By The ARTnews Recommends Editors
A candle should smell good, but ideally, it should also look good. If you’re making your own waxy decor, and want to avoid using tallow, you’re going to need to invest in some quality soy dye. Thankfully, adding color to your DIY candles with soy dye is pretty easy: just add a few dye chips or blocks, or powdered dye. Chips and blocks should melt evenly to prevent any streaking. If you don’t dissolve your ingredients properly, you’ll also end up with lumpy candles or clogged wicks. Achieve the candles of your dreams with our picks for wax dyes below.
Sold in flake form, this dyed wax presents bold and vibrant color. You get 16 distinct hues, including deep cherry, teal, and gold, and colors come in resealable bags. The color variation is impressive, but we also like how user-friendly this set is: The wax melts easily and holds scent very well, and you also get a paper guide that explains how to achieve different color intensities. What’s more, every purchase grants you access to a mobile app that provides tips on dyeing, fragrance-concocting, and more. The 0.14-ounce bags look small, but a little goes a long way with these flakes, which can be used to dye up to 141 pounds of wax, from soy to petroleum to paraffin. The packaging is sophisticated and engaging, which is a bonus.
If you’re in the market for specific dye colors, browse the offerings from Candle Shop Store. You can purchase flakes in black, purple, rose pink, and about a dozen more individual hues—ideal for artists who want to thoughtfully build their candle palettes. Each pack comes with about two ounces of wax that dissolves effortlessly in about two or three minutes. The resulting colors are vivid, and the flakes don’t have any preexisting smells so you can formulate the scent of your dreams without any fuss.
An alternative to flakes is dye in powder form. The downside of powder is that the pigments are much, much messier to work with, but the color intensity is incredible, and you have greater control over your recipes: just add enough pinches of pigment to achieve your ideal colors. The color of this powder is super concentrated, and the particles dissolve smoothly. You get just eight colors—far less than most dye kits in flake form—but the variety is good, ranging from yellow to deep green to a pretty peach. Each bottle contains 0.2 ounces of powder—about enough to dye an impressive 11 pounds of soy wax.
Yet another form of candle dye is wax blocks, which are a great option if you want to follow highly precise recipes multiple times, or are making larger candles. This option comes with paired blocks in 24 colors—simply snap each in half to create two consistent wax batches. You get bright hues like yellow, orange, and lime green, and some muted ones like ice blue, wine red, and olive green. The chunks are easy to break, and they yield highly pigmented wax.
This is a cost-effective option for those in search of dye in flake form and also want lots of colors. The 24-color kit costs about half the price of other flake products on our list. You’ll sacrifice slightly on vibrancy, and you have to hit a high temperature for the flakes to melt properly, but the resulting colors are still pretty. Each bag holds about 0.1 ounces of wax, and the flakes don’t have any preexisting scents.
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