How to make soy candles at home with essential oils is one of the easiest ways to make candles. My kitchen is one of my favorite places to escape to. I love that it’s a space where I’m able to create things with my own two hands; Real, tangible, useful, nourishing things like meals made from scratch.
I love that I’m my own boss in the kitchen. Nobody’s there breathing down my neck telling me how to do things or criticizing me for doing it wrong. I’m not afraid to make mistakes, to take my time, to try new things and to be creative.
It was this love for creating things myself that first led me to teach myself how to cook, and eventually led to me making all sorts of other kitchen creations like soaps, scrubs, lotions, cleaning products and candles. I may not be a talented seamstress or a natural at knitting, but if I can throw a bunch of ingredients together and whip up a concoction in my kitchen, I’m all over that.
Adventures in Candle-Making
Candles were actually the very first non-food product that I ever created in my home kitchen. I had wanted to try making them for a while before I decided to go for it. I've always had a slight candle obsession, but buying them from the store was becoming a pretty expensive hobby.
I figured I could make my own candles for a fraction of the cost, which was true, however it did take a bit of an investment up front in order to get all of the supplies I needed. So I put it off for years until I finally decided it was time.
It was almost Christmas and we had ambitiously decided to make all of our own Christmas gifts for the first time in order to save money and give gifts from the heart. I had done some research and it seemed like soy wax was the way to go. For one, soy is a safe and natural wax like beeswax, but makes a nice white, odorless candle. While I do love beeswax, I wanted to be able to add fragrance to my candle without it being overpowered by the scent of the beeswax itself.
On the other hand, paraffin wax is a big no-go for me as it’s a petroleum product, which I don’t want burning in my home. So I settled on organic soy wax and ordered my first 2-lb. bag along with a melting pot and some wicks. Well, I was hooked after the very first batch that I made and decided to place another order, this time for a 50-lb. box. We made candles for all of our friends and family that year and the rest, as they say, is history.
I’ve been through many 50-lb. boxes of wax since then, and we now have a tradition of making candles to give as gifts every Christmas. I even had a small side business selling my soy candles at craft markets for a while.
Essential Oils vs. Fragrance Oils: The Pros & Cons for Candle Making
I had always made my candles with fragrance oils, which are synthetic. This is definitely the most economical way by far to make a scented candle as you only need a little bit of fragrance oil to really be able to smell it and how to make strong scented candles.
But as I began learning more about essential oils and their health benefits, I started to realize that I should try using essential oils in my candles rather than synthetic fragrances to truly create a safe, healthy and all-natural final product.
I began to experiment with different oils and scent combinations and play around with different amounts and ratios. I realized very quickly that you need to add A LOT of essential oil in order to be able to smell it at all. Therefore, I also realized that it’s best to find an essential oil company with reasonable prices so that you don’t break the bank every time you make batch of candles.
We are homesteaders, right? Yes, safe and natural products are important, but so is frugality.
My first piece of advice for anyone who wants to use essential oils in homemade candles is to find an essential oil company or supplier that offers good value for money. And be prepared to use what seems like an excessive amount of oils in your candles! From my research and experience, this is normal.
Our favorite essential oil company for both quality and price is Plant Therapy. They have excellent safety instructions on each bottle as well as free shipping. You can grab a few of our favorite essential oils in this easy starter kit for less than $20.
My second piece of advice is to think about what combinations of essential oils would compliment each other and then purchase a mix of basic oils that you can combine to make different blends.
Favorite essential oil soy candle recipe combinations:
But there are so many great combinations. It’s really a matter of personal preference, as well as what health benefits you’re hoping to reap from the oils.
Always do your research when it comes to using essential oils. This will help you decide which ones best suit your needs. Plant Therapy has a Kid Safe seal and guide letting you know on each oil if it's safe for use with children.
How much essential oil to add to candles
I have found through much testing, that you will want to add a minimum of about 100 drops of essential oil for every pound of wax.
Yes, you read that correctly. Since I make my candles in 2-lb. batches, I add roughly 200 drops of essential oils to each batch of wax. Even with this much essential oil in your candle, you can still expect a pretty mild fragrance once candle wax has set.
