This one is for you, the DIY candle enthusiast. The “I can do this myself” kind of person. While making a perfect candle requires trial and error, patience, and time, I’m going to try to save you some headache in the process.
Note: the process and tips I share here are for dealing with soy wax.
Benefits of using soy wax: A cleaner burn (with proper wick-trimming), a longer burn, and sustainable sourcing (as far as we know).
Downsides to using soy wax: Harder to work with and less “scent throw” than its paraffin counterpart.
We have a love and hate relationship with soy wax at Calyan. While it causes us some heartache, using soy allows us to produce a more “natural” and “cleaner” candle. Worth it for us.
The first step, buying stuff. A simple google search will lead you to a multitude of suppliers that offer everything you need. We love candlescience.com.
The easiest first candle to make is the classic 8 oz. metal tin. Here is what you will need:
- Metal tins (8 oz. for this example).
- Soy wax (we recommend GW464). The 8 oz. tin will hold roughly 6 oz. of wax (plus fragrance oil) so buy accordingly.
- Wicks/Wick stickers/Popsicle sticks. We recommend ECO-16 wicks. This size helps keep the candle from tunneling and wick works well with soy wax. Stickers make the wick stick to the container (duh).
- Fragrance oil. We recommend at 10% fragrance load so roughly .6 oz. of oil per candle. I’ll let you do any further math.
- Pouring pot, thermometer (we use candy thermometers), safety labels (if giving to friends/selling).
- An electric stove or burner.
- Scale that measures in ounces.
Once you get all your supplies, try to contain your intense excitement! We’re going to go one step at a time.
- Turn your burner on low-medium heat.
- Weigh out wax. 6 ounces x (number of metal tins you want to fill). We recommend doing a minimum of three candles for a total of 18 ounces so the wax doesn’t heat up or cool down to fast on you.
- Place pouring pot on the burner and throw in the wax. Place a thermometer on side of the pot to make sure you’re keeping track on temperature.
- Weigh out fragrance oil (.1 x weight wax).
- Place wicks in middle of metal tins (sometimes it helps to close one eye when completing this complex maneuver). We use popsicle sticks with holes drilled in the middle to position our wicks in the center (check out photos on our Instagram to get visual on this: instagram.com/calyanwaxco).
- Keep an eye on wax melting. You are shooting for 180-185 degrees F. Once you reach that temperature, remove the pot from burner and mix in your fragrance oil (we recommend stirring for a solid 1.5-2 minutes). This gives you time to daydream about your candles being the next hot topic with your friends.
- Pouring. We recommend pouring at a temperature between 150-160 degrees F. Pour steady and slow. Try to get most of the wax in the containers. This will take some practice (at least for us everyday people).
- Note on room temperature: Soy wax is finicky. It likes to cool evenly and slow. Otherwise, it is prone to potholing. Making sure your room is around 70-72 degrees F and your containers are room temperature will help your candle cool nice and pretty on top.
- Allow for your candles to cool for a solid 24 hrs.
- Trim wicks to roughly 1/4 inch.
- We recommend allowing your candles to cure for at least a couple day before burning (this allows for better scent throw) but you do you. Burn whenever you so please.
- Brag to all your friends.
- Start a candle company and make millions.
This is the basics. The main lesson we have learned through our candle making is there is not one sound-proof way to get a perfect candle. Rather, you have to go through some trial and error to see what works. This is a general guideline and a good place to start. The most important variable we’ve found: room and container temperatures.
Have questions about making candles? We would love to help in any way we can. Reach out to us!
Prefer to just buy quality candles already made and packaged professionally? Visit our store!