Thursday, March 6, 2014

Soy Candles: First Run

      So you might remember that besides beauty subscription boxes, I've also managed to fall in love with a few DIY items. 
      Last week I made beeswax and honey lip balm and wood butter from my Homegrown Collective subscription box and had a blast! I've been using my lip balm and it is fantastic! 
     And earlier I made lemongrass soap! I've been using it every time I take a shower and my bathroom smells amaaaazing (even when the soap is just sitting in the soap dish)! 

     Yesterday, however, I branched out even further by making Soy Candles!  
      I used soy wax, dye chips and fragrance oil.  The basic recipe is 1lb wax, one dye chip and 1oz fragrance oil.  Easy!
Because I'm new to this whole thing, I made a very small batch to begin with.  I used only half a pound of wax.

As suggested in the tutorial I used, I did a double boiler type set up, putting my wax pour pot in a pan of water while on medium heat.  The soy wax I used melted fairly quickly.  It comes in flaked form so there was no cutting of chunks necessary.  You can see the ten pound bag in the background of the picture.
After the wax gets to 185 degrees (which I measured using an ancient candy thermometer that I could only hope was measuring correctly), I added half of a dye chip.  Half a one because I was only using half a pound of wax.  I wish I'd taken pictures of the process!  Next time.
The hard part then becomes choosing the fragrance.  I knew I was going to be using Nag Champa because my MIL loves the scent and I wanted to make her something for her 40th wedding anniversary that is coming up in a few days.

What I had done was order many 1oz kinds of fragrance oils from Candlescience.  I probably have about 30 right now.  I did go a little overboard but I will be using some of them for soap, too.  However I settled on Love Spell because I happened to have two bottles.  So if I screwed up on these candles then I would still have some left to use for soap. 
After the dye chip had melted into the hot wax, I removed it from the heat and added the fragrance, stirring gently to incorporate.
I got a little anxious and poured the melted wax into the tin a little too soon.  You are supposed to wait until it hits 135 degrees but I think I poured it around 145-150 because I was tired of waiting. 
The most challenging part of all was the wick.  I used glue dots to stick the wick to the bottom of the tin but when I poured in the melted wax, the wick just floated away.  So I made handy dandy wick holders out of cardboard.
They didnt work fantastically but they did the job.  I hope.  I dont know how far off the bottom of the tin the wick ended up.
I ended up making 2 batches of half a pound each.  This filled a total of four 6oz candle tins right to the fill line.  One batch I used Nag Champa and a gold dye chip and the other used Love Spell and an aquamarine dye chip.  Love Spell smells terrific and Nag Champa smells as awful as ever.  Blech.  I don't know why she likes it so much.
Finished Product!  
Love Spell

Nag Champa


  1. Replies
    1. Nag Champa is an Indian fragrance that is really common as incense. Apparently, it was the go-to hippie scent in the 70's. I think it smells awful and overpowering. My MIL loves it so much.