Learn how to make your own soy candles with hidden crystals!
Crystals have the ability to emit energy frequencies and what better event to place that into practice, Summer Solstice! We think these DIY crystal candles are a great activity for any summer solstice party or celebration. It’s a good idea to do some research before picking a stone but even if you just like the color, go for it!
Cover your work station with plastic wrap to make for easier cleanup, if you get wax on anything just use some hot water to scrub.
Our Vanilla Soy Candle Making Kit
Essential Oils (if you want an additional scent)
Bonus if you have a hairdryer
First, you will prepare the container and wick by using a tiny piece of putty to place at the bottom of the container, place wick and press firmly. A clothespin or two popsicle sticks can be used to hold your wick in place.
An alternative to a double boiler is to use a heat-proof measuring cup and place in microwave for 1 minute. Keep heating in 1-minute intervals until the wax is fully melted.
After heating your wax to the appropriate temperature, this is the time to add your favorite scent, whether it be essential oils or a perfume/cologne.
Pick out some of your favorite herbs or flower petals to place in the candle along with your crystals.
After pouring the wax into your chosen vessel, wait a few minutes and start strategically placing herbs or petals into the wax. They will start to sink, this is normal, so as you candle burns, the herbs/petals will still be visible. Be sure to leave about a ½ inch in diameter from the wick, free of any dried herbs. This ensures a safe burn where the flame will only have contact with the wax. As the wax is hardening, continue to place the petals on top.
Crystal & Essential Oil Combinations
Use your favorite crystals or stones to place on top to add some extra magic. Be sure to place on top while the wax is still melty but starting to get firm. If crystals start to sink, remove them and let the wax cool a bit longer. If cracking happens, do not fret! A hair dryer can be used to remelt the candle or you can pour any leftover wax on top to smooth out.
Wait a few hours for the wax to fully set, then go ahead and light them up!
We want to help all of you who are getting started with candle making or have questions about the process. If you have questions, which are not answered here, please let us know or go to our discussion forum and post your question.
Here is our video of how to make tea light candles with our kit
Q: Why would I want to use Soy Wax instead of traditional candle wax? A: While you can certainly use a traditional wax (petroleum based paraffin), there are a number of reasons to consider using soy wax. First would be that soy wax burns slower (30-50% longer burning) and cleaner, so your candles will last longer and not have that carbon sooty burning smell. Another reason is that soy is all natural with no toxins, carcinogens or pollutants and won’t trigger allergies.
Q: What is the best way to balance my wick while pouring the wax? A: We typically will include a glue dot or a wick balancer in our candle making kits. The glue dot is affixed to the bottom of your mold and then the wick is placed on top of the glue dot. The wick balancer is placed across the top of the mold and the wick is set into a slot to stabilize.
Q: What is the right amount of fragrance to add to my candle base before pouring? A: This is a very subjective question and one that will have a different answer for every candle maker and recipient. Sometimes people find the fragrance too over-powering and at other times the candle maker will not be able to detect the fragrance. We recommend that you pour fragrance into your melted base, until it has a level of scent which you feel you can recognize, but is not over-powering. It may take some experimentation. Too much fragrance can cause color bleed, so try not to add too much fragrance.
Q: How can I know what the color will look like when the wax hardens? A: Typically it will be very similar to the color you achieve in the melted wax. When you add the color chip and it is fully melted and stirred in, you can expect the hardened wax to turn a little darker, since it will be solid.
Q: How can I minimize or remove bubbles in my candles? A: Most often air bubbles are caused by air trapped between the wax and the surface of the container. Some suggestions are: Preheat container: In most instances warm to the touch is all that is needed. Pour hotter: As the cold weather sets into your environment the wax can set up quicker. Raising your pour temperature by 5-10 degrees F.
Q: What is the benefit of a pour pot? A: There are a few good reasons to use a pour pot. First, it’s reusable and can be dedicated to making candles, so no need to have to deal with a waxy pot to clean. Second the candle wax pour pot is designed specifically for the job. It has a deep base with a construction which can be used to melt the wax in a pot of hot water. The pouring spout is perfect for pouring your candles and simplifies the process, while helping to minimize errors in the pouring process.
Q: Is it okay to melt the base wax in a microwave? A: We do not recommend using a microwave. It will lead to the wax melting in a non-consistent manner and can lead to problems with the wax and possible hot wax splattering in your microwave.
Q: I’ve read/heard that crayons can be used for colorant? A: While it’s true that some people use crayons for colorants, it is less than ideal. The crayon wax can impair your wick from burning properly and create problems with your candles.
