisturbed place for 24 hours. You will watch as the wax hardens and turns back to a solid white color. Watching the wax set is one of my favorite parts of candle making :).
Tomorrow, finish your candles: Your candles are fully hardened and ready to finish! Use a wick trimmer, scissors, or any other sharp cutting tool to trim your wicks down to about ¼” - ½” tall. Write the name of your fragrance, or any other note you'd like, on your label(s) and stick your label to your jar.
If you can stand it, wait another week before burning your candles so the fragrance has ample time to cure in the wax, which will make your scent even stronger when it burns. This is called hot throw. You’ll enjoy the cold throw of the candle until then, which is the scent your candle gives off even when it is not lit!
PRO TIP: The first time you light your candle, be sure you give it enough time to melt all the way to the edge of the container, to avoid tunneling!