Expect 20 drops of essential oil per ml.
I’m not actually sure why the scent of essential oils is so mild in soy candles. I have always used top quality oils but have also always struggled with getting a really fragrant candle. But if you enjoy a really mild fragrance, this might be perfect for you. You could always add more. I can’t personally bring myself to try using 200 drops per pound. But I suppose you could.
How to Make Candles in a Jar (your jar options)
- clean out old glass jars from other candles
- coffee mugs
- tea cups
- drinking glasses
- Mason jars- all shapes and sizes
My very favorite thing to use though, is a good ol’ Mason jar, because Mason jar soy candles are the best of both worlds. Mason jars make perfect jars for soy candles and come in all shapes and sizes. I’ve made candles in every size Mason jar from a 4-oz jelly jar to a quart jar. I like pint and half-pints the best:)
The other great thing about using Mason jars is that they come with lids, which is perfect for sticking a pretty label on and makes a beautiful gift. I’ve included a link to a free download of the labels I use on my own candles so you can print them off and use them too.
Learn how to make beeswax candles in Mason jars in Hand Made: the Modern Guide to Made-from-Scratch Living
How to Make Scented Soy Candles with Essential Oils
- soy wax flakes or pellets
- essential oils (a few different types if possible)
- wicks (make sure you get hemp wicks like these without any zinc, lead or metal & coated with beeswax)
- 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 or double boiler
- Digital kitchen scale (I've had this one for years and use it for all my candle, soap, and balm making)
- Wooden spoon or dowel for mixing
- Kitchen thermometer (this infrared point and shoot thermometer is all I use for soap and candle making)
- Customized labels
How to Make Candles at Home
- Prepare your jars. If repurposing old jars, make sure they are clean and dry.
- Measure out your wax. I recommend weighing wax with a digital kitchen scale. An average pouring pot is made for 2 lbs. of wax, so I make my candles in 2-lb. batches. Tare the pouring pot first. This should reset the scale to 0. then fill with wax until the scale reads 2 lbs. (or until you’ve reached desired weight).
- 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 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.
You want the wax to cool down to between 130ºF and 120ºF before proceeding for a couple reasons: First, if the wax is too hot it can burn off some of the essential oils before they have a chance to set.
Second, if you pour the wax while it’s still too hot, it can cause it to bubble up and create holes and dips in the top of your candle, or it can pull away from the glass if it cools too quickly. For these reasons it’s better to wait for it to cool down before adding your oils and pouring your candles.
4. While it’s cooling down, start preparing your wicks. First, mix up some of the essential oils you are using in a shallow dish or tray (I like using the top of a Mason jar lid (without the band)). Blend the oils together and then drag your wicks through the oil so that the wicks absorb the oils. This was suggested to me and I do think this helps a bit with fragrance.
After soaking your wicks with essential oils, dip them in the wax to coat them completely. I usually dip them all once and then dip them all again to double coat them. Lay wicks on a paper towel or parchment paper and allow them to dry. Once dry, glue wicks to the inside bottom of jars. Place wick holders on to keep wicks upright and centered. Then get ready to pour.
Once your wax has cooled down to 130ºF, it’s time to add your essential oils. Mix them with the wax by stirring with a wooden dowel or spoon that you don’t mind dedicating to candle-making.
Tip: Always wipe off your wooden mixing tool with a papers towel immediately after it’s been in the wax. This makes it easy to keep clean.
5.Allow wax to cool to roughly 130ºF. Once cooled, add in essential oils. You’ll want to add about 100 drops of essential oils for every pound of wax.
I like combinations like Lemon, Lavender & Bergamot (use 50 drops of lemon and 50 drops of lavender, plus 10 drops of Bergamot for every 1 lb. of wax), or Rosemary, Eucalyptus & Tea Tree (50 drops of Rosemary, 50 drops of Eucalyptus and 10 drops of Tea Tree). Mix in essential oils using a wooden spoon or mixing tool.
6.Pour wax slowly into prepared jars. Allow to cool completely before moving. Trim wicks to desired length, put custom labels on your jars and voilà!
