How to Make Homemade Candles

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Homemade candles are fun to make and give as gifts. This tutorial will show you how easy it is to make homemade candles using essential oils.

I love giving homemade gifts. I tend to make homemade gifts for the majority of the adults in my life. It (usually) saves money and is always something a little unique. One of my favorite DIY gifts to give in the past has been candles.

Homemade candles make a great gift for almost anyone. For any season. You can make candles scented with essential oils for end-of-the-year teacher gifts, hostess gifts, birthdays, Christmas, and just for fun.

a homemade candle surrounded by decorative balls and a flower
Homemade candles are fun to make and can be scented in a variety of ways. They also make great gifts for others.

(Please note that some of the links in this article may be affiliate links and I may receive a small commission if you purchase something through a link. It will not change your cost. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. For more information, check out my disclosures page.)

As with any DIY project, please use your judgment and be very careful. Hot wax is dangerous. For more information, see my disclosures page.)

Why Would You Want to Make Your Own Candles?

In my post, Simple Fall Decor, I discussed some of the dangers of conventional store-bought candles. Yes, they smell amazing but they are spewing hormone disrupters all through the house.

I prefer to use either beeswax or soy wax candles. You can buy these from Amazon, but for a Christmas gift, I prefer to make my own.

Candles are fairly easy to make and you can find all kinds of unique glass containers to make them in. One year I purchased three wine glasses of various shapes and heights (but still similar in style) and made a candle arrangement to give as a gift. It was a very elegant look and the wine glasses came from the Dollar Tree!

Mason Jars also work really well and make a very stable candle that isn’t knocked over easily. This is especially important if you have pets or small children in the house.

What You Need to Make Homemade Candles

To make your candles, you will need:

  • sturdy glass containers or mason jars
  • wicks, at least one inch taller than the candle container
  • soy wax or beeswax or a combination of the two
  • a glass measuring cup to melt the wax in*
  • a saucepan to set the glass measuring cup in
  • essential oils (Plant Therapy brand is my favorite. They also offer free shipping on any size order.)**
  • pencils or chopsticks or popsicle sticks
  • something to stir the wax, like an old spoon
  • candle colorant, optional

* I recommend using an old glass measuring cup that you keep specifically for making candles. It can be difficult to get all the remaining candle residue out of the container.

**For Fall, I like to use my favorite combination of essential oils but for Christmas, this Holiday Season blend would be great. Or you can grab my free printable with over 30 essential oil combinations below and use any of them to make your candles smell good.

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If you don’t want to purchase the ingredients separately, there are some really neat candle making kits on Amazon that contain everything you need.

How to Make Homemade Candles

Melting the Wax

First, measure your wax. You will need enough wax to fill the candle container twice. I actually used the candle jar to measure the wax. Fill the candle jar, pour it into the pyrex measuring cup and repeat once. Set the wax aside.

To the saucepan, add about 2″ water. Place on the stove over medium heat and place the pyrex measuring cup in the water. Slowly allow the wax to melt, stirring as needed.

While the wax is melting, prepare your wick by straightening it, if necessary. Once the wax has started melting, carefully dip the metal part of the wick into the melted wax.

Gently place it in the center of the glass container using a chopstick or popsicle stick to press it in place. Let this cool. This will help keep the wick anchored to the container when you pour in the remaining wax.

Continue to allow the wax to melt, stirring occasionally. Notice how full the pyrex container is in picture #2 versus picture #4. It melts down a lot.

If using a candle colorant, add it according to package directions when the wax is nearly all melted. I tend to leave mine uncolored so the candles always match my decor.

Once the wax is fully melted, remove the saucepan from the heat. Carefully remove the pyrex from the water and dry the bottom of the pyrex container.

Let the wax cool for several minutes. If you let it cool too long and the wax starts to harden, you can always re-melt it.

Then add the essential oils, using 10-20 mL per pound of wax. (For my two candles I used approximately 1 1/4 pounds of wax and 12 mL orange essential oil, 6 mL cinnamon essential oil, and 3 mL clove essential oil for a moderately scented fall candle.)

Stir gently to ensure the essential oils are dispersed throughout the wax.

Pouring Your Candle

Slowly and carefully, pour the wax into your chosen container. Center the wick, using pencils or chopsticks to prop it up straight.

Allow the candle to harden, without disturbing, for several hours. Once the wax has hardened, trim the wick to 1/2″ above the wax.

Wait at least 24 hours to allow the wax to fully harden before lighting your candle. Your candle is now ready to enjoy.

Use it yourself or make several to give as gifts. These also make great housewarming gifts or end-of-year teacher gifts.

Other Do-It-Yourself Gift Ideas

Do you give homemade gifts for Christmas? What is your favorite thing to make and give?

Homemade Candles
Prep Time
1 hr
 

This step-by-step guide will show you how to easily make candles at home.

Course: DIY
Cuisine: DIY
Ingredients
  • wicks, at least an inch taller than the candle container
  • soy wax or beeswax that will fill the candle container twice
  • essential oils, optional
  • candle colorant, optional
Instructions
  1. First, measure your wax. You will need enough wax to fill the candle container twice. I actually used the candle jar to measure the wax. Fill the candle jar, pour it into the pyrex measuring cup and repeat once. Set aside.

  2. To the saucepan, add about 2″ water. Place on the stove over medium heat and place the pyrex measuring cup in the water. Slowly allow the wax to melt, stirring as needed.

  3. While the wax is melting, prepare your wick by straightening it, if necessary. Once the wax has started melting, carefully dip the metal part of the wick into the melted wax.

  4. Gently place it in the center of the glass container using a chopstick or popsicle stick to press it in place. Let this cool. This will help keep the wick anchored to the container when you pour in the remaining wax.

  5. Continue to allow the wax to melt, stirring occasionally. It will melt down considerably.

  6. If using a candle colorant, add it according to package directions when the wax is nearly all melted.

  7. Once the wax is fully melted, remove the saucepan from the heat. Carefully remove the pyrex from the water and dry the bottom of the pyrex container.

  8. Let the wax cool for several minutes. If you let it cool too long and the wax starts to harden, you can always re-melt it.

  9. Then add the essential oils, using 10-20 mL per pound of wax. Stir gently to ensure the essential oils are dispersed throughout the wax.

  10. Slowly and carefully, pour the wax into your chosen container. Center the wick, using pencils or chopsticks to prop it up straight.

  11. Allow the candle to harden, without disturbing, for several hours. Once the wax has hardened, trim the wick to 1/2″ above the wax. Wait at least 24 hours to allow the wax to fully harden before lighting your candle. Your candle is now ready to enjoy.

essential oils opt in box
a homemade candle sitting on a table
These easy homemade candles take less than one hour to make!
How to make homemade candles

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4 thoughts on “How to Make Homemade Candles”

    • I hope you enjoy making them. Just be sure your kids are old enough to handle the hot wax. ? It gets really hot! (And I checked out your blog. It is gorgeous! I love the flowers and the happy colors.)

      Reply

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