Q: What is the best way to clean the thermometer and pour pot? A: We recommend that you clean the pot and thermometer while the wax is still warm and can be wiped off/out. You can reheat the pot to wipe the wax out. For molds the same things applies. Do not put them in the dishwasher.
Q: What are the types of wicks and when do I use which type? A: Sometimes with the wick package you’ll see 3 numbers describing the wicks. The first number is the length, the second number is the diameter (thickness) and the third number is the temperature of the wax that should be used to coat the wick. There is usually a letter at the end which describes the core:
Z – Zinc Core P – Paper Core C- Cotton Core H – Hemp
Q: Will essential oils work as well as a synthetic fragrance for my candles? A: While essential oils can work well for soap and some other home made products, they don’t work well for candles. The problem is that the essential oil tends to burn off and the fragrance is lost. We recommend using a fragrance which is intended for use as in making candles.
Q: I’ve read that there are additives I can add to my candle making, which can improve the consistency and quality? A: If you are using a Grow and Make candle making kit, do not add anything. Our kits are complete, proven and tested. We do not want you to experiment and end up with unanticipated results.
Q: Why is there some thick wax at the bottom of the pour pot from my last candle pour? A: Typically this is because you did not thoroughly stir your wax while heating. Be sure that the wax appears to be clear through to the bottom of the pot.
Q: My jar pour has resulted in a pooling or sinking in the middle? A: Be sure to do two pours for jar candles. The first pour must be completely cool before you do the second pour.
Q: Can I swap out wicks for my candles or are there specific wicks for specific candles? A: You will want to make sure that you have a wick intended for the type of container or candle you intend to make. Different wicks have different properties which are specific to the application.
Q: Can I mix and match wicks, colorants, fragrances while using a Grow and Make kit? A: While it’s certainly possible to be creative and explore, we can’t guarantee any results if you experiment. We are big advocates of experimentation and being creative in your candle explorations, but be aware that the result might be different than expected.
Q: How long can I store my candles and how should they be stored? A: As long as you make sure to let your candles cool entirely before storing, they should be fine as long as they are not frozen. Also, be sure to store them in an unlit location. Light can fade the wax colorant.
Q: Why do my candles have rings around them? A: Chattering or stuttering is the result of either the pouring temperature being too low or the mold/jar being too cold. Make sure to warm your mold/jar before the pour and that your wax is properly heated.
I must admit I was skeptical as I extracted four funny-looking, gummy round seedpods from a drawstring cotton bag. These, so-called soap nuts, were supposed to clean my laundry? I poked around in my laundry basket. Blueberry juice. Fry grease. Chocolate. How on earth was a lowly imported plant-part going to handle all this? I sighed, cranked the dial on my washing machine, and started the load. There was only one way to find out.
Trial One: Cold Water Wash
After pulling my clothes out of the wash, I was impressed at how clean they smelled. They didn’t smell like Tide, mind you, but they did smell pleasant and fresh. Not won over just yet, I checked on the stained spots. The grease was still there. The chocolate was still there. The blueberry juice, happily, was gone. I sequestered the still-stained items, and began trial number two.
Trial Two: Hot Water Wash
The hot water very obviously boosted the soap nuts’ cleaning power. The chocolate was gone, and the grease stains were definitely diminished. Willing to give it one more try, I decided to cheat a little and employ some chemical warfare on my stains: namely, Shout.
Trial Three: Hot Water Wash with stain spray
Trial #3 did the trick, the stains were gone. Grease is a tough customer. Even commercial detergent needs a boost from stain spray– and soap nuts do, too.
The Verdict: Soap nuts are powerful deodorizers and are surprisingly good at removing dirt. They definitely work best in hot water, but are not very good at removing grease. They are natural, economical, renewable, and 100% compostable. I like ’em. I’ll definitely be using them again, but I think I’ll save the grease stains for more aggressive detergents.
How to Use:
Put four soap nuts in a small drawstring bag (provided with the soap nuts) and toss into the washing machine. Begin filling with hot water. Add clothes, and run the load as usual. Do not let the soap nuts go through the dryer. Soap nuts can be used at least four times before they’re ready to be composted. When the nuts are gray and mushy-looking, they’re worn out and ready to go.
By Grow and Make Contributing Editor Kristina Strain
Grow and Make’s Green Holiday Series
Make gifts out of junk. It might not sound appealing when worded that way, but taking a thoughtful and creative approach to your gift list is a terrific way to green your holidays. Many of the everyday items we think of as disposable junk are just begging for a second life as something else.
