DIY: How to Make a Soy Candle

Christmas is finally (almost) here! If you’re in a pinch for a gift, why not DIY something special? Soy candles make the perfect gift for pretty much anyone who appreciates something that smells amazing, and the fact that you made it yourself will make it that much more appreciated. Whether it’s for friends, family, or coworkers, this DIY gift is an easy and fun way to show that you care. And, from start to finish, you can create a candle in about an hour, making it the perfect last-minute present (don’t worry, we won’t tell!).

Why Soy?

Candles are, traditionally and historically, made of beeswax or paraffin wax ( a byproduct of petroleum refining). Paraffin wax is a non-toxic material, but it’s not biodegradable. Enter soy candles! Soy wax is non-toxic, biodegradable, and non-carcinogenic. Additionally, soy candles hold onto fragrances better and longer than other variations, creating a potent and long-lasting aroma that anyone will appreciate.

What You’ll Need:

What You'll Need; DIY Soy Candles

  • A glass measuring cup or bowl (we use a Pyrex measuring cup)
  • Large pot (to use as a double boiler)
  • 2  8 oz mason jars
  • Soy wax, 16 oz
  • Wicks
  • Scale
  • Thermometer
  • Hot glue gun
  • Mixing spoon or stir stick (wooden or metal, doesn’t matter. We used chopsticks)
  • Clothespins
  • Fragrance oil or essential oil, (½ – 3/4 oz), your choice
  • Add-ins, like coloring, glitter, seashells, etc. (optional. Make sure whatever you add is non-flammable)
  • Newspaper
  • Paper towels

Making Your Candle

1. Prep Your Workspace

Take some old newspaper and cover your workspace, so wax doesn’t accidentally get anywhere that it shouldn’t. Lay out all our tools and plug in your hot glue gun.

2. Attach The Wick

Attach Wick; DIY Soy Candles

Attach Wick 2; DIY Soy Candles

Once your hot glue gun is heated, carefully glue one end of the wick to the bottom center of your mason jar. Take a clothing pin and string the wick through the coil of the clothespin to help the wick stand up straight.

3. Melt the Wax

Melt Wax; DIY Soy Candles

Place your pot on the stove and heat some water (just a few inches should do the trick). While you wait for the water to boil, measure out 16 oz of soy wax flakes and pour them into your glass measuring cup.

Carefully place your measuring cup in the pot of water and turn up the heat until it is boiling. As the wax begins to melt, place your thermometer directly into the wax, monitoring it until it hits 185 degrees Fahrenheit.

4. Add Fragrance

Fragrance; DIY Soy Candles

Add Fragrance; DIY Soy Candles

Once it has reached 185 degrees, remove the measuring cup from the stove and begin adding your fragrance oil. If you would like to add some fun things like cosmetic glitter or color, add these in during this step. We decided to add some coffee grinds into ours for aesthetics. 

Keep stirring until the thermometer reaches approximately 135 degrees or until it becomes slush-like and foggy in texture.

5. Shape Your Candle

 DIY Soy Candles

Add Fragramce; DIY Soy Candles

Slowly pour your candle wax into the mason jar, stopping once the jar begins to curve at the top. You can also embed fun items including shells, tea leaves, crystals, and other objects during this step as you pour your candle. If you are planning to add some extras, pour in approximately half of the wax mixture, add your items (keeping them close to the perimeter of the jar so that they can be seen) and finish pouring in your wax. Allow your candle to harden for 24 hours. Then, trim the wick to about a quarter of an inch, and voila!

Candles; DIY Soy Candles

Wait at least a week before burning your candle to ensure a strong scent and a nice, even burn. Once the week has passed, you’ll be ready to enjoy your new candle! If you’re in a pinch and hoping to give your new candle away as a gift, feel free to gift it sooner than a week after, but just make sure to let whoever’s receiving it know that they should wait a couple days before using it.

Now that you know the foundation of candle making, you can have fun with it and add different scents and experiment with eye-catching additives, like candle dye, glitter, or even flowers! Candle making is all about being creative and customizing each batch. Tailor your DIY candles to your friends’ favorite scents or colors and they’ll be blown away for sure.