For as long as I can remember, I have loved candles. Adding a soft glow to your living room on a cold night or creating a sparkling atmosphere out on a patio with candles can really improve the ambiance – especially when they are scented! My favorite scents are the natural smelling ones like herbs, citrus fruits, and light floral aromas. There are so many candles out there in stores, but I can be really picky when it comes to the scents, meaning I have to spend a whole lot more money on them.
Since a really great smelling candle can cost a pretty penny, I thought it would be worth while to learn how to make my own scented candles. I saw this tutorial for DIY natural candles on Twinspiration and was totally inspired to use their method!
In my candle endeavors, I actually tested many scent combinations and amounts before finding some that I really liked. As it turns out, scented candles need quite a bit of essential oil to actually give off a good amount of smell. I found that for every 1 ounce of candle wax, I had to add 10 drops of oil. An 8 ounce candle (1 cup) takes 75-80 drops! I also found that soy candle wax does not burn as evenly as some other candles I have purchased, so if the candle vessel was wider I needed to add another wick or two to burn evenly.
In the beginning, it felt like it was costing me quite a bit of money to buy all of the supplies it was going to take to make the candles, but when I divided the cost up per candle, it came out to about $4-6 per candle. (The cost of the candles will vary mostly based on the price of the cups you put them in.) You honestly can’t buy a decent candle for that price, not to mention an all natural one that burns forever! Here’s the cost breakdown of one candle:
Natural Candle Wicks – $6, 100 per bag, 1 per candle = $0.06
Natural Soy Wax – $11, 3 lb bag, 1/2 lb per one 8 oz. candle = $1.85
Essential Oil – $16, 8 10mL bottles (1600 drops in 8 bottles), 80 drops per candle = $0.80
Ceramic cup (you can also use a glass) = $2.99
Saucepan dedicated to candle making – $8.50 (assume makes 100 candles) = $0.09
TOTAL FOR ONE CANDLE = $5.79
Check out my tutorial below, and if you want to try out the lightly scented fir and grapefruit combo like Carli and Britta did, check out their tutorial here. I would recommend doubling the amount of scent, however, since when I tried this amount I couldn’t really smell the candle burning.
DIY Candle Making
1. Place some wax paper or newspaper next to your stove and place your candle jar or cup on it. This helps to make cleanup simpler.
2. Take your hot glue gun and glue the candle wick to the bottom of your candle jar in the center of the jar. If the jar is wide at the top, I would recommend evenly spacing two or three wicks around the candle base since it will help it to burn evenly.
3. Place enough soy wax flakes into your saucepan to fill the candle container twice and turn on the heat to low. Stir the wax until is has all melted. Remove the saucepan from the heat. And let cool for about 2-3 minutes. This keeps the essential oils from flashing! (Some essential oils have low flash points, and thus you cannot add them to extremely hot wax.)
4. Add in 80 drops of essential oil to your wax per candle. I tried a couple of combinations – one being 40 drops of rosemary and 40 drops of peppermint for a spa like scent (think Aveda shampoo, if you know what I mean!) and the other being 50 drops of lavender, 15 drops of sweet orange, and 15 drops of rosemary for a spring blossom smell. Stir the wax to incorporate the scent.
5. Carefully pour the wax into your candle jar and allow to cool for at least 60 minutes, or until the wax has changed from clear to white. Once the wax has cooled, cut the wick to 1/2″.