How to make scented soy candles

How to make scented soy candles

How to make scented soy candles

I have a little bit of a craft obsession. I’m not what you’d consider good at it but I still love cracking out the scissors and glue, colouring in, fabric, stitching, paper, painting – yes I would thrive as a kindy teacher in the craft section (because they all have a special section for crafting right?)

For my Birthday last year, strange one that I am, I asked for some wax and wicks to make my own candles. I was very excited to receive them but actually forgot about it until a few weeks ago (my Birthday is in 3 weeks so that was nearly a whole year). Spurred on by the excitement of finding a use for my jar collection, one rainy Saturday afternoon I did a bit of Googling of how to make scented soy candles then got straight to candle making.

It was pretty straightforward – melt, pour, leave to set, but what I didn’t realise was that soy wax it a lot easier to work with than parafin wax, which I’d asked for. It made nice candles but soy makes them a much prettier white colour.  

Homemade soy candles

Homemade soy candles

I remembered pinning Inquiring Chef’s tutorial on how to make scented soy candles a little while ago and after a bit of research, I placed an order at Natural Candle supplies and patiently waited for my wax and oils to arrive. Then I saw the Young House Love Winter Pinterest Challenge. It’s not sponsored by Pinterest but a group of bloggers issue a challenge to anyone who wants to accept, to recreate something they ‘pinned’ with their own spin.

My challenge was set – make my own soy candles.

In need of a makeover

In need of a makeover

I doubled the challenge and started with seriously dead little glass votives that I have had sitting in a drawer looking like this for years. I never knew it was an easy task to clean them up like new but after reading this tutorial that I found via Pinterest, I was in the know.

Cleaning out the old candles

Cleaning out the old candles

The first step is to fill them with boiling water. When I told mum about this after I’d done it, she warned that the glass can break if you pour the water straight into the jars. Maybe heating them a little in some warm water would prevent this but mine didn’t break.

Getting rid of the old wax

Getting rid of the old wax

You leave the water to cool and the wax should lift to the top of the water. Some of mine stayed at the bottom but a little nudge with a fork and they popped right out.

All clean

All clean

To get rid of the black soot marks I just gave them a little scrub with dishwashing liquid and warm water and they were as good as new. I seriously can’t believe I didn’t do this sooner. They were destined for the bin in my mind.

Prepping the candles

Prepping the candles

Now come the technical parts. You don’t have to re-use old candles, you can use whatever you like – old jars, a little pot, tea cups – anything that you could microwave safely I’d say would be fine.

First up you have to add the wicks. Measure out the height just by holding it next to your container then add a few centimeters on the bottom and top. To attach the wick at the bottom I was very professional. I used sticky tape. Just fold it around itself to make it double sided then secure it to the bottom of the jar.

Use a skewer to press the wick down and stick it to the bottom. You can get fancy little things to hold it there but sticky tape works so I’m not wasting money on something else. A word of warning though – don’t try using a hot glue gun. The glue will melt when you add the hot wax and the wick will float up from the bottom (yes I’m telling you this from experience).

Once it’s attached to the bottom you will need something to hold with wick taut and centered. You can wrap it around a skewer. My bag clips were the perfect size to fit over the jars so I used them.

Scenting the candles

Scenting the candles

For the wax, you’ll need to work out the capacity of your jars then use double the amount of flakes. For example, if you jars hold 1 cup of liquid then you will need to measure out 2 cups of wax flakes.

Pour them into a heat-proof jug and then microwave for 1 minute. Take them out, give them a stir and microwave again for 1 minute and stir. If they’re not melted then continue the microwave-stir 20 seconds a time until all the flakes have melted. Make sure you use an oven glove to take the jug out because it gets mighty hot – safety first!

If you want to add a scent to your candles now is the time. You can buy special essential oils made especially for candles and they’ll work much better than normal oils (again trust me on that one). This time I went with classic French vanilla. Make sure you use rubber gloves when adding the oil. I’m not sure why but it says avoid contact with skin so I though it was better to be safe than sorry.

Once you’ve stirred in your fragrance, pour the wax into your containers then leave them to set for at least 12 hours.

Trimming the wicks

Trimming the wicks

You will notice that some of mine have little cracks. That is because I wanted them to set quickly so I could write this post. I popped them in the fridge when they were nowhere near set so I’m guessing the bits around the outside set first then the inside sank a little as it set. The moral of the story – be patient.

Mum and I were out Birthday shopping yesterday, while the candles were in the fridge and what did we find? Wick trimmers! I think it was meant to be. After I’d been telling mum all about my candle making she very kindly bought me a pair. If you don’t have any, you can just use scissors to cut the wick down.

