Homemade Soy Candles (5 easy steps)

Okay, so i’m a quilter but I aint got time to make all my loved ones a quilt this holiday season! I got your back though, because I do have an an hour to make half a dozen candles and i’m about to show you how.

This is something I’ve been wanting to set aside time to learn for a while. I’m no candle expert, but I had fun learning this and making some yummy smelling candles! And now that I’ve done it (three times now!), I just had to share how simple it is!  Seriously, my tutorial is 5 simple steps.

These will make excellent homemade holiday gifts – plus your home will smell amazing during the process. If you can boil water, then you can do this!

The fragrance I went with is Pear-Cinnamon.  It smells delectable and perfect for the holidays! According to the internet the burn time is approx. 50 hours.

Here’s what you need to make a batch of six – 8 oz candle jars. Keep in mind that if you don’t have a local candle supply store, you can find all of these products on Amazon. However, do try to buy your oils locally so that you can pair the different scents and come up with your very own fragrance – this is the funnest part! I bought all of my supplies at a local shop called Zenith Supplies in Seattle.

  • 2.5 pounds of soy wax flakes
  • 7.5 tablespoons total (equivalent to 3.75 ounces) of essential oil fragrance (*see my notes below)
  • six 8 oz mason jars, room temp.
  • Candle wicks (I used 6″ wicks) and glue
  • Pouring Pot like this one, or an old coffee tin or glass mixing bowl will do.
  • Double boiler stand (see Step 1 image below for the type I used)
  • Clothespins (see step 4 to see how they’re used)
  • Optional: Thermometer

*note: The rule of thumb is 1.5 ounces of essential oil = 1 pound of soy wax. 1.5 ounces is equivalent to approximately 3 tablespoons. A lot of people start with 1 ounce of essential oil per one pound of wax; however, after making two batches I felt it needed more fragrance so I upped it to 1.5 ounces oil per pound and that seemed to do the trick for me. The fragrance strength has a lot to do with the quality of the oils you’re using as well, so you just have to test it and see what works best. You can always start with less, and then add more – the fragrance you’re getting in the room after you’ve stirred the oils into the pot of melted wax is a good indicator of how strong your candles will smell after they’ve been poured into the mason jars.

*also note: I made Pear-Cinnamon scented candles (yummmmy!). For this batch I did 5.5 tablespoons of Pear + 2 tablespoons of cinnamon.

Okay, let’s get to it!

Step 1 – prep: Fill a pot half way with water and place a double boiler at the bottom. This is the one I used and it only cost $4.

Put all 2.5 pounds of soy wax flakes into the pouring pot.  The pouring pot I bought is called a “4 pound pouring pot”, but as you can see only 2.5 pounds of un-melted soy flakes fits inside. It will melt down big time, just wait and see!

Step 2 – melt it: Place the  pot with wax on the double boiler and bring the water to a boil. Mix every couple minutes and watch the wax melt. (I used an old dowel I had laying around to mix my wax. An old wooden ruler, or old spoon you don’t care for works too). Here’s what to expect…

A. Bring to a boil

B. This was about 5-8 minutes into it. Already half way down!

C. About 12-15 min. in, you’ll have a few sad-looking soy clumps hanging on for dear life.

 

Step 3 – Cool, then add essential oils:  After about 20 minutes, the wax will be completed melted and will look similar to olive oil. At this time, remove from heat.

Let the wax cool to approximately 135 degrees Fahrenheit before adding your essential oils so that you don’t burn off the fragrance. If you don’t have a thermometer, just wait about 15-20 minutes before adding the oils. While you’re waiting, skip over to Step 4 and prep your wicks.

Once it’s cooled down a bit, add your 7 tablespoons of essential oils (as *noted above, I did 5.5 tablespoons of pear + 2 tablespoons of cinnamon for a yummy pear-cinnamon scented candle). Mix.

Step 4 – Prep the wicks: This part is easy (do this while waiting for your wax to cool). Just dab a little glue at the bottom of the metal stand that holds the wick, and then center it at the bottom of the mason jar. Keep the wick from tilting with a clothespin as shown below. I used super glue because I had it on hand, but Elmer’s glue will work too.

Step 5 – The final step! Pour the wax into the six prepared mason jars, then set it and forget it! ;-p I poured a little into each jar until they were all full, just to make sure it was distributed evenly. In a few hours the soy will harden and turn back to the white, milky color.

After it’s hardened, trim the wick to 1/4 inch. Then go all pinteresty on your mason jar with twine and ribbon, and don’t forget to slap a “handmade with love” sticker on it (which you can find on etsy or amazon). 😉

That’s all there is to it. 🙂 The time on the stove takes about 30 minutes total. But I would set aside at least 1 hour to make a batch due to the other preparations and waiting for it to cool, etc. But hey, 1 hour isn’t bad! Hypothetically you could make a batch while your little one is napping (like I did the other day and felt like a superstar after!) 😉

Anyway, I hope you found this tutorial useful and now that you’ve seen it, totally doable! As the seasons change it will be fun exploring all the different essential oil combinations you can make for these soy candles.

