Homemade Soy Candles with Essential Oils


* This article may contain affiliate links. For more information, please read my Affiliate Disclosure.

 

These homemade soy candles with essential oils are a safe, healthy and all-natural alternative to store-bought candles. And they make a great homemade gift! #homemadesoycandles #soywaxcandles #soywax #homemadecandleswithessentialoils #diycandles These homemade soy candles with essential oils are a safe, healthy and all-natural alternative to store-bought candles. And they make a great homemade gift for Christmas or any other occasion!

***

I started making my own candles 3 years ago at Christmas when we couldn’t afford to buy gifts for everyone in our family.

I’d wanted to try candle-making for a while, but hadn’t wanted to spend the money on the supplies I needed to get started. But the fact that it was Christmas and I had to spend money on gifts anyway gave me an excuse to finally invest in some candle-making supplies for a fraction of the cost of individual store-bought gifts for everyone on our list.

I decided on soy wax for a few different reasons. First of all, I wanted a natural wax that burned clean and was safe and healthy for my family. This meant paraffin wax was not an option as paraffin is an oil derivative and has been shown to release toxic carcinogens into the air when burned. So my options were pretty much to either use beeswax or soy wax.

While I do love beeswax, I wanted a white candle that I could add fragrance to, similar to the ones you might find at the store. So I settled on soy wax and I’m still using it to this day.

 

Never buy candles from the store again

The first time I lit one of my homemade candles, I was hooked. I honestly don’t think I’ve ever bought a candle from the store since that day. I quickly started buying larger quantities of wax and making more and more candles. 

These homemade soy candles with essential oils are a safe, healthy and all-natural alternative to store-bought candles. And they make a great homemade gift! #homemadesoycandles #soywaxcandles #soywax #homemadecandleswithessentialoils #diycandles

 

I realized that buying in bulk was the best way to go because it ended up costing less per candle by purchasing large, 50-lb. boxes of wax. Now I always have a box of wax at home ready to go for whenever I need to whip up a few quick homemade gifts or replace some of the candles from my own collection.

I usually make my candles in repurposed old Mason jars, which I usually get from the local Thrift store for pennies. I also save money on wicks by purchasing lengths of wicking, measuring them out and placing the tabs on the wicks myself, but if you’re just getting started I would recommend just going with the ready-made wicks. They’re pretty affordable as is and make life a lot easier when you’re just starting out.

As for other supplies, I use a 4-lb. pouring pot, a kitchen scale and a meat thermometer, as well as  a wooden dowel I bought from the dollar store which has become my designated stir stick for mixing the wax. I always wipe it down with a paper towel while the wax is still hot so that it stays nice and clean. Same goes for the pouring pot.

The most costly part of making these candles is the money spent on essential oils, however I’ve found an amazing company that sells super affordable high-quality essential oils, so all in it only costs me an average of a couple dollars per candle, which is a sliver of the price of similar store-bought candles. Not to mention, using essential oils in candles is a much healthier alternative to the synthetic fragrance oils that are added to most store-bought scented candles.

 

Fragrance oils vs. essential oils

When I first began making candles at home I did use fragrance oils to scent them. I wanted to mimic the scented candles I used to buy frequently from boutique stores and a from a certain chain of soap and candle stores that resides in malls across North America. 

But it didn’t take me long to realize that, as lovely as these fragrance oils make candles smell, they’re anything but natural and they also emit toxic carcinogens into the air when burned. So I started looking for healthier alternatives.

Essential oils were the clear choice as they are 100% pure and natural and they smell amazing! So I began using essential oils in place of fragrance oils in my candles.

These homemade soy candles with essential oils are a safe, healthy and all-natural alternative to store-bought candles. And they make a great homemade gift! #homemadesoycandles #soywaxcandles #soywax #homemadecandleswithessentialoils #diycandles

 

The only problem with essential oils is that the scent from essential oils doesn’t “throw” well when burned in candle form, so you have to use a lot of essential oils in order to produce any scent at all.  And even then, you don’t get anywhere near the same intensity of fragrance that you get from synthetic fragrance oils.

But essential oils are like, a thousand times safer and healthier than candles scented with fragrance oils.

(Okay, I don’t have the exact stats in front of me. But you get the gist.)

I will admit though, that I do love scented candles (those spicy, warm apple pie, pumpkin spice and fresh evergreen ones that come out around the holidays are some of my faves!) and so I do still scent some of my candles with a little fragrance oil mixed with essential oils. Not all of them (I aim for the 80/20 rule), but I have fragrance oils left over from a couple years ago, so I used some in my latest batch.

