How to Make Soy Candles


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Making homemade soy candles is one of the easiest crafts projects around, and these little beauties make awesome gifts

white soy candles in various jars

In case you ever wondered what $15 worth of soy wax and 30 minutes in the kitchen will get you…

It all starts with a bag of soy wax.

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a bag of soy wax on a table

You would be shocked to know how fast we blow through candles around here.  I mean fast.  I think it’s the coziness factor.

overhead image of empty glass candle holders

Thanks to all that candle-burning, my collection was looking pretty haggard
But then (probably thanks to Pinterest), I discovered that making soy candles is super easy.

About a month ago, I had friends over and we experimented with making soy candles in all sorts of sizes and “flavors” (using essential oils).

They all worked great, although they don’t project aroma as much as most commercial candles. (Purchasing special oils designed for candles helps to increase the intensity of the scents.)

adding essential oils to soy candles

(Can you spy the candy corns?  We made a fall-themed night of it.)

Paraffin vs. Soy Wax

Making these candles is particularly easy because soy wax is not nearly as sticky as the paraffin used in most commercial candles.  Soy wax washes right off of everything.  If you google paraffin vs. soy wax, there are lots of people out there who will tell you that soy candles burn cleaner than paraffin, but to me, the biggest advantage is how easy and clean these are to make at home.

The Tools

It doesn’t cost a lot of money to make soy candles. All you need are these totally affordable, basic tools.

I often use mason jars like those linked above (especially if making these for gifts), but any jar will work. Candle wicks (also found on Amazon), a wooden skewer (or pencil), scissors, and double-sided tape (or glue) are also good to have around.

scissors, skewer, wick, and a jar on a table

The Steps

First, measure a piece of the wick so that it is about 4 inches longer than your jar is tall.  Tie a knot in one end.  Secure the knot to the bottom of the jar with a piece of double-sided tape.  Use a skewer or pencil to push it down and secure it.  I get a bunch of these ready at once, so I can pour the melted wax right in.

(Note: you can also buy fancy wicks with a metal piece for the bottom of the jar…not necessary, but makes them a bit easier to secure to the jar.)

overhead image showing adding a wick to a clear jar

Next, melt the wax.  The soy wax comes in these nice white flakes.

soy wax flakes in a clear glass bowl

Melt the wax in a pan over medium heat or in a microwave-safe container and on high (it only takes 90 seconds in my microwave).

4 cups of soy wax flakes = 2 cups melted wax.

melted wax in a 4-cup glass measuring cup

When it’s all nice and melted, let it cool just a bit.  Then stir in essential oils (about 4 drops per cup of melted wax) to scent the wax.

essential oils on a table

Pour the warm wax into the prepared jars, leaving about 1 inch of space at the top.

Twist the wick around a skewer or pencil and set it on top of the jar so the wick stays centered.

a candle with the wick on a skewer

When the wax is cool (about an hour), trim the wick so about 1 inch of wick remains.

soy candles in glass jars

Pretty, aren’t they?

overhead image of soy candles in glass jars

And even nicer once lit…

a lit soy candle

Wouldn’t these be nice as Christmas gifts?

soy candles in glass jars with labels

More Homemade Gift Ideas

Print Recipe
4.48 from 34 votes

How to Make Soy Candles

Inexpensive and surprisingly easy, this “recipe” for soy candles can be easily multiplied to make many candles at once. These make great gifts.
Prep Time20 minutes
Cook Time10 minutes
Total Time30 minutes
Course: Candles (not edible)
Keyword: Christmas, holidays, homemade gifts
Servings: 1 16oz. candle, or smaller candles to equal abmout 16oz.
Author: Jess Smith via Inquiring Chef
Cost: $5.00


  • Clean, dry containers (any combination of sizes that will hold approximately 16 fluid oz. of liquid; i.e; two 8-oz. or one 12-oz. jar and one 4-oz. jar)
  • Candle wicks (I use these)
  • Double-Sided Tape
  • 4 cups soy wax flakes (I use these)
  • Essential Oils (4 drops per cup of melted wax), optional


  • Set the glass containers on a clean, dry dishtowel. Cut a piece of wick for each container that is 4 inches longer than the container is tall. Place a small piece of double-sided tape in the bottom center of each container. Tie a knot at the end of each wick. Press the knot firmly into the double-sided tape to lightly secure. Leave the free end of the wick hanging over the side of the container.
  • Fill a sauce pan to the top with soy wax flakes. Place the pan over medium heat. As the wax begins to melt, after about 5 minutes, gently stir it until all of the wax becomes smooth and pourable. (Alternatively, melt the wax in the microwave.)
  • Remove the wax from the heat and let it cool for about 5 minutes. Add essential oils, if using, and stir to combine.
  • Pour wax into prepared jars, leaving 1 inch of space at the top of each jar. Center the free end of the wick in the wax. Twist the wick around a pencil or wooden skewer. Let the wax dry for at least an hour. Cut the wick short so that only about 1 inch remains.


Soy wax has a much lower melting point than parafin, and comes out easily in hot water and soap. It will wash easily out of pots and pans and out of most fabrics when put through a regular wash cycle. To be safe, I use older dishtowels for this project, but I’ve never had the wax damage the towels or my cooking tools.
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About Jess Smith

Jess is the recipe creator and photographer at She spent nearly a decade as the Chief Recipe Developer for the award-winning meal planning app Cook Smarts. Her colorful, healthyish recipes have been featured in popular online publications including Parade, Hallmark, and HuffPost.

4.48 from 34 votes (27 ratings without comment)

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  1. 5 stars
    Hi Jess,
    What a fantastic recipe and your pictures and step by step guide is very straight forward. I found you by accident as I was looking at different soya candle production methods for a college course. We are to do a PLC assessment (product lifecycle) and my group chose Soya candles. Writing up a PLC is mind numbing, but finding your page with all of your lovely hints, tips and recipes was just what I needed to lift the monotony. I have shared your page with friends. And will be giving this a try. Thanks again 🙂

  2. How many cups are in the 5lb bag? I have 18 4oz jars to fill and wondering if the 5lb bag is good?
    Also, have you ever soaked the wick in essential oil? Pros/cons? Thx!

    1. I think it should be the right amount, Liz. I’ve used a 5lb bag to make 4 oz candles, and if I remember correctly, I think it made more than 20 4-oz jars. I’ve never soaked the wick in essential oil – I’d be so curious to learn more about that technique.

  3. How to Make Soy Candles –
    Now I am going to do my breakfast, when having my breakfast coming over again to read other news.-

      1. 5 stars
        Love this! I began making candles for myself which I shared with others and the passion continued to grow all from blogs like these! This is really great, Jess and it’s awesome to hear how many people have benefited from it too! Keep up the great work!