If you're on the hunt for a fun, creative, and relaxing activity to do with your friends, consider creating your own scented candles. It's entertaining and therapeutic while you're actually doing it, but you'll get to experience calming effects every time you light your candle. Even better? Making your candles is relatively easy to do with the right guidance.
So in an effort to elevate this classic DIY project to the next level, we asked a true candle connoisseur for a little insight. When it comes to the candle industry, there's no one better to ask than Trish Baden of Flores Lane. Hand-poured in the heart of West Hollywood, Flores Lane's candles reflect that crafty tradition but with a chic and refined twist. If you enjoy it, turn it into a routine hobby! Scroll through to see the full details for steps for yourself.
Gather Your Supplies and Melt the Wax
Before you start, make sure you have all your materials ready to go. Find a full list of supplies recommended by Baden below.
Open glass containers (an open top ensures the flame has enough oxygen to burn)
Soy container wax
Beeswax hemp core wick
UV protection additive powder to maximize and prolong the scent and color in your candle
Now that you have all your supplies set up, start by melting the wax. First, pour the wax flakes into a beaker. The wax will shrink once it's in liquid form, so make sure you pour enough. Then, put the beaker in a saucepan or pot on the stove, and add water. Make sure the stove is on a low simmer (this is called a double boiler). Baden suggests keeping your wax around 160°F to 180°F.
Give Your Wax Some Color
Now that your wax is ready, remove the beaker from the stove and set it aside so it cools down to approximately 120°F. If you want to add a pigment to your wax, now's the time. You can use crayon shavings, though Baden prefers to use liquid dye because it can be more vibrant and blend in with the wax consistency better. As long as you don't use food dye, you'll be in good hands. This is because food dye is a water based liquid and candles are oil based. If you need inspiration, we suggest using black liquid dye for a sophisticated, dramatic hue that works with every design scheme.
Design Your Own Fragrance
Now that you're satisfied with your wax mixture, it's time to add a scent (our favorite part about candles since you get to custom design your fragrance). Baden suggests ordering a sample pack of essential oils so you can play around with different blends and determine which one(s) you like best. Keep in mind that each essential oil has a different function. For example, lavender is soothing while is mandarin is energizing, and sandalwood has aphrodisiac qualities. It just depends on your preferences and needs.
"Fragrance is the first thing to burn off because it has the lowest flash point," explains Baden. So add it to the wax mixture right before you pour the entire thing into your container.
Design Your Custom Fragrance Blend:
Prepare Your Wick and Container
While you wait for your wax to heat up, prepare the wick in the jar. The best way to set it in the right place is by gluing the metal part to the bottom of the container. If you don't have a hot glue gun, you can also use a few melted flakes of wax to secure the bottom of the wick to your glass. Then flank each side of the wick with popsicle sticks. This will ensure it stays upright when you pour the wax in later.
Pour Your Wax Into the Container
Now gently and slowly pour the wax into your container. Not only will this ensure easy cleanup, but it'll also prevent unsightly air bubbles from forming. After the wax is evenly distributed, wait for it to set, at least 30 minutes, says Biden. Now, trim the end of the wick so the flame doesn't get too large when it's lit.
Create a Calming Environment:
Add the Finishing Touches
While you wait for the wax to set, make a unique label to put on the container for a more professional and personalized feel. Come up with a creative name that reflects your candle's personality. For example, if you used essential oils that promote sleep, name it Chamomile Lullaby, or for an energizing and refreshing scent, Second Wind would work, or Buzz Thyme. Personally, I love musky and mysterious candles, so I'd name mine Hadley's Hocus Pocus. You can write it on a sticky name tag and place it directly on the container, or if you want to add a visual component, use your name tag as a watercolor canvas.
Share your candle names and fragrances with us in the comments below!