Homemade vanilla soy candles

Homemade vanilla soy candles

Then it’s time to marvel at your perfect little creation. I was marvelling even more after an afternoon of shopping. I saw a candle nearly exactly the same as this for $19 in one store and in others, bigger versions were selling for more than $50. I’m thinking maybe I should go into business.

Vanilla scented soy candle

Vanilla scented soy candle

They make a lovely gift especially considering you can tailor the container and ‘flavour’ to suit the person you’re giving them to. Happy candle making!

What about you? What would you make a candle in and what’s your favourite candle scent?

Vanilla candle

Vanilla candle

5.0 from 3 reviews
Scented soy candles
 
Author:
 
Ingredients
  • Glass jars or old candles in jars
  • Boiling water
  • Candle wicks
  • Sticky tape
  • Skewers
  • Soy wax flakes
  • Candle fragrance oils
Instructions
  1. Pour the boiling water into the oil glass candles and leave to cool.
  2. Remove the wax floating on the top.
  3. Use dishwashing liquid and hot water to clean up any excess wax or soot.
  4. Dry class containers.
  5. Cut small pieces of sticky tape and fold to make double-sided tape then place in the middle of the bottom of each jar.
  6. Cut the wicks so that about 4cm comes out the top of the jar.
  7. Use a skewer to press them into the sticky tape so they stick to the bottom.
  8. Place a skewer over the top and wrap the wick to hold it up in the middle.
  9. Measure out the soy wax flakes (you will need double the amount - eg if your candle is 1 cup capacity, you will need 2 cups of soy wax flakes).
  10. Place the flakes in a heat-proof jug and microwave for 1 minutes.
  11. Remove and stir then microwave for 1 minute again then stir.
  12. If there are still solid flakes, microwave for 20 seconds at a time until dissolved.
  13. Add the fragrance oil, stir and then pour the wax into the jars.
  14. Make sure the the wicks are in the centre then leave the wax to set for 12 hours.
  15. Trim the wicks to 1 inch.

 

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Comments

  1. YAY! Welcome to the soy candle-making bandwagon. You will now be addicted forever – I speak from experience. Isn’t it shocking how much those things cost when they’re so easy to make!? I’m so glad you shared this, because I didn’t know the tip about how to clean old jars – I’ll give this a try next time.

    • Yep you can recycle all the ones you finish with! So crazy and I can’t stop they’re just so much fun to make! I love that they don’t really look homemade either.

  2. Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella says:

    I’m candle crazy! My favourite is by Tuberose Rouge by Diptyque! You did a great job-what is your favourite scent Claire?

  3. Hotly Spiced says:

    I spend a fortune on candles and I’m always resentful every time I do because I know they must be cheap to make. What lovely candles and they turned out so well. I’m going to have to try this xx

  4. Jennifer @ Mother Thyme says:

    This is great, Claire! I have always wanted to try making my own candles. You have inspired me to give it a try. :)

  5. Stephanie @ henry happened says:

    I’m so excited to try this! I had no idea it was so easy – these look beautiful and I bet they smell amazing.

  6. Can’t wait to try making soy candles! Suggestions about types of oils to use and types to avoid and why or why not? And, how much oil do you add? Thank you!

    • Hi Jen. I’m not 100% sure. I usually just add a couple of drops. I bought my oils from here http://www.naturalcandlesupply.com.au/#Candle-Making. It’s best to buy the ones that are made for candles. As far as what to avoid etc… depends what you’re after. I was making one for a pregnant friend so did some googling to find out which oils weren’t good for the bub. Lavender is safe!

  7. This is great, thanks for the instructions! I just spent a small fortune on candle making stuff!
    Just wondering if I wanted to add colour would I add it when I add the scent?

    Thanks :)

  8. Clarice says:

    I just made two candles in containers that had candles before. It only took me about 20 minutes using the microwave. I used newspaper to lay my tools on, so there was no surface cleanup. I wiped out my Pyrex cup and the metal spoon I used with paper towels, and stuck them in the dishwasher. This is incredibly easy. A question: I used about a tablespoon of candle scent in my candles, about 8 oz each, and they don’t seem to be that scented. Do these candles really smell when they burn or is it barely noticeable? I want it to be able to tell when they burn.

    • I think it depends on the type of scent. The one I used was pretty strong and I could smell it well. Are you using special candle scent?

  9. Hi Claire!
    How much oil do u use per candle?
    Thanks so much! : )

    • Hi Jackie. That’s a good question.. I just used a few drops in the jug which had 2 cups of melted wax.

