The following is an excerpt from Candlemaking the Natural Way: 31 Projects Made with Soy, Palm and Beeswax by Rebecca Ittner (Lark Crafts, 2010). The excerpt is from Chapter 6: Upcycled Candles.
I used coffee beans to create these candles, but dried flowers or chunks of colored wax would work well too.
1 pound (454 g) soy pillar wax
1 pound (454 g) whole coffee beans
Flat braided cotton wick: large
White pillar candle: 3 × 6 inches (7.6 × 15.2 cm)
Glass measuring cup: 4-cup (960 ml)
Metal pillar mold with base
Prepare the mold
1. Cover the bottom of the wick hole with mold sealer.
2. Spray the inside of the mold with vegetable spray, then place the 2 pillar candle in the center of the mold; set aside.
Melt the wax
1. Clip the thermometer onto the double boiler. Melt the pillar wax until 1 the temperature reaches about 160° F (71° C); let cool.
2. When the temperature reaches 130° F (54° C), pour the wax into the 2 measuring cup. Note: Carefully wipe the bottom of the double boiler with a kitchen towel before pouring the wax to prevent any water from dripping into the wax.
Pour and finish the candle
1. Pour a thin layer of wax about ¼ inch (.6 cm) thick into the mold on 1 the outside of the pillar, taking care to avoid pouring wax on the top of the candle; let cool.
2. Pour a layer of coffee beans onto the cooled wax then pour some 2 more wax on top of the coffee beans.
3. Using the wooden chopstick, evenly distribute the beans around the 3 candle. Let the wax cool. Note: The coffee beans will float so it is important that just enough wax is poured to cover them.
4. Repeat this layering-and-pouring process until the coffee beans are 4 even with the top of the candle. Note: Reheat the wax as necessary to complete the candle. If the top of the candle is marred, cover it with a thin layer of wax; just make sure that the wax doesn’t bury the wick.
5. Once the candle has completely cooled, remove the mold sealer, 5 then turn the mold upside down to remove the candle. If the candle doesn’t slide out easily, place the mold in a refrigerator for a few minutes then try again.
Read the original article, "How to Make a Candle: Melting Wax."