Soy candle making for beginners

I got into soy candle making  in the same way that I get into most of my craft things: It was a case of wanting something but not being prepared to pay for it.    Once you get the hang of it, making candles is a relaxing pastime – and after the initial purchase of products – not an expensive hobby.   I mostly buy my products from Natural Candle Supply in Sydney, Australia.

The candle I made today is Orange Blossom and Jasmine, made at a ratio of approx 1/3 Jasmine and 2/3 Orange Blossom.   I really like the way the citrus of the orange blossom balances out the jasmine.

You need:  soy wax (  I use the Ecosoya EB Advanced Soy), pre-tabbed wick (I used CDN 18), glass jar (I used large Danube), scent, colour (optional), popsicle stick with a hole drilled in the centre, a clothes peg, a ‘wick stickum’ or double sided tape, cooking thermometer, cooking pot, stirring stick and newspaper to cover your work surface.

I could write a whole page just about choosing the right wick, but will give the brief version.  Basically, you need to figure out a wick size based on the diameter of jar you’re using, and then adapt up or down depending on how your scent and wax of choice burns.  A lower number wick has a smaller flame – so a smaller jar will need a lower number wick and large jar will need a larger wick.  Your candle supplier should be able to advise you an approximate wick size for your jar diameter, but it really does all go back to trial and error.  When testing, if you find that you have a large flame and a candle which melts quickly, try a smaller wick.   Or, if you find the candle won’t melt out to the sides of the jar, use a larger wick.

To set up, attach the wick stickum or double sided tape to the wick tab and adhere to the bottom of the jar.  I’ve printed and laminated a target to help me centre the wick, but you can do this by eye.    Thread the top of the wick through the popsicle stick, pull firmly and secure with the clothes peg.

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1. Measure the quantity of wax required.    Soy wax weighs similar to water, so I’ve found it best to weigh the volume of water the jar holds and then use that figure for the quantity of wax.

2. Measure scent required.  I use a full fragrance load – which is 10% of the wax total.   For example, if you measure 250g of wax, you’ll need 25ml of fragrance.

3. Select colour if required.   One diamond shape dye chip will colour 250g of wax.

4. Dump your wax in a cooking pot and heat slowly, stirring, to 75’C.   I’ve seen recommendations for using a double boiler, but I’ve always managed fine with an old milk pan on a gas cooktop.     Don’t get distracted by the kids or internet at this stage – your wax can burn if you forget about it.   Trust me, I know.

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5. When your wax reaches 75’C, remove from heat.  Add colour if desired and stir until disolved.

6. When wax cools to around 70’C, add fragrance and stir in

7. When the wax reaches 65’C, you’re ready to pour

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8. Now be patient while the wax sets.   Don’t light the candle for at least 24hrs – this will give the scent time to develop.

Enjoy your candle

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