How to make your own soy candles = a very hygge winter DIY

Cold January temps mean I'm burning a lot of candles. I always do at this time of year, but even more so now, after reading Meik Wiking's book The Little Book of Hygge: The Danish Way to Live Well. I read the book as part of some research for a story I wrote for The Toronto Star, on hygge style entertaining.  So, in the spirit of hygge (candles are essential!) I thought I'd share this easy, soy candle diy that uses recycled jars and cotton wicks, which are a healthier alternative.

 You'll need:

  • jars (I used yogurt jars, but you can also use jam jars or even old bowls or tea cups)
  • lead-free cotton wicks
  • soy wax
  • a clothes peg
  • essential oil
  • glue dots
  • something to stir with - I used a chopstick
  • a pot
  • an old metal or glass (heat safe!) bowl for melting the wax

Step 1.

Get your jars (clean, obvs) prepped by gluing the cotton wick inside the bottom of the jar. I used glue dots to hold the wick in place. Ensure the wicks are straight and centered.

Step 2.

You're going to use a double-boiler method to melt the wax. To determine how much wax to melt, I found that if I filled the container I was using with wax and then doubled that amount, it was pretty accurate. One pound of wax filled four yogurt jars.

Bring a pot of water (approximately 1/4 full) to a simmer. Put the wax flakes in an old bowl. Make sure it's heat safe! When the pot of water is simmering, place the bowl of wax in the pot.

Step 3.

Melt the wax. Stirring occasionally with wooden stick. Make sure you can an eye on the wax so it doesn't burn. You want to slowly melt the wax over a simmer. 

Step 4.

Carefully pour the wax into the prepared jars. Using a clothes peg to hold the wick in place. Let the wax cool slightly.

Once the wax has cooled slightly, add the essential oil. You don't want to add the essential oil while the wax is hot because I'm told it can alter the fragrance, but don't wait too long or the wax will set. The amount of essential oil that you add at this point is really up to you. I used about 10 drops per jar.  Gently stir the oil into the wax and let it set. It will take approximately 24 hours for the wax to set completely.

Step 4.

After the wax has set, remove the clothes pegs and trim the wicks to approximately one inch and enjoy!

DIY Soy Candles in recycled yogurt jars

*Some of these images were originally part of a story I did for The Toronto Star.

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