I also mix fragrance oils with essential oils in the candles that I sell (I’ve sold at craft fairs and I’m selling some at a pop-up Christmas shop this season), because I know people are looking for delicious-smelling scented candles (plus I can’t afford to be putting hundreds of drop of essential oils in each batch I sell or I’d never make any money!) But I now also mix with essential oils, which I find actually enhances the smell of the essential oils so I’m able to use less fragrance oils and essential oils than I used to.

If you choose to mix fragrance oils and essential oils to get a nicely scented candle, I’ve found I like 2 ounces of fragrance oil for every pound of wax, and about 20 drops of essential oils mixed in. 

You could, of course, forgo both the fragrance and the essential oils altogether if you wanted and still get that warm, cozy glow:)

 

Say no to dyes

One more thing to consider is the dyes that are used in commercially-produced candles. Coloured candles typically use synthetic dyes, and surprise surprise! These dyes also contain toxic carcinogens! 

I used dyes in my own candles once when I wanted to make some different coloured candles for the holidays. But after learning about the dangers lurking in these synthetic dyes, I decided never to use them again. 

Plus, I really love classic white candles, don’t you? They look much cleaner and classier than coloured candles in my opinion.

 

Supply list for making soy candles with essential oils

While I could go on all day about the reasons why you should make your own all-natural soy candles with essential oils and no dyes, I’m sure that if you’re here, what you really want is to know how to make them. So let’s get on with it…

These homemade soy candles with essential oils are a safe, healthy and all-natural alternative to store-bought candles. And they make a great homemade gift! #homemadesoycandles #soywaxcandles #soywax #homemadecandleswithessentialoils #diycandles

First, you’re gonna need a few supplies. I’ve linked to the products and brands I personally use and/or recommend for starting out:

  • Soy wax (flakes or pellets) 
  • Essential oils (I use and recommend Plant Therapy)
  • Wicks (either pre-made or cotton wicking by the length plus wick tabs to make your own) 
  • Wick holders (store-bought or using items from home such as clothespins)
  • Jars (Mason jars work great!)
  • Glue gun (for sticking wicks to jars)
  • Pouring pot plus sauce pan to use as double boiler
  • Digital kitchen scale
  • Wooden spoon or dowel for mixing
  • Kitchen thermometer
  • Fragrance oils (I almost feel guilty including these here since I preach all-natural everything all the time. But hey, ya gotta live a little too. And if you’re like me and LOVE scented candles fragrance oils, you may as well make your own. At least this way you can add beneficial essential oils, omit dyes, know that your wax is all-natural and control the amount of fragrance oil you add).
  • Labels (these are optional, but they help you to remember which oils are in which candles and they look great for gifting). 

 

*** I’ve got some free printable labels for soy candles available under the “Labels” section of my Free Resource Library

You can also grab a copy of my FREE Guide to Candle-Making with Soy Wax & Essential Oils from the “Homesteading & Self-Sufficiency” section of the resource library. Sign up to gain access and download your freebie so you’ll have everything you need to make soy candles at your fingertips! 

 

How to Make Soy Candles With Essential Oils

1. Prepare your jars.

If repurposing old jars, make sure they’re clean and dry.

2. Measure out your wax.

I recommend weighing wax with a digital kitchen scale.Tare the pouring pot first (tare just means hit the “tare” or “weight reset” button with your empty pot on the scale so that the scale doesn’t count the weight of the pot itself). Reset the scale to 0, then fill with wax until you’ve reached your desired weight.

*Note: Even though I use a 4-pound pot, I usually make my candles in two-pound batches so I can do a wider variety of scents. Two pounds of wax will fill approximately four or five 8-oz Mason jars (jam jars or half-pints) or 8 to10 4-oz jelly jars. 

3. Melt wax in pouring pot or double boiler on the stove.

Never heat up a pouring pot directly on the stove top. Always fill another pot with about an inch or two of water and place pouring pot in the pot. Melt wax on high until wax has completely liquified. Use a kitchen thermometer to check the temperature of the wax. For best results, allow it to reach 180ºF and then take it off the heat and allow it to cool a bit before adding your essential oils.

4. While wax is cooling, prepare your wicks.

Centre and glue wicks to the inside bottom of jars using a glue gun. Place wick holders (or clothespins) across the tops of jars to keep wicks upright and centred.

5. Allow wax to cool to roughly 130ºF.

Once cooled, add your essential oils. You’ll want to add about 100 drops of essential oils for every pound of wax. Yes, you read that right. I told you you need to use a lot! Mix in essential oils using a wooden spoon or mixing tool. (If you’re adding fragrance oils, now is the time to add those in too).

