As I’ve grown older, I’ve learned to love burning candles at home. I now enjoy buying seasonal scents in pretty containers, and I’ve learned to love making my own candles. With industrial-style accents becoming increasingly popular, I made a set of concrete soy candles with beautiful wood wicks using rose, one of my favorite scents.
Candles can be quite easy to make if you use traditional kitchen items like pots and spoons, or you can invest in high quality candle making materials like a metal candle pitcher and wick holder. No worries though – with wax and wicks, you can make these candles without any special tools. Traditional concrete from a home improvement store works just fine for this project, and it’ll give you that cool, industrial vibe you want for your home, and these candles make perfect, thoughtful gifts. Plus, you can customize them with colorful paint if you want a pop of color.
These measurements make about 5 small candles.
- Soy wax flakes, about 1 lb
- Candle scent
- Wicks with bases (I used wood wicks)
- Candy thermometer
- Glue gun
- Powdered concrete
- Measuring cups
- Silicone cup mold
Make the concrete cups by mixing about 4 cups of powdered concrete with 1 1/2 cups of water in a small bowl (disposable is better). It should be fairly liquid. Note, measurements may vary according to brand, so always check the package instructions.
Pour into clean silicone cup mold so that it reaches all the way to the top. Tap the mold lightly on a surface to release any air bubbles and use a knife to level the tops as best you can, cleaning up excess concrete right away. Set aside to dry overnight or for several hours.
Once cured, remove the concrete cups from the molds. If bottom is rough, you can try sanding with a piece of sand paper.
Prepare the cups for candles by attaching a base to a wick, whether wood or wax. Measure its height and cut off the excess wick that sticks above the cup.
Add a drop of hot glue to the bottom of the wick base and press to the middle of the inside of the containers.
In a metal candle pitcher or a small saucepan, heat the soy wax flakes on low heat. Attach the candy thermometer and heat until reaches about 125 (this is the melting point of the wax I used, but check the packaging for variations).
Once melted, add the fragrance (at this point, you can also add color if desired). Stir gently but thoroughly for about 30 seconds.
Carefully pour the hot wax into your prepared concrete containers. You should leave about ¼ inch of wick protruding from the wax. If the wick moves around, use popsicle sticks or a wick holder to keep it in place (but I did not have this problem). Allow to cool for several hours until the wax solidifies.
At this point, you can paint the containers if desired. I simply used masking tape to block off triangles or stripes and painted one coat in bright colored acrylic paints.
Within a couple hours, your candles should be ready to burn! In my experience, the products I used allow the candle to burn for long periods of time, and I love that the wood wicks add a quiet crackling sound (which I personally enjoy).