Everyone loves candles- scented ones freshen up a room immediately and make for great decorations as well. But why fork out £20+ for a Yankee Candle when you can easily make one at home yourself for so much less? You can customise the scent to your own preference and these are beautiful, affordable gifts to make- and oh-so-useful! Your friends and family will thank you (;
- Soy wax (you can get this off eBay)
- Mason jar, glass jar, or any container of your choice
- Pre-waxed wicks (must be slightly taller than the container)
- Glue dots or double-sided tape
- Disposable chopsticks or kebab sticks
- Measuring jug
- Saucepan (must be deep enough to sit your measuring jug)
- Fragrance oil or essential oil
- Ribbons, markers, washi tape, striping tape, chalkboard labels and other decorative items
(*none of these links are affiliate links. I’ve purchased them with my own money).
Make sure your container is clean and oil-free. You can rinse your containers with a bit of dishwashing liquid and leave to dry before starting. Adhere your wicks to the base of the container you have chosen using the glue dots or double-sided tape, making sure to place the wick firmly in the centre.
Make sure the wicks are slightly taller than the container you have chosen, any excess length can be trimmed off afterwards.
If you are struggling to get the wick to stick, or if the container is too tall, you can use chopsticks to carefully position the wick and hold it in place. Certain containers have rounded bases, which makes positioning the wicks harder.
Pour the soy wax flakes into the measuring jug and measure out the amount you want depending on the volume of the container.
Fill the saucepan with water- about two-fifths- and place the whole jug into the saucepan to create a water bath.
Avoid filling the saucepan up with too much water, as it may run the risk of boiling over into your measuring jug.
The water bath ensures the soy wax is heated up slowly- heating the wax up too quickly will cause the finished candle to sag only in the centre, instead of burning evenly. And no one wants a saggy candle! Make sure to stir regularly during heating, and the stove should be placed on the lowest setting possible.
Alternatively, you can heat the wax flakes in a pan directly over low heat, lifting off the stove occasionally; or heat the flakes in a bowl in the microwave.
If using a microwave, first heat for 30 seconds, then in 10-second intervals, stirring regularly, until the wax flakes are fully melted.
Here, we are using a 500ml container, and although the measuring jug is filled to about 500ml with the flakes initially, as it melts, add more flakes in order to adequately fill the container. The final volume should be made up to roughly 400ml in height of liquid wax.
After the wax has been entirely melted, you can choose add fragrance oil or essential oil to the warm mixture. If you are using essential oils, you may need to add more for a stronger scent. I usually find adding 2-4ml of fragrance oil is sufficient for a very strong smelling candle. If you are sensitive to scent, you can skip this step entirely.
If you want to add colour to your candle, cut a thin section of a crayon (roughly the thickness of your finger if you want a subtle, pastel colour, or you can vary according to your preference) and stir into the wax mixture.
Worried that it might add harmful chemicals? Don’t worry- most crayons are formulated to be non-toxic as they will be handled by kids.
Add the crayon before the scent if you want a coloured candle- the oils may interfere with the mixing of the colours and create an uneven colouring.
Allow the mixture to cool slightly (but not set) and pour into the container of your choice. Ensure the wick is held firmly in the centre by clamping it between two sticks and leave to set for a few hours.
Jazz up your container with a ribbon or a handy chalkboard label with your recipients’ names on, if you are making a few as gifts! Washi tape and striping tape also make for easy but beautiful additions to a plain glass jar. The pretty glass jar is from PoundWorld and only cost £1 for two containers! Bargain!
There are so many ways and alternatives you can experiment with. Now that you have mastered the basics, why not try out these ideas?
Jen from SomethingTurquoise has a lovely tutorial for glitter candles here!
Make your candles extra quirky by using vintage teacups (complete with saucers!) for the perfect tea party. Why buy boring tealights from IKEA when you can make your own?
These colourblock candles are so easy to make, and look so good in little glass cups!