We all know that giving gifts can sometimes feel impersonal. Buying tool kits for dad, bath robes for mom, and socks for everyone else (which I’m not against, I love socks) can feel mundane.
This year, I decided to dive into do-it-yourself gifts. I began making candles.
At first, I thought it was going to be insanely difficult and that it would take me awhile to get it right. However, I was pleasantly surprised to find how easy it was! Candles are soothing, they’re super fun to make and customize, and they’re a perfect gift for your loved ones.
I used a variety of essential oils according to my friend’s and family’s tastes including lemon grass, lavender, orange, vanilla, rosemary, and eucalyptus. You can use any essential oil you fancy.
I also used soy wax as opposed to beeswax because it’s cheaper and more environmentally friendly. Many wax kits come with pre-waxed wicks and aluminum centering devices which are used to keep the wicks in place while the wax dries.
So, let’s get started!
What You Will Need
- Soy wax candle-making kit; as I stated above, wicks and aluminum centering devices are included
- Glass jars; I use 8 oz. jars which worked perfectly. I prefer clear jars so you can see the beautiful color if you choose to use dye. You can also use things like mason jars or empty glass condiment jars. You can really get creative in what jar you want to use.
- Essential oils of your choosing. I usually get my essential oils from Natural Grocers, but I also like the brand PlantLife. Their products are also kid-safe and organic.
- Dye for your wax. I try to line up the colors with the scents: light purple for lavender, light brown for vanilla, etc.
- Saucepan for boiling water
- Sturdy bowl to place on top of the saucepan for double boiling (no plastic bowls). Of course, if you have a double boiler, go for that!
- Silicone spatula
Materials for One 8 oz. Candle*
2.5 cups of soy wax
½ of a piece of the bar of dye
Roughly 100 drops of your favorite essential oil
*multiply if you’re making more than one
- Set up your jar(s) and wick(s). You’ll want to place your wick in the center of the jar and get the metal tip as close to touching the bottom as you can. Insert the wick into the aluminum centering device and bend the top of the wick so that it is stable. Note: The aluminum centering device just holds your wick in place and sits on top of your jar.
- Fill your saucepan about halfway with water and set on a medium-high stove top.
- Place your bowl inside the saucepan making sure the water just touches the bottom of the bowl (this replicates a double boiler if you don’t have one).
- Once the water gets simmering, place your piece of dye in the bowl and let it melt.
- Once it’s melted, place your 2.5 cups of wax in the bowl and stir.
- Add in your essential oil and stir frequently until the wax is fully melted and the dye is evenly distributed, about 10 minutes.
- Place your funnel into your jar (you’ll have to maneuver it to avoid bumping the aluminum centering device) and gently pour the wax from the bowl into the jar.
- You can adjust your wick at this point, if needed, while the wax is still in liquid form then wait until it completely dries.
- Once dry, you can cut the wick and remove the centering device.
- If there are any blemishes such as uneven wax, you can blast it with a hair dryer to re-melt the wax and it will even out itself.
Here are Some Creative Tips You Can Try as Well
- Tie a cute bow around the outside of the jar.
- Top off your candles with fresh herbs like lavender or rosemary before you candle dries completely.
- Stick crystals in your wax for hidden crystals that are revealed as you burn; you should do this before your candle dries completely.
Homemade candles are a great gift to present to your friends and family for any occasion. Making candles is very therapeutic and allows you to express yourself creatively in the process.
I recently made the hidden crystals candle and it’s so lovely that I decided to keep it for myself!