If you're interested in making candles but want to ensure your new hobby is vegan-friendly, you'll need to understand the differences between the two main types of wax used to make candles. Paraffin wax is the predominant wax used to make candles, but while paraffin itself is suitable for vegans, paraffin candles require the addition of stearic acid to harden the wax, and this is derived from animal fat. Soy wax is derived from oil extracted from soybeans. It's a by-product of processing soybeans and is fully hydrogenated. Soy candles are said to last longer than paraffin candles, and they are easy to make at home. Here's how:
Gather Your Ingredients
To make basic soy candles you'll need soy wax flakes, a wooden spoon for stirring your melted wax, glass jars and wicks, scissors, a clothespin, essential oils and a glass bowl and pan to create a double boiler. Optional extras include candle dye, candle glitter and ribbons or glass pens for decorating the jars.
Prepare The Wax
Using the glass bowl and pan to create a double boiler, allow the wax to melt slowly. Once it's completely melted, add in a few drops of your chosen essential oil. Lavender, jasmine, sandalwood and rose essential oils all have pleasant fragrances that aren't overpowering. After stirring in your essential oil, you can add any extras just before pouring the wax.
Position The Wick
Place a wick in the centre of each jar and fix it to the base of the jar with a few drops of your melted wax. Hold your wick straight by gripping it with your clothespin and placing your clothespin across the rim of the jar. This will prevent the wick from falling into the hot wax when you fill the jar.
Pour And Set The Candle
Slowly pour the wax into the jar and leave it overnight to set. Once set, remove the wick from the clothespin and trim the wick with scissors. You can now add any decorations you want to the jar.
Making your own candles can be a relaxing hobby, and it also allows you to control what ingredients are used in the candles you enjoy in your home. Vegan candles are readily available to buy, but they can be pricey due to soy wax being a little more expensive than paraffin wax. Making your own soy wax candles is cheaper than buying them, and they can be given as gifts. You can get your candle-making supplies from a craft shop, so why not give it a go.