DIY: How to Make a Perfectly Scented Candle with Essential Oils
Updated: Jan 23
It’s fall time in the Midwest and boy, are we feeling it! I love it when the chilly days begin to creep upon us. I am all about the snuggly sweaters, big cups of coffee, and of course… diffusing essential oils that compliment the season.
With the crisp, Fall weather brings candle weather, too! Candles have a way of making a home feel cozy and put together. If you need a mood boost, wish to read your favorite book while wafting your favorite scent, or are simply cleaning your home and want it to smell fresh, candles are the way to go.
Although candles are known to smell yummy (especially Fall candles), most commercially-made candles contain toxins that aren’t the safest to burn around your family or pets. I have actually completely ditched commercial candles in my own home. I have done extensive research and educated people on candle toxicity (watch my Instagram story here).
Most candles are made from paraffin wax, a petroleum by-product that produces black soot, which can be harmful to the lungs and other body systems. In addition, commercial candles also contain artificial scents that contain phthalates. While phthalates effectively disperse scents into the air, they are also highly toxic and are known to be endocrine disruptors, also known as hormone disruptors. Hormone disruptors can affect the reproductive system and fetal development, among other body systems, and can bog your body down.
If you aren’t ready to ditch candles candle for good, and still crave that glowy aura that candles produce in your home, there is still hope!
You can create your own candles using non-toxic products, essential oils, and a little bit of time. It’s not a challenging process at all, and the results are kiddo, pet safe, and hormone safe—not to mention elegant!
Follow along with this simple candle recipe that is sure to get your home smelling lovely. This recipe will also help you switch out regular candles that can give off toxic fumes with natural scents that are good for your whole being—body, mind, and soul. Mix and match your favorite essential oil scents and create a candle that is uniquely you.
In my very first candle, I used peppermint essential oil and real peppermint leaves. The essential oil produced a light peppermint smell that reminded me of my favorite mint tea that I drink before bed. The whole peppermint leaves provided a pretty green color to the white soy wax.
Soy wax cubes (I got mine from Amazon)
Dried fake or real flowers or herbs (optional)
30-50 drops of your favorite essential oil
One mason jar
One candle wick (cut about an inch past the height of your jar) with a metal base
A pencil or a popsicle stick
A candy/food thermometer
On low/medium heat, bring water to a simmer in the bottom part of your double boiler. Once the water reaches a steady simmer, place the top part of your double boiler over the water and add the wax cubes.
Melt the wax cubes and stir until completely melted and liquified.
Remove your double boiler from your stove and let the wax sit and cool.
Once the wax has sat for a couple of minutes, check the temperature. You will need to understand the flashpoint* of your essential oil in order to add it at the right time (e.g., the flashpoint to lavender oil is 149° F, so you will need to cool the wax below this temperature.
Add the essential oil of your choice and mix it into the wax. You can now add your flowers or herbs at this point, as well.
Warm-up your mason jar!** You can do this one of two ways: preheat your oven to 250° F and set your mason jar in your oven while you wait for your wax to cool. You can also fill your mason jar halfway with water and heat it in the microwave for a minute or two. If you use this method, you will need to dump the water and completely dry the jar inside with a towel before pouring the wax.
Attach the metal base onto your wick and lower it into the center jar. Make sure your wick is at least 2-3 inches longer than the mason jar and wrap the remainder of your wick around a popsicle stick or pencil until the object can rest on the mouth of the jar. Make sure your wick sits perfectly in the center of your jar. Otherwise, your wax will melt kind of wonky and unevenly.
Pour the wax mixture into your jar. Fill your mason jar up until the liquid hits the first line of the mouth of the jar. Ensure at least half an inch of the wick is exposed, from the wax to the top of the jar.
Let the wax cool and harden at room temperature. Now comes the waiting part (I know, bummer!). This is the step that will make or break a lovely smelling candle, though. Your candle will need to cure for at least 72 hours or up to 2 weeks. How long the candle cures is up to you, but I will tell you that the longer a candle cures, the stronger the scent. It’s worth the wait, trust me.
Voilá! Now you have a homemade candle that’s completely toxin-free, fresh, and pretty!
*The flashpoint of your essential oil is important to know because the temperature at which you add your oil to the wax is important. If you add your oil when the wax is too hot, the fragrance is likely to burn off significantly. This is not something you want, as we know that each drop of our essential oils are precious!
**This is an essential part of candle making, as it allows your wax to adhere correctly to the sides of the jar when you pour it. This step helps you avoid “frosting,” which is essentially air bubbles between the wax and the jar. It doesn’t matter much, but it’s more attractive if the wax is in more contact with the jar than not.
Now you can boast your savvy candlemaking skills! These candles make the perfect house-warming gift for friends and family or a luxurious addition to an evening bath or pampering session for a tired mama. Burn your candles freely and frequently, knowing there are no longer toxic chemicals floating in the air around you anymore.