Candlelight is an element of winter holidays all over the world. Whether part of someone’s deeply held spiritual or cultural practices—as during Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, and Diwali—or representative of age-old Winter Solstice and Christmas traditions, candles are, for many of us, a fundamental part of our winter festivities… which means it’s a perfect time to make easy homemade scented candles in preparation for the celebrations, decorating, and gift giving.For this year’s candle making I decided to repurpose a “spiced cream” diffuser blend that my talented Mountain Rose Herbs coworker, Kendle, created last year. Because she originally developed the diffuser recipe by measuring in parts, it was easy to utilize her blend in this lusciously scented candle. The aroma of orange-vanilla cream gently spiced with nutmeg and cinnamon is a combination that checks all my holiday olfactory boxes.
Homemade candles with essential oils are a fun DIY project and a great way to upcycle jars, tins, etc. If you’ve never made candles before or if it’s been a while, this basic candle-making blog will be helpful before you begin.
Spiced Cream Beeswax and/or Vegan Candles
Makes one 7-8 oz. poured candle
- Metal pot with water
- Heat-safe glass measuring cup or metal double boiler insert twice the capacity of the wax you want to melt
- Candy or instant read thermometer (for watching flash points)
- Upcycled 7-8 oz. jar or tin
- Wicks—use the sizing chart on the packaging to find out which wick to use for your container size; the wick size is determined by the diameter of the container
- Wick clips (optional)
- Wick holders or pens/pencils for centering your wicks
- Organic beeswax or carnauba wax
- Organic, refined coconut oil or organic babassu oil
- 1 tsp. organic sweet orange essential oil
- 40 drops organic nutmeg essential oil
- 40 drops organic benzoin essential oil
- 20 drops organic cinnamon leaf essential oil
- Put metal double boiler insert or glass measuring cup in pan with water, bring water to a simmer.
- Add beeswax or carnauba wax and coconut to the double boiler insert. I used a slightly heavy 3/4 cup of beeswax pastilles and 1/4 cup coconut oil to make enough melted wax/fat for one 7-8 oz. jar. If using beeswax, aim for 75% beeswax and 25% coconut oil. If using carnauba wax, you’ll want 50% wax and 50% coconut oil.
- Heat the wax/fat blend until just melted together.
- Insert a candy or instant read thermometer in the center of the mixture to monitor temperature. If you are working over an open flame, it's important to know the flashpoints in order to avoid dangerous combustion, particularly for beeswax. The flashpoint for beeswax is 200° F, coconut oil has a flashpoint near 350° F, and carnauba wax doesn't combust until about 570° F.
- For beeswax candles, once melted, dip a wick end into the melted wax (this only works for beeswax) and place in the center of your jar or tin. Press to the bottom of the container (use a utensil for pressure if needed). The beeswax will solidify and hold your wick in place. For carnauba candles, secure the wick end with a piece of tape or pour a bottom layer of wax to cover the wick end and allow it to cool while you hold the wick in place.
- Center and suspend the wick in the middle of the container by wrapping the excess length of wick around a pencil or skewer and balancing that horizontally across the jar opening.
- While the wax/fat blend is melting, pre-mix your essential oils. You will note that the benzoin, being a resin oil, comes out slowly and tends to separate. Stir the blend vigorously to incorporate.
- While the melted wax blend is still on the heat source, right before you pour into your candle containers, add the mixed essential oil blend. Stir in quickly and thoroughly.
- Pour wax into containers, leaving roughly 1/2 inch of room at the top.
- Set aside to solidify.
- Once the wax appears to be solid (this can take 30 to 60 minutes), you may notice that some candles have caved in slightly on the top. You can reheat any extra wax/oil mixture and top them off, leaving 1/4 inch of room at the top.
- Once completely cooled (overnight is safe), remove wick holders and snip wicks to 1/2 inch.
- Light and enjoy!
- I find that using a bent paperclip to secure the wick to the pencil ahead of time helps to keep the wick centered.
- To clean up, cover a pan with aluminum foil or wax paper and place on the bottom rack of your oven. Put wax-coated glass jars or the metal boiler insert upside down on the top rack. Turn oven on to 180° F and allow to sit for an hour or so. All of the wax will melt down onto your pan, mess free! This is also a good method for prepping your used candle containers for reuse once you've burned them through and are ready to make more!
Looking for more fun DIY holiday crafts?
You may also be interested in:
- DIY Aromatherapy: 3 Holiday Diffuser Blend Recipes
- Holiday-Inspired Orange Body Care Recipes
- Maqui Berry Mocktail for the Holidays