Making a Wooden Wick Soy Candle with Wax Embeds and a Swirly Top
Say what now? That’s a lot of descriptors, I know, but that’s what this particular candle is. It’s one of the most popular candles in my shop and I get a lot of questions about how I make it, even from other candle makers. So, this tutorial is going to clear all of that up with a 10 minute video link at the bottom!
Why Wooden Wick Soy Candles?
I Heart Soy Wax
I absolutely love soy wax candles. There are a lot of reasons why soy wax candles are “better” than paraffin candles, or why soy wax is more eco-friendly than other waxes (here’s a little bit about that if you’re curious). While I think all of those things are nice, there are really two things that I love most about soy wax candles.
#1 – They smell nice. I mean, all on their own, absent any fragrance oil, soy wax just smells good to me when it’s warm. I can’t quite place the scent, or lack of scent…but unlike a burning paraffin candle (which I think has a distinctly gasoliney-petroleumy odor), I think warm soy wax smells kind of sweet! In my shop there is actually a candle that smells like nothing, called Total Non-Scents, because just burning soy wax is pleasant to me. Anyone else?
#2 – They are clean. How many times have you set your paraffin candle too close to the edge of a table near a wall and had black soot on your wall the next day? Ew. The wooden wicks in a soy wax candle will still produce smoke when they burn (because they are, after all, still burning wood), but the wax itself burns clean. It’s a beautiful thing. 🙂
Wooden Wicks Rock
I use the wooden wicks because I’m bougie like that. 😉 No, actually, I just like the slight crackle you get, and I like the way they access the soy wax. People don’t often remember that the wax is the fuel of your candle, not the wick. Your wick just gives your flame access to the fuel.
The wooden wicks I use are from the Wooden Wick Co. (linked below in the materials list) and are patent protected. They require a patent statement on the bottom of each candle and I exercise COMPLIANCE! If you are going to sell your candles, don’t get yourself sued. The Wooden Wick Co. wicks that I use are flat with a little booster in the center. These wicks give you a nice wide flame and burn beautifully.
Care and Maintenance Matter
As awesome as I think soy wax and wooden wicks are, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention that they do require a little bit of extra love.
Soy wax has “memory”, so the first time you burn your candle has a big impact on how your candle will perform the next time.
Similarly, with the wooden wicks, you need to make sure there is sufficient air to reach your wick or the flame will snuff itself out. Wicks need to be kept trimmed, and one should knock off the burned bits between burn sessions. Best practice is to turn it upside down over a trashcan to do it. That way, the burned bits will fall into the trash and not into your candle wax.
If you are someone who lights a candle for 10 minutes to smell it and then blows it out, you will likely be emailing me the next time you try to light it to determine what is wrong with your candle. It feels silly sometimes to talk about care and maintenance of a candle…I recognize it’s not a pet, I’m just saying that the way you treat it matters. I have more about this on my FAQ’s page.
With great soy wax wooden wick candles, comes great responsibility;)
Picking Your Soy Wax and Wooden Wicks
I’m going to let the video below do all of the process explanation, but I want the blog post to address a couple of things.
First, this combo of soy wax and wooden wick is what works for me. I live in Maryland, and my climate may not be the same as yours. Things like humidity have a large effect on how you candle cools and sets, etc. If you plan to make any volume of candles, it’s worth getting some smaller packages of wax and testing them out. The wax I use now is not the first wax I tried. But for me, it’s the one I think hold the largest amount of fragrance (the “fragrance load”).
Also, you need to pick the right sized wick. This process can seem a little daunting, but there is a wick selector on the Wooden Wick Co website that is helpful. They also offer wick sample packs in case you want to do burn tests and decide for yourself. None of these links for the Wooden Wick co are sponsored and I have no affiliation with them, it’s just the only way to go if you want to make wooden wick candles. **Note, I tried some of the super-cheap wooden wicks from Amazon when I first started making candles and they were awful. I ended up needing to double-wick them, re-wick them, and even toss some of them.
Video Link to Soy Candle Wood Wick Swirly Design Wax Embed Tutorial!
The video will do the rest of the explaining. No amount of me describing how to get the swirly pattern in the top of your wax is going to do a better job than you watching it happen. This video is about 10 mins, so I cut out the fluff and sped up as much as I could. 🙂
My decision to put wax embed shells on top was really driven by the process of making soap embeds for soap designs. I thought “why couldn’t I do that with wax?” Sure, they burn off after the first use, but that doesn’t make them a waste of time. The impact when you open the lid is worth it!
Materials used for this project are listed below. Some links are affiliate links, and if you make a purchase through one of these links, I may receive a small commission at no additional cost to you. If you do, thank you in advance for your support of this blog.