Tutorial Tuesdays- How to Hand Pour Soy Wax Essential Oil Candles

Remember how I said some of my crafting adventures are funny?  Well...I decided to do a Tuesday Tutorial about something I am doing for the FIRST TIME.  I have never hand poured candles and tried to set wicks in them, but today seemed like  a good day to try.

FYI-  Setting my wicks in my holders just about drove me to drink tonight.  lol.

Anyway, it turned out well, so I am going ahead with the instructions, letting you know where I went wrong.

You will need:
  • Soy Wax-  I got mine at Natures Garden
  • Essential Oils- I adore the oils from Mountain Rose
  • A candle making pot-  Michaels craft store has a candle making kit with this pot, a thermometer, wicks, wax, etc.  I used my 40% off coupon so it was $14.
  • Soy Wicks- I also bought these separately at Michaels as I wanted lead-free wicks.
  • Candy Thermometer (use only for candle making)
  • Jars or cans to pour the wax into
  • A large pot for boiling water
  • Clothespins- one for each candle you are making (This is something I WISH I had used to set my wicks) Make sure the clothespins are long enough to span the width of your jar.
  • Wick Wax or Hot Glue to attach the metal wick tab to the bottom of your jar (Something I did not think I had to worry about...FAIL.)
  • Oven Mit-  You are working with hot water and hot wax!
  • Some sort of paper to lay down over your work area for wax drips.  
  • Extra jar to hold extra wax, if there is any after you are finished pouring.  DO NOT PUT WAX DOWN YOUR DRAIN.  If you spill wax on any sort of fabric or rug, you can put a paper towel over the spill and with a warm iron, place the iron on the paper towel and soak up the wax into paper towels.

1.  Fill your candle pot a little over 3/4 of the way full with wax.  The wax REALLY melts down, so I kept adding wax as it melted.
My soy wax shavings 3/4 of the way full.

2.  Put your candle pot in a larger pot of water about 2" full.  Bring this water to a boil and your wax will start to melt.

Melted Soy Wax is yellow when melted but turns white when it hardens.

3.  Stir with a heat safe spoon.  Remember, the wax and water are at high temps, so I kept my over mitt handy.

4.  It seemed to take forever for the wax to melt- OK, so about 20 minutes.  You need to get the soy wax to 180 degrees.  Dip your thermometer to check the temp once everything is clear and melted.

5.  Once it has reached this temp, cool it back down to 140 degrees.  This, again, felt like it was taking forever, so I finally thought to fill a bowl full of ice and stick the pot in there to bring the temp down.  This happens rapidly, so check the temp often!  You do not want to add your oils at a temp hotter than 140 degrees because they may burn off at high temps.  At 140 degrees, they will meld with the wax.

Metal bowl filled with ice and some water.

6.  When it was finally 140 degrees, I added my essential oils.  I added around 60 drops of each of the 4 oils I used to make my blend and I honestly, I added scent until I liked how strong it was so the 60 drops is an estimate.  You can always add,  but cannot really take away scent without adding a BUNCH of soy wax to the mixture to break it down.  I  I used peppermint, spearmint and orange oils.

7.  I poured the wax into my tin cans (which I will decorate with paper and ribbon later) and my glass jar I had painted about a month ago.  If you are using tin cans from veggies or fruit, be sure you have the type of can opener that takes the top completely off so there are NO jagged edges.

8.  So far so good.  But then came the wicks...NOW I know that you really need what is called wax putty where you put the putty on the metal tab and stick it to the bottom of the container and THEN you pour your wax.  I did not think I really needed it and just thought I could set my wicks between pencils.  UGH!  I managed to make it work but took me 1/2 and hour to set FOUR WICKS.  Are ya kidding me?  Geez, no wonder people charge $40 for a jar candle.  Good Lord.  I tried to use scotch tape- FAIL.  I tried to use pens- FAIL.  Finally I found enough pencils (the flat edges of the pencil keep them steady as pencils that are cylindrical just roll right off the jar) to keep my wicks steady.  They are not perfectly centered, but whatever.  They are good enough for now!  I strongly considered ditching with wicks and telling people to just put them on a candle warmer.  However, I am glad to learn how to do this...hahaha...I read later that if you have clothespins, that they hold the wicks and sit very nicely on top of jars and cans.  I will do that next time.

Scotch tape SEEMED like a good idea...FAIL.  LOL.

9.  I even added MORE scent once the wicks were in because I like strong aromatherapy scents, but you can use a lot or a little depending on what you like.  I have found you have to experiment with what works.  Be careful adding citrus scents this way as they can discolor your wax by adding them like that.  One of my candles now has dark yellow splotches on top.  I plan to melt the leftover wax still in my candle pot and pour it right on top so it will hide the discoloration.

10. The wax is hardening and it now needs to CURE.  You cannot light your candle right away.  It needs to cure for 48 hours as the wax and the oils continue to set and blend and the oils will actually become more intense.

11. Trim your wick to 1/4" before burning.

Candle Safety

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.

I will upload pictures of my cured and trimmed candles, all pretty and decorated tomorrow!

Happy Crafting!