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How to make pumpkin chai candles

90 minutes
2 candles

PSL lovers, this one's for you. Turn this seasonal coffee shop favorite into a whimsical, irresistible candle perfect for fall. Hold on to your gourds, and let's get started. 

Turn this favorite seasonal drink into a fun, attention-grabbing candle complete with "whipped topping" and "cinnamon stick stirrer." This is a great project for intermediate candle makers beginning to work with embeds and other advanced techniques. Expect to spend about an hour completing the project, plus time for breaks between each step. 

EO Notes: You can also use candle-approved essential oils for this project. Check the recommended usage percentage on the essential oil product page and start with low percentages. How to Make Soy Candles with Essential Oils

Additional Items:

  • 3” (7.6 cm) cinnamon sticks
  • Spatula
  • Piping bag (optional)
  • Paper cups
  • Mold kit

We chose a putty mold-making kit found on Amazon to make the casting for the cinnamon stick embeds, but feel free to use any kit or method of your preference. Let's get started!


PART 1: Prepare Cinnamon Stick Embeds

Step 1: Choose cinnamon sticks carefully

Pick out 5-10 cinnamon sticks that are whole and have good detail. Wipe the sticks off with a clean paper towel to remove any dust or debris.

Step 2: Make your mold

Follow your mold-making kit instructions to create a reusable mold casting of the cinnamon sticks. We recommend making a few molds in case one does not come out as expected.

Do not press the casting too far into the ends of the cinnamon sticks—this will help your wax embeds release from the mold easier. 

Be sure to leave enough space at the top of the casting to hold the wax in the cavity without spilling it over.

Step 3: Make your embeds

Once your mold is ready for use, melt 4 ounces of EcoSoya PB in a double boiler. Once the wax is melted and the temperature reaches 185ºF (85°C), add 4 drops of brown liquid candle dye. If you’d like to scent the sticks, add 0.25 ounces (7 g) of fragrance oil. Mix well and slowly pour into your molds. This is enough wax to make 10-15 cinnamon stick embeds. Pour any leftover wax into a paper cup. This wax can be remelted later to make more embeds.

Step 4: Remove wax from the molds

Allow the embeds to cool completely before removing from the mold. We found the embeds to be fragile, so work slowly and do not force the wax out of the mold. Gently pull away at the ends of the mold first, then pull away at the sides to loosen the wax. To minimize cracking, do not press on the center of the wax. Push one end out of the mold and slowly pull the embed out at an angle. Set aside.

Part 2: Prepare Candles

Step 1: Melt your soy wax

Place your metal pouring pitcher on a scale and tare the weight. Add 20 ounces (567 g) of 464 soy wax to your pouring pitcher. Melt the wax to 185ºF (85°C).

Step 2: Prepare containers and add fragrance

While the wax is melting, use the time to prepare your jars and fragrance oil.

Use a wick sticker to secure the wicks to your jars. Set aside. 

Place a glass container on your scale and tare the weight. Add 1.5 ounces (43 g) of fragrance oil. Once the wax reaches 185ºF (85°C), pour the fragrance oil into the pouring pitcher. Immediately remove from the heat and stir for 2 minutes. Pour off 4 ounces of the wax into a paper cup to use for the whipped topping later.

Step 3: Add dye (optional)

To create some contrast between the wax, embed, and topping, you may choose to add a small amount of Golden Honey Liquid Dye to the wax. If you’re using a clear glass jar, you can create a lot of contrast by using the Pumpkin Dye Block.

After you've separated 4 ounces of wax for the whipped topping, add 1-2 drops of Golden Honey Liquid Dye or ¼ block of the Pumpkin Dye Block to the remaining wax in the pouring pitcher.

Step 4: Pour candle and add embed

Allow the wax to cool to 135ºF (57.2°C) then pour equal amounts into your two containers.

Let the wax cool just enough that you can press about ¼ of the cinnamon stick embed into the wax without it falling over or sinking further into the wax. Allow the embed to rest on the edge of the jar and insert at a slight downward angle toward the wick. The wax should be about 95ºF (35°C). If needed, you can use a heat gun to soften the wax. You want to make sure the wax is cool enough that the embed will not start to melt. 

Allow the candle to cool completely.

Step 5: Make the whipped topping

Remelt the wax you set aside in step 2. You can either melt it using the microwave or a double boiler. Melt just long enough for the wax to be fluid but not completely melted. Using a metal spatula, stir the wax until it is fluffy and holds its shape but is not stiff.

Carefully pile the whipped wax around the wick and under the embed to create a whipped cream topping effect. You can also use a piping bag to pipe the whipped wax on top for a more precise look.

Pro Tip!

If you had a few of the cinnamon stick embeds crack while unmolding, you can use them to make a “cinnamon” sprinkle on top. Use a fine grater to grate the wax over the candle or you can use a sharp knife or peeler to create mini “chocolate” shavings.

Step 6: Curl the wick

Once the whipped topping has completely cooled and hardened, use a pencil or bamboo skewer to wrap the wick around and create a curlycue. Be sure to add a label to the final packaging advising customers to trim this off before lighting.

Alternately, you can trim the wick down to ¼ inch.

Step 7: Add labels

Add a warning label to the bottom. For the finishing touch, you may want to add your own custom label detailing the scent name and other information. Visit www.avery.com/candlescience to get started designing your own unique labels.

Ta da! Your perfectly Instagrammable Pumpkin Chai Candles are ready for their close-up (assorted gourds and scarves not included). And speaking of, don't forget to share photos of your finished product on social media—tag us @CandleScience with the hashtag #CandleScientist and we may feature you on our social channels and website!