Enjoy your candles, whether you are giving or receiving them!
Click here to access and download my free soy wax candle labels.
The large labels fit a wide-mouth lid perfectly and the small ones fit a regular Mason jar lid. I like to print mine on brown kraft label paper, but you can print them on any colour label paper you like, or simply print them on regular paper and use a glue stick to stick the labels on.
That’s all, folks! These candles make a seriously awesome gift for any occasion, and they make having a candle obsession a much healthier, more affordable habit. Now you too can enjoy saving money, stocking up, creating a beautiful gift and reaping the health benefits of essential oils with candles made in your own kitchen with a few simple ingredients. It’s literally as easy as pie;)
There you have it my friends, how to make soy candles at home with essential oils. Which scent combo are you tackling first?
I highly recommend Eden’s Garden for your essential oils. I compared quite a few of the oils from the Plant Therapy website to those on Eden’s Garden, and Eden’s Garden was always cheaper. Their oils are all therapeutic grade and are excellent!
JULIE ELISABETH ACKLEY
I LOVE Edens Garden. Only place I will buy my oils from.
The link you provided to “access and download my free soy wax candle labels” takes you to The House and Homestead website. I was unable to find a link on there to download the labels.
The candle labels are in my resource library on The House & Homestead website. I am a guest writer for Melissa but figured I would link to my resource library for anyone who would like to access the label tamplate I use. The resource library is password protected so it does require you to put your email address in to get the password. I will continue to add to my library so it’s easier than emailing each resource separately. Once you’re in you have access to everything in there. I checked the link and it seems to be working. Let me know if you have any more trouble and I’m happy to help!
I’m trying to find the Resource library you mentioned above print labels, but can’t figure out where to find it? Could you post a link? Or send it to my email? I’d really appreciate it!
I’ve never heard of Eden’s Garden. I’ll have to check them out!
Can you email me those directions for making candels
Rachel Rose Mercantile
Great info! Thank you!
Will the wicks you suggested work for pint size jars are they tall enough
Yes, they’ll work in a pint size jar but not a quart. 🙂
Is there anywhere to buy the soy wax besides Amazon?
You could check your local craft stores.
I’m new to candle making and found candlescience.com. I’ve used their 464 soy wax and am waiting for their other 2 soy wax brands so I can try them.
Melissa: What wicks do you find to burn the best, leaving the appropriate melt pool? Assuming used for a standard mason jar.
I am the one who actually wrote this article so I will reply with my best answer for you regarding wicks.
I typically order from a local Canadian company (as I’m in B.C.) so I am able to order wicking by the foot to cut costs a bit. But I checked on CandleScience and found the same wicking that I use in prepared form. I use and recommend the HTP Series candle wicks. I like the braided wick and I find these wicks to be the perfect width to burn evenly in Mason jars without creating a deep melting pool. My candles tend to burn evenly which utilizes all of the wax rather than some thinner wicks that I’ve tried that melt a pool of wax in the middle of the candle but leave lots of unmelted wax along the outside.
I also like the cotton/paper interwoven mix in these wicks and find they burn better than the ones I’ve tried with a paper, zinc or cotton core. But that may just be my preference.
I hope this helps! Try the HTP series and let me know what your think!
Michaels craft store usually carries soy wax and has excellent candlemaking supplies
You can buy soy wax from Hobbcraft stores
Hi there, thanks so much for your post. I am going to try the lemon lavender and bergamot combo in soy wax. Is any colouring needed? Does this combo of oils cause any discolouring to the soy wax? Many thanks! Heather
No colouring is needed. I have tried using wax colouring before but I find that when I burn coloured candles they tend to leave black soot around the jars and on anything that is too close to the candles when I burn them, so I have stopped using any colourants. I prefer the white candles anyway and they are more natural without added colourants:)
As for the oils causing any discolouring, another great thing about using essential oils is that they don’t discolour the candles. I have used some fragrance oils that have discoloured candles in the past turning them an off-white colour with a hint of pink or orange, etc. But I have never had any issues with essential oils discolouring the wax.
I hope this helps! Let me know how they turn out!
