Like most of my ‘projects’, my first time making DIY scented candles started with a whim: I had a long Christmas break and thought it would be fun to make my own candles at home. Lazada sells convenient candle making kits, most of which are from China. I ordered them in early December, and they came just in time for Christmas!
Although I like artsy stuff, I am not someone who is skillful with my hands – I’m clumsy af, so I suck at things like sewing, weaving, painting, crocheting, embroidery, etc. Fortunately, making candles is relatively easy, or at least easy enough that even I couldn’t mess it up too badly.
The kit cost me RM65, and came with everything I needed to make eight medium-sized candles, including metal containers (they sported bright, colourful designs), cotton wicks, four packets of soy wax (200g each), a stainless steel jug for melting, sticky tape to fasten the wick to the bottom, wick holders to keep them in place, a stirring spoon, dye blocks as well as four bottles of 10ml fragrances. I think it’s a reasonable price, as after making the candles I still had a lot of wicks left over, and I since I can reuse the equipment, I’d only need to buy wax and fragrances the next time I want to make candles.
I didn’t want the kitchen smelling like fragrances, so I used the portable butane stove we usually reserve for hotpots. Didn’t have a big stainless steel pot either, so I used a clay pot (necessity is the mother of invention) to double as my boiler. The jug should not be heated directly over the flame as the heat would be too intense for the wax, which would cause it to scorch. Using another pot filled with water helps to ensure a low and steady temperature.
While waiting for the water to boil, I trimmed the cotton wick and fixed it to the bottom of the container using the included sticky tape. The wick holder can be placed across the top to hold the wick in position when you pour.
Using the spoon, I stirred the wax until it was completely melted.
Professionals who make candles to sell usually use a thermometer while making their candles, since different types of wax (beeswax, soy wax, paraffin) have different melting points. As I didn’t have one, I just winged it (ie making sure the pot wasn’t bubbling too much).
Once everything had melted, I added my desired dye and stirred it until the colour was even. Once it had cooled down a little (but not to the point of solidifying, I poured the mix into the containers.
I made a couple of mistakes here.
- I added the fragrance right after the dye had melted. The temperature must have been too hot, which caused the fragrance to evaporate (?), so the result was that the throw (how far the scent carries across the room) was pretty weak.
- I poured everything in one go, which caused the candles to ‘sink’ in the middle once the wax had cooled. Apparently this is because the wax cools down faster at the sides, since the container is cooler. To avoid this, you’ll either have to keep the containers at a warmer temperature, or use the double pour method, where you first pour 3/4 of your mixture, allow it to cool, then top up with more wax to make the surface more even. I think this is quite a hassle though, as it means you’ll have to keep some of the wax. In my case, I couldn’t do that as I had a bunch of different colours and scents to work on, and only one jug.
Despite the flaws, I was pretty happy with the end results!
I had four scents: lavender, vanilla, rose and lemon. The scents were actually quite pleasing when I held the candle up to my nose, but as I mentioned, I think I put them in too early so when I lit the candles I couldn’t smell much of the fragrances.
Making my own candles was surprisingly fun (although it did take me three hours and my back felt extremely sore from having to sit on a low stool – sorry lah I’m old lol) , and I did feel a sense of accomplishment even if they didn’t turn out perfect. Maybe once I’ve had a couple more practice runs, I can start making more luxurious candles – like those pretty ones with flowers and stuff.
My candle making kit from Lazada : link
Have you tried making your own candles? Share your tips with me below!
If you enjoyed reading this, please consider supporting my website. Contrary to popular belief, I do not make big moolah from writing – and this will go towards hosting fees and ensuring that I can continue to deliver authentic content for your reading pleasure. Thanks for stopping by!
SO I met up with the Midnight Gang on Boxing Day.
Nah, we’re not some Asian mafia…. it’s just a nickname the four of us came up with as students in the UK, because we used to hangout way past midnight in our apartment to gossip, make pancakes and have fattening suppers of fish n chips and garlic mayo ‘dabao-ed‘ from the nearby kebab shops. It’s been two years since our last gathering – I mean, I’ve seen Mabel around since she works with a company that my newspaper deals with a lot, but I haven’t seen Jo and Eenoch for a long time. Since the latter was in KL for a couple of days, we decided to have a quick meetup session at The Curve.
Catching up on how everyone was doing… and then it was time to exchange presents! I was really touched that they got me things that I actually liked.. (the forever dilemma of buying presents for someone is wondering if they’ll like it or not. I usually just ask them what they want). I guess they weren’t my classmates for four years for nothing.
Bel, me, Eenoch and Jo. We talked about the good ol’ student days.. it wasn’t that long ago, but in between working and just living life, it seemed like years. We’re all a little older and wiser, but I think deep down inside, we’re still the same. And that’s a good thing!
Handmade heart card from Mabel.
A notebook with custom stamps from Jo, bag, and a cutesy owl mug from Typo from Eenoch.
Mabel gave me and Jo an accessory set with these lovely earrings! Altho the piercing on my left ear has closed.
Merry Christmas, guys!