As many of my friends know I am a bit of a sucker for learning new things, particularly if it is something that will make my daily life easier or more enjoyable.
Now, I am sure most of you are aware of what Glasshouse candles are – for those who aren’t, they are ‘double scented’ candles that fill your home with a scent even the next door neighbours could smell!! There are a magnitude of scents that you can choose from but I have never been able to get past the ‘Tahaa’ scent (Caramel-Vanilla) so always buy this one.
I guess you can say I am in love with these candles, unfortunately my bank account is not!! They range in price from $18.95 for a very small to $43-60 for a large and if you are burning candles as frequently as I do this is just not practical without mortgaging your house and car!!
Making your own candles is fun, easy and I find it is a good way to switch off my brain after a long day. You can get really creative choosing what size, shape, colour and scent you use allowing you to tailor them to fit you home. I have put this post together to help you with making your own candles at home, they also make great presents.
Wax Facts (why I use soy):
Glasshouse candles are made with a blend of wax types, the candles I will teach you to make today will be made of soy wax – a natural wax derived from soy beans. Paraffin based candles release petro-carbons into the atmosphere and leave that black sooty substance around your jar and on your furniture if you burn them often. It is also believed that soy candles burn up to 50% longer than regular mixed blend candles which means that you won’t churn through them as quickly.
As soy candles are made from food they are much healthier for humans and pets than a paraffin based candle and are much easier to clean up if any spills occur, just use warm water and detergent. The down side is that soy can cost a little more at the checkout BUT if you are making them yourself you barely notice, and if they are better for you from a health perspective I think it’s a fair trade.
Candle Making 101
Make sure you read my Candle Making 101 before you get started. I have put together tips and tricks that i wish i new before I started making candles, enjoy.
What you will need:
HTP wicks (104 – 20mm x 6mm)
Hot glue gun (or wick stickums)
Stove pot and glass bowl
1 litre measuring jug (either glass or plastic)
Preparing the container
Make sure your container is completely clean, wash all jars with warm water and dry thoroughly. If it is not completely clean the wax and wick will not stick.
If you purchased ‘wick stickums’ simply peel these off the sheet and stick them to the metal base of the wick (make sure the wick stickums are the same diameter as the metal base of the wick). If you are using a hot glue gun, put enough hot glue on the metal base of the wick so it is covered (be careful not to use too much that it cannot sit flat on the bottom of the jar).
Try to align the wick as close to the middle of the jar as possible and press flat onto the jar. If the jar is quite large you will need more than one wick so that it burns evenly, I often space them a pinkie finger apart.
Melting the wax
I melt the wax in the same way that I melt chocolate, double boil method. To do this bring a pot of water to the boil and place a glass bowl over the top (large enough that the bottom isn’t touching the water). You can also do it in the microwave as if you were melting chocolate but I don’t find this as reliable.
It’s really important to make sure you do not over heat the wax (don’t let the wax boil), you goal is a slow melt. You can work out how much wax your need by weighing the wax so 100g is pretty much equivalent to 100ml, another good rule of thumb is you can fill the contain 1.5 times and melt that quantity down and it’s pretty close. The more you make the better feel you will get for how to do it. Once the wax is melted I transfer the liquid into a measuring jug to cool a little.
Adding fragrance and colour
Add the desired amount of colour into the melted wax liquid. Stir until all dissolved. I suggest not to add your fragrance to the wax until you are just about ready to pour it into you container.
It’s a good idea not to add your fragrance when the wax is too hot otherwise it will just evaporate into the atmosphere or become ‘burnt’ not giving off the desired smell. For soy candles you want to add about 8-10% of the weight e.g. 400g of wax = 40g of fragrance.
Pouring wax into container and cooling
Reduce the waxes temperature to approximately 55°c before pouring it into the container. If you pour your wax into your container when it is too hot you can get cracking of the wax or concaving centre.
Cool your candle on a flat surface at room temperature. Try not to move you candle after the liquid has been poured into the container otherwise it will leave wax marks around the edges. Once completely cooled trim the wick (no longer than 7mm). It is always much better to have the wick trimmed shorter than longer as it burns a lot better. This is also a good rule for candle maintenance – always trim your wick if it gets too long after burning.
Congratulations!!! You have just created your very first candle, it looks great doesn’t it!! To clean up all you need to use is warm water and detergent or put everything into the dishwasher (remember the wax is made from soybeans).
I hope you enjoyed this post and making candles. I told you it was easy.
I’d love to hear how you went, let me know!!