Just to let you know, some links in this post contain affiliate links including amazon associate links. I receive a small commission if you use the links at no extra cost to you and they help keep this site running..
Recently, I realised I needed new candles but I also realised that I also had a lot of glass candle jars that I’d washed out (with boiling water, more on that below) and was not using, because what do you use used glass candle holders for?
Then I realised, I should just make candles myself at home because I’d seen a few people do this during the last year in lockdown!
After a quick bit of searching ‘how to make homemade candles’, I saw that it really wasn’t that difficult to make them and all of the supplies are easy to order on Amazon UK.
So, I placed an order, got all my glass jars together and set out to make my own candles. I loved the process and I was really happy with the result. I also loved that in the process I learnt why cheap candles we often buy are so bad for us, and how to make more natural candles.
Although buying the supplies was a bigger upfront cost than buying a candle- around £30.00 in total, I’ll definitely make more than £30.00 worth of good quality candles! And it made me feel like I have a new hobby.
So many wins!
So let me tell you how I did it, what you need to make homemade candles and some important things to know before making candles at home!
How To Make Soy Candles
Supplies Needed for DIY Candles
To make DIY Candles at home you actually don’t need that many things. I only had to order 3 items from Amazon out of the below supplies to make homemade candles. I have linked the products I bought below from Amazon UK as I recommend them.
- Glass Holders
- Soy Wax
- Candle Wicks
- Essential Oils (for smell)
- Petals (for decoration)
- Food Bag Clips
- Small Amount of Bluetac
If you want to start making homemade candles to sell as a business as many people have started to do in the last year, you will need more supplies like a thermometer, higher quality wax and scents, but if you’re just wanting to get creative for your own home use like me, the above items are enough!
Why Soy Wax For Making Candles At Home?
Ok so quickly, why soy candle wax? Well, when researching how to make candles at home myself I found out that many candles we buy are paraffin because paraffin is so cheap and helps produce the smell of candles. But paraffin wax when melted or burnt releases many different toxins!
Whereas because soy is biodegradable wax made from soybeans, it does not contain these and is, therefore, a more natural and healthier wax for us to use in our home.
Other natural wax you can use to make candles is Beeswax and Coconut Wax.
This is a good post to help explain the pros and cons to the different type of waxes.
I got 1KG of this Soy Candle Wax from Amazon. It made 7 different sized candles so I recommend this sized bag to start with!
Fragrance Oils Vs Essential Oils
Just one more point, in order to make homemade scented candles you will need to add a scent to them. Thanks to my research, I was reminded of the difference between fragrance oil and essential oil.
The main difference between fragrance oils and essential oils is that fragrance oils are manufactured in a lab and essential oils are made of natural materials. So of course, I was definitely sold on the Essential Oils and the best thing about them is that you may own lavender or tea tree oil at home anyway and if you don’t, you can use essential oils for many different things as well as candle scents.
I got this pack of 5 Essential Oils from Amazon. To be honest, the cheaper the oils the lower the quality, if I decide to make these candles again as gifts I would get higher quality Essential oils.
How To Remove Leftover Wax from Candle Jar
You may have old candle jars as I did. There are a few ways to remove wax from candle jars, personally I pour boiling water in them, the wax comes off the sides and rises to the top and then I can remove the wax and water and wash like in the sink.
A great tip is to reuse Gu Dessert Pots! They are such good ramekins and a shame to throw away. Look how good they look as candles and homemade tealights.
How To Dry Out Flowers
As you can see from my photos, I used rose petals to give the candles more decoration and colour. Luckily, the Valentines Roses my sister and her friend had bought themselves were on their last few days of life so I picked the petals off and dried them out before using them for my candles.
Here’s an article on ways to dry out flowers if you have some flowers or petals you want to add to them.
I really loved the look of the Rose Petals and dried Lavender also makes candles look nice.
