How To Make Herbal Candles

There is nothing quite like the cozy flame and calming scent from a candle burning especially during those cold, gloomy, or rainy days.  Recently, I embarked on the journey to make some herbal candles myself by using pure essential oils and all-natural herbs.  Below you will find step-by-step instructions on how to make your own herbal candles which are sure to light up any room.

Setting wick for candles

Selecting The Best Wax for Candlemaking

Soy wax is by far the most popular wax to use for home crafters, and it will work perfectly for this project.  It is considered to be a cleaner and much more sustainable option than its counterpart, paraffin wax.  Soy wax also leads to a candle that burns very well, with a large melt pool, thus leading to less tunneling and wax waste.  I purchased my organic soy candle wax online, but you can also find it at any local craft store.  Additionally, the white color of the soy wax tends to let the herbal elements really shine on the finished product.

Selecting Containers for Homemade Candles

I think one of the greatest parts of this DIY project is selecting the vessel in which you will house your wax.  I decided to take a trip to the local thrift store and repurpose some containers there.  This was an extremely inexpensive way to find some great containers which really gave some character to the finished product.  It always feels good to recycle, reuse and repurpose.  Tiny ceramic teapots, morning breakfast mugs, and forgotten pieces of crystal are amongst some of the treasures you too may find at your local thrift store which will make a wonderful candle in the end.   Make sure you wash and thoroughly clean whatever treasure you purchase prior to using it for your candle.

Empty containers for homemade candles

The Nose Knows…Selecting A Scent

Essential oils are always so much fun to play with in order to make a concoction that pleases your nose.  Some common but foolproof scents are rose, orange, lime, eucalyptus, and lavender.  This time I really enjoyed the blend Essential Protect by Nature’s Wonderland.  It is a great blend of orange peel, clove, cinnamon, rosemary, and eucalyptus and really emits the scents of a woodsy wonderland.  

Essential oils and dried herbs for making candles
Candlemaking supplies

Selecting Herbs for Your Candle

When selecting an herb to sprinkle on the top of your candle it is best to pair this with the scent you choose.  Some examples are using eucalyptus essential oil and eucalyptus leaves, rose essential oil and rosebuds, orange essential oil, and bitter orange peel.  It’s best to choose an herb that is not too heavy so that it sits right on top of the wax when finished.

Select a Wick

There are a few options when choosing a wick. The most popular choices are cotton or wood.  I really enjoy using wood wicks for the added rustic look and crackling fireplace sound.  The choice is all yours.

Set candles with wooden wicks
Wooden wicks

Let’s Put It All Together…Homemade Soy Candle

  • Determine how much of the wax pellets you will need for your candle. A good ratio is to figure out how much the container will hold and double it. I placed the wax pellets into the container and doubled that.
  • Arrange your container on a flat surface with the wick centered at the bottom. I used wood wicks which had a metal stand, that way each of them was nicely upright as I poured in my melted wax.
  • Melt the wax over low heat on a stove, stirring often. When the wax is about half to three quarters melted, add the essential oils and continue stirring. I used about 10 drops per jar, but it is really up to you as to how strong you would like the scent.
  • Once the wax is completely clear, carefully pour it into the vessel of your choice. You will see the color of the wax slowly change back to white from being clear when it was heated.  Once the top portion of your candle wax has a light white color to it, and looks as if it is starting to solidify, add a small sprinkle of herbs, flowers or a spring of rosemary, or even dried fruit.  Then allow it to continue to harden for 24 hours.
  • Once your candles are cured, trim the wicks to be approximately ½ inch or less in length.  I found that nail clippers do a great job in completing this delicate task.
  • Lastly, burn baby burn!  Enjoy the new creation you made, but always remember to burn it safely, especially around children and pets.

Candles make a wonderful gift for family, friends, co-workers, and teachers any time of the year.  You can really customize your candle for the recipient, showing your DIY love and having fun while doing it.

What are some useful tips and tricks you’ve found when making homemade candles?

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