  10. Stacey jones says:

    Hi I have just had a little lesson with a friend on making soy candles and she went to a class. They told her to add 10percent qty of fragrance per candle. So 400gm candle add 40ml. My house smells fab and the oil came from a candle supply place. French pear, oh it’s smells amazing and for the few dollars of cost for the fragrance it’s well worth it. The 400gm candle retails for $30.00 Aussie and cost less than $5.00 I am very happy.

    • Thanks for the tip Stacey. Isn’t it crazy how inexpensively you can make them compared to the price in the shops?!

  11. Hodge Podge says:

    Great tip for cleaning the glass votives, thank you!

    I really could not believe how easy it is to make candles at home. I made scented candles in teacups (here: http://hodgepodgecraft.com/2013/07/how-to-make-scented-candles-in-a-teacup-a-step-by-step-tutorial/) and have included a tip at the end about how you can get a smooth finish on the top, even if your candle sets with cracks initially…

  12. Wonderful easy explanation, i think Im going to give it a go .
    Thank you heaps
    Jo

  13. Thanks so much for posting this, it’s so simple to follow! Quick question – do you know a cheap place to buy the wicks and wax flakes from? I just want a small/cheap amount to start with to make sure I can actually do it haha!

  14. Andrea Louise Walsh says:

    How much of the fragrance oil did you use ??

    • Hi Andrea. It really depends how strong a scent you want and what fragrance you are adding. I just used a couple of drops for mine.

  15. Hi we have made some in tea cups but the wax has slightly come away from the sides of the cups. Any ideas what we did wrong.

    • Hi Joanne. Sometimes as it sets it shrinks a little and you can have to top it up a little. I think it happens if it cools to quickly.

  16. Have you added any colouring to the candles? Would you just use food dye?

    • I haven’t added colour before I’m sorry. I assume food dye would work.

      • Hi, great article – thank you!

        Just wanted to add a note that I am sure I read recently that food dye is not suitable for candle making. I have no experience with this myself but I am sure I remember reading that you need a different kind of colouring for it to work well.

  17. Hi Claire!

    Love your post! How much fragrance oil does one need to use for a candle? What’s the formula for the amount we need? Also, where does one buy wax flakes?

    Thanks so much!
    Ange :)

    • Hi Ange. You’re welcome! I got my wax from here http://www.naturalcandlesupply.com.au/#Candle-Making
      As to the formula… it’s a bit of a trial and error really because it depends how strong you want it. I added a few drops to my mixture.

  18. Jasmine Campbell says:

    Hi Claire,

    Thanks for writing this post, I’m really looking forward to giving it ago! Just wondering if you or anyone knows where I can buy soy wax and other candle making bits and pieces from in QLD, Brisbane or around brisbane south or north?

    Thanks, Jasmine :-)

  19. I want to use wild crafted organic essential oils. What would be wrong with that? I don’t want to get a pre made fragrance. Can someone speak to that?

  20. Great page Claire, thank you.
    Bought some soy flakes ages ago- didn’t come with any instructions!?
    Going to attempt some Clary sage scented ones this afternoon!!
    Rather excited!!

  21. Your candles look delicate enough to eat :) May I ask how long the candles burn for and are the fragrances/oils used phthalate free? Also are the wicks cotton? Sorry for all the questions but it gave me a great idea.

  22. Hi Claire

    I’d like to make some soy candles for my wedding, which is in three weeks. I read on another blog that you can’t use the candles for two weeks after making them. Is this your experience as well?

    Thanks!

    • Hi Rachel. I’ve not heard that. I know it’s best to leave them at least 24 hours but I’ve used mine before 2 weeks. Happy nearly wedding day!!!

  23. Tracey Dee says:

    Hi. I’m also just getting into candle making and have been experimenting over the last few weeks. I’m yet to get a decent scent throw, however, I have just been using fragrance oils that I use for my burners. Maybe that’s the problem? In regards to colouring the wax, I tried food colouring and it does not work that well. I got quite a lot of colour bleeding and it looked terrible. Ive experimented with crayons and that turned out ok.

  24. Great idea melting the wax in the microwave! I just got some candle making supplies from a friend and here I was about to try to find pots to melt the wax in on the stove. I will be trying the microwave method instead tomorrow!

  25. Do you have any tips if I don’t have a microwave?

  26. You can buy all your supplies at a great price on ebay

  27. Great site,you people are really up on the candle making
    I love it.

  28. Can you use bees wax..instead of soy?

  29. merryn@merrynsmenu says:

    Wow Claire I love your post! I have often thought about making candles, especially soy candles as they are beautiful to look at and smell. We had a black out recently and my soy candle supply has now diminished. With your easy instructions I will get some supplies and have a go (French Vanilla is my favourite too). Have you tried making citronella candles yet?

