Making candles is, by far, one of the most enjoyable and meditative practices I have in my repertoire. Something about lit candles in a space changes the whole atmosphere, especially when scented.
Years ago, I first tried to make candles by reusing wax from decoration candles I had, and I was hooked. While this was nice, I wanted to experiment and make intentional, ritualistic candles from scratch. Now, I wanted to share how I went about it.
What you’ll need:
Candle wax – You can use soy, paraffin or beeswax. I’m not here to tell you what the best or safest kind of wax is, but I can tell you my preference is definitely soy.
Candle wick – I’ll save you some time and suggest you get the ready to use wicks. I started out by using wick, tabs and glue separately and it’s way more time consuming.
Mason or candle jar – Go as big or as small as you want for this. If you like to reuse glass/candle jars like me, you might have some around, already. If you want to be slightly more coquette, you can buy a jar that goes with your décor.
Scent (optional) – For this part, you might need to to a little digging, yourself. Why? Different oils are better for some waxes. If you’re using soy wax, you want the fragrance or oils that work well with that kind of wax. A lot of people think of using essential oils for candles (I was totally one of them), however, you’ll need a high amount of essential oils to get the scent just right so that’s not very cost effective.
Flowers or dry herbs (optional) – When using dry flowers or herbs, make sure you place them away from the wick, close to the edges. If you place them too close to the wick, it can turn into an actual fire hazard since they will burn. Pick herbs and flowers that are safe to use and don’t have any toxic properties when heated.
Crystals (Optional) – To add a little extra energy, you can use crystal chips sprinkled around the sides of the jar. If it’s a decorative candle, you can add small tumbled stones on the surface and set your intentions. Remember that whatever touches the wick will burn, so you don’t want to damage the crystals.
First off, you’ll need a container (or a pouring pot) and a secondary pot or saucepan. You’ll be melting the wax with the double boiler technique. Make sure you have enough water on the bottom pot/saucepan, so you don’t accidentally burn the pouring pot and its contents!
Set at medium high and scoop in the amount of wax you wish to use. Since I don’t know what size candle you’ll be making, I’m not giving you exact measurements to use. However, my tip is to measure the amount of wax chips inside the container you’ll be using and add a little more, since it becomes less when melted. Stir occasionally to make sure wax is melting consistently.
While your wax melts, place the wick tab (with wick) in the middle of the container and press it down so the glue really sticks on. Always use clean and dry containers or the glue may not hold.
Now, turn off the heat and add the fragrance. Some people like using essential oils for candles, but I found that you have to add a lot for the scent to be strong enough. So, I recommend using natural fragrance oils. Another tip to keep in mind is using a ratio of 10% for the oil. What does this mean? If you’re using 8oz of wax, you should be adding 10% of that in fragrance oils. Adding more than this may cause the wax to have too much moisture and not burn correctly. It’s important that you do not overheat wax once you added oils as they may lose strength if overheated.
If you’re using herbs or flowers, you can dip them in a little wax and stick them to the sides of the container. Doing this will prevent them from burning and turning into a potential fire hazard. If you only want them decoratively, you can skip to the next step.
Pour melted wax into your container and secure the wick with the wick holder to make sure the wick doesn’t fold, bend or move to close to the edges. Ensure that the wick remains straight through the middle of the container during the cooling process. If you don’t have a wick holder, you can secure the wick using scotch or masking tape. Another handy trick is using a pencil to secure the wick by wrapping the wick around the pencil.
If you chose to use flowers/herbs decoratively, you can wait until the wax has hardened a bit and place them around the walls of the container, using a little pressure to sink them on top of the wax a bit (not too hard or you can poke a hole in the wax!). This would also be the time to place any crystals on top of the wax, same way as the flowers; gently press and only around the wick, not close to it. Do not wiggle the wick as the wax hasn’t finished cooling at this point.
One thing I love to do while the wax is cooling down is play a frequency that goes well with the intention. You can look up different frequencies for the intention you set (abundance, cleansing, intuition, etc) on Spotify, YouTube, or your favorite audio service.
Once the wax has completely hardened. Cut the wick and enjoy!