I believe deeply in the beauty of thoughtful homemade gifts. A present is so much more than just "money spent", when you put your creativity, talents and time behind it. This fall I decided I would make homemade soy candles for all my friends and family members. After all, at Christmas, everybody loves the flickering warmth of a lit candle. I also figured, that if people hate it (why would they be so cruel?), at least it is done with, upon burning it down. Nothing to store. Nothing to dust.
After some (p)interesting research, I went ahead and ordered my supplies. Turns out, candle making is actually not all that expensive. For a quick second I was wondering why in the world I had spent so much money on artisan candles before (the answer is: I am no master at candle making as you will find out).
This is what no tutorial had warned me about: candle making is a labor of patience and precision. The two traits I ultimately lack. So here is the real beauty - this year's Christmas gifts are particularly special, as making them challenged me not only unexpectedly, but ever so cruelly.
At about 11pm, with wax dripping all over my countertop, my makeshift candle wick holders constantly shifting and falling, and my pregnancy energy level at minus thirty, I found myself close to tears and wondering why I just didn't order something off of amazon.
So why am I about to list a candle making tutorial, urging you on to try it for yourself? Well, because after it was all done and I lit my first candle I was infinetly proud of my work and very happy indeed. I'm giving out a little tumbler filled with wax, but also filled with love and patience and hard work and all the best wishes for its recipient. And who knows, just because I'm a total klutz, doesn't mean you won't find candle making easy like like Sunday mornings.
Here's what you will need:
Soy wax (one pound will fill about 16oz worth of containers)
Candle containers (maybe you already have some old fancy glassware around that you could recycle?)
A pouring pitcher - I ordered one specifically for this project and it came in very handy.
Wick bars. Yes, please order these to keep your wicks straight and centered. My makeshift clothes pin idea did not work in my favor. Sorry folks if your candle burns down totally crooked. I tried.
pre-tabbed candle wick.
hot glue gun - to glue the wicks to the bottom of the container. The ones I ordered came with little sticky dots, that did not work. So next time, I will def opt for a hot glue gun.
optional: color & fragrance
thermometer - I used a candy and meat thermometer and it was nice to have around for the first batch. After that it is relatively easy to tell when your wax is ready.
labels - I ordered sticky kraft paper and printed my own little labels for the kraft gift boxes that I bought as well. I opted against putting labels directly on my candles, as I like them simple, however, here you can really go all out with your creativity.
A cereal bowl worth of coffee grounds. You can collect these in the days ahead. Or you can be very unprepared like me and make 3 thermoses of way to strong coffee the night of candle making.
Here's how you go about it:
Place the wax chips in the pouring pitcher and heat until melted (I used a water bath). Wax should be about 185 F.
While the wax is melting, glue the bottom of your wicks into each container. Place the wick bar on top of the container and insert the wick so that it is tight and centered.
Carefully pour your first layer of wax into the containers. Let sit for about 30-60 minutes. Then, when it is turning white and hard add a layer of coffee grounds. Fill with more wax. Repeat this, for however many layers you fancy.
Remove the wick bar and trim your wick. Label & wrap.
Feel merry & bright.