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Quite a few of our customers are either making candles for themselves or running their growing business out of their homes. We receive a lot of phone calls asking what it's like to make candles at home so, we decided to show you what this process looks like in your own kitchen!
For this project, I was making candles for party favors for a family member's baby shower. She requested that the candles match the shower invitations so we chose a darker blue, seafoam green, and a light peach color to match the three different fragrances we chose. We tried to choose a variety of fragrances that just about everyone would like so we went with a fruity fragrance, a floral fragrance, and a clean fragrance for our guests to choose from.
Here is a list of everything that was used to make these candles:
Golden Brands 464 Enhanced Soy Container Wax
Smooth Sided Jelly Jars 4oz
Metal Threaded Lid Pewter #70
Fruit Slices Fragrance Oil
Baja Cactus Blossom (type) Fragrance Oil
Sunwashed Linen (type) Fragrance Oil
#14 Seafoam Green Dye Block
#18 Navy Blue Dye Block
#24 Peach Blossom Dye Block
ECO-8 6" Wicks
Large Pouring Pot (seamless aluminum)
Warning/Caution Labels (Large Soy)
Digital Scale (55 pound)
Once I had all of my materials organized and ready to go, I just followed the step-by-step guide for making Soy Container Candles found in the Candle Making University. The only change I made was the amount of fragrance oil I used in my wax since here I used the Golden Brands 464 and the instructions were for the Naturewax C-3. Since the 464 can hold up to 9% fragrance oil, I used 1.44 oz of scent for 1 lb of wax. (Be sure you check to see what you fragrance oil retention limit is for your wax because they are all different. You can find this information on the respective product pages for each wax in the description box.)
The first thing I did was measure out my wax using a digital scale. The website recommends that you fill the 4 oz jelly jars with 2.19 oz of wax so I multiplied 2.19 x 12 to get a total of 26.28 oz of wax which I then rounded up to 27 oz just to make things easier on myself. It is recommended to use a double-boiler to melt your wax however, I chose not to do that here and put the pouring pot directly on my burner. If you choose to do this please note that you cannot walk away from your wax when you do this. It heats up a little bit faster and you risk scorching the wax if you do not keep an eye on it.
While my wax was melting, I decided to cut a sheet of parchment paper to lay on my counter top to both protect it and make cleanup a little bit easier in case I spilled any wax. I just cut enough here to spread out my 12 candles so that I would have room to pour each of them easily.
I used a thermometer to check the temperature of my wax to make sure it wasn't heating up too quickly and to make sure it was around 180-185F before I added my fragrance oil to it. I stirred the fragrance into the wax for a few minutes to make sure it had bound together well then I added the desired amount of dye to get the colors I wanted.
Once my wax cooled to about 140F I was ready to pour it into my containers. Slowly and gently I poured the wax into the jars, being careful not to spill any wax. If you can keep a paper towel in your free hand while you are pouring, you can use it to soak up any wax that dribbles down the front of the pouring pot.
As you can see in the picture, I have not set my wicks with any wick bars at this point. I like to wait until after I have filled all of my containers with wax and then go back with the wick bars. This makes it easier to pour into the containers and keeps your wick bars from getting covered with wax!
I repeated this whole process 3 times because I chose to make a dozen candles in each fragrance we had selected. You'll see all three colors of candles that I made in these pictures because I chose to show you what the entire process looked like. I only made 12 at a time but if you have multiple pouring pots you can make more than 12 if you are in a time constraint.
Now all I had to do was let the candles set up so that I could put the finishing touches on them! It is best to let your candles cool COMPLETELY before trying to remove the wick bars or handle the candles. If you remove the wick bars when the wax is still soft, you will create a crater around your wick which doesn't look as pretty in my opinion. Let them cool down to room temperature and you're ready to go!
Once the candles had completely cooled, I removed the wick bars, trimmed the wicks, and screwed the lid on. As you can see here, I transferred the containers back into the cardboard boxes that my jars had come in just to make them easy to transport. You can also place your warm jars into the cardboard boxes to help slow the cooling process down. Cardboard is a great insulator and it can really help to take this extra step if you are having any trouble with wet spots on your candles.
I made these candles a week in advance so that they would have plenty of time to cure. By the time we had them unloaded at the baby shower, the cold throw was AMAZING and everyone kept telling me how much they loved their candles!
And here is the beautiful finished product!
As you can see, the darker blue candles have a bit of frosting on the outside. This is totally normal, especially when using darker dyes. Frosting is not harmful at all! It is simply the wax drying out a bit which causes the light dusting or "frosted" appearance on the candle. Unfortunately there isn't a whole lot you can do to avoid this other than using a wax like the EcoSoya CB-Advanced that has an "extreme" resistance to frosting or, you can add a tablespoon of cold-pressed coconut oil to 1 pound of wax which can help add moisture back into your wax.
I was extremely happy with the end result! The colors are subtle but they matched the shower invitations perfectly. The momma-to-be was so grateful that I had taken the time to make these hand-poured candles for all of our guests. Everyone was thrilled to be taking home a candle with the fragrance of their choice and everyone kept asking me how I made them!
So there you have it! As you can see, candle making can be done in your home as long as you stay organized and take the steps to keep your surfaces clean. I was able to make all 36 of these candles within 1 afternoon and they were ready to box up and set to the side to cure later that evening. If you are trying to decide if you should make your own candles or start a small candle/home fragrance business and run it out of your home, go head and take that leap and get started today!