If you're looking for a simple, eco-friendly alternative to burning traditional paraffin candles, which can emit dangerous gasses, consider the option of soy candles.
An added incentive for using soy candles is that you can create them right in your home. All the ingredients you need can either be found online or at local hobby shops, and remember, the higher quality products you use, the higher quality your candle will be–it will burn longer, more evenly and offer you a better scent.
Step 1 - Grab Some Wax
Soy wax can be purchased in flakes or blocks. Flakes are somewhat easier to handle and measure. Some great advantages to soy candle wax are that it cleans up with soap and water, is completely microwavable, and all the tools needed to work with it can safely go in a dishwasher.
Soy wax typically comes in white but can be dyed to any color using block dyes (concentrated colored wax), dye chips or liquid dye (4-5 drops per pound of soy wax makes this the most cost-effective option).
Step 2 - Pick a Wick, Style and Fragrance
Soy candles can be created in any shape/size, but a suggested beginning type is a “jar” candle. You can move on to votives, tapers and pillars (all require metal candle molds) as you get more comfortable working with soy wax.
Do you want fragrance in your candle? There are plenty of options available. Lots of craft and hobby stores carry essential oils that work well for scenting your creations but can be somewhat costly. The purer the fragrance, the better it will work. Rule of thumb: use 1 oz. of fragrance to 16 oz. of melted soy candle wax.
Lastly, you need to choose a wick. Tabbed wicks with a metal disk already attached are recommended. Wicks come in a variety of thicknesses and you want to choose one that is correct for the size of candle you are making. Standard votive wicks will work for candles less than 2 inches in diameter. For larger “jar” candles or pillars, HTP wicks are best, as they burn hot and can be purchased in a variety of thicknesses.
Step 3 - Combine Ingredients
To make your Mason jar soy wax candle, first fill the Pyrex measuring cup with soy flakes and microwave them until completely melted, approximately 5 minutes. Use caution here, the Pyrex will be hot.
To form the candle, you want to have 15 oz. of melted soy wax. Add more flakes and microwave again if needed. When you have the proper amount, stir in your fragrance thoroughly.
Step 4 - Attach the Wick and Pour
Adhere the wick’s tab to the bottom of your jar with super glue. When the wick is set, pour your melted wax slowly into the jar. As the wax cools, center the wick. It can be helpful to tie it to a wooden skewer or pencil across the top of the jar hold the wick in place while the candle sets up.
Step 5 - Let it Set
Allow to set overnight, trim the wick to 1/2" and enjoy! If you are concerned about bubbles or dimples on the top of your candle, simply heat the top layer of wax with a hairdryer until it is smooth. Voila! You have a homemade candle that will last for a long time.