6. Pour wax slowly into prepared jars.

Allow to cool completely before moving the jars (sort of like leaving the jars to cool on the countertop after canning). Trim wicks to desired length, put custom labels on your jars and voilà! C’est fini! 

These homemade soy candles with essential oils are a safe, healthy and all-natural alternative to store-bought candles. And they make a great homemade gift! #homemadesoycandles #soywaxcandles #soywax #homemadecandleswithessentialoils #diycandles

 

Enjoy your candles, whether you’re giving them away or burning them yourself at home:)

 

Essential Oil Combinations for Soy Wax Candles

Candle-making is by-and-large an exact science. The creativity lies in coming up with different essential oil combinations to use in your homemade candles. 

The following are some of my favourite essential oil combinations that I use in my own homemade candles. Feel free to follow these recipes or create your own combinations!

1. Lemon & Lavender

I like blending 3 parts lavender and one part lemon, so 75 drops of lavender and 25 drops of lemon. But you could do it the other way around if you’d like a more “lemony” scented candle. I also like to add bergamot and/or vetiver essential oil to this combo.

2. Orange & Cinnamon

I usually mix equal parts orange and cinnamon bark essential oils, but I also like to add clove, nutmeg or ginger to this combo for a warm, “holiday” scented candle. 

3. Rosemary & Cedarwood

This is a new favourite of mine. I really like the combo of rosemary and spruce or fir needle as I find it woodsy and manly. But I’ve recently discovered cedarwood essential oil and it’s one of my new all-time favourites. You can also mix a combination or rosemary, cedar wood and spruce or fir. These are all earthy, woodsy scents and they make a great combo if you’re looking for a more rugged, “manly” candle.

I’ve also started playing around with adding vanilla to my candles. Plant Therapy sells vanilla essential oil, which is what I use in mine. But it’s more like vanilla extract, so it doesn’t blend quite the same way.

You need to make sure it’s really well blended in your wax before pouring so it doesn’t “gather” at the bottom of your candle. But the vanilla does make the candles smell amazing. You could even try this with plain old vanilla extract that you have in your kitchen!

Of course, the possibilities are endless when it comes to essential oil combinations, so feel free to play around with different scents. If you’re not sure how certain oils will smell together, open the bottle of the oils you’re thinking of using a hold them all together and smell them in the bottles together. 

And of course, if you come up with some unique and delicious scent combinations, this homestead mama wants to know about them! Comment below, share on Instagram and tag me @thehouseandhomestead or post your recipes and any photos of your candles to our Facebook page!

P.S. Don’t forget to grab your printable labels and a copy of the Complete Guide to Candle-Making from my Free Resource Library!

I’ve included more in-depth information on candle-making as well as a trouble-shooting guide for common problems and printable labels to use on your own homemade candles. 

Wishing you homemade, homegrown, homestead happiness 🙂

 

 

 


CATEGORIES
HOMESTEADING
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NATURAL LIVING

20 Comments

  1. Aileen

    I’m just getting into candle making and this was so helpful, thanks so much for all the tips.

    Reply
    • Anna Sakawsky

      My pleasure:)

      Reply
  2. Gigi

    Hi! I’d using fragrance oils, how much would you use per lb?

    Reply
    • Anna Sakawsky

      I would stick with no more than 2 oz. of fragrance oils per pound of soy wax. Some sources recommend 1 oz. per pound, but I like mine scented a little stronger. Any more than that and you risk having “oily” candles as the ratio of fragrance oil to soy wax can be too high. But feel free to experiment! I have added up to 4 oz of fragrance oils per pound before. But I did find the tops a bit oily once cooled.

      Reply
  3. Kelly

    How did you attach the labels!

    Reply
    • Anna Sakawsky

      Hi Kelly,

      I use these sticky Kraft paper labels for mine, but you can also use paper and glue: https://amzn.to/2XStO76

      Reply
  4. Tammy Hutchins

    I’m just starting to research this topic. I want pretty colored candles but understand not using the dyes. I am wondering about the powdered food coloring they use in macaroons or even freeze dried berry powder. Would that work? Yes, I’m more of a baker but dip my hands in many crafts. Just looking for alternatives. This isn’t necessarily the brand I would use but an example with more information than the one I would use. https://www.amazon.com/Americolor-Powder-Food-Color-Black/dp/B006ZCPFPW

    Reply
    • Anna Sakawsky

      Hi Tammy,

      I don’t have experience working with powders like that so I can’t say for sure how they would turn out but it’s definitely worth a try!

