How To Make A Scented Candle
Scented candles are a lovely treat, either to create ambiance and a beautiful scent in your home – or around the edges of a well earned relaxing bath.
Some of the luxury brands of scented candle can be quite pricey, and whilst they are great, if you have a little time to spare and you enjoy crafts then you can actually create your own perfectly scented candle at home; choosing your all time favourite scents to go in it.
If you’re really on a budget, don’t be frightened off by the equipment listed below – all you really need is a length of thick cotton thread (to serve as a wick), some old white candle stubs, an old saucepan, and an old glass jam jar!
Here’s how to make a scented candle – it’s super easy!
· A Bain Marie (or something that will heat your wax slowly and evenly) A steamer or saucepan with simmering water and a metal bowl on top can be a good substitute). If necessary you can even use an old saucepan over a low heat.
· Soy Wax Chips/old white candle stubs.
· A length of wick.
· Wax dye.
· A pencil!
· A container for your candle – either a specialist candle mould or you can use an old jam jar or even a teacup! Any container that is heat resistant will do.
· Stearic Acid chips optional.
· Fragrance oils optional.
Before you start making your scented candle you will firstly need to gather together a few things. You will need a clean jam jar or other container to put your candle in. You might even want to make several candles at once – they are a great idea for craft fayres etc. as a loss leader – so find several receptacles if you wish. The sky’s the limit here, so you can be a little creative – clear glass jam jars without lids can be quite elegant, but it is also possible to create pretty scented candles out of second hand teacups (check they’re not antique!), vases, and even if you’re really into recycling, clean tin cans can look quite interesting (filed down so that the edges aren’t sharp, of course!)
For the serious candle maker, you could buy a rubber candle - making mould – but it is more rewarding to begin by making a “cup candle” or a “jar candle” if it’s your first time – as wax can often become stuck in moulds etc. and you do really need to use stearic acid and aim for the correct temperatures with moulds. Jam jars are just so much more forgiving, and can be very pretty!
If possible, try to get hold of some proper candle-making wax chips, as these make for a much evener melt and are all the same colour; however it is perfectly possible to recycle parts of old candles – you just need to melt them carefully and have an eye for their colours and how they will react together etc.
You will need to be able to heat your wax chips slowly, which is why we have mentioned a Bain Marie in the previous list. A Bain Marie is essentially a steamer – you can recreate this effect if you do not have a steamer (or don’t wish to spoil your brand new one with wax!) by placing a metal bowl over a saucepan of simmering water and putting the wax chips into the metal bowl.
When the wax chips are in the metal bowl it is best not stir them, just wait for them to melt and make sure they are on a low heat. At this stage if you wish you can add some Stearic acid chips, which will cause the candle to burn for longer and a little more evenly – but this is by no means essential; I have made candles many times without using Stearic Acid.
When your wax chips and optional Stearic Acid chips have completely melted it is time to put in any colour chips or wax die – and also your fragrance oil if you are using one. All sorts of fragrances work well in home- made scented candles; you could try something zingy and refreshing like lime and basil, or something mellower and more comforting like honey and cinnamon.
At this stage it is fine to give your wax a brisk stir to make sure that the dye/fragrance oil is evenly distributed in your finished scented candle.
How to pour your melted wax into the mould:
Cut a length of your wick material so that is reaches three inches above the top rim of your container. Dip the top inch of this into your melted wax briefly and wait for it to dry, so that it is coated in a thin layer of wax.
Now taking the other end of the wick, use another few drops of melted wax (poured from a teaspoon) into the middle of the bottom of your container, and secure the end to the bottom.
Taking your pencil, wind the spare three inches you have left at the top of your wick around it; so that the candle holds the wick in place in the middle of your candle.
Finally, pour in your wax carefully and leave for six hours or so to harden! You may wish to top up your candle after half an hour as the wax will grow a little smaller as it hardens – or simply put in a little more that you would like in your container to start with.
Cut your wax to size, run the bath water, light up, and enjoy your home made scented candle!