DIY Scented Soy Candle

A thoughtful Christmas gift

As the winter months are now upon us, it is cold, wet and miserable so I thought it would be a nice idea to express my crafty side and attempt to make my own candles that help create that much-loved snuggly atmosphere when its dreadful outside.

My friend told me about 'Handmade Christmas' which is where you make all or as many presents as possible that you intend to give to people. I think this is a lovely idea for many reasons; firstly I have always preferred thoughtful gifts that perhaps have no monetary value. In my opinion, there's just something lovely about receiving a gift that a person simply really wanted to give you, with lots of feeling and thought. Second, it can be really enjoyable to get stuck into a project or a task of making something for someone, knowing how much they will appreciate it! And finally, I personally don't enjoy dragging myself around the shops  looking for and spending unnecessary amounts on a present that the person in mind doesn't need, or want, for that matter.

So, my first idea for Handmade Christmas was to make my own candles. I had been inspired to do this by a friend who showed me her attempt at this, and I loved it! I think it's a great gift idea because you can tailor the candles to particular people's wants, for example by changing the scent, colour and the container that the candle is in (e.g glass jar, ceramic pot, teacup etc).

With the whole 'keeping the costs down' thing in mind, I sourced my materials online and from charity shops. Ebay is a brilliant site to find competitive prices for the wax, and I found my soy wax and suitable wicks for about £7. That was 1kg of wax with 20 free wicks included. I got my scent from a little hippy shop in town for about £1.50 but these are also online for very good prices and with a huge range of scents! The rest of my materials were found in the local charity shop and were all very cheap. So far so good!

I have read many ways you can make candles at home and I pretty much used this knowledge as well as a little bit of fluke to make mine, so I'll tell you how I managed it!

·         Wax (I used soy but paraffin is also cheap and easy to use)
·         Saucepan
·         Glass bowl
·         Stirrer (of some sort)
·         Scent (optional)
·         Wick
·         Sellotape
·         Jar/pot for candle
·         Hair grips (or anything else you have to hold the wick upright)

Step 1
·         Create your double boiler by putting boiling water in the saucepan with the glass bowl on top of it

Step 2
·         Measure out your wax. Do this by pouring the wax into your desired container for the candle, and then repeat. So double the amount of hard wax will be just right once it is melted in the container. Put the wax into the glass bowl and gently heat.

Step 3
·         Position your wick in the container. It needs to be sturdy so when you pour the wax in it doesn't dislodge and bend. I used sellotape to stick mine to the bottom and it worked pretty well!

Step 4
·         Stir the wax occasionally until it is totally clear and really hot- some people recommend you measure the temperature but realistically, who has a thermometer hanging around for this purpose? I certainly don't... So just keep on heating it for a while after its gone clear.

Step 5
·         Take off the heat and then put in your scent. I'm still tampering with the amount of scent I need to add- and I think the measurements differ depending on the scent and its strength. So just throw it in until it is quite strong because some of the scent will evaporate. Give it a stir.

Step 6
·         Pour the melted wax into the container up until about 1.5cm from the top. It should be just the right amount of wax because of your previous professional hard wax measuring.

Step 7
·         You might need to secure the wick  so that it stands up straight whilst the wax cools. I panicked and used hair grips because it was all I had in the moment that I realised I wasn't prepared for the wax to move/bend so much!

Step 8
Let the wax cool. It only takes a few hours so be patient and keep your fingers out of there!

You can decorate the candle as you wish, perhaps with ribbon and gift tags if it isn't for you! I hope you enjoyed this post and found it useful, and perhaps go and make your own candles as a thoughtful gift this Christmas J

A presto!
Olivia x


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