soy candle tutorial + labels

soy candle tutorial + labels

as promised last week on instagram, i’m excited to share with you a little soy candle tutorial! i’m by no means an expert, but i usually make a large batch of candles each year for christmas and try to make enough extras to last david and i for the rest of the year. many moons ago (before i started going home to roost!) i even did a few craft shows selling nothing but soy candles. they’re surprisingly easy to make and super fun!

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first of all let’s discuss: why soy?

– soy wax is natural, renewable, non-toxic and biodegradable (paraffin is made from crude oil, which is not renewable).
– soy wax burns longer at a cooler temperature than paraffin wax.
– soy wax produces less soot than paraffin wax- pure soy wax could be used to cook with or as massage oil (though i’m not recommending either)!
– soy wax cleans up easily with warm water- no worries about clothes, countertops or hands.

soy candle tutorial

next let’s talk about supplies. many of the specialty supplies are nice to have but can be substituted with household items which i’ve outlined below. i’ve always used candle science for my supplies, but know that you can shop any candle supplier you like!


– soy wax – i like to use golden brands 464. how much wax do you need? 1 pound (20oz) of wax will fill 16oz worth of of containers – for example, 2-8oz containers or 4-4oz containers, etc.

hot burner – you can also use a stove top, but a hot burner will come in handy when you’re not making candles in your kitchen, or you’d like to keep the wax hot right where you’re working.

pouring pitcher – you can also use a regular pot, but make sure it pours well. the last thing you want is hot wax leaking all over everything while you pour!

wick bars – you’ll use these to hold your wick in place as the wax cools. i think you could also rig something yourself (maybe with clothes pins?), but they are inexpensive and nice to have.

candle containers: for this post i’ve used medium straight sided jar with gold lids. i’ve also thrift shopped for glass containers of all kinds! the only thing i’ve noticed is that when containers get smaller at the top than at the bottom, the wax usually hardens with holes and gaps. i usually just have to finish the tops again to make them smooth, which isn’t a huge deal but kind of time consuming.

fragrance – here i’ve used cinnamon, blue spruce and pine cones (yum!). 1 oz of fragrance will usually scent about 1 pound of wax. (i’ve also tried using botanical oils but haven’t had much luck with them.)

pre-tabbed candle wick – for these particular containers, i used eco-14 wicks, but you can use this wick guide to figure out which ones you need.

– hot glue gun – use this to glue the wicks to the bottom of each container.

– color – i usually like to keep my candles white. i love the classy look they have, but if you’d like to add color, it’s easy! just stir in a dye chip when you add your fragrance.

– thermometer – any candy thermometer will work.

– labels – though you don’t have to label your candles, i think it gives them a really nice, professional look, so i’ve made you a set of printable labels (see below to download)!

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soy candle tutorial (1)i printed these label on a full page of kraft sticker paper from world label, and then cut them out using a rotary cutter and ruler. i used ribbon font for the fragrance titles in case you’d like to use it as well.

to download: click here (or on the image above) to download the .zip file. inside you’ll find 1) the above labels as a pdf 2) a blank label pdf  so that you can fill in your own fragrance 3) a transparent png file so you can overlay these labels using any image program 4) an editable .eps file you can open and edit in photoshop or illustrator. whew! (i’m sorry, but i don’t have any other file types available, including Word.)

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step 1: place the wax chips in a pouring pitcher (or pot) and heat until melted. remove from heat as soon as it’s melted to avoid getting your wax too hot (caution: it can catch on fire!). wax should be about 185°f.

step 2: while your wax is melting, glue the bottom of your pretabbed wicks into each container using a hot glue gun. place the wick bar on top of your container and insert the wick so that it’s tight and centered.

step 3: once your wax is melted, remove it from the heat and stir in your fragrance when it’s 185°f (and color if you’re adding it). 1 oz will usually scent about 1 pound of wax.

step 4: carefully pour the scented melted wax into each of your containers. let cool until wax is hard and white (usually 30-60 minutes).

step 5: remove wick bar and trim wicks to about 1/2 inch long.

step 6: place the lids on each jar and label them if desired. light and enjoy!


why did my candles burn down so fast and make a tunnel?
soy candles need to be burned so that the wax melts right across the container before blowing out the flame each time. if you don’t, you’ll make a tunnel in the wax. another reason might be that you chose a container that is too wide for one wick.

why did my wax pour end up with holes in it?
holes can come from pouring too hot or using particular brands of soy wax pellets. experiment with pouring temperatures to find what works best for you.

why did my yield come out differently?
for measuring purposes, 20 ounces (weight) of soy wax is equivalent to 16 ounces of fluid volume.

soy candle tutorial (4)

soy candle tutorial (7)

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  • Hi! I love this idea and I can’t wait to try it, but I was wondering how many 8 oz candles I can make using 1 pound of wax.
    Thanks :)

    • Hi Gracie! 1) Since a pound has 16oz in it, you can get two 8oz candles from one pound. I had to figure that out when I began, as well! 2) I’m sure you could melt the wax in a microwave, but you’ll need to monitor the temperature. I suggest doing it over the stovetop with a thermometer. If it get’s too hot, the wax can splatter and even catch fire, so be careful!

  • I want a really aromatic candle and I would also like to use essential oils if possible. Do you have any recommendations as far as how many drops of oil to use? Where do you get your fragrance? Thanks so much – cannot wait to make these!!!!

    • Hi Lisa! I have linked to the fragrances I use above in this post (all from candlescience). I tried essential oils several years ago and didn’t have any luck with them at the time, but I’m sure they’ve come a long way!

  • I just tried making Soy Candles just as you described. They smell wonderful in the jar, but when I burn them you can hardly smell them. Any advice?
    You mention adding the fragrance right after all the wax melts but it took a long time before after the wax melting for it to reach 185 degrees.

    • If you pour the wax into the jars at around 135-140 degrees, I found that works best. Also I let my candles cure for two weeks before lighting. But you still pour the one oz of fragrance into the pitcher at around 185 degrees. I get a nice hot scent throw w very time. I hope that helps.

  • So grateful for this post! It’s soooo helpful. My question is with the labels, what are the sizes of the labels individually? They fit the jar so beautifully!

  • I’ve been making soy Candles for several months. My issue is this, sometimes after the wax hardens, it appears to have air between the wax and side of the jar in some areas. I’ve done a ton of research and have tried warming my jars before pouring. I can make 2 batches that turn out perfect, then the next batch looks like the wax doesn’t adhere to the side of the jar. The candle burns fine, but it doesn’t look good. I pour around 125-140 degrees. I’ve resorted to painting my jars, which takes away from the appearance in my opinion. PLEASE, PLEASE help me with this! Thank you!

  • Dear friend I am new making candles. If I want to make an 8 ounces candle, do I have to melt the double(18oz) to fill the jar? Or I just have to melt 8 ounces? thanks I will be waiting for your answer.

  • Hi! I loved your guide. I made my first batch of soy candles last week using materials from candlescience. I used about 1oz of fragrance for 1lb of wax, but when I lit my candle the next day it hardly had a scent. I read that some fragrancea need about a week to settle in the candle, so I will be lighting another candle from the same batch later on this week to see if that was the problem. If there are no changes, how much fragrance is safe to add to 1lb of wax?

    • Hello! Every wax and fragrance has a different carry load. I’d suggest reaching out to Candlescience directly to ask about the ones you’ve used! :)

  • To hold my wicks in place I took a stack of large popsicle sticks and drilled a hole in the middle. Lay it across my container with the wick coming up through the hole.