I was meant to include candles on my Ethical Advent list last year, but alas time got away from me and I didn’t get the chance. So this year they are officially here. Candles were the first thing I ever made as gifts, I collected up old jars as and when I was finished with them, grabbed some wax and wicks that I bought from a local craft shop (but you can buy online too), and was ready to go. It seems like they should be complicated to make, but they really aren’t.
This year I also popped into a charity shop and found some mismatched crockery to create my candles. They aren’t perfect, but they are lovable and people are always so impressed when you give them homemade candles, even though they’re so easy to make! I usually make mine undyed, but feel free to seek out candle dye/plant dye if that floats your boat. Also, make sure your containers are fairly thick, as materials like thin glass can crack with the heat of a flame.
What you need:
- soy wax pellets
- essential oil of your choice (I used orange for a nice citrus smell)
- wooden pegs
- melting/pouring pot or an older pan
- larger pan (to create a double boiler)
- wooden spoon
What to do:
- Using glue stick your wick to the base of your jar. If using one wick try and place it in the centre, if using two space them evenly.
- Using the wooden peg, secure your wick in place to keep it straight. To do this I actually put the wick through the metal hole in the peg hinge, letting the peg rest horizontally on my container with the wick sticking through
- Melt the wax completely in a double boiler on a low heat, stirring with the wooden spoon. Keep an eye on it as it can catch fire, so heat slow and low (this has literally never happened to me but I also want you to be safe!)
- Using the thermometer regularly check the wax’s temperature, once it reaches the right temperature remove from heat. This is around 170-180 degrees F, or around 76 – 82 degrees C.
- Let the wax cool to at least 140 degrees F/60 degrees C, then add the essential oil and stir. The typical fragrance ratio is 1 ounce of scent to 1 pound of wax.
- Let the wax cool a little more (I waited until it was at 100 degrees F/37 degrees C) then pour slowly and carefully into your containers. By waiting for it to cool you avoid the chance of ‘sinkholes’ on the top of the candle as it cools. Readjust/straighten the wicks as needed.
- Immediately remove wax from any apparatus by wiping them down, before the wax cools and hardens. It’ll make full cleaning much easier later! If the wax has already hardened, put the pot back over the heat for 10 seconds to soften it up, then wipe.
- Leave your candles to cool, you want to wait at least 24 hours before burning, but ideally leave them for a couple of days. The ideal room temperature for cooling candles is 70 degrees F/21 degrees C, so try and keep them somewhere a little warmer.
- When totally solid, remove the pegs and trim the wicks to the right length
- Decorate as you wish!
Until tomorrow, stay magic y’all.