DIY Homemade Soy Candle Tutorial
I have a recipe for you today, but it’s not for food. You don’t mind too much do you? You see ever since my Mom & I made soy candles as favors for my wedding, and after the wedding was featured here, I got several requests to share our recipe/process. Our guests absolutely loved them and we’ve made more candles since with lots of success. They make such a wonderful gift with a special, personalized touch- and the options for scents and colors are endless! Would you believe that making them is really pretty simple once you get the hang of it?
We chose to use soy wax, and have made them in a variety of scents. These were Hazelnut Coffee (amazing,) and we did Cinnamon Vanilla for the wedding. All of our supplies came from Candle Science, including the jars, wicks, wax, and scents. When ordering, you can choose the right wick size for your jar which is helpful- and there are customer service reps who can help you figure out the right quantity of supplies to order for what you need. (I’m not paid to promote them I swear!) We experimented a ton before the wedding to create a candle that smells great before and while it’s burning.
Some of the supplies needed to make these candles at home may be already stocked in your kitchen, others may need to be special ordered. You can buy jars, or use anything you have around- tea cups, mason jars and anything heat-proof would work! The recipe below makes about 2 small/medium candles (depending on your jar size,) but you can of course increase the size as needed.
8 oz. soy wax flakes
1/2-3/4 oz. scent drops of choice
popsicle sticks with a small hole drilled into the center, or another tool to stabilize wick
2 small jars (4-6 oz. in size)
pyrex measuring cup, or other spouted heat-proof vessel
To begin, using a glue gun, prepare your jars by securing the tabbed wicks to the bottom of your jars. (they also sell sticker-type things for this if you prefer that.) Thread the wick through the hole in the popsicle sticks and center it. (Use some tape to secure the stick if it seems to be moving too much to the side.)
Prepare a small kettle of water with the lid of a jar in the bottom. This may seem weird, but basically you don’t want your measuring cup to touch the bottom of the pot. We found that one of our jar lids worked perfectly for this.
Weigh your wax flakes, and place them in a heat-safe measuring cup or something similar. Nestle it onto the jar lid and turn heat to medium-high.
Leave the wax be as it melts.
Once it’s melted, place your candy thermometer inside the wax and let it heat to 185 degrees F.
Remove the measuring cup from the heat and add your fragrance. Stir with a spoon (or in our case a chopstick) for 2 minutes. (Thanks Mom for the hand modeling!)
Back in goes the candy thermometer, and let the wax cool to 135 degrees F.
When the wax has cooled, carefully pour it into your jars.
Don’t touch them, stir the wax or mess with them until the wax has a chance to solidify.
They will look opaque and relatively solid after an hour or so, but don’t touch the wick until they are completely cooled.
Trim the wicks.
And there you go! You don’t want to burn your candles until two weeks after making, but that doesn’t mean you can’t make them pretty and ready to be gifted!
I use a couple different fabric swatches, ribbons, some hemp thread and labels to decorate my candles. The tie-on tag was just cut carefully out of card stock, but you can get them on Etsy too. (You can buy round kraft paper labels here.)
That’s all there is to it? Really not that hard right? These make wonderful gifts/favors for baby or bridal showers, holiday gifts, or even as part of a gift basket for a hostess. Any vessel can become a candle so get creative! I look forward to seeing what pretty things you come up with too! :)
These are totally adorable and such a wonderful idea to make a batch and keep them around for a quick gift for a housewarming or co-worker birthday. This is definitely better than my method of melting an actual candle in a double boiler and attempting to re-mold the melted wax before it almost immediately set again. Not my best idea.
Hee hee. This reminds me of when we used to make candles from old crayons in girl scouts! :)
No way! These are so amazing, Audra. What a cute, creative idea for gift giving or saving a couple bucks on buying them for yourself. I bet the “flavors” you can create are endless!
This is so cool Audra, I had no idea it was this easy! I love the way you packaged the candles up – they’re adorable :)
How fun!! Those are so pretty, and such a cool wedding gift!
HAhah my dad totally did the re-melting method. Oops :)
Hi Audra! I’m just stopping by your site for the first time and it’s absolutely gorgeous! I’m not sure how I didn’t stumble upon it until now… but I’m glad I did! Ps… these candles are being bookmarked for future gift-givings! LOVE!
Aw thanks Laurie! I’m glad we both found each other’s sites tonight!! :)
How fun are these?!? thanks for the great tutorial, I’ve never considered making my own candles before!