Hi Scott, Anna has great tips and this is her post, but I’ve found these to burn well for me with normal (not wide mouth) Mason jars. http://amzn.to/2GMs6t0
hi, thanks for making this post! I definetly want to make soy candles with essential oils, not fragrance oils. this may seem like a silly question but – Do the prepped wicks come with some sort of sticker or glue on the bottom or did you use a hot glue gun or…ive noticed the place I’m planning to buy them from doesn’t specify this.
I use a hot glue gun myself.
Hi I would like to start making soy wax candles with essential oils. I have been reading about different soy waxes with many different opinions, on the 444 or the 464 etc. some that say the wax has soot or it bubbles or it smells like vinegar. Can you please recommend the best soy wax to use in a glass or tin jar, and best company to purchase from. I would appreciate it. Thank you , Pam
Thank you so very much for your very thorough instructions! I love the additional information about dragging the wick through the essential oils and then also to coat the wicks with the wax. I also appreciate the links that you include as it makes it so easy to find what is needed! 🙂
What Sox wax do you prefer? I live in the States and not sure where to buy or what brand of Sox wax to purchase.
I use a brand called EcoSoya CB-Advanced Soy Wax. I order mine from a local online supplier but I have found the same brand on Amazon so you could order it there. Otherwise you could check your local craft supply store and they might be able to help you out:)
Wendy, this wax has really good ratings and is what I have on order to make candles for Christmas this year https://amzn.to/2ywIOdC *affiliate link
Great article! I’ve always wanted to try candlemaking, and this article makes it feel really approachable. I feel a little silly asking this, but have you ever added dried fruit, flowers, or spices to the melted wax as decoration?
I’ve tried spices, it’s really hard to keep them from settling at the bottom. I haven’t done flowers or dried fruit, I’d worry about the dried flowers catching in the flame.
I am late to this party but this is *exactly* what happens. Friend of mine, to whom I gifted a purchased handmade candle with petals in it, lost her mirrored tray when the petals caught fire and the heat seeped through the jar and cracked the mirror. I now know to be super careful with the similar one I bought for myself.
I don’t know about candles, but I’ve been told you shouldn’t put dried fruit in soap because it could rot. I don’t know if it is the same for candles or not.
About how many candles were you able to make from the 2 lb bag?
I usually get 4 8-oz jars (Jam jar sized) or 8 4-oz jars (jelly jars).
April K Hunter
I’m a candlemaker and have worked exclusively with soy for many years. The reason it takes SO much essential oil to scent a candle is that they do not do well with heat at all. While essential oils are FANTASTIC in soaps and lotions, most will burn off at the temperature you need the fragrance to bind with the soy wax (after it hits about 200 F and cools down between 185-180 F…185 is where you add scent, then stir for at least 2 mins.)
I’ve found a good compromise: Fragrance AND essential oils. For a hot scent throw, use the fragrance oil (IE: eucalyptus and peppermint) at 183 F. Once it cools to pouring temps (140 F) add in the essential oils of the SAME scent and you’ll have a great cold throw, too.
Now you have a candle that smells fantastic whether it’s burning or just sitting next to you. 🙂
Thanks for the cool blogs!
I noticed you said you chose “organic soy wax”. I hate to be the bearer of bad news but there is no such things as organic soy wax. Even the manufacturers of soy wax will tell you that organic soy wax is not possible. 1) there are not organic beans to produce wax and 2) the chemical process of turning the beans into wax would disqualify it as an organic product even if the original beans were organic. They do note they remove the GMO part of the plant during processing but that does not make it organic. Many like to claim their soy candles are organic because it makes great label appeal but sadly that’s all it is- marketing. I dont know if Plant Therapy oils are certified organic, but since EOs can be certified and there are many brands out there, that is certainly somewhere to make sure to choose organic.
Thanks so much for this article Anna!
Brilliant info on how much essential oil is needed (which is what I was specifically searching for) and very informative generally. Great tips, like letting the wicks absorb the essential oils first. Thanks again ?
nice site good ideas
I was curious about where you order your 100% organic soy wax since I was concerned about the GMO soy crops and the hexane used to process the soybeans.
this blog is so informative & anyone can make soy candles by following this blog. thanks for sharing this with all..