      Reply
  5. Jacqueline Roth

    I was wondering how many tsp/TBL spoons 100 drops of essential oil would be. Thank You

    Reply
    • Anna Sakawsky

      Hi Jacqueline!

      While I’ve never measured it out myself, from the research I’ve done, 100 drops of essential oils equals approximately one teaspoon.

      Reply
  6. Melissa

    I was wondering if you could tell me where you get your fragrance oils at..like a link if possible..also I’m just getting into this and was wondering since u sell ur candles what do you charge ?

    Reply
    • Anna Sakawsky

      Hi Melissa,

      I actually get my fragrance oils from a local company close to where I live here in BC. It’s called Voyageur Soap & Candle Co. So I’m not sure where all they ship to, but here is the link: https://www.voyageursoapandcandle.com/

      As for what I charge, I had some candles for sale at a Christmas pop-up shop this past year and she had them on sale for $18. I got 60% of that, so $12. I think $18 was a bit high. I might have gone $16 for the 8oz candles and $10 for the 4oz if it were just me. I’m also in Canada if that matters! Hope that helps:)

      Reply
      • JackieT

        Just made these candles for the first time! It was fun and relaxing! Something to keep you zen during these difficult times. A little comforting light and soothing smell. I used Frasier Fir essential oil. ??

        Reply
        • Anna Sakawsky

          Yes! I love getting into little projects like this in stressful times. It really helps to refocus attention on something calming and productive at the same time.

          Reply
  7. Melia

    This was a great tutorial, thank you!! I was wondering, though, is it possible to add the oil individually to each jar if you want to do different scents? Some friends and I want to try this, but we all have different scent preferences.

    Reply
    • Anna Sakawsky

      Hi Melia,

      Yes you could probably add the individual oils to each candle and maybe just gently stir them in with a toothpick. Just be careful not to stir them too quickly as this can cause the wax to splash up on the jar and can introduce air bubbles which might affect how smooth your finished candle is. And of course you’ll want to add a lot less. I would probably add maybe 20 to 25 drops of essential oils per 8oz candle. The alternative would be to make one batch of candles with specific oils and pour one for everyone and then do another batch, etc. so that each person has one of each different scent to take home. I hope this helps! Let me know how they turn out:)

      Reply
    • Shona

      I am extremely new this and with all the research I have done I definitely want to go for the natural candles to make where could I connect with you more.

      Also was wondering if there are any more essential oils mixes you could recommend for my first collection please

      Reply
      • Anna Sakawsky

        Hi Shona,

        If you sign up for my Free Resource Library, there is a printable candle-making guide under the “Homesteading & Self-Sufficiency Resources” section that walks you through the candle-making process and has a bunch of recipes for essential oil combinations. It’s also got lots of great troubleshooting tricks and tips. PLUS, if you sign up for the Free Resource Library, you’ll get on my email list and will get to connect with me every week when I send out new content! (You can also reply to my emails and chat me anytime:) Heres the link to sign up: https://thehouseandhomestead.com/resource-library/

        Reply
  8. Asha shah

    Useful tutorial ,was searching.
    Thanks

    Reply
  9. Robyn

    A great tutorial! Can’t wait to try making them.

    Reply

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ABOUT ANNA
Hi! I’m Anna, and I’m a city girl turned modern homesteader who’s passionate about growing, cooking and preserving real food at home, creating my own herbal medicine and all-natural home and body care products, and working toward a simpler, more sustainable and self-sufficient life each and every day. 
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September is such an odd time of year. It’s the time of year when we tend to find ourselves with a foot in two worlds: A transition season, if you will.⁣

In the garden, some plants are dead or dying. There’s brown, crispy stems, dried pea pods bursting with next year’s seeds and a natural layer of mulch in the form of fallen leaves. But at the same time there’s still so much life. So much greenery and colour. So much of summer still left.⁣

Indoors we’re busy putting up the harvest, stocking our shelves with jars of colourful food, baskets of cured onions and garlic, dried herbs hanging everywhere and crocks of fermenting foods on every countertop. But while we’re still dealing with the summer bounty, fall has begun, which means we’re back to schedules and routines and, for those of us with kids, school.⁣

But this year our return to our “normal” fall routines is anything but. For many families, there is no return to school. Not in the traditional sense anyway. Instead, more families than ever before have found themselves educating their children at home for the first time, whether by force or by choice. And trying to balance all of the usual September tasks with navigating full-time homeschooling can feel daunting, to say the least.⁣