  30. Kirsten says:

    Thanks for this, Claire! I followed this tutorial to make soy candles today for my blog, but I put them into teacups. So good and easy to understand! And they smell soooo delicious. You are the candle master.

    http://kirstenlearns.com

  31. Hi Claire, I too have just started making soy candles and loving it. I cant help but wonder if there are any type of glass jars, cups, jugs etc that wouldn’t be safe to burn a candle in. Is there a rule you follow? Thanks

    • Hi Tania. Hmm I’m not sure. I would say that any glass jar is fine. Ceramics it probably depends on the type. If it’s oven-safe I’d say then it’s fine.

  32. Hi Claire, Love your candles!
    I am a candle-making newbie and have been getting condensation on the inside of my glass containers when using either soy or paraffin wax. I have tried warming the containers before I fill them but nothing seems to make any difference. Can you tell me what I am doing wrong please? Many thanks.

    • Claire says:

      Hi Sue. I’m sorry I’m not too sure about that one. The only thing I can think of is maybe the temp of your kitchen? I would say if it’s too cold that might cause condensation?

  33. Suzanne Hernan says:

    Hi there Claire i have just made my first batch of soy candles. I used pommegrante and sage scent. A couple of questions. What does C- Soy flakes mean and do you melt the crayon and how many do you use per pour.? My house smells fantastic ..i cant wait to see how they have turned out in the morning. I added a product called container maker….it came with my kit. Do you use this? You add it in with the fragrance and stir it around before you pour. Many thanks Suzanne

    • Claire says:

      Hi Suzanne. Ooh that sounds delish! I haven’t heard of that product sorry. With the amount, it depends on what sizw candle you’re making. The wax should include instructions for that. With the one I used, you needed 2 cups wax for one cup.

  34. joan adams says:

    i love making candles great to make but when i make the glass jars
    when they set i get white marks on the glass jars so do you know what i doing wrong i tried
    every thing cant make it out why
    than you Joan

  35. Diane C. says:

    I really enjoyed reading about your candle making foray followed by the comments section. I live in Arizona and found the following site has an extensive “how to” section that you might find useful. It covers questions regarding different types of waxes/soy, dyes, scents, containers, other basic supplies and safety precautions. I can’t wait to get started.
    lonestarcandlesupply.com/‎
    (877) 956-3192
    Find High Quality Candle Supplies.

  36. Hi Claire,

    Thank you for your post. I can’t believe how simple it is to do! I am definitely going to give it a go.. was wondering with the wick – i’ve had a look on the website you mentioned.. Did you get a spool of wick and what thickness did you get? http://www.naturalcandlesupply.com.au/Candle-Making/Candle-Wicks/HTP-Wicks/?cid=512

    Thanks !
    Hannah

    • Hi Hannah. From memory mine came with just a big piece of wick and it was about 2cm thick. Hope that helps!

  37. Suzanne says:

    Wow, I didn’t know you could make your own scented candles right at home :-) I found some candle making stuff here on Amazon and I was wondering if this is good enough and not too expensive? Thanks for your tutorial :-)

    • You sure can Suzanne! Maybe hunt around for the stuff that’s inexpensive for your first go then when you’re a pro buy the more expensive stuff?

  38. hermiliesmith says:

    Nice post and the information in the blog is really useful and I will definitely look toward the experiment of soy wax candles.

  39. Wendy C says:

    I just made some beautiful soy candles myself. I did struggle with getting the wick to stay on the bottom though, the sticky tape didn’t really work for me. Any other suggestions? To remove wax from the old glass containers I just placed them in the freezer. The wax shrinks and just pops out then I washed them as normal. Can’t wait to burn my first candle. I think my favourite so far is vanilla & cinnamon but also made Asian Pear & Lily and I couldn’t resist trying the Monkey Fart, which despite its name smells nice as an oil. Thanks for all the tips and hints. Wendy

    • Wendy I did have that problem with a few. Superglue works well but don’t use a hot glue gun like I did. The glue melted when I put the wax in!

  40. Congrats on your beautiful job! I love candles and I´m trying to make my own soy candles, but I have to say that here in Brazil finding the right support to make them is quite difficult. We are not used to make them and the supplies we have here are not good enough. In my opinion for example the most difficult part is how to choose the wick. :D

  41. Madeleine says:

    Hi Claire,

    Thanks so much for sharing this candle making post, I have made some Coconut & Lime candles and it was so easy!

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