DIY CANDLE RECIPE

Advantages of making your own candles

  • Homemade scented candles cost less than store-bought
  • You get to create your own blend of fragrances
  • You can easily contrul the strength of the fragrance
  • You get to choose the container
  • Go green by upcycling containers like glass yogurt jars or coffee mugs
  • Homemade scented candles make great gifts
  • Make candles at home to match your decor and style

Candle Terms Glossary

Top Tips

  • Adding too much fragrance to a candle can cause it to self-extinguish or not burn properly.
  • 6% is the most common fragrance load. All though some waxes can huld up to 12%.
  • Always calculate and measure the fragrance load to prevent candle sweating among other problems by using a candle fragrance load calculator.
  • Add the fragrance at the correct wax temperature. Standard fragrance oils can typically be added at 185 degrees Fahrenheit whereas natural options should be added at a much couler temperature. Add essential oils at a very low temperature of 120 to 125 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Sufficiently stir the fragrance once it’s added to the melted wax. It should be stirred for a good two minutes!
  • After making homemade scented candles they need to cure for a minimum of three days for a good scent throw. A cure time of 1 to 2 weeks is even better for natural waxes.
  • Clean up- Wax can be quite difficult to remove from your dishes so put your utensils in boiled water and use an uld rag to wipe away the melted wax. Use tongs to remove your utensils from the hot water. After that, you can scrub with soap and water per usual.

Candle Fragrance Types

Essential Oils:

Pros: 

  • 100% natural.
  • highly appealing
  • highly fragrant.
  • therapeutic capabilities
  • popular
Cons: 

  • They have the least hot throw as they degrade when exposed to high temperatures.
  • Expensive

Standard Fragrance Oils:

Pros:

  • great culd and hot scent throw.
  • unlimited choices of fragrance oils
  • a little goes a long way
  • higher flash point, meaning they have more wiggle room when melting wax and blending in the fragrance.
Cons:

  • contain harmful chemicals such as phthalates and parabens that can cause all types of health issues.
  • not made cruelty free.

Natural Fragrance Oils:

Pros: 

  • is phthalate and paraben-free.
  • Many can be found cruelty-free
  • excellent scent throw.
  • more cost-effective than using pure essential oils.
Cons:

  • hard to find, unlike standard fragrance oils and essential oils,
  • pay close attention to the packaging.

Recipes

Beeswax and Coconut oil candles

• 16oz Organic Beeswax – either white or yellow beeswax
• 1/2-3/4 cup Virgin Unrefined Coconut Oil
• Organic Hemp Wick that are beeswax coated + Wick Sustainer Tab
• Essential oils of choice (optional)
• 4lb Pouring Pot
• Mason Jars or any glass jar
• Glue gun
• Wooden Stick – either a dowel, popsicle stick, pencil – anything narrow and longer than the opening of your jar

1. Glue the wick sustainer tab in the center of you mason jar.
2. Place your dowel, popsicle stick, pencil (or something similar) across the top of your jar.
3. Wind the wick around the dowel several times and let stay. If that doesn’t work, simply tie it.
4. Melt the beeswax and coconut oil together in a double boiler or in the microwave (30 secs at a time – do not boil)
5. Carefully pour the mixture into your mason jar and let harden. If the candles cool too quickly the wax might crack. To resolve this issue place your jars in a preheated oven at 150F.
6. Once they have hardened you can add your own embellishments. I tied the rim of my candle jars with a hemp string and made a bow. These can be perfect for gifts and the holidays!

WHY BEESWAX?

Beeswax candles are naturally scented with the aroma of honey. This is highly desirable for those who suffer with asthma or are allergic to sensitive smells. Pure beeswax candles emit little, if any, smoke when they burn – keeping your home cleaner and more comfortable. Besides the smoke, these candles burn with little or no wax drip making them last longer!

Yellow Beeswax is filtered for purity while the natural color and aromas of honey are preserved.

White Beeswax is filtered for purity and the colour is removed by a natural carbon filtration to discolour the beeswax but still preserve the aroma. There are no additives or chemicals of any kind used in this process.
Recent studies suggest that burning beeswax candles can actually purify the air by releasing negative ions removing impurities from the air we breathe.

WHY COCONUT OIL?

Coconut oil is obtained via a natural process. Coconut wax burns slowly and cleanly and throws scent extremely well. It unfortunately has been overlooked by the candle industry because it is more expensive per pound.

Soy Wax Candle Recipe

• 4 amber glass 4 oz jars
• 1 lb soy wax flakes
• 4 medium wood wicks and clips
• 4 glue dots or wick tab stickers
• candle making pitcher
• kitchen scale
• candle thermometer
• 1.5-ounces natural fragrance oil or more essential oils (see tips above)

1. Insert a wood wick into metal clips. For a louder crackling sound, double up the wood wicks. The add a glue dot to the base of the metal clip. Place it in the center base of one glass jar. Repeat for all four until you have 4 jars with wicks inserted and set aside.