Thank you soy much! (that was inevitable)

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Vintage Quilt Stockings Tutorial

Hi All! It feels so GOOD to finally sew something again! I was up late the other night making these Christmas stockings, and then I got so excited I filmed a video tutorial for you all. Heads up that you won’t see much of me in this video, only my arms, because I was in my jammies x-p It was past midnight when I filmed this so don’t judge, lol! Anyway, below is the video tutorial. I hope you make some pretty vintage quilt stockings from it!

Tip: If you don’t have a vintage quilt that you’re ready to cut up, I recommend searching “cutter quilts” on eBay or Etsy. Cutter quilts are vintage quilts that are falling apart, or leftover pieces of a quilt, that are sold for crafting purposes such as this. They’re much more affordable than buying a whole quilt!

This is the quilt I used to make the stockings. It was too far gone for me to save…though it’s hard to tell from these photos. It was disintegrating around the perimeter, and the fabric was thinning to holes on a lot of the quilt top. It sat folded up in my basement too fragile to use.  I’d take it out every now and then for a dose of inspiration or for a quilt-pick-me-upper. Though it was hard to cut into at first, I have no regrets because I’ve brought it back to life in another way.

Paige was a big fan of this one.

She laid on it up to it’s last moments as a full quilt. She wouldn’t even budge when I was cutting the stockings out, I had to barrel roll her several times around the quilt.

I got this quilt a little over 2 years ago when Ethan was only 3 years old.

And now he’s a big 5 year old. The excitement when he came downstairs to see the stockings hung made the all-niter that I pulled worth it.

I plan to hang a garland above the stockings, but I haven’t busted out the Christmas deco’s just yet.


Hope you enjoy the tutorial and photos 🙂

Happy Thanksgiving week everyone!

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Fall Shenanigans, Book Giveaway and Podcast! :)

I wanted to share a few quilty things I’ve been up to this Fall. 🙂 I went antiquing last weekend and came across the perfect, vintage wooden frame for my La Conner mini quilt! This quilt was made by Alli of Woodberry Way using La Conner fabrics. You can find the pattern called Sweet Marie from Alli’s shop, right HERE. I have plans to hang this in my dining room.

Now for some shop news for my sad and neglected shop…lol. I will be posting some La Conner bundles and scissors on my blog shop shortly, including signed copies of both of my books. I just need to get the shipping squared away.

La Conner scissors – they match the fabric! <3

We’ve been having a lovely Autumn here in Seattle and every nice weekend it’s been a corn mazin’, cider drinkin’, pumpkin patchin’ kinda day. I live for days like this!

 

When I was treasure hunting last weekend I also brought home this vintage quilt (shown behind those lovely dahlias, below). I saw this quilt about a month ago and contemplated getting it. At the time I decided against it, but it always stayed close to my heart. When I saw it was still available, I knew it was meant to be!

Some other fun news…! On Monday at 1:00 pm Pacific (4:00 pm Eastern, 3:00 pm Central, 2:00 pm Mountain) I will be interviewed on the American Patchwork and Quilting podcast hosted by Pat Sloan, the voice of quilting! 🙂

Update: Please visit the website link below  to listen to my interview, episode #357:
http://blog.patsloan.com/2017/11/quilt-as-you-go-scraps-fun-projects-my-favorite-storage-cart-deal.html

I will be talking about my latest book, Quilt As-You-Go Made Vintage, as well as my fabric.

Speaking of my book (which you can read more about here), I thought this would be a good opportunity for a book giveaway!

Update: This giveaway has ended and winners notified. Thank you!

I will be giving away 3 copies of my book. To enter, click HERE.

I will contact the 3 winners on Nov. 12th. Good luck!

Some other fun stuff…a couple weeks ago I hosted a QAYG workshop for the Seattle Modern Quilt Guild! I truly had so much fun and had a wonderful bunch of people in my class. I loved meeting each and every one of them!

Everyone left with a FINISHED quilt as you go pin cushion, a pair of scissors and pins! 🙂

Didn’t their cushions turn out great?!

Anyway, that’s all for now. I hope you all have a wonderful November ahead!

No better way to end this post than a corgi on a quilt. 😉 Hello from Paige!

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Cozy Cabins Quilt (free pattern!)

