​​Looking For a New Hobby? Try Out Sustainable Candle Making

Wellness | Toni | 7 Minute Read

​​Looking For a New Hobby? Try Out Sustainable Candle Making

Wellness | Toni | 7 Minute Read

Hey there, candle enthusiasts!

Are you looking for a hobby that not only sparks your creativity but also makes the world a better place? Look no further because sustainable candle making is here to light up your life (literally!) in the most eco-friendly way possible.

In today's fast-paced world, finding an escape from the constant demands of daily life is crucial for maintaining our well-being. There’s millions of creative outlets available to you, from sip & paint nights and live drawing, to amateur theatre and improv comedy classes…the world really is your creative oyster. But, I’m here to convince you that your next hobby should be sustainable candle making (for the love of God, please do not take up improv). Not only does making your own DIY (& eco) candles offer a therapeutic outlet (so the only thing getting burnt out is your candle wick!), but it also empowers you to play a role in preserving our environment. And I mean, come on… who doesn’t love a candle? 

Sustainable vs traditional candles:

Conventional candles are often made using toxic ingredients such as paraffin wax and palm oil; obvs not the most sustainable of options. Plus, when burned, paraffin wax contributes to indoor air pollution, leaving you inhaling small doses of benzene and toluene, both of which are known carcinogens found in the exhausts of diesel engines. Yikes. 

What’s more, traditional candle wicks are made using heavy metals such as lead. So, when you try to wind down at the end of the day with your scented candle, choccy and tea…you might end up huffing heavy toxins. Not exactly the most relaxing scenario, huh?

Luckily, making your own candles is seriously simple, and you can customise them with whatever natural colours, fragrances and funky additions you that you like - and, if you’re feeling extra artsy you can even mould them into any shape you can imagine. Plus, if you want to get extra sustainability points, you can re-use old jam jars, sea shells or old glass vases. Who said upcycling was just for clothes?

How to DIY sustainable candles: 

What you’ll need: 

  • A sustainable wax source (e.g. soy, beeswax or coconut).
  • Natural essential oils. 
  • Natural coloured dye. 
  • An upcycled vessel (e.g. jam jar, sea shell or glass). 
  • A sustainable wick (e.g. bamboo).
  • A spatula. 

A step-by-step guide:

Making candles at home requires a few specialised items, some planning, and a little bit of time—but it’s simpler than you might think. Here’s a step-by-step guide to the candle-making process.

1. Prep containers and supplies

Make sure that your candle containers are clean and dry, and place them on a flat surface. 

2. Measure the wax

Measure your wax by pouring wax flakes or wax shavings into your candle containers, which act as your candle moulds. Because shavings take up more space than melted wax, use approximately two candle containers worth of flakes per candle.

3. Melt the wax

Pour your wax shavings or flakes into a saucepan and slowly warm the wax, using your spatula to carefully stir the melting wax and catch any bits that rise up the edges of the pot.

Paraffin wax melts at around 37 degrees Celsius, soy wax melts at approximately 50 degrees Celsius, and beeswax melts at around 62 degrees Celsius. Use a thermometer to monitor the temperature.

4. Add your fragrances

If you are making scented candles, now is the time to get creative. You can use single-note fragrances (like bergamot, mandarin, or rosemary), or make your own combinations (like rose patchouli or lavender sage). If you are using essential oils, add 30 to 40 drops of oil per eight ounce candle. Add the oils slowly and stir with your spatula.

5. Place the wick

Place one wick in each candle container. Seal the wick to the center bottom of the jar by placing a drop of wax (or a drop of Super Glue) on the bottom of the wick and letting it dry on the bottom of the jar. For an even burn, make sure the base of the wick is centred in the container.

Before you pour the wax, place two chopsticks/ lolly sticks/ pencils across the top of the jar, sandwiching the wick between them. This will keep the wick upright as the wax hardens.

6. Pour the wax

Carefully pour the wax, filling the candle container to just below the top of the rim. Pour slowly to minimise creating air bubbles.

7. Wait for your candle to cure

Soy candles will harden to room temperature in about four hours and completely cure in three to four days. Once the candle is dry, you can remove the chopsticks and trim your wick.

Then, once it's ready - light it up!

Sustainable candle workshops: 

For my eco girlies that get overwhelmed by the thought of DIY’ing at home, this one’s for you. Nothing feels worse than splurging on all the necessary DIY essentials, only to get confused and frustrated by the process and then quit before you’ve created a final product. If this sounds like you, girl SAME. Throwback to when I spent 50 quid on crochet materials, only to cry once I couldn’t figure out how to cast off. Not my finest moment. Unsurprisingly, therefore, when it comes to my creative hobbies, I prefer step by step guidance. This way, when that perfectionist voice creeps into my head, I don’t panic and destroy my piece (lol)... I ask for help!

So, for my anxious & perfectionist girlies (and anyone who just prefers being creative in a class), I’ve found London's (and near to London)'s best classes so you too can leave with an actual, functional candle, rather than a puddle of wax a traumatic memory! You’re welcome!

1. Bendy Boy Candle Making Workshop

Come along to this Bermondsey-based class to bend, twist, and wonky-ify your own funky dinner-table candles. You'll have the option to paint them, make them glittery and personalise them to your heart's content. How cute is that!

Bring your gals, and make sure you have room for yummy pastries and coffee as these will be available too!

Bendy Boy Candle Making Workshop

2. Yougi Candles Aromatherapy Candle Making Class

This in-person candle making workshop based in Shoreditch, London will teach you the basics of making your very own relaxing scented candles.

You will start by learning about fragrance families and what top, heart, and base notes are - and you will learn the different benefits and healing therapies of the different essential oils. Who needs a therapist when you have a candle, am I right?

You will then use a blend of essential oils to add to your soy wax candle - and by the end you'll have created your very own 170ml candle to take home.

Plus, for my sustainability enthusiasts, all of the raw materials are cruelty-free, ethically sourced, eco-friendly, and 100% natural!

3. Earl of East Candle Making Workshop 

Head to Earl of East in King's Cross to learn from the candle experts how to craft your very own scented candle! You'll be able to choose which essential oils and aromatherapy scents you want in your very own take-home candle.

4. London Refinery Candle and Perfume Making Workshop 

London Refinery have a whole bunch of bespoke private or group candle making workshops that you can head on down to. Run by experts, you'll learn all the tips and tricks of candle making and be able to take home your very own creation.

5. Beginners Candle Making Course with Afternoon Tea with Old Bexley Soap Co.

Hosted in Kent, during this course you'll learn how to create top quality, fragrant, natural candles that you can feel proud to burn in your home. Led by Paula, the award-winning founder of Old Bexley Soap & Candle Co., you know that you'll be in safe hands since she is a master Chandler with years of experience.

Plus, after crafting two beautiful soy wax candles, you'll enjoy a delish afternoon tea. Delightful!

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