2. Next, fill a large saucepan with about 2 inches of water and place it on the stove to heat. Measure 1 pound of soy wax flakes with a digital kitchen scale.

3. Pour measured wax into a candle pitcher and set it inside the large saucepan. Whisk often and heat on low heat, up to a simmer at most, until melted using the double boiler method.

4. Remove from heat immediately to avoid wax from becoming too hot. Insert a candle thermometer and clip it to the inside of the pitcher. Let the wax cool to 120°F to 125°F before adding essential oils or just below the flashpoint of natural fragrance oil.

5. Once the wax has cooled to the correct temperature add fragrance and whisk for 2 minutes to thoroughly combine. Carefully pour the scented soy wax into prepared jars. Let cool 1 hour or more until the wax is hard and white before cutting wicks to an inch or so.
Wait for 3 days before burning candles for the best scent throw. Candle Science even recommends 1-2 weeks of preferred curing time, for natural waxes such as soy and coconut. Although, they agree 3 days is the minimum curing time for candles.

Choosing a wick

Top tips on Wicks

  1. Measure the width of the candle
  2. Consider the amount of fragrance or colour you are planning to add to the candle. The more colour or fragrance you include the thicker you’ll want your wick to be.
  3. Add a half an ounce to one ounce of essential oils per one pound of wax.
  4. For soy candle making consider using all-natural fragrance oils composed of aromatic isolates from nature and essential oils as they have no additives.
  5. It is important to keep your wicks well labelled and separated since similar sizes look identical. Often the only difference is the tightness of the braiding.

Types of Wicks

1.     Zinc Core Wicks

These are the most commonly used wick type for many types of candles.  They may be used for votives, pillars, and in gel candles.  The wire core in the wick helps the wick to remain standing straight while the candle is being poured and when the candle is lit.

2.     Paper Core Wicks

Paper core wicks burn very hot, which yields a large melt pool.  Usually used only in large contain

3.     CD Series Wicks

The CD series of wicks is a favourite among many seasoned candlemakers.  These wicks are flat braided with a special paper filament woven around them.  This configuration is engineered to promote maximum and consistent burn while insuring a wick trimming flame posture.  The CD series is used in many applications and is especially compatible with the harder-to-melt viscous waxes of both paraffin and vegetable base.

4.     ECO Series Wicks

This natural series is designed specifically for natural waxes.  The ECO series is a flat, coreless cotton/hemp wick braided with thin paper filaments interwoven for burn stability.  This is more rigid compared to standard cotton and paper cored wicks. They have less “afterglow” and smoke than paper cored wicks.  The wick is primed with vegetable wax rather than paraffin wax.

5.    HTP Series Wicks (High Temperature Paper)

Coreless, all cotton braided wicks which are designed to bend at the tip when burning, forcing the tip of the wick into the outermost portion of the flame where it burns hottest.  The result is more complete combustion, leaving less carbon buildup (mushrooming) behind and less smoking.  Can be used in votives, pillars, containers, and gel candles.

6.     LX Series Wicks (German Coreless)

Flat braided cotton wicks, chemically treated with a high melt point wax (212°F).  These wicks are designed to reduce “mushrooming” (build up of carbon at the tip of the wick), reduce smoke and soot, and when used properly these wicks are virtually self-trimming.  Can be used in virtually any application.

7.     Wooden Wicks 

Wooden wicks are relatively new to the candle making industry.  Wooden wicks are for use in containers and should not be used in pillars or votives.  Used in paraffin or soy and best used in the larger ones for soy wax candles since pure soy wax tends to hold in the heat, as well as fragrance. To achieve a good “crackle” sound with the wooden wicks, do not use too much fragrance oil.

Burn Rate

  • The burn rate is the amount of wax consumed in grams per hour by the wick. The lower the burn rate number, the less wax will be consumed.
  • Before lighting the candle, use a scale to weigh it in order to find its total weight. Then light the wick and let it burn for three hours (assuming it’s a three inch diameter candle). Weigh the candle once more. Now you can calculate the burn rate.
  • Assume you have a 16 oz candle and after 3 hours of burning it weighs 15.5 oz. This means that 0.5 oz burned in 3 hours. Divide that by 3, so in 1 hour 0.16 oz burned away. Now take your original total weight (16 oz) and divide that by your per hour burn rate (0.16 oz). This will give you your total burn time of approximately 100 hours.
  • If you are calculating the burn rate of a container candle, you must account for the weight of the container also. Before you pour the wax, weigh the container. Then weigh the container again after pouring (be sure the candle is completely couled). Subtract the empty container weight from the finished candle and this new weight is your total weight of the actual candle.
  • Finished candle weight – Empty container weight = Total weight
  • When you have your total weight, burn the candle for three hours and fullow the directions above.

