DIY: Scented Soy Candles – Perfect Wedding Favors
My first DIY as Jenn Heller Design Co! Feels good to be back in the saddle again. This one is a great way to kick things off!
What you’ll need:
- Wax chips (I used this brand)
- Vessel to melt wax chips (I bought this aluminum pitcher, to avoid getting wax in my measuring cups and to let me melt the wax in bulk! You can also use a glass measuring cup like this one that can withstand heat, but be cautious if the handle can heat up too.) Also an excellent choice to find stuff like this: Goodwill! Just make sure to clean it all first, since you dont want random additives in your wax.
Container for finished candles
- I used these metal tins that seem perfect for favors, but you can use lots of things here! Mason jars, wine bottles that you’ve cut open – any container that won’t be damaged by the heat. You can also use larger canister-style containers for large candles.
- Wicks – make sure you get some appropriate to your container size! For my tins, I bought these 6” ones, and they were unnecessarily tall! I’ll be getting the 3.5” version next time.
- Chopsticks or wick centering devices – if you’re making a ton, splurge for the centering thing. If you’re making 1 to try it out, use chopsticks. I bought the centering tool since I plan to make a bunch, so you’ll see it in the photos.
- Essential Oils or Scent Additive of your choice! I love this brand of essential oils and use them for many homemade cleaning products.
- Pot with water for melting wax, and optional metal cookie cutter (see instructions.)
- Optional: Labels! The candle tins I used will take a 2” or 2 ¼” round circle perfectly. I have formatted your freebie design sheet for these circular labels but I’ve also provided the images as jpegs so you can make your own. Multiple formats are available at the end of the post.
A note about craft store goods: You can find a lot of the tools/gear for making candles at larger craft chain stores. I would be happy to use their tools but generally more wary about their raw materials like wax chips and ESPECIALLY their scents, as they might contain low quality stuff that you don’t want to be breathing in.
One of my favorite things to come up with DIYs for are wedding favors, for a number of reasons. The first is that what to do about favors seem to be an uncomfortable choice for couples unless they have a great idea for a personal choice, and that translates to awkwardness for your guests too! Edibles are great but can be a problem due to a growing awareness of food allergies. I also love a favor that does double duty as a décor item for you, because if you’re spending the money you should get bang for your buck! The other day I realized I had a perfect DIY on my hands that could be an awesome wedding favor – scented candles!
Candles are super easy to make yourself, and with just a touch of essential oils you can enjoy a scented candle that is not only nice to smell, but has the benefits of aromatherapy without extra crazy chemicals! As favors, buying the components in bulk makes them reasonably inexpensive as well, and your rooms will smell amazing for a while after you make them.
Let’s get started! To make a scented candle you need 4 things, at the most basic level: a container for the candle, a wick, wax, and scented oil. I’d also recommend an inexpensive dedicated container for melting the wax, as it would be annoying to clean it well enough afterwards to use for cooking, etc. I like the one I bought, linked above, for a few reasons: the handle doesn’t get hot, it holds a ton of wax and transfers the heat quickly through the lightweight aluminum, and the depth of the pitcher prevents bubbling water during the melting process from getting into your wax.
First, figure out how much wax you need per container and start it melting. A good rule of thumb is that you’ll need twice the volume in wax chips to fill the container once it’s melted, but I found I needed slightly less than that. Dump the wax into your melting container and bring it to your stove, and note the rough volume so you can use a consistent amount of scent later.
You don’t really want your melting pitcher resting directly on the bottom of your saucepan (and if you’re using aluminum, it will float in almost any amount of water) but I read a genius tip online that suggested holding it off the bottom of the pan with a cookie cutter. Put your cookie cutter in the bottom of a pot and fill it with water to just over the level of the cutter. Place your melting vessel on the cookie cutter and turn the heat on your stove burner to medium-low. Occasionally swirl the container to get the melted wax to break up the pieces.
While your wax is melting, set up your containers with wicks. Pro tip learned the hard way – if you stick the wick base to your container using a tiny amount of hot glue, it will make the process of centering the wick easier! If you use a dedicated wick centering device like I’m showing, rest the device over your container and slide the wick into the center tab to keep it secure. To use chopsticks or pencils, tape them together at one end with about 1/16” gap and slide the wick between them. (This photo is 100% taken to show my bulldog tape dispenser. You’re welcome.) You need your wick centered in the container to help your candle burn evenly.
When your wax is ready, it will be all liquid – swirl the vessel to eliminate any last tiny solids. Now it’s time to add the scent! Take your wax off the heat and let is rest for a minute or two to cool down slightly – if it starts to look opaque and white around the edges, it’s too cool and you need to give it another minute or two on the heat. Add essential oils per your personal taste and the strength of your oil. I find a softer scent like lemon, orange, and bergamot needs more oil where rosemary, lavender, and clove can get really in your face in a hurry! 10 drops per 8 oz wax is a decent ballpark, but add slowly and adjust in later batches if needed.
Make sure your containers are in a spot where they can be undisturbed for an hour or two, then pour in the wax. You want it to be able to dry slowly – it will start to look opaque as it dries, and will eventually finish as a nice soft white. After a few hours I find it’s safe to move the container and trim the wick to ¼” above the wax line, and then I put the lids on and leave them to harden at least 24hrs.
If you find the surface of your candle is cracked or a bit uneven, use a hair dryer to heat the surface for a few seconds to smooth it out.
Now you’re ready to decorate the candle container however you like! I’ve shown some examples including the free printables below. Happy candlemaking!
For the labels, I used full sheet labels and cut out circles for the tops using my 2 1/4″ circle cutter, because those are tools I already owned. Each link below contains two PDF pages – one for the circle designs designed for Avery 22807 2″ circles, and one sheet for the rectangles, which you could print on any other brand of full-sheet label. Keep in mind that the 22807 circles are a gloss finish, so you’ll want your full sheet labels to match!
Click here to download just the images to make your own labels!
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