If I had to pick one thing to add atmosphere to a home then it would have to be lighting, and specifically candle light. Everyone knows you can get candles for a quid down your local supermarket and also you can fork out a fortune for a highly perfumed swanky candle. I have a mixture of both in my house, though one thing I was missing was a homemade creation.

A few weeks ago I got all ‘Kirsty Allsopp’ and started getting crafty in my kitchen. I bought a simple soy chip starter kit from eBay and gave candle-making a whirl. I’ve got the bug now and everyone who knows me will be getting a Coleman Candle for Christmas. My kit contained wax chips, dye, wicks and a vanilla fragrance so I didn’t need to buy anything individually.

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{You will need}
  • Soy wax chips
  • Dye
  • Wicks
  • Glue dots
  • Fragrance
  • Container
  • Lollypop stick
  • Twine
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    1. Fill your container with water, then tip the water in to a measuring jug. The large container took around 300ml of water so I weighed out 300g of wax chips.
    2. Secure a wick to the bottom of the jar with a glue dot. You could use a straw over the top of the wick to help position. The wick needs to be secured to the centre of the container.
    3. I considered using a pan but the easiest way to melt the wax is in the microwave. Add your wax to a clean heatproof jug and heat in the microwave until melted.
    4. Leave to cool for a minute or two and then add your dye and fragrance stirring thoroughly with a wooden stick so they are evenly distributed.
    5. Pour nearly all the wax into the vessel. Make sure the container is thoroughly dry before you pour the melted wax in otherwise you can get ‘wet spots’.
    6. To keep the wick in place it’s a good idea to secure a piece of twine to the end of the wick and then wrap round a lolly stick. Rest the stick on horizontally over the top of the container.
    7. Leave to set. Add any of the leftover wax to the container if the candle starts to dip when setting.
    8. Clean the jug by filling with boiling hot water. The wax will solidify on the top of the water as it cools.
    9. Once the candle has set trim the wick to 4mm, light and enjoy.
    You can use any heatproof container to make candles; tea cups, old jelly moulds, tins, shot glasses, ceramic pots. I picked up my jam jars from Bert’s Homestores in Brighton but the same Le Parfait ones are available on the Philip Morris website too. The mini Bonne Maman jam came from a pre-wedding breakfast at Hotel Du Vin where I got a little bit obsessed with removing the jam from the premises.

    The larger candle probably worked out costing about £7 in total with the jar and the mini ones about a pound, making them perfect for party favours, hostess gifts or stocking fillers. I chose soy chips as apparently they burn for longer but there are beeswax and paraffin kits available too.

    Has anyone else tried candle-making? How did you get on? What kind of containers and fragrances did you use?