Mother’s Day was this weekend, but once you learn how to make your own scented candles, you’ll want to keep making them for yourself and for everyone else! Scented candles are simple to make, and with some thoughtfully chosen scents and a one-of-a-kind vessel, a custom scented candle would make a wonderfully homey gift for someone you care about.
- Vessel of your choosing, in ceramic, glass or metal (this one is a brass-plated votive holder)
- Packet of soy wax
- Essential oil
- Cotton twine and candlewick base
- Popsicle sticks
- Kitchen pot
Have a think about what qualities you want in the candle – invigorating? soothing? earthy? romantic? – and choose essential oils or blends that would suit. Aromatherapy blends are convenient because the hard work of matching fragrances has already been done for you, and they’re also cheaper than buying several little bottles of individual oils.
The wax, twine and wick bases can be found at a craft store. I used soy wax because it burns considerably longer and it has a nicer feel to it.
Determine how much wax you need by filling the vessel with blocks of wax. My instructions recommended adding 20% on top of this, but ‘filling’ the holder with unmelted blocks up to the brim was the perfect amount.
Gradually melt the wax until all of it is melted.This can be achieved with a microwave on a very low wattage, or by double boiling into a separate pot. If you’ve ever melted chocolate, you know what the process is like: gently, without direct heat.
A double boiler is recommended, but I cut out the middleman and directly melted the wax into the candle vessel. I placed my candle vessel into a simmering bath on medium-low heat, and added my wax to the melting pot one piece at a time. Not using a second pot meant that I wouldn’t have to painstakingly scrub wax off one of my pots.
(Important Note: Only do this with a vessel that won’t discolour or lose its varnish. You also want to be careful doing this with a glass or ceramic vessel – no sudden changes in temperature, or you risk cracking. But the warm melted wax should keep the temperature consistent.)
When the wax has melted, take a popsicle stick and stir in enough essential oil that you can smell it wafting upwards. You want that candle to smell good.
While the wax is melting, dip your piece of twine in it and set it aside on a piece of waxed paper – this will be the wick. Once the wax has melted and the scents are stirred in, turn off the heat and carefully remove the vessel with tongs. (Or using a separate pot, pour the melted wax into the vessel.)
Now for Step 3: Positioning the wick.
Thread the just-waxed twine through the wick base, secure and clip it, then wind it around a popsicle stick and position it into the melted wax so that the wick is centered and upright. Leave this in place until the candle fully solidifies, for at least several hours. Trim the wick to size, and the candle is ready to go!
I can’t believe that making a scented candle was that easy. It’s tempting to make more for myself! I’m already thinking about using a ginger and tea tree blend for making candles at Chrismastime as stocking stuffers. They’re so easy to customise for anyone’s tastes or their interior style.