Step by Step Instructions For How To Make Soy Candles At Home:
Assuming you have all the supplies for homemade soy candles, you’ve cleaned out your jars and have your scents and decorations, lets get into how to make them!
1 – Get everything ready on the side.
Once you start melting the wax you’ll have to move pretty quickly so everything needs to be out and ready.
2 – Use the candle jars to measure the wax.
The ratio is 2 jars of candle wax for 1 jar so fill your jar/s with wax, empty it into a microwaveable container and then fill it again and empty it out.
3 – Fill jars with water to measure how many ml they all hold.
The reason you need to do this is to work out the measurement of essential oils you’ll need although you don’t need to add the oils into anything now.
I definitely didn’t use enough oil on my first candle making run.
I have since seen 2 teaspoons of essential oil for every 1/2 cup / 118ml suggested. This is definitely a lot more than I used.
This is why it’s good to measure out your jars now so you know how many ml you are working with and can calculate how much oil to add in later on.
In fact, if you are using more than 1 oil scent you could test out mixing them together in this stage so you are ready with what you want later on when the wax is hot.
4 – Stick the candle wicks to the bottom of the jar.
I used some bluetac for this and it worked fine, you can use some type of double sided tape. I read not to use a glue gun as the hot melted wax will melt it.
These are the natural candle wicks I got from Amazon which I’m really happy with and I got so many I won’t have to buy them again for a while!
5 – Secure the candle wicks with a food clip.
In order for the candle wicks to dry straight, you’ll want to secure it standing up straight. I used food bag clips which worked well, you can also use pencils and wrap the wicks around the pencil.
6 – Add petals / flowers to jars.
I wasn’t exactly sure how and when to add the petals, in my mind I wanted them to show in the glass but without actually sticking them to the inside of the glass, this won’t happen.
I decided to rip the rose petal into smaller pieces and cover the bottom of each glass. Later on in the process I added more to the top. The rose petals did rise with the wax for the end result which looked fine. Trial and error is good here.
7 – Start melting the soy candle wax.
I used the microwave to do this but you can also melt it over boiling water. Basically, melt the max like you would melt chocolate.
In fact, the wax does actually looks a bit like white chocolate shavings which did confuse my mind a bit!
Put it in the microwave for a minute or so and keep taking it out to stir it (ideally with an old spoon or wooden stick or something) until it has fully melted. Be aware not to burn it.
8 – Add essential oils to melted wax.
This is when you need to start working fast because you want to pour the wax into the jars before it starts to cool but first you need to add a scent. This is also why I suggest getting the scents ready beforehand.
Pour the required scent (2 teaspoons for every 1/2 cup / 118ml) into the hot wax and mix it round.
9 – Pour wax into candle jars.
Slowly and carefully pour the wax into the jars. If you have petals in them they will probably start rising.
Try not to get any on the sides of the glass, but don’t worry about getting it on the food clips.
Whilst you’re pouring, make sure the candle wicks is still straight in the jar.
10 – Tidy them up.
If you want to add more petals / flowers, now is the time to do this. Also clean around the edges of them if you did spill any wax.
11 – Let them cool.
Put them to the side for at least 12 hours to let them dry.
12 – Cut the top of the wicks
Finally, when they are fully dry, take the food clips off and cut the wicks to the desired size.
How To Avoid Sinkholes in Homemade Candles
One last thing to know is that you may experience sinkholes in the wax of your candles. I had a small one at the top of one candle but nothing in the other two. You may also have the holes but inside and not realise until you burn them.
There are a few suggested ways to avoid sinkholes but at this stage, you just need a fix because they are already there.
This website recommends: folding a piece of aluminium foil in half, wrapping it around the candle, and puncturing a hole over the flame like a tent (leaving a hole for it to get oxygen). Keep the foil on for about 30 minutes, and all of that built-up wax should be melted off the sides.
I hope you enjoy making your homemade soy candles, let me know how you get on!
More of my posts you might enjoy: