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Making Soy Candles

There is an undeniable, old-school joy to producing your own homemade candles. It is a craft steeped in the methods and lore of a simpler time, before crude commercialism and saturated markets, and certainly before the wide, sprawling aisles of Target and Wal-Mart. As a gift, a candle made at home carries with it the extra meaning of effort, perhaps even love. Hand-dipped candles have an almost hypnotic appeal, and are as satisfying to make as they are to enjoy afterward. Nowadays, it is easy to make homemade soy candles for yourself or as gifts for family and friends!

The environmentally conscious candle makers (or 'chandlers,' as they are traditionally known) will want to get their hands on some wholesale soy candle wax. This non-petroleum product can be purchased at wholesale rates for those willing to purchase in bulk. Of course, those who purchase soy way wholesale with the intent of making their own candles must absolutely acknowledge the inherent danger of the process, especially when they plan to turn candle-making into a family event. Soy wax can be an extremely dangerous product when treated negligently, and the potential for burns is something every parent should be aware of. Children working with soy candles should pull their hair back and wear aprons, shoes, socks, and protective eye wear.

Soy container candles are the easiest of all candles to make at home.  Making soy candles is a whole lot easier than making paraffin candles, as soy wax cleans up easily with soap and water, so you don't have to worry about spills, and can put your tools in the dishwasher when you're done!  In order to make your own soy wax candles, you will need raw soy wax, a mason jar or other glass container, fragrance oil, wax dye (if you want to color your candle), and cotton wicks.

Soy wax can be purchased in block or flake form.  The flake form is sometimes more expensive but requires a lot less processing time and is much easier to use.  When it comes to fragrance, you can experiment and create your own blend in order to create your own unique scent.  Just make sure that the fragrance oil you purchase is compatible with soy wax.  We recommend essential oils for this purpose.  You will need about 1/4 ounce of oil per 16 ounces of melted wax for optimum fragrance and burn quality.  Essential oil has the added benefit of releasing the healing energy of whatever plant essence you select in to the air when you burn your candle, allowing you to make your own aromatherapy blends!

Candle dyes come in various forms.  Dye blocks are made of wax and can be melted in with your soy wax.  Other forms include liquid dye and dye chips.  Whatever form of dye you choose to use is fine - dye chips are probably the easiest to work with - but we recommend looking for a dye that is all natural, colored with plant dyes, and contains minimal chemicals.  Always keep in mind that whatever you put in to your candle will eventually end up in small quantities in your lungs or in the lungs of someone else, so you want to make sure that whatever that substance is, it's life affirming.

When it comes to wicks, you will need a thicker wick the thicker the candle you are making.  The easiest wicks to work with are the ones attached to metal disks.  When it comes to containers, all you need is something with high sides that is made of glass or a non-reactive metal and is clean and dry.  Mason jars are wonderfully convenient for making soy candles and create a rustic look.

In order to make your soy candle, put the wax in a pan and heat it over medium heat until the wax is completely melted.  If you are using soy wax blocks, you may want to cut it down in to chips so that it will melt more evenly.  Remove the wax from the heat and add the fragrance oil, mixing until everything is blended.  You can also add your wax dye at this point, in accordance with the labeled instructions.  Pour the melted soy wax into your container and put the wick in the center.  Attach the top of your wick to a pencil or other straight object to keep it upright in the center.  After the wax turns solid, trim to wick to 1/2 inches and enjoy burning your homemade candle!

Be very careful when working with the hot wax, especially if you are doing a project with children.  Hot soy wax can cause serious burns.  Be sure to wear a long sleeved shirt and use oven mitts when handling the pot of hot wax in order to avoid getting it directly on your skin.

If you are interested in making votive candles or candles in other shapes, you can purchase molds for such a purpose. Generally, it is best to let molded candles rest for several days before unmolding them.  And be sure to enjoy the process of creating your soy candles!  There are so many options for soy wax, essential oils, dyes and so forth, that you will always be able to find something new and exciting to work with!

Let's be sure to remember, however, that purchasing wholesale soy and making your own candles isn't the only way to avoid the sometimes crude commercialism of the "big box" retailers. There are a number of respectable, small, and ethical companies today making non-petroleum, soy candles, and their products are available in much smaller quantities than wholesale.  Making soy candles can be fun, but it is also messy and occasionally dangerous.  If you want to give a beautiful, personalized gift but don't want to go through the potential chaos of learning to make soy candles and handling huge amounts of raw soy candle wax, you might want to consider purchasing one of our high quality, well-crafted soy candles.   It's not quite the same as making your own, but you'll be getting an amazing product and supporting a great company!
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