I absolutely adore candles, but I’ve been using them so much lately that they all just about ran out and I couldn’t bring myself to buy more. $40 a pop is a lot – especially when trying to save for an overseas trip – and not something I could justify right now. So upon recommendation from some clever friends, I decided to give candle making a good crack. Here’s why you should too.
1. Candles are awesome. (duh!)
I don’t know about you, but I find candles to be instant mood-setters. The place looks prettier, smells nicer and my mind and body use it as a cue to switch into to wind down mode. If you want to give your space an instant makeover, they are the quickest, easiest way to do it. Candles for the win!
2. Store bought candles are crazy expensive – these aren’t
While I’m a huge fan of candles, I’m not a huge fan of the price-tag. I’m not saying they’re a rip off (well, the bulk made, non-soy ones are) but with how quickly I go through them, I need them to be more affordable. This was my answer. Because if they cost a quarter of the price, I can have four times as many! Right? RIGHT?!
3. They’re perfect to stash away in your gift drawer
Strapped for cash and don’t know what to buy your bestie (the one who already has EVERYTHING) for her birthday? Um, hello – who doesn’t love receiving a gift handmade with love? And one that doesn’t cost you a fortune = double win.
4. Making stuff is therapeutic and good for the soul
I struggle with the whole “mindfulness” thing. Normally I have 20 different things racing through my head, most of them future based, completely unrelated to what I’m doing at that given moment. However when I started making the candles, all I could do was focus on that, and it felt amazing!
5. They’re like little trophies for your mantle
This may sound silly, but every time I see my pretty little candles sitting on my shelves, I do a little, “YASSS, I did that” fist pump. It’s not every day I make something from scratch – let alone something functional AND pretty – so there’s a nice little dose of satisfaction that comes with seeing the finished product.
How to make your own soy candles
I was sent to candlemaking.com.au to buy my kit. They have an impressive range, the prices seem fair, and best of all, they provide tons of instructional videos etc, so even a total noob (me) wouldn’t get overwhelmed.
From the website I bought:
- 6 kilos of soy wax (EcoSoya to be exact)
- 10 Wood Wicks (9mm)
- 250mL Vanilla Caramel scent
- 50mL Fresh Linen scent
- 500mL Container Maker
- 4 Large Glass Containers
All up I spent $110 including shipping. Plus another $19 at Big W for the big pot and thermometer (you don’t want to use your usual cooking ones as the wax can be a pain to wash off). I also had 2 empty jars from my old WoodWick candles that I washed (took ages!) Oh, and I had some sticky tabs that I used for the metal wick holders – these are important so the wicks don’t float away once you pour the wax in.
The wax melting part was pretty easy. You just need 2 large pots (one with water in it, the other sits inside so the wax melts gently… like when you melt cooking chocolate) and a thermometer to keep an eye on the temperature so you add the container maker and scent at the right time. I ended up using 2 kilos of wax after a poor job of calculating how much my jars would take. Thankfully I didn’t waste any, but I ended up with 6 vanilla/caramel candles as it was quite a lot of wax!
Once it’s all melted and you’ve added your container maker (apparently it helps the wax behave better in the glass jars) and scent, you let it cool a bit and then the fun (aka potentially messy) part begins! Warning: cover your benches before you do ANY of this! I just used baking paper… could have done with a bit more though. Oops.
Once they’re poured, it’s just a matter of waiting. They recommend a minimum of 12 hours and then if they’ve “sunken” a bit, you can melt a bit more wax to top it up. (Um, can I be bothered? No!) Thankfully other than a couple of tiny bubble looking things, mine stayed nice and flat.
The next morning they were all set and it was just a matter of trimming the wicks (bit awkward as I didn’t have any pliers) and taking one last photo!
They turned out better than I expected. The only bummer was the scent, as it wasn’t quite what I was hoping for (I’m obsessed with the Peter Alexander Glasshouse candles but this doesn’t smell like their Vanilla/Caramel). It’s still very pretty, but I’ll try a different one next time and definitely use a bit more of it (I probably used about 65-70mL per kilo, but you can use up to 80mL).
No, they’re not perfect, but they’re a damn good alternative. My (VERY) rough calculation says that these only cost about $6.60 per candle — and that’s including the jars that only need purchasing once. Oh and these are massive, too. Those large jars are over 500mL meaning they’re going to take ages to burn. In other words, these are the best value for money candles I’ve ever seen! And so easy. Even if you’re not a crafty person, you’ll be able to handle this. So give it a go! What have you got to lose?
Are you someone who loves DIY or would you rather spend the money and save some time? I’d love to hear your stories plus any suggestions for future projects I should try! Thanks for reading x