Have you every thought about measuring the oils by weight instead of arbitrary”drops”?
Susana Aspiazu Pauw
Awesome post, thank you! You might want to consider the flash point for each essential oil – if the flash point is too low, the essential oil will evaporate when mixed with melted wax. That can be the reason for the mild scent!
I like how you elaborated on how making your own candles is a fraction fo the cost of buying premade. My sister loves candles and spends quite a bit of money on them at the store. I will tell her about your advice on making your own candles because it is cheaper. Thanks for sharing these tips on candle making.
Could you use actual herbs etc to provide your scents? IE, puting orange peels in the soy wax as you are making it then draining them out when you are at the cooling stage? Or perhaps grinding dried orange peels up and adding them? (Orange peels just the first example off the top of my head. Any scent you wanted could work, lavender petals, rose petals, bergamot tea, etc)
The herbs aren’t going to throw scent unfortunately. Just like when you make infused oil with herbs the oil doesn’t have a strong herb scent.
I just made mine and the turned out beautiful. Thank you
So much. I haven’t burned them yet so I’m praying they smell strong and wonderful ?. I make a Citrus Bergamot ❤️ In the 1/2 Pint Jelly Jars. Love your Tutorial/Blog ?
I poured in jars at 135ish and Perfect!!!!!!
Nice work! I bet they smell amazing.
Thank you for this guide! I’ve question… If I were to just use fragrance oils do you have any recommendations for a brand?
Thank you so much, your website has been really helpful. I’ve been experimenting with essential oils in soy wax and some of the problems I have been experiencing were tackled here. I shall definitely follow your advice.
you say “Expect 20 drops of essential oil per ml.”
1 cup imp is 284 mL, so would that be 5,680 drops per cup of wax?
I truly enjoyed your site! You are very informative & you answered my questions on soy candle making that I can’t wait to try!
Btw, maybe you should put your own kit together…I would definitely buy from you!
Hello…I am new to the candle making and I am enjoying the art ! I ham having an issue with using color chips in the soy wax. I am getting a thin white film when unmolding the melts. Can you tell me what I am doing wrong ?? I make sure wax is up to the right temp when adding fragtraqnce and color.
I am very new to using essential oils to scent candles. I have found several combos to mix for infuser but not sure how to adjust the mix for candles. Do you have something on your site or is there somewhere I can look I haven’t found yet? Ex: 2 2 2 1 is the mix for infuser. How do I translate that for candles lol
Hey there, about how many oz./candles would you say you get out of 1-2lbs of wax?
How do you print those labels please?
Thank you for the informative post. How do you decide on the combination (ie. number of drops) for the different essential oils? In your examples above, you have stated combinations like Lemon, Lavender & Bergamot (use 50 drops of lemon and 50 drops of lavender, plus 10 drops of Bergamot for every 1 lb. of wax) – how did you come to decide on this amount for each type of essential oil, do you have a site where this could be listed? Thank you
Thanks for the information on candle making. I a reply about coloring and soot. Now, I know why I smelled soot coming from my candles. It’s not a pleasant smell. You saved me a ton of effort and money.
Thanks for the information on candle making. I a reply about coloring and soot. Now, I know why I smelled soot coming from my candles. It’s not a pleasant smell. You saved me a ton of effort and money.
I’ve just started to try to make my own candles, I’ve bought all of my supplies from Amazon including wooden wicks, here is my problem I hope you can advise me as to what I’m doing wrong.. when I light my wooden wicks the burn to the point where the finally reach my soy wax candle then the go out, like the melted soy isn’t burning it’s just pooling and putting out the flame.. what am I doing wrong, should I be treating the wicks in the oils an melted soy before I poor the melted soy into my candle jar??
Just wanted to say thank you for sharing advice on using essential oils with soy wax. So much more helpful than the usual ‘6-10%’ advice which is difficult to work out in the small quantities necessary to experiment with, when starting out. Your explanation was much more practical!
Candles with rings inside are becoming a popular gift choice for many different occasions. They are often given as wedding or anniversary gifts, but can also be used as party favors or decorations.