This is crazy cool! I won’t be getting married for at least another year and a half and but already sort of stockpiling DIY ideas. The candles look awesome!
Oh I stockpiled ideas for quite awhile before getting engaged… :)
Are the “tools” (pot, thermometer, etc) still useable for cooking afterwards or does the wax permanently adherr?
Hi Katie- Everything we used was easily washed in the dishwasher or by hand and then used again for food-related projects. (Another perk of using soy wax!)
What a sweet idea for a Valentine’s gift.
Thanks, doll. I’ll try to make one for my hubby!
these are absolutely adorable!
This totally sounds fun! They look sweet and lovely! Thanks for your wonderful tutorial. I can’t wait to start making my own. Thanks!
Not only do you do a great job explaining your process, but you take beautiful pictures as well! I have to admit, the pictures make me want to get back into candle making. You make it look so peaceful and simple (I recall a messy experience scaring me off…). I thankfully still have my stash of candle fragrance oils from The Flaming Candle Co. so I’ll have to give it another go. Thanks for inspiring me :)
Perfect! Now you have to give it another try! :)
Which of the soy wax flaked did you use? I didn’t realize there would be so many to have to choose from!
Hey Lisa! For my wedding, we used the 464 (cheaper.) It was great, but overtime candles made from that wax my frost a bit on the edges. This time we used the Ecosoya Advanced wax, which is a little pricer, but results in a better candle. :)
Love, love, LOVE this idea! This may be a silly question but would it be possible to add color to the wax? Thinking of making these for my friends baby shower :)
Not a silly question at all! You can totally add color, but I haven’t before. My Mom has- and I think it involves adding small amounts of colored wax flakes to the regular wax. Candle Science should have all the info on that!
What a cool idea!! I really do prefer soy-based candles to the petroleum ones and would like to make some for my wedding in July–thanks so much for this info.! One question–any estimate how long an average-sized candle will burn? Thank you!!
Hey Christine! I’m not exactly sure how long they burn- but mine seem to be lasting for so long! :)
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I’ve been tossing around the idea of making some of my Christmas gifts this year (and need to start now or I’ll never finish in time). This is the best tutorial I found for soy candle making! Yay!!! Thanks so much!
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I’ve melted wax using a small pot in a pot of water but never thought of simply using a Pyrex (heat proof) jug and I have a surplus of Pyrex cookery jugs.
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How much on average did you spend per candle? Im in the midst of fundraising, and don’t want to charge more than 5$ per candle but would still like to make substantial profit for my charity! Thanks
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Hey, This is totally informative article that how to make soy candle. The main thing which i like the most in this post is that the way you have explained it is very very step by step, everyone can understand it easily. Thanks for such a lovely post.
They look ADORABLE :-) Can’t wait to make my own candles and make nice gifts! I found these materials on Amazon and was wondering if people have any experience with buying candle making stuff from Amazon? Thanks!!
im so thankful for your website..i love it. it looks pretty easy,.. im trying to look for homemade stuff to make and sell to help pay for my dad’s kidney transplant….this is a pretty good idea!!!! thanks
Wow your candles are really beautiful! I just love candles and I´m trying to make my own ones. I´ve been searching on the net for 5 months and writing to blogs like yours but unfortunatly nobody has answered yet. :(
My greatest problem is the wick. In your country you have a core variety of them but here in Brazil we have only three: large, medium and small. So it´s quite difficult to get the right one.
Sorry for my poor English.
Keep doing this amazing job!!
Hey Baker Chick! What a lovely post. My question is about the quality of the fragrance oil from Candle Science. I’m looking to make soy candles that really fill up the room with the scent! How would you rate the scent intensity of the CS oils when using 1/2-3/4 oz. of the scent…is that something you can adjust by using more of the fragrance oil??
Candle science is very good to order from. I haven’t had a problem ordering scents by reading reviews. I order a few times most months. As long as you have your add and pour temps down you will be fine.
Im been making candles for a while now and iv made sum with essential oils in. When I go to light them they crackel.
Im just worried saftey wise. Is the a certain amount of oils to add? Do you have to make them and let them settle for a couple of weeks?.
So Sorry but I actually have never used essential oils in my candles so I’m not sure of the answer to your question…
Looks great, I definitelyant to give it a try. So glad I found this. Thanks a bunch for the tutorial!