Soy candle making supplies - exactly what do you need, and where can you get it?
Much like cooking a meal, you need two basic types of supplies: your general equipment such as pots and pans, and your soy candle recipe ingredients such as wax and wicks.
I've organized the soy candle supplies into some basic categories to make them easier to find. Scroll through them to get an overall look at soy candle making supply needs.
A protective cover for your countertop or table such as a plastic tablecloth or several layers of newspaper. Colored wax can stain surfaces, and its heat can cause marks.
A stove or hot plate to heat the wax.
A large pot you can use for heating the pitcher of wax. (You place the candle pitcher holding the wax into the pot and fill the pot with water so the wax doesn't burn onto the bottom of the candle pitcher.)
A pot or candle pitcher to hold the wax.
You can buy a candle making pitcher. The plastic handle means you don't have to worry about the pot slipping out of your hands. A heat-proof glass pitcher like a Pyrex would work too, but the glass handle can get hot.
A metal or wooden spoon to stir the melting wax.
A candle thermometer to measure the temperature of the wax.
A scale can be useful when you're using color in your soy candle recipe. (You use so much dye per pound of wax.) I bought a digital scale at a business supplies store.
Containers for soy candle making can range from tea lights to glass jars to coffee cups to just about anything ceramic, metal or glass you have around your house. For example, simple aluminum candle tins are light, unbreakable and have a nice minimalist vibe.
Let your imagination guide you, but be sensible - your container has to be able to cope with heat of fresh-poured wax. No plastic! I like trolling second hand shops to get one-of-a-kind candle containers.
Candle molds can be made from aluminum, polycarbonate plastic or silicone.
Look for molds with a "seamless" design so you don't have to polish the seam line off your finished candle.
You may want to use a mold release to make it easier to get your completed candle out of the mold. You don't always need it for small, simple molds but you're definitely going to want it for larger, trickier shapes!
Soy candle making kits are a terrific way to begin your candle-making adventures.
Usually, everything you need is included in the kit (and if not, they tell you) along with clear, step-by-step instructions specific to that kit's project. It takes some of the guesswork and uncertainty out of it, which can be nice if you're a beginner.
If you're looking for a great gift for a crafty person, I'd definitely recommend a soy candle making kit!
Soy wax for candle making. Pillar candles need a harder wax than container candles, usually a vegetable wax blend (soy wax alone is pretty soft, which is why it needs a container to hold it.)
There are lots of types of candle making soy wax, and a good supplier will make it very clear if the wax is suitable for making container or pillar candles.
Types of soy wax vary in the percentage of fragrance they can tolerate, usually from about 3% to 6%. Simply choose by performance or price. Since essential oils have a more much subtle scent than candle fragrance oils, I recommend buying wax with the highest tolerance you can afford.
Handy Hint: Buy soy wax flakes or chips rather than a block of wax if you can - flakes melt WAY faster.
Choosing the correct wick size and type is probably the hardest part of the whole project and it's important to get it right, or your candle won't burn properly.
Fatter candles need a wider wick (candle wicks can range from 3/16" to upwards of 1/8") and you should look for wicks recommended for vegetable waxes.
If you're not sure what candle wick to use for your project, ask your supplier - they're there to help. If they don't, they're the wrong supplier!
The easiest way to make soy container candles using pre-waxed, tabbed wicks. Most of these wicks are made of cotton, and they're steady, safe and non-toxic. They come in a variety of sizes, so it's usually pretty easy to match them to the size of candle you're making.
Wooden wicks crackle while burning - so fun!
A wooden wick's flame is slightly larger than cotton wicks, but if you keep it trimmed properly it actually has a slower, cleaner burn.
You need to trim the wick after 4 hours of burn time because after about four hours the flame gets too big. Then it burns through the wax more quickly and can discolor the wax. Handy hint: Use nail clippers to trim the wick.
Make sure you melt the wax all the way to the edge of the jar on every burn, especially the first. (This can take a few hours.) If the wax isn't fully melted all the way to the edge, it won't melt all the way out on future burns, which shortens the life of the candle and you'll end up throwing out the unburned part.
Another helpful tool for making soy jar candles is a wick holder to keep the wick centered in the jar. Or you can use a popsicle stick with a hole drilled in the center of it.
You thread the top of the wick through the hole and set the wick bar or popsicle stick into place on top of the jar and voila! your wick is safely centered. This is important for making sure candle burns evenly.
The wick material used in making soy pillar candles is sold in spools. Candle molds come in lots of shapes and sizes, so you need to be able to cut your wick to the proper length.
Candle molds MUST BE SEALED at the bottom or hot wax will pour out the wick hole, making a big mess. The most common way to seal the wick-hole is to use mold sealing putty, which is a highly adhesive, flexible substance.
Candle making is much easier if you use a wick holder to keep the wick centered in the mold (and they're really not expensive, so why not!)
I personally prefer using pure, natural essential oils to make soy wax scented candles. BUT essential oils don't have as strong or long-lasting a scent as synthetic candle fragrances.
If you want a strong, lingering scent use fragrance oils - if you want a natural candle use essential oils and resign yourself to a comparatively weak scent throw.
Candle dyes come in two basic forms: blocks or liquids.
Color blocks are good for beginners because it's relatively easy to control shades and match colors, and they're not as messy.
A good starting rate is 1 block of color in 5 pounds of wax and you can use less or more from there. If you want a darker color, a little bit of black wax coloring block works wonders.
Liquid candle dyes are very concentrated (and they stain anything you spill them on.) It's harder to control color results with liquid dyes, so take notes when you experiment. They can sometimes concentrate at the bottom of the candle or leave a residue on your candle mold, which can affect the color of your next project.
Click on the links below to see step-by-step soy candle making instructions, how-to videos, candle fragrance blends and helpful candle making tips and tricks.
These soy candle making instructions are for container candles like mason jar soy candles or tea lights.
Step-by-step instructions for making soy candles using pillar candle molds. A little more challenging than melt-and-pour scented soy candles, but super-rewarding!
Essential oil blends for handmade soy candles. Spicy and sensual, floral and fresh... a blend for every mood!
Rich, decadent and sooooo good for your skin... and fun and easy to make with this simple massage candle recipe.