Making your own soy wax votive candles is easier than you think. A simple Sunday-afternoon project can result in a year's worth of fragrant candles. Take note of the ingredients and tools required. You'll need to gather your candle wax and candle making supplies ahead of time.
The first thing you will need to do is decide how many soy wax votive
candles you want to make. Each soy votive will take 2 oz of soy wax.
For ease of these instructions, we are going to make 8 votive candles
which will require exactly 1 pound of 100% pure soy wax
flakes. I recommend using PhytoWax™. Measure the wax carefully using a reliable digital scale.
- You will need a container to melt your wax in. You
don't have to have an expensive wax melter to make great candles. You can go out and buy an expensive wax melter if you want, or you
can do what I did and go to Walmart and buy a Presto Kitchen Kettle for
about $20. We melt our soy wax directly in the kitchen kettle. Just be sure you are getting the "Kitchen Kettle." There are
many variations, but the Kitchen Kettle comes with a numerical
temperature gauge. Never melt any wax, including soy
wax, in anything that doesn't have a numerical temperature gauge. Never use a melting pot with only high, medium and low settings.
way to melt wax is to use the double boiler method. We've used the
kitchen kettles for about 10 years to melt wax and we've never had an
incident or problem. Without a doubt, the double boiler method is
absolutely the safest way to melt wax, but it is also the slowest. However you decide to melt your soy wax, just be sure that you always regulate your temperature with a reliable thermometer and NEVER leave melting wax unattended!
thing I will warn you is to never melt wax, including soy wax, on your
stove unless you are using the double boiler method. Never melt any wax
on or in anything that does not have some form of temperature control because wax does have a flash point and will burst into flames without warning once it reaches that point. Depending on the wax, the flash point may be between 290 - 380 degrees.
As your soy wax begins to melt, this is a good time to clip your thermometer onto the side of the pot so that you can regulate your temperature accurately. Once your soy wax is melted, and your temperature is between 170 - 180 degrees, you can add your dye. Since we are going to use an apple strudel fragrance in these candles, we want to color the wax a nice red color. This will only take 12 drops of Cajun's red candle dye. Be sure that you shake your dye bottle vigorously before adding the dye to the melted wax. Now you'll need to stir the wax so that the dye you just added will bind properly with the soy wax. For stirring, we recommend using a flat bottomed wire whisk. We have found this does a superior job of binding ingredients and/or additives with the soy wax. If your candles will be subject to UV-light, such as fluorescent lighting or sunlight, you may want to add U-V-Inhibitor to your soy wax at this time.
Only use a dye formulated for the purpose of coloring candle wax. Do not use crayons, paint, etc., as the pigments in those products will clog your wick and the flame will keep extinguishing itself. Do not use food coloring or soap-making dye in your candles. Those dyes are water-based or glycerin-based and will damage your candle and wax. The candle dye from Cajun's Candle Supplies works great with soy wax as it is very concentrated and only takes a few drops to get a brilliant color. Always add your dye slowly; you can always add more but you can't remove it once it's in the wax. Be sure to stir your dye in the wax for 2 full minutes so the wax and dye can bind properly together. We have a color chart so you can view the color we recommend for each candle fragrance.
Now it's time to add your fragrance oil. You'll also want to keep an eye on the temperature of your wax and regulate it accordingly. You want the temperature of the wax to be around 175
degrees. Soy wax will hold fragrance oil better than paraffin wax so we can use 1.5 oz of fragrance oil per pound of wax for a stronger scented candle. Stir the fragrance oil into the wax for 2 full minutes. Use the wire whisk as it will help bind your fragrance oil evenly throughout the soy wax so that the fragrance is evenly distributed. Your soy wax temperature should be no lower than 170 degrees when you add your fragrance oil and no higher than 185 degrees. If your wax is too
cool, the fragrance oil will not bind with the wax. If the wax is too hot, you will burn off most of your fragrance and your candle will not be very strong. Soy wax can scorch if the temperature gets too high, so always keep the temperature under 200 degrees.
