Garden therapy extends to the indoors when the weather outside starts to chill. Warming up with the fragrance and glow of natural candles couldn’t be easier as you’ll soon see from this step-by-step tutorial on making our very favourite candles from a soy wax/beeswax blend. Melt, pour, then cosy up for this weekend’s project.
- canning jars with lids
- a double boiler
- 75% soy wax*
- 25% beeswax
- waxed and wired wicks with tabs
- hot glue gun
- candle scents
- crayon pieces or wax dye
1. Prepare your jars by adding a bit of hot glue onto the bottom of the wick tab and press it firmly into the center of your container. If your fingers won’t fit into the jar, use a pen or straw around the wick to stick the tabs down. Note: there are many different sizes and types of wicks so ask for the right size for your particular container at the candle supply store.
2. Assemble your double boiler and add wax in small pieces. Heat over medium heat until the wax is completely melted.
3. If you are adding colour, add at this stage by dropping in bits of crayon or wax dye until you are happy with the look keeping in mind it will be lighter and more opaque when dry. But if you prefer a more natural looking candle (we do!) then the 25% beeswax will add a beautiful warm honey colour to the candles with no artificial color needed.
4. When the wax reaches 140°F* it’s time to add the fragrance. The 25% beeswax won’t go a long way in provided much fragrance (you’d need a lot more beeswax to get that gorgeous honey aroma) so if you want your candles scented add fragrance to the wax using natural scents. Now that’s a tricky one. Most candle stores sell artificial fragrance and many people are sensitive to these smells. Personally, we only use natural essential oils as fragrance in our soap and other products, but there has to be some additives to the oils to make them burn properly. A good candle supply store will stock essential oils for candles with little additives as necessary. The fragrances are cheaper and have a much wider range, but as tempting as they may be, many people have serious concerns with the toxicity of them. It’s worth it to spend a little more and bypass the “strawberry cheesecake” fragrance.
5. Now cool wax to 110°F* and carefully pour into containers. Secure the wicks with a chopstick or clothes pin to keep it centered. Careful not to disturb them too much while you set in a warm place to cool. Cooling slowly and completely will create the best looking candles.
6. If you get depressed area around the wick when cooled, warm up some more wax and pour it into the void.
7. Allow your candle to cure for 48 hours undisturbed before burning. Then, when you fire it up, let the candle burn so that there is a full, wide pool of wax before you blow it out. It is said that candles have a memory, so it’s best to let the first burn set the tone for all the rest.
Now, how will you decorate your jar candles for the holiday table or gifts? Stay tuned for some ideas on that in a future post.
*Please note: the directions are appropriate for using EcoSoy CB-Xcel, please adjust temperatures for your wax.
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