Winter came a little too late to many parts of North America this year. But when it came, it came with a big bang…and lots of snow. While some people were super excited, others were…well…not so much!
One thing I personally love about winter is the cozy atmosphere you can create inside the home. With thick blankets, extra pillows and heavier curtains, your room can transform into a warm safe haven during the blistery cold temperatures outside. Plenty of hot cocoa and coffees can do the trick, too!
During this season, I also like to make handcrafted soy candles to burn throughout the longer winter nights. The added benefit of using soy wax as opposed to paraffin wax is it lasts much longer and is better for the environment producing up to 80% less soot. Soy candles are very easy to make and I’ll show you how!
Here’s what you need…
- soy wax flakes
- large mixing bowl
- large pot
- medium size pot
- glue gun/glue sticks/hot plate
- small glass mason jars (or your choice of containers)
- clothing pins
- tabbed candle wicks
- drinking straw
- fragrance oil (phthalate-free is best)
The soy wax, tabbed candle wicks and fragrance oils can be found at your local craft store. I would highly recommend you use phthalate-free fragrance oils which are better for your health. The rest of the materials can be found at any dollar store. You can get creative with the type of jar or container you’d like to make your candles in. Old tea cups and small deep ceramic bowls can also be great options. For this project, I’m using cute mini mason jars.
Preheat your glue gun. To avoid surface damage, keep a hot plate or newspaper under the gun as it heats so the glue doesn’t drip onto your work surface. I have a small metal plate I’ve dedicated to this purpose.
To start, insert a tabbed wick into the straw. Using the hot glue gun, carefully add a small dab of glue on the metal tab of the wick. The straw helps keep the wick stable as you prepare to glue it into the jar.
Carefully, adhere the metal tab to the center of your container, using the straw as a guide. Press down and hold for a few seconds. Then gently remove the straw. Repeat for the rest of your containers.
Create a double-boiler by adding a shallow amount of water to your pot and placing the large mixing bowl on top. Heat over the stove on medium until the water gently boils. Add soy wax to your mixing bowl.
To measure the correct quantity of wax for your containers, fill the container with wax twice and empty into the mixing bowl for melting. This is enough wax for one jar. Repeat until you have enough for each of your containers. For example, I was making 4 mason jar candles so I filled the jar 8 times and placed it into the mixing bowl. This was enough for my 4 candles.
IMPORTANT: Have a mixing bowl and utensils reserved just for candlemaking. You do not want to use a vessel which is intended for eating. I have separate instruments, including bowls, spatulas, etc, I use for all my non-edible projects such as candles.
Once the wax has melted, remove the mixing bowl from the heat and add your fragrance. Add enough until you are satisfied with the scent. Make sure you don’t put too much oil as it will not mix into the wax. A rule of thumb is using 20-30% the amount of wax you have for our fragrance.
Using a spatula, stir the wax and fragrance oil until it is fully blended. The wax will look uniform in appearance.
Now, carefully add your soy wax into each of your jars. Do not fill to the top, leave about 3/4″ inch from the rim.
Carefully, center the wick with the clothing pins. Now let it rest for about 1 hour, until the wax has fully hardened.
Let the candles cure for 24 hours. Then trim the wick about 1/4″.
TIP: Always trim your wicks to 1/4″ for ideal and even burning.
Light your candle and enjoy hours of burning for an aromatic experience!
Now make yourself a hot cup of cocoa, wrap yourself in a cosy blanket and immerse yourself into good book with your candle nearby!
Sobia Hussain is a professional soap artisan who runs The Olive Tree Soap Company located in Toronto, Canada. She creates vegan natural soaps and skincare products with an eco-conscience. She is also a writer for various international publications. Sobia loves teaching creative Discovery Workshops designed to help children discover their inner talents and inspire creativity through explorations in art and science.