DIY soy candles

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DIY soy candles
We may no longer rely on candles for our main source of lighting, but they do create a fabulous ambience when entertaining. Make your own eco-friendly soy candles with our step-by-step instructions.

Soy candles are non-toxic and won’t blacken ceilings, walls or furniture. They are slow burning too, so they often last longer than other types of candles. And because they are made from soy beans, they are biodegradable.

To make 1 large or 2-3 small soy candles you need:

  • Candlemaker at workDouble boiler (you could also use a large tin sitting on top of a rack that’s placed in a saucepan)
  • 225g (8oz) soy wax flakes
  • Thermometer with clip
  • Candle dye – available in flakes, liquid or powder (use a colour of your choice)
  • Primed wicks with tabs (length will depend on mould you are using)
  • Wick stickers
  • Metal whisk
  • Pencil or skewer (to hold wick in place)
  • Old rag, towels or cardboard to protect your work surface.
  • Wax paper (to place mould on when pouring wax)
  • Mould of your choice – can be glass, plastic, metal, rubber or even a cardboard milk container.

To Make:

1. Melt soy wax flakes in double boiler. Make sure the wax does not exceed 85 degrees C (185 degrees F). Clip your thermometer to the side of your double boiler or tin and check the temperature regularly. For best results, keep the temperature between 80 and 85 degrees C (175-185 degrees F).

Warning: Do not leave wax unattended as it can easily get too hot and catch fire. Should this happen do not use water to douse the fire. Use the lid of your double boiler, baking soda or a fire extinguisher to smother the fire.

2. When the wax has melted, add your dye. Use a little at a time and slowly build the colour to the intensity you wish to achieve. Whisk the dye through the wax for about 2 minutes to ensure an even colour. If you want to create a scented candle you can add a few drops of fragrant oil at this stage and again stir for 2 minutes. Keep a close watch on the thermometer to ensure the temperature does not go above 85 degrees C (185 degrees F).

Candle manufacture3. You are close to pouring your wax. Allow wax to cool down to 65 degrees C (150 degrees F) before pouring into moulds. We recommend warming your moulds in an oven for 10 minutes, if possible. Wax poured into a cold mould can create streaks rather than a nice smooth finish. The moulds need to be only just above room temperature, so keep the oven at a very low temperature. Use a baking sheet lined with wax paper for your moulds to sit on. This helps with any spills you may have when pouring the wax. While the wax is cooling down you can adhere the wicks to the bottom of your mould using wick stickers. Tie the opposite end of the wick to a pencil or skewer and place on top of the rim of your mould, making sure it is in the centre.

4. The exciting part – time to pour your wax! Carefully pour the wax into the mould to the desired height. Leave for 4-5 hours, depending on the size of your mould.

5. Time to remove your candle from its mould. Firstly, remove the pencil or skewer, then slowly tip the mould upside down. The candle should slip out easily. You can also gently pull at the top of the wick to coax it out. If this does not work, put the candle in the freezer for 5 minutes, then try again.

Making candles6. Once you’ve removed your candle from its mould, leave it to cure. Curing is the chemical process that binds the colours and fragrance to the wax. We recommend two weeks for optimum curing time, though one week will suffice if you’re dying to try out your candle.


We recommend experimenting with different moulds, as well as different colours and fragrance. You can virtually use anything as a mould, though if you want a specific theme, such as bunnies for Easter, try a specialist candle making supplier. Once you become a pro (it’s really not that hard), you can give away your creations as gifts.

Cleaning up

There are special candle cleaning kits that you can purchase, but the following steps go a long way to helping with cleaning up. Pour any excess wax into an old pan or tin. Unused wax can be reused and melted again. Don’t pour it down the sink as it is likely to clog your drain. Metal and glass items can be placed in the freezer. As the wax freezes it shrinks and it is then an easy task of nudging it out.

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