It must be my pure love of candles that made me believe I couldn’t make them myself. But I’m always thinking about how to improve upon things and how something can be healthier for us physically and environmentally. And it doesn’t stop at candles. Irked by the chemical scents that too often replace pure essential oils that are actually healthy to breathe, I found this recipe.
As the holidays approach, consider this as a beautiful and thoughtful gift. Now more than ever in this age of instant gratification and online shopping, I believe people appreciate homemade gifts. Candles are small but effective and decorative props that promote peace and mindfulness. Just the act of making them is like a therapy session of your own design.
What you need:
- 4 cups* soy flakes or beeswax (which is much more expensive and can be harder to work with for setting candles)
- 2 wicks with a metal base
- 20-30 drops each per candle: lavender essential oil and rosemary essential oil, you can also create your own custom scents with your favorite oils.
- 2 jars (glass or metal)
- ¼ - ½ tsp dried rosemary, per candle (optional)
- ¼ - ½ tsp dried lavender buds, per candle (optional)
- 1 double-broiler, or a large glass bowl on top of a pot of boiling water
- Skewer, chop-stick, or a utensil for stirring the wax in the jar
- 2 large clothespins
- 2 washcloths or small towels (one for each jar). This isn't mandatory, but helps the wax from cooling too fast, which can cause shrinkage and cracks.
What to do:
- In a double-broiler (or large glass bowl on top of a pot filled with 1 cup of water), bring the water to a boil. Once the water is boiling, reduce the heat and add the soy flakes. Stir the soy flakes every minute, until they are reduced to a liquid. This process can take 5 minutes.
- Once the soy is liquefied, turn off the heat and dip the metal ends of the wicks into the wax. Place the ends in the center of each candle jar, pressing the metal ends down with a skewer or chopstick until set. The wax acts like glue, securing the metal end at the bottom of the candle jar.
- Once the metal end is set in the wax, gently straighten the wick and secure it at the mouth of the jar with a clothespin (resting on the jar).
- Very gently, pour the wax (it helps to use a bowl or measuring cup designed for pouring liquids), into each jar. Add the essential oils to the wax (this is done to avoid burning the oils during the cooking process). I add 15 drops of each oil on each side of the jar. If desired, add the teaspoon each of dried herb. Using the skewer or chopstick, gently stir the wax, essential oils, and herbs (if using).
- Wrap the jars in the dry washcloths, to prevent the wax from cooling too fast and shrinking or cracking. (This step isn't mandatory, but helps if you're concerned about cracks.)
- Let the candles sit for 24 hours, until fully set. Once set, remove the clothespins and washcloths, and trim the top of the wicks to 1 inch.
Notes: *4 cups of soy flakes will make 2- 8 ounce candles. This recipe can easily be doubled or tripled. Simply add the 4 cups of soy flakes to your double-broiler. As the 4 cups begins to liquefy, add more soy flakes as desired. You’ll also need more jars, essential oil, wicks, towels, and dried herbs (if using).