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Instructions for Soy Candle Making

How to make scented soy pillar candles

These instructions for soy candle making are specifically for soy pillar candles made using candle molds. A little more challenging to make than soy container candles, they're elegant, subtly fragranced and environmentally friendly. Well worth the effort!

Important Tip for Buying Soy Candle Wax

Pillar candles need a harder wax than melt and pour container candles. Make sure you buy soy wax specifically for molded or pillar candles (it's usually a blend of vegetable waxes.) Melt and pour wax is too soft.

Step-By-Step Instructions for Soy Candle Making

Pillar candle molds come in many shapes and sizes. I suggest starting with a small, simple pillar mold and working your way up to larger, more elaborate molds as you really start to master soy candle making.

Before you begin...

Cover your work surface with a protective covering such as newspaper, wax paper or a plastic tablecloth. Wear clothes it's okay to mess up. Have some rags or paper towel ready to mop up any spills.

Make sure you have all your equipment set up within easy reach. Click here for a complete list of soy candle making supplies.

STEP 1: Prepare your candle mold

  1. You may want to start by spraying the inside of the candle mold with a mold releasant, especially if you're making a large candle, to make it easier to slide the pillar out of the mold. It's not always necessary for smaller candles, but once you're making larger scented soy candles, it comes in handy!

  2. Cut a length of candle wick about twice as long as the height of your candle mold.

  3. Tie the top end of the wick to a wick bar, pencil or chopstick. (It's much easier to use a wick bar because you can simply turn the wick bar over and over until the wick is tight. Plus, they cost less than a dollar.)

  4. Thread your wick through the wick-hole in the base of the mold.

Handy Hint: If you can't thread the wick through the hole because the wick is frayed, dip one end in some hot wax, then roll it with your fingers to form a point.

     5. Set the wick in place. There are several options for this.

... Use the foam and washer method.

... Use a tapered rubber plug. Pull the wick tight at the base and push the small end of the rubber plug into hole at base of your mold.

... Use mold sealing putty. Here's how: first, make absolutely sure the bottom of your candle mold is perfectly clean. If it's not, the sealing putty will let go of the mold when you pour in the hot wax.

Pull the wick taut and cut it about 1 inch passed the base of the mold, then coil the wick into a spiral. If you want, you can use a piece of masking tape to hold it in place while you prep your sealing putty.

Use your fingers to shape a piece of sealing putty into a flat disc big enough to cover the wick spiral (and the masking tape if you use it.) Press the putty firmly into place, making sure it completely covers the wick... or you'll end up with a big mess!

Instructions for Soy Candle Making
STEP 2: Heat the wax

  1. Melt the soy wax chips (or block - just cut a chunk off) in a double boiler. If you don't have a double boiler, use a candle pouring pot (or a large, clean coffee can) in a pot with about 1" of water. Use a large metal or wooden spoon to stir the wax as you go along - it speeds up the melting process. You can also add more soy wax as it melts down if you think you'll need more to fill your mold. Use a thermometer to measure the temperature.

  2. When the wax reaches 180F and is completely melted, add candle dye (if you're using it. Note: you need A LOT of dye to achieve a deep color - be generous!) Stir well.

  3. Let wax cool to about 140F, then add your essential oil blend or fragrance oil. Stir some more.

Candle Safety

Never leave melting wax unattended.

Do not heat wax above 275F. It could catch fire. If it does, DO NOT USE WATER to put it out - it will cause the fire to spread. Use baking soda or a pot lid to smother it.

Do not use water-based dyes or fragrances with wax.

Instructions for Soy Candle Making
STEP 3: Pour the wax

  1. Pour the wax into your mold up to about half an inch (1.25cm) from the top. Save about a cup of wax to re-pour the candle later.

  2. Let the candle cool a bit until a surface has formed on the top. Use a skewer or chopstick to poke holes down through the wax, stopping about an inch from the bottom. This is to provide vents through which the wax can suck air as it shrinks and hardens. (Shrinkage is completely normal.) Relief holes are important: Without them you can end up with air cavities in the candle, the wick can be pulled off-center, or the candle can become deformed. Not good!

  3. Re-poke your relief holes a few times as the candle cools to make sure the vent stays clear.

  4. Let your candle cool overnight in the mold.

  5. Re-melt your reserved soy wax, heating to 180F. Pour the wax into your candle, not going above the original fill line. Overfilling may cause wax to seep down between the mold and the candle (not good.)

  6. Let the candle cool completely.

Instructions for Soy Candle Making
STEP 4: Release the candle

  1. Remove the wick sealer (foam/washer, rubber plug or wick screw) from the bottom of the mold. Your candle should now slide out of the mold. If not, put it in the fridge for about 15 minutes, then try again. This helps the wax shrink even more to separate it from the mold.

  2. The wick bar/pencil/chopstick end of the candle is the bottom of the candle. Use scissors to trim this end of the wick flush with the base of the candle.

  3. You might want to level the base of the candle. Put a cookie sheet (one with sides works best) on top of a pot of boiling water. Put the candle on the cookie sheet and use the heated sheet to melt away some of the wax until you have a flat base.

  4. Trim the top wick to about 1/4" (0.5cm)

Check out Candlewic.com for soy wax, essential and fragrance oils, containers, dyes, candle wicks and molds - all your candle making equipment.

Voila! Now you can enjoy the results of all your hard work - beautiful, aromatic and just plain awesome aromatherapy candles made with your own two hands.


What Next?

Click on the links below to view more pages with instructions for soy candle making, plus how-to videos and essential oil blends to scent your handmade soy candles.

Instructions for Soy Container Candles

Essential Oil Blends for Soy Wax Scented Candles

Soy Candle Making Supplies

Candles Main Page

Aromatherapy Recipes Homepage from Instructions for Soy Candle Making

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