Who doesn’t love candles? Not only do they fill any room with beautiful scents, but there’s nothing quite as luxurious in feeling as a room warmed by flickering candlelight. Finding a candle that matches both your decor and your mood — and isn’t filled with any kind of harsh, questionable chemicals or synthetic fragrances — can be difficult, however. Luckily, we have a solution. Make your own!
While we love using essential oil diffusers to get our aromatherapy fix and love mixing our essential oils to achieve the ideal mixture to match our mood, we can have both of these things with candles too. We’ve put together the ultimate list for preparing your own personalized all-natural essential oil candle. Whether you’re looking for something to relax with while you soak in the bath or something to burn to stay focused while you burn the midnight oil, making your own candle is the perfect solution because it can so easily be attuned to your wellness needs.
And don’t worry — it’s not nearly as difficult as you think. All you need are a few materials to be able to start making your own candle. We’ve also distilled it into ten easy steps… so you won’t need an extra aromatherapy candle to help you relax after this DIY experience.
In Order To Craft a DIY Essential Oil Candle, You’ll Need:
- Soy wax flakes or beeswax
- A cotton candle wick (or more, if you’re making multiple candles!)
- Receptacle for your candle, whether that’s a tin, a mason jar, a mold, or a candle holder you’re recycling
- Candy or candle-making thermometer
- Candle-making dye or crayon shavings
- Double-boiler (one pot to boil water, and a glass bowl over the top)
- A measuring cup
You can do without the candle-making dye or crayon shavings if you don’t want to color your candle. You can also use just about anything to hold your candle, as long as it won’t be damaged by heat. But there’s one more thing you need, and it’s the most important part.
You’ll need to choose which pure essential oils to add to your candle. You can go with a single favorite if you’d like a candle with a simple but effective scent. You can also consider mixing multiple essential oils together to create your ideal candle.
Essential oil blends could be designed to make your candle evoke a certain season, like fall or winter. They could be designed to put you in a certain mood or headspace — we love a good calming candle with bergamot and cedarwood or an energizing mix of orange and grapefruit to burn while we’re getting ready in the morning. Eucalyptus and peppermint can make for a cleansing mixture, and geranium and ylang-ylang offer beautiful floral scents.
But really, it’s up to you! And that’s a large part of the fun. Rather than spending ages sniffing so many different candles in the aisle of a store, you can create exactly the one you’re looking for in the comfort of your own home.
Now you’re ready to go!
1. Melt The Wax
In order to melt the wax for your candle, you’ll need to set up a double boiler. You may have an apparatus made to do this, but if not, it’s easy to recreate with common kitchen implements. You’ll need to fill a pot with water and bring it to a gentle simmer. Once the water is simmering, you should add a glass bowl (or a smaller pot) on top of it. The idea of a double boiler is that it heats the contents of the second bowl without burning it like it might if it were directly on the burner.
Once you’ve got your double boiler ready to go on the stovetop, you can pour your beeswax or soy into the glass bowl. You can measure the amount you need by filling your container with the solid wax flakes or pellets twice over. The wax will shrink as it melts, and so you’ll need approximately twice the amount. Be extremely careful when working with the melted wax, so be careful of burns.
Stir it occasionally as it starts to melt to help it heat evenly — but you don’t have to hover. You can use this time to prep for the next steps if you so desire.
2. Color The Wax
You’ll want to heat the wax until it reaches about 180 degrees Fahrenheit, or 82 degrees celsius — but you should check the packaging for whatever base you’re using, as cooking temperatures could vary somewhat.
Once your wax is properly heated, you can add your color. This can either be done with professional candle-making dye, which you can get at any craft store. It can also be done with some crayon shavings! This is a fun way to use up any crayon stubs you might have lying around. If you’d prefer your candle remain its natural color, you can just skip this step—it won't affect the way your candles smell.
3. Add The Wick
While your wax continues heating, place a tiny drop of it at the bottom of your container. Stick your wick to it and wait for it to dry. If you’d rather not use the wax you’ve melted, you could also use a hot glue gun.
It’s best if the wick is much too long for whatever receptacle you’re using. You can wrap the extra length of wick around a chopstick or a pencil and rest it over the top of the container to make sure that the wick stays upright when you pour the hot wax. You can cut the wick after you’ve finished.
4. Let The Wax Cool
Once you’ve melted and colored your wax, and your candle-holder is prepped with the wick, you can take the glass bowl or smaller pot off of the double boiler and let it begin to cool. You want it to reach around 140 degrees Fahrenheit. It’s important you don’t skip this step! If you do step #5 when the wax is too hot, your oils will burn. If you wait too long for your wax to cool, it will begin to harden.
5. Add Your Essential Oils
Now you can do the fun, fragrant part — stirring in drops of essential oils. The world is your oyster here. You can either just add your favorite essential oil or a mixture of oils to create a more complex scene.
The more oil you use, the more fragrant your candle will be, but careful not to overdo it. If you have a scale, you’ll want to add about fifteen milliliters of essential oil for every 454 grams of candle wax.
6. Pour Your Wax And Essential Oils Into The Container
Take care to pour the wax slowly. Pouring too fast will result in bubbles or other blemishes in your candle. If you have wax leftover, save it until you’re finished, just in case you end up with any gaps or dips once your candle has dried.
7. Allow The Candle To Harden
Now it’s time for everything to cool! When you pour the wax, it’ll probably look a bit more transparent than you were expecting, but this will be resolved as the candle cools. You’ll have to be patient for this step — don’t touch the candle or move it around, or you’ll end up with an uneven surface!
The amount of time it takes for a candle to cool and fully harden depends on the type of wax used to make it and its size. Give it a good four to eight hours if you’re letting it dry at room temperature. If you’re impatient (we certainly are!), you can put the candle in your refrigerator to speed up the cooling time. That way, it will only take 1-2 hours.
8. Fill In Any Gaps
Once your candle has cooled, you’ll have a better idea of how you did! Don’t worry if the surface is uneven or has some gaps or ridges. That’s why you saved the extra wax. If you notice any imperfections in your candle, simply reheat your excess wax, and pour another layer on top to fill it in.
If you find you need to add more wax to make your candle perfect, you’ll need to repeat step #7.
9. Trim The Wick
Now it’s starting to look like a candle! The second-to-last step is just trimming the wick. You’ll want to leave about a quarter-inch above the surface of the candle, so you have enough to light, but not so much that it has space to create smoke.
You’ve done it! You’ve made your perfect candle. Congratulations, and good job.
Making homemade candles with essential oils is actually pretty easy once you have the equipment! It’s also much more budget-friendly once you get the hang of it than buying expensive scented candles, and it’s more natural because you’ll know exactly what’s in it. A set of soy candles or beeswax candles in cute glass jars make for a great gift idea, so keep them in mind next time you're stumped for someone's birthday.
If you love essential oils or aromatherapy and are looking for a new way to incorporate them into your life, crafting your own candle with essential fragrance oil is a great option to add a little light to your life.