How to make soy wax pillar candles

Written by jillian downer
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Everyone loves candles. For many, candles signal comfort, romance, ambience and warmth. Candle making is big business and if you’re a candle lover you know how expensive candle collecting can be, which is what makes candle crafting at home so great. In recent years, soy wax candles have made there mark on a society obsessed with eco-friendly home products. Soy wax candles are a popular alternative to paraffin wax candles because they are made from a natural and renewable energy source and they also require less heat to burn because they melt at a lower temperature. Additionally, making candles with soy wax is economical and simple. Here’s how to make soy wax pillar candles.

Skill level:
Moderate

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Things you need

  • 0.454kg. soy wax (blocks or flakes)
  • One candle colouring chip or candle dye
  • 59.1ml. fragrance oil
  • Candle wick
  • Pillar candle moulds
  • Double boiler pan
  • Mixing spoon
  • Knitting needle
  • Wick rod
  • Candle mould sealer

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Prepare your wax. The great thing about soy wax is that it is much easier to handle than paraffin wax. Wax blocks aren’t nearly as hard and can be adjusted with a kitchen knife. If you’re using a wax block, you should cut the block up into smaller pieces before placing the wax in into the double boiler. If you’re using soy wax flakes, you may just add them in its current form.

  2. 2

    Heat your wax. Place your soy wax block pieces or flakes into a double boiler pan and melt between low and medium low heat. Stir occasionally and remove from heat as soon as the liquid is smooth and free of any wax chunks.

  3. 3

    Prepare your candle moulds. While the soy wax is melting, you’ll want to wick your candle moulds. Insert the wick through the bottom of the candle mould. There is a small hole in the bottom centre of the candle mould, which allows you to thread a wick through to the top.

  4. 4

    Secure the wick. Take the wick rod and place it on the top of the candle mould so that it runs perpendicular to walls of the mould and secure the top of the wick to this rod. Make sure to pull it tight. Once secured to the rod, tighten the wick screw on the bottom of the mould. Cut the bottom tail of the wick so you have about an inch and wind this tail around the screw. Cover the wound wick and screw with a mould sealer and be sure that it is completely sealed.

  5. 5

    Add your colour. Return to your melting wax. If the mixture is smooth, which it likely is because soy wax melts relatively quickly, remove it from the heat. Carefully follow the directions for your dye. Add your wax die and stir until the colour is evenly combined. Dry wax will be one shade lighter than it is when wet. You can check the intensity of your colour by testing it in water, which will closely replicate the colour in wax.

  6. 6

    Add your fragrance. You should add your fragrance just before you are ready to pour the wax into the pillar moulds because fragrance tends to disperse very quickly. Stir the fragrance quickly.

  7. 7

    Pour your candles. Once youhave dyed and coloured your wax, carefully pour it into the wick-prepared candle moulds. Be careful that water droplets from the steam on the double boiler do not drip into the mould.

  8. 8

    Reserve the leftover wax. Keep the leftover wax warm because you will need to use it later on in the drying process. Dried wax will shrink and when making pillar candles, you’ll need to adjust for this shrinkage by adding more wax.

  9. 9

    Check your mould. About 15 to 20 minutes after you pour the mould, you will see a well forming in the wax. Relieve this tension by inserting a knitting needle directly into the top of the wax and gently break the skin. Refill the hole you make with the knitting needle by pouring in some reserved wax. Repeat this process every 30 minutes until the candle has fully cooled.

  10. 10

    Remove the candle from the mould. Soy wax cools relatively quickly and once the mould is cold to the touch, the candle is ready to be removed from it. Remove the mould sealer and screw from the wick base and detach the top wick from the wick rod. Soy candles can be troublesome when removing from moulds, because they aren’t as solid as paraffin candles. Be patient, and do not pound on the mould. If the candle does not slide out, place it into the refrigerator for a few minutes and try again.

  11. 11

    Dry your candles. Set the soy wax pillar candles in a cool dry place and let them set for 24 hours. After 24 hours you may trim the wicks and burn.

Tips and warnings

  • Though soy wax is economical, it can also be a little harder to work with because it doesn’t harden nearly as much as other candle waxes, making soy pillars rather difficult. If you’re new to candle-making, start with a jarred soy candle before moving on to a soy pillar.
  • Soy wax melts faster than other wax candles, so watch it carefully.
  • Before burning your candles, trim wicks so that they are about an inch long.
  • Soy wax will dry to a shade lighter than it is when wet, so take that into account when using your dye.
  • Before you pour the wax into the mould, wipe any moisture off of the pan to prevent water droplets from entering the candle mould.
  • Do not pour leftover wax down drains as it can clog pipes.
  • Be careful when working with and pouring hot wax. Do not let it splash and burn your skin.
  • Soy candles will crack in extreme cold temperatures, so if you’re struggling to remove your candle from its mould, do not place in the refrigerator for more than five minutes.

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