how to make your own candles. Seven steps, with pictures.

lemongrass, peppermint, black diamond…

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You will find different ways of doing this, I’m going to tell you the cheapest way, which is just as good, or, dare I say, better.

To begin, here’s a list of things that you will need, and where you can buy them.

  • Soy wax; have a look on Gumtree for a good deal. I was lucky enough to buy 6kgs for $25, (remember Gumtree is always negotiable!). If you don’t find anything on there, eBay is another good option. Make sure you scroll through a few different sellers and get an idea of how much you pay per kg. It’s your first time, don’t go nuts, 1kg is plenty.
  • Cups for your candles. If you’re using glass, make sure the glass is thick, otherwise it will crack once alight.
  • Wax crayons for colour; don’t buy anything fancy, the cheapest kind will do the trick.
  • 100% cotton string (which will become your wick).
  • Snap Fasteners. They look like metal buttons that you can pull apart. Buy these at the dollar shop, they will probably be near the sewing section.
  • Essence; most dollar shops have these. Buy the larger bottles if possible. For 4 standard cup-size candles, you should buy 2 larger bottles . There are much stronger smelling options that give your candles a nicer hit of freshness, if you are willing to pay the price and have time to wait for arrival, search for this online.
  • A wok and a glass bowl. The glass bowl must be big enough to sit inside the wok with 2.5-3cm of space between. See pictures below.
  • A pouring jug. The longer the snout, the better. Wax can be tricky to pour…
  • Sticky tape.
  • Vaseline.

Tip: Visit your local op shop to find the perfect cups for your candles.



ONE: Make your wicks.

Believe it, this is the hardest part.

Cut three pieces of string evenly. Cut each piece so that you have about 6 centimetres of extra length when comparing it to the size needed for your candle cup. You will be able to trim this at the end of the process.

Tightly plat 3 pieces of your string together. Knot each end. Make sure you leave some excess string at the end of one side. Twist another piece of string all the way down the plat (ask someone to hold it as you twist).

Now, where you left the excess string at the end, you will need to tie another knot, leaving a loop which you will use to clip the snap fastener to.

Once you have clipped the snap fastener into the loop, apply Vaseline to the plat, place your wick on a piece of paper, and put it into the fridge to express dry.

Your wick should not be floppy. The twist around the plat should have given it enough strength to stand straight, and once the Vaseline dries around it, it should be even stronger.


TWO: Prepare your cardboard.

This part is easy. Get some cardboard from the kitchen cupboard and cut small diamonds in the centre of each piece.

The diamonds must be big enough to fit the wick through, and the cardboard must be wide enough to sit on top of your candle cups.

You will later use this to hold your wick in place while the wax sets.


THREE: Melt the wax!

Pour hot tap water into your wok (below the half way point), and place your glass bowl on top. The bowl should be floating in the water.

You can now add the soy wax into the empty glass bowl. For one standard candle you will need roughly two and a half cups of wax.

You can add the colour/crayon that you would like straight away. Make sure you snap the crayon into a couple of pieces.

The colour will come out much lighter to what it appears whilst in the bowl.

Stir, stir, stir. And poke at that crayon until it melts.

FOUR: Prepare your cups.

Whilst the wax melts, use a bit of sticky tape to stick your snap fastener to the bottom of the candle cup.

Make sure the string is centred. Do not worry if the staple is not centred, it is more important for your string to be centred.


FIVE: Make it smell yummy.

Add the essence to the melted wax and give it a few more stirs. You should add half of the 50ml bottle to the wax as this will give it a nice, strong smell. Mixing the oils is perfectly fine, just remember to add equal amounts to create a good blend of smells.


SIX: Pour and secure.

With two hand towels, lift the glass bowl out of the wok, and pour the wax into the measuring jug. It’s a good idea to do this over the sink.

Without delay, pour the wax into your cups. Leave about a centimetre from the top.

Place the bits of cardboard that you prepared earlier over the top of your candles. Make sure the wick is centred, you can use the diamonds cut into the cardboard to help you move the wick to its position.


SEVEN: Leave it to set, and do not touch!

Leave it to set, and do not move or touch it as this will create cracks around the wick.

Do not put your candles in the fridge to dry. Leave them on the counter for a 48 hours before lighting.

Snip the wicks to the correct length once the wax is 100% set.

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