Intro: DIY Candles
Making homemade candles is a fun and easy way to spend an afternoon. These DIY candles make great gifts, or can simply be saved for personal use and enjoyment. They use a natural soy wax, and are colored using non-toxic crayons. This allows for a multitude of possible color combinations. You can even liven things up a bit by adding essential oils to make them scented candles.
Step 1: Materials
You will need:
Small Glass Jars
You should get around a dozen small glass jars. I found my leftover (5 oz) glass yogurt jars worked well. You can also buy new jars in a variety of fun shapes and sizes off Amazon.
5lb Soy Wax
Soy wax is a cheap and easy to work with natural wax. I find a 5lb bag yields roughly 20 - 24 candles.
Getting pre-made wicks will make your life much easier in the long run.
Box of Non-Toxic Crayons
Non-toxic crayons make a great coloring agent because they come in a multitude of colors that can be mixed and matched. They are also already wax-based, so you can melt it directly into the wax without having to worry about diluting it.
You can optionally add essential oil to your candle to give it a nice scent. I ordered a sample-sized scent pack from Nurielights. This is a cool little company that sources traditionally made oils from all over the world. Each sample only makes a few candles, so if you want to scent all of them the same, you should consider a larger size.
These are for holding the wicks while the wax sets.
Glass Measuring Cup
You will want to get a new glass measuring cup specifically for candle making. Wax is hard to clean off.
3 Quart Sauce Pan
While you can use the one you have, I highly recommend buying one specifically for candle making. Once the wax gets in there (and it will), you will have a heckuva time washing it out. Life will simply be easier to get a new pan.
The last thing you will need is a candy thermometer that goes up to at least 200 degrees.
(Note that some of the links on this page contain Amazon affiliate links. This does not change the price of any of the items for sale. However, I earn a small commission if you click on any of those links and buy anything. I reinvest this money into materials and tools for future projects. However, you are obviously free to get things where you please.)
Step 2: Setup the Wicks
First things first, you will want to prepare all of the jars for later. You will not want to be fussing with this when dealing with the wax.
Center the wicks upright in the center of the jars using clothespins and then set them aside.
Step 3: Coloring
Pick out the color crayons you like and cut small bits off of them to be used as coloring.
A little bit goes a long way. That said, reds, oranges, and purples tend to require a little bit less coloring than blues, greens and yellows.
Step 4: Melt the Wax
Melting the wax directly in the pot will make the wax too hot, ruin it, and make a giant mess.
You will want to improvise a double boiler by filling the pot 2/3 of the way with water, and then hooking the handle of the measuring cup on the side of the pan. The cup should float and the water should be about an inch lower than the side of the pan.
If at any point it looks like the water is going to boil over the edge of the pan, or get into the cup of of wax, remove some water.
Insert the thermometer into the empty cup, and when it gets near 170 degrees, pour in some wax until the cup is half full.
Stir the wax to aid in melting.
Continue adding wax little by little until there is about 2 cups worth of melted wax inside.
Let the wax sit until the thermometer reaches 170 degrees
Step 5: Add Color
When your wax is at temperature, drop in the crayon coloring bricks and stir until they are firmly melted.
Keep in mind the color will change change as it cools. Make the color more vibrant than you think it should be as it will be less vibrant once settled. Also, don't get to worried if it seems to change color a little. It will sort itself out as the wax cools.
The coloring process takes some trial and error to get a hang of.
Step 6: Scented Candles
If you want to make scented candles, you can try adding about 10 drops of essential oil to the mix.
Again, this is going to take some trial and error to get right. Some oils are stronger or weaker than others and may require more or less oil.
However, keep in mind that if you add too much oil, the wax will not set properly. Don't go overboard.
Step 7: Pour
Pour the wax into the jars.
If the wicks have moved off-center after you have filled the jar, gently re-position them.
Step 8: Wait
Wait 4 to 6 hours for the wax to fully set and harden.
Step 9: Clean Them Up
Trim the wicks to be about 1/2" long.
Wipe away any wax that got splashed around the outside of the glass jar.
Step 10: Enjoy
Enjoy your new candles.