GUEST POST: This is a guest post AND GIVEAWAY by Jason Jacobs of ourcandlemaking.com. We recently met because we're both participating in Corbett Barr's Million Dollar Blog Project and we started chatting. Jason runs a candle making site that documents what he and his wife learned about candles while building a community to share recipes and designs. He thought that making a candle would be a perfect holiday activity for the family, and I agree! Read below as he teaches us how to make a scented soy candle (soy wax exists?). Then head on over to his site to read more and get yourself into a giveaway he's hosting. Now, onto Jason and the Scented Soy Candle!
Have you realized that Christmas is just around the corner? We've passed the 2 month mark, so that means less than 60 days to get the shopping done. Especially in this economy, however, the thought of Christmas shopping can put some into a panic attack. Keeping the kids busy during their holiday breaks can sometimes be a challenge as well. Here's an idea - and a how-to - to take care of all three of those problems.
Follow your nose
Scented candles are everywhere. Any store you walk into will have a candle section and in a whole host of fragrances. But instead of spend $20 on a new scented candle, why not make your own? It'll give your family a break financially and it will also give your kids a new hobby that could even become profitable if they're interested in it. It's really not that difficult, and in this post I'm going to show you how. I'll even show you where to go to pick from over 2000 fragrances for your candles. I will even tell you my secret to finding awesome containers for the candles and doing it on a tight budget.
What you'll need
In this project, we’ll be making a peppermint-scented votive-sized candle. It’s great for a first-timer and perfect for the season.
- Microwaveable soy wax - it's easier than using a stove to melt and the kids can get involved from beginning to end (and soy is all natural, so you get warm fuzzies while using it)
- Wick - check the specs to make sure it's appropriate for your container. Basically it needs to be able to burn a wide enough diameter. These wicks should be OK for a votive container.
- Peppermint fragrance oil
- Container - get them from Goodwill. Large selection, small price.
- Glass measuring cup or microwave-safe bowl
- Handy: bamboo skewer or pencil
If you can't find the microwaveable wax and wicks at a local craft store (check online for coupons too), use the Amazon links above. For fragrances, I'd use Lone Star Candle Supply (non-affiliate link). They even have really impressive starter kits. Shipping is high, but it will be at any of the candle companies you find.
- Measure out the amount of wax you’ll need for your container. My general rule of thumb is two times the volume of my container. So I’ll fill my container twice and dump it into the bowl. Another way to check is to fill your container with water up to the point you’d fill it with wax and determine how many fluid ounces that is. If you melt your wax in a glass measuring cup, you can easily tell if you’ve got enough and can add more if necessary.
- Microwave the bowl in bursts of 30 seconds, checking each time. Keep an eye on it as it cooks (or have your kid check on it). It'll take about 3 minutes total, and when it starts to melt completely check the temperature. It should get to about 180F.
- To set the wick, I just dip the tab in the melted wax and place it in the container. The wax eventually hardens and your wick won’t move as you add the wax later. Pro tip: if your wick is much bigger than your container and just won’t stay in place, wrap the extra length around a pencil or skewer and rest it over the rim of the container.
- Let the wax cool down a bit but not until its hard. It should still be quite soft, and you can add the scent. Usually you measure scents based on weight, but sometimes I find it easier to base off of volume. With a cup of melted wax I usually add two teaspoons of fragrance oil. Add your fragrance and stir it well.
- After you’ve added scent, you can pour the wax into your container. Pour in about ¾ of the wax and let it start to harden. After several minutes you’ll have a layer of firm wax on top, but it’ll still be liquid down below. Pierce the skin with a skewer and make two holes near the wick.
- Re-melt the remaining wax and pour that over the candle, filling in the holes as well. This step helps prevent the formation of a cavity as the wax cools and keeps the top a little smoother.
More candle info
There are some basics that could help you get going with this project. Follow the links to read more.
Congratulations on making your first soy candle! You may find yourself making more, but at the very least you’ve got something to give Mom or Grandma (I suppose you could use a leather or grass scent – they exist – and give it to Dad or Grandpa too). I’d love to see your final products! Either leave a comment here with a link to a photo or post it to the OurCandleMaking Facebook page. We love seeing your creations! About the author: Jason and his wife Kathy love making candles. To learn more about making candles yourself, check out their candle making course on their blog OurCandleMaking.com.
[From Dad]: He's giving away candle making guides and the candle you see in this demo! Check it out!