I absolutely love candles; there’s just something so peaceful and homey about having a candle burning. I love to browse the different scents and styles when I’m shopping somewhere like Hobby Lobby, T.J. Maxx, or Christmas Tree Shop, and I’m always drawn to the ones in mason jar-like containers. The problem is that they can be expensive! So I decided to try to make some of my own.
I already had some 4-ounce jelly jars that I thought would be a cute size for candles, and I also picked up a couple of 8-ounce jars. The candle wax was on sale at Hobby Lobby last week, so I got a 2-lb. bag of soy wax flakes, along with a spiced pumpkin fragrance oil and some red and yellow dye, to make orange candles.
The first step is to melt the wax. I started with one pound of wax flakes, because I read online to use half an ounce of fragrance oil per pound of wax. I wasn’t sure how many candles that would make, but I thought that was a good place to start.
Next, melt the wax in a double boiler. I wanted to have a way to pour the wax, so I made my own “double boiler” by putting this old glass measuring cup in a pot of water on the stove. Heat the wax to 180*F, and make sure to stir it occasionally. A candy thermometer is a great way to keep an eye on the temperature!
Once the wax reaches 180*F, remove it from the heat and add the dye. I was hoping for a medium orange, but I didn’t know how the ratio of red to yellow would end up looking, so I ended up using too much red. Luckily the candles still looked orange when they cooled, but a very reddish orange! Then, once the wax has cooled to 175*F, add the fragrance oil. I used about half an ounce in this batch.
Now, let the wax cool to 120*F before pouring it into the jars. While you’re waiting, get the wicks and jars ready. Other tutorials online said to wrap the wick around a pencil or toothpick to help keep it in place, but my wicks were pre-cut and not long enough to wrap around anything. So I just set them in the bottom of the jars, and held them with one hand while I poured the wax with the other. Then I could still move them around before the wax hardened.
Save a little wax and leave a little space in your jars for later. Let the candles cool for 30 minutes or so, and when they start to harden, they may start to sink a little in the middle. Use a toothpick to poke a few holes near the wick to let the air bubbles escape, then reheat the remaining wax to 175*F. Then top off your candles and let them set! I let mine set overnight before trimming the wicks and putting the covers on. One pound of wax ended up making one 8-ounce candle and three 4-ounce candles.
This was a really fun project, and homemade candles would make great Christmas gifts! I can’t wait to make some more candles and try some holiday scents 🙂