I know we can all use as much help and expert advice as we can get at this time, so I’m honoured to have Ginny Aaron, a full-time homeschooling, homesteading mom of three sharing her wisdom on the blog this week. She’s generously shared her best tips for incorporating homeschooling with your existing routine and finding the teachable moments in the every day so that you don’t need to uproot your life or find another 7 hours in your day to recreate a classroom environment at home.⁣

I just love Ginny’s approach to homeschooling and if you’re anything like me, I think you will too. You can check out her full post by clicking the link in my bio or go to https://thehouseandhomestead.com/homeschooling-on-the-homestead/

It’s also Ginny's first time guest posting so be sure to leave a comment while you’re there and let us know what school looks like for your family this year.⁣

Link in bio @thehouseandhomestead
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I’ve been feeling the weight of the world on my shoulders lately. Between balancing work and the garden and all of the canning and preserving tasks this time of year, I’ve already got enough on my plate. Add a string of social commitments, back-to-school and extracurricular activities, and I’m definitely feeling the pressure, as I usually do this time of year.⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣
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But lump on a pandemic, worsening political tensions, division and civil unrest, intensifying environmental disasters (we’re currently socked in with smoke from the California wildfires), and it all just becomes too much to bear some days.⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣
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I know I’m far from the only one who’s feeling this way. And yet, we all have to just keep putting one foot in front of the other and keep going even when we’re feeling stressed and overwhelmed and burnt out. Even when the present is frightening and the future is uncertain.⁣

I’ve developed some strategies over the past few years that have helped me keep moving forward and get things done even when I’m feeling overwhelmed and don’t know where to start, and I want to share them with others who need help coping with stress and overwhelm right now too.⁣⁣
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You can check out my list of 10 tips for managing stress and overwhelm on the homestead (and in life!) by clicking the link in my bio @thehouseandhomestead and then clicking the link to the full blog post at the top.⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣
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You can also grab my free time management planner by clicking the link in my bio and then clicking on “Free Resource Library,” (find it under “Homesteading & Self-Sufficiency Resources” in the library).⁣⁣⁣
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No matter what you’re struggling with right now, I hope some of these tips help keep you navigate these extra stressful times and stay focused and moving forward with your to-do list, as well as with your big goals and dreams. But most of all, I hope it reminds you that if you are struggling and feeling overwhelmed right now, you’re not alone.⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣
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Link in bio @thehouseandhomestead to read more.⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣
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I don’t think I have a jar big enough for this pickling cucumber 🥒 ⁣

What do you do with the huge pickling cukes that inevitably get missed in the garden??⁣

Please leave suggestions below! I’ve got two of ‘em! 😂
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#humanswhogrowfood #homesteadersofinstagram #mypickleisbiggerthanyours
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Late summer is truly the time of abundance (and by far the busiest time of year for us).⁣⁣⁣
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We’ve got so much food that’s ripe for the picking in our own garden, plus baskets full of produce that we purchase locally when it’s in season and preserve for the winter.⁣⁣⁣
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Between harvesting and preserving (and trying my best to document it all for you along the way), there’s little time for much else in August.⁣⁣⁣
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We’re busy sweating in the garden and the kitchen, working around the clock to preserve all of the fruits (and vegetables) of summer so that come winter we hunker down and relax knowing we’ve got a pantry full of food to sustain us.⁣⁣⁣
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While there have been more times than I like to admit when I’ve asked myself why we do this when we could be at the beach or floating down the river like everyone else, come winter I am ALWAYS grateful for the time and energy we invested in the spring, summer and fall to grow and preserve all of the food that lines our pantry shelves.⁣⁣⁣
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With everything that 2020 has brought so far (and more uncertainty to come), this year I’m feeling grateful even in the thick of it; Even while I’m sweating and pulling late night canning sessions and constantly scraping dirt out from under my nails. This year it’s more apparent than ever how much growing and preserving our own food is worth the time and effort that it takes.⁣⁣⁣
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If you feel the same way and you’re looking to get even better at gardening, preserving and homesteading in general, or maybe you’re finally ready to start living a more sustainable lifestyle where YOU have control over your food supply, I highly encourage you to check out the Gardening & Sustainable Living Bundle (link in bio @thehouseandhomestead). It’s packed with almost $600 worth of resources designed to help you take control of your food security and live a more self-sufficient life, and it’s on sale today only for just $19.99!⁣

If you ask me, we would all be wise to invest in our own food security as we head into fall and winter 2020, so click the link in my bio @thehouseandhomestead to grab your bundle now. The sale ends tonight at midnight so don’t wait!!
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