Often, all it takes is a coat of paint and a little glue to transform a little throwaway something into a stylish and useful gift. Start by looking at things not as trash but as an artist’s raw materials, and a whole new world opens up.
For this project, we’re going to make a welcome gift for any owner of a fireplace or woodstove: pinecone fire-starters. Made from natural pinecones and melted-down old candles, these are as simple as they are eco-friendly.
Pinecones– these should be squat and wide, the sort that will stand up straight on their base. Try searching for pinecones at a nearby campground or state park.
Old candles, preferably soy or beeswax.
Optional: for coloring the wax, some old or broken crayons.
A tapered container that will comfortably fit your pinecone in the bottom. Try old votive candle cups, empty yogurt cups, or pudding cups.
A saucepan full of simmering water, and a glass measuring cup, for melting the wax.
Place your old candles in the glass measuring cup. Try to pry the old candle wax out of its container, if it’s in one, before doing this. Set the measuring cup into the simmering water, and watch it closely as the wax begins to melt. Once the wax is completely melted, fish out the old wicks, and add a few small crayon chunks if desired, to color the wax.
Set a pinecone, pointy end up, in the container you’ve set aside for this purpose. Slowly pour a little wax down into the container, trying to keep it off the pinecone as much as possible. You don’t need much, just enough to cover the entire bottom of the container. If you have multiple pinecone-suitable containers, you can keep pouring more pinecone fire-starters until you run out of wax.
Let the pinecone cool for about half an hour, then put it in the freezer for another half-hour to set. At this point, you should be able to remove the pinecone from the container by gently rocking and pulling the pinecone upwards. Make as many pinecone fire-starters as you have pinecones and wax for; they’re best given in a bundle!
Make a sweet and warming holiday gift basket filled with homemade fire-starters, mulled cider (or wine) sachets, matches, and cinnamon sticks to burn in the fire. A vintage button, threaded with a scrap of ribbon, dresses up the cinnamon sticks, while a length of red thread wraps the matches. Tie everything up with a nice bow, and include a bottle of local wine or a pound of organic shade-grown coffee alongside for a gift anyone would love.
This gift would be perfect for newlyweds, empty-nesters, or any aficionado of wood fires and cozy evenings.
Here they are: all gifts, all green, all in the same place. Click away!
Welcome to your new hobby of soy candle making! Soy candles are at least 90% cleaner burning than their petroleum counterparts, and because they burn at a cooler temperature than paraffin, soy candles will generally burn 25-50% longer.
IMPORTANT: Wax has a flash point generally between 290-380 degrees and may burst into flames once it reaches that point. Always use a thermometer when melting wax, and be careful when handling the hot wax. Growandmake.com assumes no responsibility for injury which may result from candle making.
Let’s get started!
WHAT YOU WILL NEED
Tea light wicks
A pour pot for melting and pouring the wax
Colorants (if desired)
Fragrance (if desired)
MELTING THE WAX Be sure you are using soy wax that is specific for container/tea light candles – A different type of soy wax is used for votive and other mold candles. Place pre-measured wax inside the pour/melting pot, then place pour pot inside a larger pot with a few inches of water; heat the water on the stove to begin melting the wax (1.5 lbs of wax makes 50 .5 oz tea lights). Place the thermometer inside the pour pot with the melting wax, and keep a close eye on the temperature of the wax at all times. The temperature of the melted wax should be regulated around 170 degrees.
ADDING COLOR Once your melted wax is at 170 degrees you can add your candle dye. One Flutter Dye™ per pound of wax will give you a medium shade candle, half a Flutter Dye™ will make your color lighter, and 2 Flutter Dyes™ will make your candle darker. Stir the color with the wax for a full two minutes so the color will bond with the wax.
GETTING READY TO POUR After the color has been added, let the wax cool to 110-115 degrees and stir frequently while cooling. Allowing the wax to cool before before pouring will help prevent the cracking, flaking and discoloration that is common with soy waxes. Line up all tea light holders to prepare for the pour.
POURING THE CANDLES Slowly pour wax into tea light holders. Place a wick in the center of each candle, trying to keep the wick as straight as possible before the wax begins to harden.
Let your candles cool completely before moving or using. Congratulations, you have made your own soy tea light candles! Now that you are ready to make more, visit www.growandmake.com to purchase a Candle Resupply Kit and other candle making supplies.