Candles are one of the best ways to liven up your living space! They are so easy to decorate with as they can be paired up with anything and can be placed in any room. Plus, they are pleasing to both the eyes and the noses. *Double whammy*. You may have noticed that over the past few years, there have been a lot of advancements in sustainability and being more aware of our environment.
One of the ways in which that is happening is by taking unsustainable materials, such as plastic and styrofoam, and substituting it for materials such as wood, glass and metal. You can see these product changes throughout many sectors; in the food, fashion, furniture industry and more. One of the big changes that people are making is by consuming soy wax candles instead of regular paraffin wax.
Now, why soy and not paraffin? Well, for starters: soy is a natural, vegan and sustainable product made from soybeans. In comparison, paraffin wax is made from petroleum. Yes, the same petroleum that is used in gas and oil; paraffin wax is the waxy substance that is removed from crude oil.
Soy wax is also more advantageous because it has a lower melting point, meaning it is easier to burn in cooler environments, and it produces less soot, which can cause discolouration of your candle container or even furniture. If that isn’t enough reason to choose soy wax over paraffin wax, then consider that soy wax has stronger fragrance and can actually burn longer than regular candles.
Now that you know more about soy wax, let’s go ahead and get started on making our own soy wax candles!
Things you will need:
- Soy wax flakes
- Candle glass jar/container
- Candle wick
- Wick holder (optional)
- Essential oils/fragrance
- Kitchen scale
- Wooden or silicone spoon/spatula
- Digital thermometer or candy thermometer (optional)
1. Container time!
Choosing a container is so important in candle-making. Firstly, you have to ensure that the glass container you use is compatible with high temperatures. Always be sure to check the material of the glass container before using it for your candles. Secondly, after making sure you have the right type of container, now comes the fun part: choosing a design. Get funky with this! You can make candles in any container, from tall and long to wide and stout. Or you can make candles in a hexagonal jar, mason jar, diamond jar, bear jar and more. The possibilities are endless. If you’re having trouble finding a jar, head on over to our Jargeous website and check out our huge range of glass jars. We got every jar under the sun; from classic designs to eccentric and unique designs. –> Shop Candle Jars Now
2. Use the golden ratio!
Before you go and melt down your soy wax, you need to do a little math. Don’t worry, it’s not going to be anything complicated or difficult. It’s really simple. When making candles, you want to ensure that the ratio between the jar volume, wax volume and fragrance load is just right. Luckily, we have got you covered. Check out this blog post we created to help you with the perfect measurements –> The Golden Ratio of Candle.
3. Heat it up!
Now that we’ve got our container and our measurements prepared, we can start the candle-making process. First things first, you have to melt down your soy wax. Typically, soy wax comes in flakes which make it easier to boil down. Soy wax is a little more fragile than other wax types. So instead of directly placing your wax into a pan and heating it up, use the double boiler method.
For the double boiler method, you need to fill a small pot with water and bring that to a light boil. Once hot enough, place your soy wax flakes into a separate small bowl and place it over the boiling pot. The steam from the boiling water will gently heat up the soy wax. Be careful to not overheat the wax, you can do this by measuring the temperature of the water. The water should be between 120-135 degrees Celsius. Overheating the wax will cause it to turn yellow. Remember to occasionally stir the soy wax until it is soft and has a liquid consistency.
*Note: You can also melt the wax by heating it in the microwave at 1-minute intervals.
4. Smelling good!
Using the measurements that we prepared earlier, add in your essential oils/fragrance to the soy wax after it has melted down. Stir it frequently and remove the melted wax from the heat.
5. Time to get wick-ed!
Take your candle container and give it a good wash and pat down. Ensure that it is clean and dry before pouring in that liquid goodness. Lower your wick into the centre of the container and subsequently use your wick holder to anchor it down. Take notice that your wick needs to be longer than you intend it to be. You will trim this off at the end. If you don’t have a wick holder, you can find alternative methods to holding a wick up by using a wooden peg or stick. Or to make your life a lot easier, you can find all the candle-making accessories that you need at Jargeous –> Candle making accessories.
6. Take a break, have a cool down!
Take your melted down soy wax and slowly pour it into your candle container. Once you’ve done that, give your soy wax some time to cool down at room temperature. It usually takes about 30-90 minutes, depending on the size of your candle. This is a great time to admire your creation!
7. Give it some time! (Optional but highly recommended)
As mentioned earlier, soy wax candles can burn longer, by about 30-50%, and hold fragrance better than paraffin wax-based candles. However, it takes a little while longer for those properties to “activate” as they need to get to know each other a little better before strongly binding. This process is called curing. It’s where you allow your soy wax candles to cure or rest for 3-4 days, maximum of 14 days, before burning it for the first time. This allows the candle to achieve optimal quality.
8. Decorating time!
Once the soy wax has hardened and cured, you can start the creative process of decorating the candles. This is optional but highly recommended. Be sure to trim the excess wick off first, you want to keep about 3-5cm of the wick above the wax. You can decorate the jar by making a customised label for it. At Jargeous, we provide this service! You can learn more here –> Label making. Otherwise, you can paint/draw on your candle container or tie a cute ribbon onto it or some dried flowers would be great too.
9. Enjoy the fruits of your labour!
By far, the easiest step of this entire process is to sit back and enjoy the fruits of your labour. These soy wax candles are super adorable and incredibly versatile. It’s up to you how you would like to decorate it or where you would like to put it. You can never go wrong with a candle. It’s also a great personalised gift for friends and family! If you’re feeling a little ambitious, you can try to start a candle business! Whatever the reason, we hope that when you light up your DIY soy wax candles, you smile a little bigger than you did before.
Written by @DrFatinDaud
Dr Fatin Najwa binti Daud is a junior doctor, content creator and copywriter residing in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. She previously worked in marketing, specifically digital marketing, and business development. Dr Fatin is highly passionate about medicine and education. Her other interests include activism, humanitarian work, fashion and sports. You can find Dr Fatin Daud on LinkedIn.