Homemade candles: Holiday gift craft

‘Tis the gift-giving season, and when it comes to the kind of gift that almost everyone loves, beautiful and fragrant candles rank right up there with wine.

Store-bought candles can be expensive, though — especially when you’re buying for lots of people — neighbors, teachers, caregivers and bosses. That’s why making your own homemade candles is a budget-friendly way to show your love and appreciation during the holiday season.

One more plus: A homemade candle allows you to add personal touches, such as making it someone’s favorite color, or adding a favorite scent.

Wax thermometer to make Homemade candles

Don’t let the equipment requirements deter you. True, you probably don’t already have an aluminum pouring pot just sitting around waiting for action, but getting the right equipment is worth it. You’ll be able to make candles for all your gifting needs — and your own home decor. Plus, you might even find yourself with a new hobby to love!

Adding solid wax to the aluminum pouring pot

Homemade candles

Make your own homemade candles

As shown above, you’ll need a saucepan, a wax thermometer, and an aluminum pouring pot or glass measuring cup. You’ll find the pouring pot and wax thermometer at craft/hobby stores and online.

Supplies to make homemade candles

  • Candle wax (comes in several forms, such as blocks, chips and beads)
  • Oil- or wax-based candle dye (food coloring will not work)
  • Essential oil of your choice (some popular scents are lavender, vanilla, and blue spruce)
  • Pre-waxed wicks
  • Glass container for each candle, cleaned and dried

Adding the candle fragrance and color

Adding the candle fragrance


Adding homemade candle color

Directions: How to make custom wax candles

  1. Fill a saucepan with 1-2 inches of water and bring it to a boil.
  2. Reduce the heat to simmer, and place the aluminum pouring pot or glass measuring cup into the water with the thermometer attached inside the pouring vessel. Be careful not to get any water in the pouring vessel itself.
  3. Place the wax into the pouring pot.
  4. Once the wax has completely melted, add dye until wax is the color you like (but remember that it will not be clear after the candle is finished).
  5. Cool wax to the pouring temperature recommended on the wax packaging.
  6. Reduce heat, and add your choice of essential oil fragrance (about 6 drops for a small candle).
  7. Drape a pre-waxed wick over the side of the candle vessel. You may want to superglue the bottom of the wick to your candle container.
  8. Carefully pour wax into the candle holder.
  9. Let your homemade candle harden undisturbed for 4 to 6 hours before using it.
  10. For safety’s sake, and to help a homemade candle last longer, trim the wick to about 1/8 inch before lighting it, and keep the wick trimmed before each use.

Get creative with the candle jar or holder, as well as with the candle’s colors and scents. Choosing those you know your gift recipient likes is a thoughtful touch that beats anything you can buy in a store!

Melted wax with color and fragrance added

Melted wax with colorant and fragrance added

Pouring the hot wax into the candle jar or glass

Pouring the hot wax into the candle jar or glass

Enjoy the glow of your fragrant homemade candle!

Enjoy the glow from your fragrant homemade candle!