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!
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?