Per the usual these days (haha!), I am way past due sharing this free Cozy Cabin Quilt pattern. 🙂 So without further ado, here is the free printer-friendly PDF pattern! I made this pattern for Spring Quilt market (2017) back in May. You can download it HERE, or by clicking the last image to this post, below. 🙂 It comes in two sizes: a wall-hanging/lap size, or an adorable mini!

With the holidays around the corner, I thought this would make the perfect Christmas quilt. The evergreen, sage and cranberry colorways from my La Conner collection would work perfectly! Perhaps I’m a bit biased. 😉

 

My amazingly talented friend Faith Essenburg of Sarana Ave made the larger size quilt for my booth at Spring quilt market.

Made and photographed by Faith Essenburg

As always, she did a fabulous job. 🙂 She used La Conner lace detail as an edging to the binding. Faith has a tutorial on how to do that HERE.

Photo by Faith Essenburg

 

Made and photographed by Faith Essenburg

Anyway, just a short and sweet post to share this pattern with you all! You can click the image below for a free, printer-friendly PDF pattern! Enjoy 🙂

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Quilt As-You-Go Made Vintage (my latest book!)

Hi everyone! I did a post about my new book back in March, but now that my book has finally released this month (!!) I thought i’d do another post with some videos and pretty project photos that my publisher sent me from the book.

Below you can find two videos: A quick 2-minute overview of my book, and the second video where I elaborate more and show some actual quilts in hand. When it comes to quilting I can get talking quite a lot, so I thought it’d be good to share both videos to give you the option, and to not talk your ear off.

Take a look below! 🙂

For a quick ~2 min explanation of my 2nd book, you can watch this video that I filmed for The Fat Quarter Shop back in May. Gotta love where YouTube decided to freeze-frame me. I’m surprised my eyes aren’t closed too x-p

However, for a video where I elaborate on my book and talk more about the 3 different QAYG joining methods, you can check out this homemade video of me in my sewing room, that my husband helped put together for me. 🙂

>>Again I want to reiterate that my 2nd book would not be possible if not for all of you that showed a tremendous amount of support and love for my 1st book. So I wanted to reach out again (i’ll never tire of doing so), to say thank you. This book is for you! <<

And now for some pretty quilt as you go  project photos that I promised!

The above quilt was made by Deborah Russell. I am truly thankful to have had help by some very talented gals for my 2nd book! I couldn’t have have done it without their help

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The quilt below was made by Faith Essenburg of Sarana Ave.

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This  next quilt I believe I may have mentioned before in a prior post. This is a true vintage quilt. I scored these 1930’s hand-sewn blocks from eBay. They were very delicate and not perfect due to their antique nature, but the quilt-as-you-go technique enabled me to very carefully quilt one block at a time, therefore stabilizing each block. Followed by assembling the blocks together after each delicate block had already been quilted and stabilized. These once delicate blocks are now stabilized enough to put this quilt through the delicate cycle of the washing machine! QAYG is a great way to carefully assemble true, vintage quilt blocks!

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I have a whole chapter dedicated to fabric selection, and how to find inspiration from your surroundings. I love fabric, so it was easy and unique to include that.

This next quilt is the High Tea Sampler quilt (also the first quilt on this blog post). I talk about this quilt in my videos, and how my book includes 51 quilt blocks to choose from, plus 9+ projects to help get your creative juiced flowing, plus THREE quilt as-you-go joining techniques. Furthermore, I have a chapter called “Quilts for Thought” which have even more QAYG ideas. I want my books to be more than just quilt patterns. I want them to inspire! I want it to let your inner artist come out! 🙂

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Here’s a big ol’ pile of quilted blocks ready to be assembled. I took this photo when I was working on the high tea sampler quilt. It sure is a satisfying feeling having a stack of quilted and squared-up blocks. I carefully walk you through this process in my book, with lots of tips and tid bits to help you along the way.

Here’s a photo I took that shows the back of the quilt. It’s a whole other quilt on the other side!

Here’s another lovely project photo taken by the talented C&T Publishing team. they did an excellent job making this book organized and beautiful.

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This next quilt, called Simon’s Quilt,  was a special one that I made for my littlest who is now 2 years old.  It’s a very simple block, but I explain how to use textured fabrics, like this minky cuddle fabric, in your projects. The QAYG technique makes using these types of materials a bit more manageable.  It’s adds so much to a project, and it’s baby approved!!!

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And now for some pretty close ups. 🙂  If you’d like to read more about this High Tea Sampler quilt (shown below), check out this post.

 

I hope you get a chance to watch a video. There’s so much to say that it seemed easier to just film me talking about it, rather than writing a long article. I hope you enjoy the photos, and again, thank you for your support!

You can find my book here. If you get the book and love it, I appreciate any honest reviews. They truly help me as an author, and my husband and I read all of them! Thank you SO much!

buh-bye for now 🙂

xo

jera

p.s. happy quilt-as-you-go!

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