Making your own homemade candles is so much fun and a great project to do with any big kiddos in your life! Last year we loved making homemade bath bombs together for our holiday gifts—they were great for teachers, friends, party hosts, the mail carrier, you name it.
This year, we thought we’d switch it up with high-quality candles made from all-natural beeswax and holiday-scented essential oils from one of our favorite all natural companies, Plant Therapy.
Why I Hate Conventional Scented Candles Vs Homemade Candles
Before we dive in though, I have to tell you why I despise conventional scented candles. Don’t get me wrong, I love burning candles—it’s hard to beat that ambiance this time of year—and it’s certainly nice to add a pleasant aroma to the room while enjoying one.
BUT, breathing in those synthetic fragrances—not to mention the paraffin wax they’re usually made with—can be toxic! Some even say it’s as bad for you as second-hand smoke or the fumes from your car.
According to the Environmental Protection Agency, along with researchers at the University of Michigan and South Carolina State, certain types of candles have been found to discharge the dangerous chemicals benzene and ketones, both known cancer-causing agents.
While there have been no definitive studies determining the long term effect of candle exposure, Arizona allergist Dr. Stuart Agren says the chemicals emitted by certain candles, especially heavily-scented ones, are similar to the fumes released by automobile exhausts.*
Of course, the National Candle Association (yes, there is such a thing) disputes these claims, but I’ve learned enough from my research about processed food to stay away from synthetic or artificial anything. I’ve also learned that just because something is “approved” for use doesn’t mean it can’t be bad for you—just look at what happened with this approved synthetic product. Synthetic by definition is “made by chemical synthesis, especially to imitate a natural product.” In other words, it’s fake, fake, fake! And we all know we like the real thing around here. :)
Synthetic and artificial ingredients are the #1 additive I try to avoid in my food and, naturally (pun intended, LOL), this extends to other products in my life. So, rather than emit questionable fumes into my home while burning candles, we thought we’d make (and share) our own DIY natural candles with beeswax and essential oils!
A Better Choice for Your Scents
Thankfully, not wanting artificial fragrances in our candles doesn’t mean we have to go the unscented route. Essential oils have been around for centuries and we thought the fun holiday scents from one of our favorite essential oil companies, Plant Therapy, would be perfect for this project.This Cozy for Christmas Holiday Blend Set would be perfect for making some holiday-themed candles!
Essential oils are concentrated, volatile, aromatic liquids obtained from the fruits, seeds, flowers, bark, stems, roots, leaves or other parts of plants. Plant Therapy offers only 100% pure essential oils and is one of the few companies who offer USDA Certified Organic options. All of their oils go through multiple rounds of testing and are always free from additives, adulterants, and dilutions to uphold the highest quality. While you can certainly find many essential oil options out there, know that they are not all made the same. Finding a quality product is essential, which is why we choose Plant Therapy!
Supplies Needed for Homemade Natural Candles
- Beeswax pellets (or block)
- Essential oils (optional, but recommended—I used Christmas Tree, Candy Cane, and Spiced Cider)
- 4-ounce glass jars or tins (or other similar containers)
- Wicks + scissors (we used organic hemp, but cotton is another good choice)
- Pencils or clothespins for holding the wicks in place
- Wooden skewer (for stirring)
- Dedicated candle-making pitcher (basically a metal pitcher you’ll only use for melting wax)
- Pot to use as a double boiler (filled with a couple inches of water)
- Electric heat source (in other words, not your gas stove—I bought a very inexpensive electric burner)
- Gift tags/string + pen
- Organic items to embed (such as plant clippings from your Christmas tree, herbs like lavender and rosemary, pieces from candy canes or other hard candies, coffee beans, seashells, etc. – optional)
We hope you enjoy making and gifting these as much as we have this holiday season. Have fun with it! :)
Other Fun DIY Projects
How to Make Homemade Natural Candles
- wicks (+ with wick sustainers tabs) cut to length
- 6 4 ounce jelly jars
- 1 16 ounce bag beeswax pellets
- 1 tablespoon essential oil (I used Plant Therapy) about 150 drops, enough to get an aroma when burning the candle
- organic items to embed (such as lavender, rosemary, or pine needles) optional
- Thread each wick through a wick sustainer tab (twist it around or tie a knot where it comes out at the bottom), place in the bottom of a jar, and temporarily hold in place with a clothespin or by wrapping it around a pencil that lays across the top of the jar. Repeat for all six jars and set aside.
- Heat the beeswax in a candle-making pitcher on a double boiler over medium heat (electric stove recommended, see above) until completely melted, 10 to 15 minutes.
- Use a wooden skewer to stir in your essential oil of choice. Carefully pour almost all the wax into the jars (leaving some behind in the pitcher) and adjust the placement of the wicks if necessary. As the wax begins to solidify, embed any organic items near the top (if desired).
- Once the wax completely hardens it may sink around the wick. Simply reheat remaining wax and fill in the gap (adding additional embed items if desired). I think it looks better if you fill beyond the gap, all the way to the edges, for one smooth surface. Let cool till it hardens, trim wick, and it’s ready to gift or use!