Candles are one of my favorite things. Like, since 7th grade.
I mean, what’s not to like about candles? They’re beautiful, smell bomb and can instantly make a room more aesthetically pleasant. Also, they’re easy to make on your own. You know how much I love a DIY whipped body butter, deodorant, and everything else, so why not candles?
Paraffin Wax VS Soy Wax: Which is better?
The typical candle you find at a store is made from paraffin wax. The chances are you’ve owned a few in your life. Truthfully, so have I. But here’s the thing, they’re not that great.
Paraffin comes from crude oil, a non-renewable source. When burned, the fumes can be toxic, so it’s not the best for your lungs or environment. But soy, that’s what is called a “green” candle.
Like Beeswax, soy is renewable and burns clean. If you’ve noticed an uptick in stores offering soy candles, that’s why.
But how easy are they to make?
Pretty effin easy. I mean, if you make candles my way.
Most people make them by taking blocks of wax and slowly melting them down on a stove top. But who has time for that?
Microwavable soy flakes are way quicker. Quickie DIYs are the best DIYS, IMHO.
If you have no patience for reading, check out the video tutorial where I show how to make the candles. Otherwise, read on.
Editor’s Note: I misspoke during the video. Soy candles should be 120-140f before adding fragrance and pouring. Not 180f.
Tools + Ingredients
This recipe will make two 2 ounce candles.
- 2 cups of Microwavable soy wax flakeshttps://amzn.to/37aLs7t
- 2 Wicks
- 2 (2 ounce) glass jars
- Essential oils (I like scents like lavender, sweet orange, peppermint)
- Candle thermometer
- Microwavable container (something you don’t mind becoming messy)
- Hot glue gun
- 2 large clothes pins
I purchased most of my tools and ingredients at Michael’s, but you can find most everything you need to make candles at a craft store or Amazon.
Since I’m practicing sustainability (I’m also low key frugal), I used glass mason jars that previously held candles I had finished up. If you want to reuse your old glass candle jars, all you have to do is pop them into the freezer for a few hours. Afterwards, you’ll be able to pry out the old wax and wick with a knife, clean and use for new candles or whatever else you want.
Another aspect of this project I want to highlight is that this DIY is a great way to repurposed old plastic containers. Like I said, I’m trying to be sustainable and mainly use glass Tupperware these days. However, that doesn’t mean that I don’t still have plenty of plastic containers from the days I didn’t.
Instead of tossing, I set them aside for my DIY projects. They’re great for mixing bath salts, blending oils and of course, melting wax.
1.Heat hot glue gun and place glue in the center of clean glass jars. Place wick firmly into the glue, pressing down with a blunt object (such as back of knife or paint brush handle). To keep wicks centered and upright, secure with close pin and set aside to dry.
2.Measure out wax into microwavable container and heat at 30 second increments till wax is fully melted. Editor’s note: Different soy wax brands may have different directions, so check box/brand instructions. Check temperature with thermometer. Soy wax should be between 120-140f.
3.Blend 6 teaspoons of essential oils together for a total of 1 ounce of oil. Add to wax and stir before gently pouring into glass jars. Allow candles to harden before use. This should take between 3-4 hours.
This is by far one of my favorite DIYs. It’s super customizable and works great as a gift for friends, coworkers or family members. If you want more candle inspiration, check out the holiday inspired candles I made for Organic Hudson Valley Magazine. And of course, please let me know if you try this DIY. You can tag me with your photos on Instagram at @theupstateedit.
Hudson Valley based writer.