When making candles at home, you can choose their scent and appearance. Handicraft stores sell special candle fragrances, but candles can also be scented with essential oils. The trick to using essential oils is to add the oil while the wax is hot, but not hot enough for the oil to evaporate. Soy wax melts at a lower temperature than other waxes and is easy to melt in the microwave, making it ideal for candles with essential oils.
Part 1 of 3: Melt and color the wax
Step 1. Cover your work surface with newspapers
Spattering wax can be difficult to get rid of, and even if you manage to scrape it off, it can leave marks. To avoid staining your work surface, cover it with old newspapers.
You can also cover the surface with something else, such as plastic bags, paper bags, or plastic oilcloth
Step 2. Choose a glass or metal candle container
Tin cans, tea cans, or glass jars work well. Whichever container you choose, it must withstand high temperatures. Even if the flame does not directly touch it, it will heat up.
- Even if the container you choose appears to be clean, wash it with warm water and soap.
- Old candle jars are fine. Do not forget to remove any residual wax from them.
- If you are using a glass jar, make sure that it has a wide neck so it will be easier for you to pour the wax.
Step 3. Fill the container with wax flakes and double the resulting amount
Place the bowl on a kitchen scale and use the container of your choice to measure out two portions of the wax. Melting will reduce the volume of the wax, so you will need twice as much wax as will fit in the jar.
- Tin and glass cans have different shapes and volumes, so the weight of the required wax can be very different.
- While it is easiest to use soy wax, you can use another, such as beeswax.
Step 4. Weigh the wax on a kitchen scale
This will help you determine the amount of essential oil you need. Please note that different waxes may require different wax to essential oil ratios, so read the instructions that came with the wax carefully.
Step 5. Melt the wax and heat it above 80 ° C
Control the temperature with a paraffin or candy thermometer. Carefully read the instructions that came with the wax and find out to what temperature it should be heated - different types of wax melt at different temperatures.
- If using a microwave oven, place the wax in a glass beaker, heat it at 30-second intervals, and stir in between until it melts.
- If you are using a stove, pour water into the pot so that it covers the bottom by about 5 centimeters, and place a metal jug inside. Pour wax into a jug and bring water to a boil. Stir the wax frequently while it melts.
Step 6. Color the wax if desired
This can be done in two ways. The professional method is to add pieces of candle dye. Candle dyes are sold in small sticks and can be purchased at a craft store or ordered online. Continue heating the wax until the dye has melted and is completely mixed with the wax.
Instead, you can add some crayon shavings to the wax
Part 2 of 3: Insert the wick
Step 1. Place a drop of hot wax on the bottom of the can
Take some melted wax and put it on the bottom of the jar. You can also use some hot glue or super glue.
- Prepare to act immediately, as wax or hot glue hardens quickly.
- If you don't have spare candles or a hot glue gun handy, tape double-sided tape to the underside of the wick stand.
Step 2. Press the wick and stand into the wax
Wicks with stand can be purchased at a craft store or ordered online. These are long candle wicks with a metal disc at the bottom end. Insert the wick into the jar and use your finger to press the disc into the hot wax or glue.
Don't worry if the wick is too long for the selected jar - you can cut it off at the top. Trim it later if necessary so that it protrudes from the wax
Step 3. Wind the wick around the rod and place it on the jar
You can use a pen, chopstick, pencil, or paintbrush as a pivot. Wrap the end of the wick protruding from the container around the rod, wrap it around it, and place the rod over the edges of the can. This is necessary to keep the wick upright.
- If the wick starts to unwind, attach it to the rod with a clothespin or paper clip.
- Wrap the wick tightly around the rod so that it stretches vertically inside the jar.
Step 4. Wait about 5 minutes for the wick to fix
Hot glue will harden in 2-3 minutes. Don't wait if you've used super glue or double-sided tape.
If you do not wait for the wax or hot glue to harden, the wick may shift as you pour the wax
Part 3 of 3: Add the fragrance and fill in the wax
Step 1. Wait for the wax to cool down to about 60 ° C
Measure the temperature of the wax with a wax or candy thermometer. The wax may have time to cool down to this temperature while you prepare the jar. Otherwise, just wait a few minutes.
This is very important: if you add essential oil to the wax ahead of time, it will evaporate and the candle will have a faint scent
Step 2. Stir in essential oils
You can add one oil or mix several oils to create an original scent. Although the amount of oil can vary, it is recommended that you use about 15 milliliters of essential oil per 450 grams of wax flakes.
The amount of oil can be varied. Note that the scent will diminish slightly after the candle has hardened
Step 3. Slowly pour the wax into the jar
Take your time, otherwise the wax will form bubbles and splash. Leave 2–3 centimeters of free space on top - if you fill the jar to the brim, the wax may start to flow down the sides after you light the candle.
Save the leftover wax to fill in depressions and pores later
Step 4. Place the jar on the table or in the refrigerator and wait for the wax to harden
When hardened, the wax will lose its transparency. It will turn white, ivory, or yellow, depending on the species.
At room temperature, the wax will harden for at least 4 hours (this usually takes 6-8 hours). In the refrigerator, the wax will harden within an hour
Step 5. If necessary, reheat the remaining wax and pour it into the formed indentations
If there is a depression in the middle of the candle, melt the remaining wax and pour it into the center of the candle to flatten it. Let the wax harden before moving on to the next step.
Wait for the excess wax to cool and harden, then discard it. Never pour wax into the sink
Step 6. Cut the wick
Unwind the wick and cut it with scissors so that it protrudes about 5 millimeters from the wax. This is to ensure that the flame is not too strong and does not generate a lot of smoke.
You can cut the wick every time before lighting the candle
- A wax or candy thermometer can be purchased at a craft store or online.
- Aromatic oils are different from essential oils: they are synthesized artificially, while essential oils are obtained from various plants.
- Warming up the wax will slightly weaken the aroma. This is inevitable, as the wax must be melted in order to mix it with the oil.
- You can use a cheaper essential oil, but it may be synthetic and not have the same benefits as natural essential oils.
- Some essential oils, such as lavender, lemongrass, or patchouli oils, tolerate high temperatures better than others.