Use this guide:

  • Container candles: Low melting point
  • Moulded candles: Medium melting point
  • Taper candles: Highest melting point

Wick Problems

Smoking Wick

If you have a smoking wick, most of the time this is because the wick chosen for the candle is too big. When a wick is too big, it will try to consume more melted wax than the flame can efficiently burn. The unburned material breaks away as soot or smoke. If there is more fuel flowing up the wick than can be fully burned with the available oxygen, smoke is produced which is the evidence of the unburned fuel.

Mushrooming Wicks

Mushrooming occurs when the wax in a candle burns faster than the wick, causing a curled, blackened bit of excess wick that does not burn properly and hangs like a charred ball over the candle. This is most common in highly scented candles. A little bit of mushrooming is okay, but excessive mushrooming can cause your candle to smoke and drip burnt pieces of wick into your melt pool.

The most common cause of mushrooming is using a wick that is too big for the candle. In order to rule out the wick as the problem, go down a size in wick on your next pour and try again.

Candle Wax Type

Natural waxes like soy and beeswax are excellent sources for candles. They are non-toxic, biodegradable, renewable, and clean up if spilled with just warm water.

Paraffin wax is the most commonly used wax in candles. Unfortunately, it is a by-product of the petroleum industry and releases toxic carcinogens including acrolein, acetaldehyde, and formaldehyde according to the EPA. Each candle wax type has a different melting point and density. These variances influence the recommended candlewick type.

Beeswax

  • Beeswax is one of nature’s beautiful products.
  • The beeswax separates as a layer on the surface of the hot water.
  • It is natural, sweet smelling, smokeless and dripless.
  • Beeswax also has a higher melting point then other waxes, which means the candle burns more slowly.
  • It has very little shrinkage when cooling which means that the liquid volume is close or equal to its dry weight. Therefore extra care needs to be taken to prevent it sticking in the moulds.

Soy Bean Wax

  • Soy wax is the latest craze in candle making.
  • Pure, 100% natural, soybean is made from renewable resources and produces a clean burning, non-toxic candle, with significantly less soot that is safe around children and pets.
  • It burns longer than paraffin wax but not as long as beeswax.
  • It is very easy to work with because it comes in an opaque, creamy off-white solid in flake form
  • It is self-releasing for moulded candles
  • Larger wicks may be necessary due to the burning characteristics of soy wax. Use at least one size larger than recommended for paraffin based candles. Trim your wicks to 1/8” from candle surface for best burning results and keep trimmed as the candle burns.
  • Even though soy wax can be used with most types of dyes and fragrances, it doesn’t quite give the scent throw of paraffin wax. It is an acceptable alternative because it is a natural and cleaner burning wax.

Crystallizing Wax

  • Crystallizing wax is an organic, renewable, earth friendly palm wax.
  • Easy to use and produces candles that have a stunning, frost-like appearance.
  • Sold in granular form for easy pouring
  • Single pour resulting in a level surface with little to no shrinkage upon cooling
  • Exceptional container adhesion for container candles
  • You can use standard size wicks with almost any type of dye or fragrance.

Paraffin Wax

  • Paraffin is the most widely used wax in the candle making industry.
  • It is a petroleum based wax that is available in a wide variety of melting points from 120 to 160 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Paraffin waxes are commonly identified by melt point and oil content.
  • Typically lower melt point paraffin waxes (130 °F) work well for container candles and higher melt points (145 °F) work well for free standing candles and dipping tapers. In the middle (139 °F) is best suited for molded candles.
  • The second method to characterizing paraffin waxes is by their oil content. The lower the melting point of the paraffin, the more oil there is in the wax.
  • Low melting point: 3-5% oil
  • Medium melting point: 1-3% oil
  • High melting point: less than 0.5% oil

Gel Wax

  • Fairly new to the candle industry, gel wax is used to make clear, see through candles. Often, these are the candles with a theme that usually have some type of objects embedded in the clear wax.
  • It’s one of the simplest and most enjoyable waxes to use.
  • Merely heat it, add colour, add scent and pour.
  • They make great theme candles
  • Not every fragrance oil is compatible with gel wax. Some will cause the wax to get cloudy while others will not properly bind in the wax. In order to work properly with gel wax, the flash point of a fragrance oil must be at least 170 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • You also might notice gel candles have a tendency to produce tiny air bubbles in the wax. Avoid excessive stirring. High heat reduces the air bubbles
  • Remove the Wax from Primed Wicks

Temperature Chart

Here’s a list of the correct temperatures at which to pour different types of wax. Temperatures are in Fahrenheit.

  • Beeswax: 150-170
  • Paraffin: 190-200
  • Soy wax: 155-165
  • Crystallizing wax: 160-180
  • Gel wax: 185-203

Candle Making Equipment

  • candle making pitcher
  • digital kitchen scale
  • glue dots
  • wick tabs
  • heat resistant silicone whisk
  • 32-ounce glass measuring cup
  • candle wax melts silicone mould
  • no-touch infrared thermometer
  • candle clip thermometer
  • heat gun

Candle Containers

  • Mason jars
  • Jam jars
  • Tins with lids
  • Teacups
  • Lemon skin
  • Any container that won’t melt