You're almost ready to pour your soy votive candles. This is one of
the most important steps to ensure your soy candle making is a success.
Reduce the temperature of the wax to between 150 -155 degrees. Use a
reliable thermometer to gauge the proper temperature.
will want to pour into a slightly higher than room temperature mold. If
you pour into a cold mold, you will see what are called drag lines along
the sides of your votives once they are finished. The best way to warm
your molds is to put them in your oven on "keep warm" at least 10-15
minutes before you need them. Leave them in the oven until right before
you pour your soy wax into them. Be careful handling the molds out of
the oven because they will be hot. One thing you can do to eliminate
handling the hot molds is to line the molds up on an old cookie sheet
before putting them in the oven and then when you're ready to pour, all
you have to do is use an oven mitt to remove the cookie sheet with the
molds ready for the pouring process. The molds can remain on the old
cookie sheet until it's time to remove your candle, as long as your
cookie sheet remains flat and level.
If your soy wax temperature is around 150 degrees, you're now ready to pour your votive candles. Using a pour pot (a pyrex measuring cup works great also), fill each votive mold all the way to the top. Note: It works best if you slightly heat the pour pot before dipping it
into the melted wax, as this prevents the wax from hardening on a cold
pour pot. You can put it in the oven on "keep warm" with the molds. FYI: If you are melting 1 pound of wax, you will make 8 soy votives. 1.5 pounds of wax will produce a dozen soy votives and so on.
using PhytoWax™ V-1 100% soy wax for making your candles, you will
be happy to know that it is a one pour wax and does not require a
second pour if used according to this guide!
This is the time we'll put our wicks into the candle. This is another very important step and needs to be done properly.
But not just yet,
the soy wax is too hot. Once we pour our candles, we need to let the
hot wax begin its cool down process naturally. I don't recommend a
water bath or any other type of artificial cooling process when making
soy candles. It could damage your soy wax candles. You can take this
time to get the wicks ready for your soy wax votives. You'll want to
straighten each wick the best you can and wait until the soy wax
develops a thin skin across the diameter of your candle mold. Once a
thin skin has formed across the top your soy wax candle, it is time to
insert the wick into the candle. Holding a wick at the very tip, push
the wick past the soft skin developing on the candle to the bottom of
the mold. Keep the wick straight and centered in the mold. This
is easy to do, but you'll want to work quickly so that the skin doesn't
get too thick on top of the candle. If you wait too long, you could
develop an unwanted hole beside your wick as your candle cools.
No matter how quick you were putting the wicks into your soy wax, you'll notice that there is a circle in the middle of each candle where
you pushed the wick into it. It will harden like this unless you fix
it. The best way to fix it is to wave a flame over the top of the
candle very quickly. Of course, you'll need a decent-size flame to melt
the wax around this imperfection. You can use a mini butane torch
or propane torch to quickly touch the flame to the wax and smooth it
out again. This step will cover up the imperfection in the candle
caused by centering the wick in it. Be sure to move your flame across
the soy wax to remelt it, back and forth quickly, so that you don't
burn or scorch the wick.
I am often asked if you can use a heat gun or hair dryer for this step.
My answer is no, because those are operated with heat and a blower, and the
air blowing across the candle will blow the wax out of the mold as it
- Now the hardest part of the soy candle making process: Wait. Avoid all
temptation to touch, move, examine, and even look at your candles for
the next 4-5 hours. If you followed all of the instructions above
exactly, and used the ingredients in the instructions, in about four
and a half hours you're going to have a perfect soy candle. When the
candle is ready, you should be able to hold it by the tip of the wick
and gently pull it out of the mold with no problem.
Let your soy wax candles cure a day or two before burning them and
always burn a votive candle in a tight fitting votive holder.
You've now made a great pure soy wax candle, one you can be proud to
give as gifts or sell, whichever you desire.
must be thinking...wow, all this just to make a little soy votive
candle? I know it sounds like a lot to do, but once you get a system
down, it'll go really quick. I wish you the best in making your votive
candles. I really want to know how your votives turn out and I'd love
to hear feedback from your regarding these instructions.