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How to make candles with essential oils

If you feel like you spend half your paycheck on fancy scented candles, you need to learn how to make candles with essential oils. There is an initial outlay for the required equipment and supplies, but this is a cost-effective way of keeping yourself swimming in scented candles. 

What’s more, essential oils are all-natural, so you don’t need to worry about the health implications of burning synthetic fragrances, and you know just what’s gone into your candles. It also allows you to experiment with scents. 

Picking essential oils

Essential oils are fragrant concentrated oils made from plants’ leaves, stems, fruits or flowers. While you can make essential oils from any plant, some are more popular than others, and there are plenty of plants you won’t find used in any commercial essential oils. 

When making candles with essential oils, the oils you choose will dictate the scent of the candle. You can use a single essential oil, but you’ll get a more complex fragrance by mixing a few. Try blending three essential oils, such as citrus, light fruit or fresh herbal scents for the top note; sweet and well-rounded scents like cinnamon, florals or lemongrass for the middle notes; and rich, smooth scents like vanilla, cedarwood or patchouli for the base notes.

Not every combination will be a winner, but it’s fun to experiment. 

Picking wax

When making candles with essential oils, the purpose is for them to release fragrance into the room as they burn. This is why we highly recommend using soy wax to make your candles. Soy wax holds onto natural scents longer and burns slowly, so it more slowly and evenly releases fragrance from essential oils into the air.

The bonus to slow-burning is that your candles will last longer. Another solid reason to use soy wax over paraffin wax is that it’s natural, non-toxic and burns more cleanly without releasing excess smoke or soot into the air. 

Steps to make candles with essential oils

Follow these simple instructions, and you’ll soon be making scented candles like a pro. The directions below are container candles, as these are the simplest to produce when you’re just starting with candle-making. 

Prepare your containers

Glue Dots Double-Sided Craft Dots

It’s a good idea to get the containers you’ll be using for your candles ready before starting with the more involved parts of the process. You can use any heat-proof container of your choosing, such as old jars or tins, but you can also buy containers designed for candle making if you’d prefer to have something created for the job.

You’ll also need your wicks at this point, which should be made from cotton or hemp and ideally pre-tabbed for ease of use. Using Glue Dots or a hot glue gun, adhere the base of the metal tab to the bottom of the inside of the container, making sure it’s as central as possible. You can use a wick centering tool to make sure the wick stays central and upright when you pour the wax into the container or lay a pen or chopstick across the center of the container and tape the wick to it to keep it central.

Melt wax

Candle Making Pouring Pot

Add 18 ounces of soy wax flakes to a metal or glass bowl or candle-making pouring pot. It’s worth buying a dedicated pouring pot if you intend to make candles regularly. Bring a saucepan partly filled with water to a gentle simmer and put the wax-filled bowl or pot inside to melt it using the double boiler method. This is similar to the way you melt chocolate without a microwave. Stir occasionally until fully melted. 

Check wax temperature

Candle Thermometer for Candle Making

Once the wax is melted, check the temperature using a candle wax thermometer. It should be between 140 and 150 degrees before adding essential oils. If the temperature is higher than this, simply wait for it to cool. 

Add essential oils

Next, add the essential oils to the mix. You should aim for a dilution of between 3-6 percent, approximately 2-4 teaspoons of essential oils if using 18 ounces of wax. You can use either one essential oil or blend several for a more nuanced scent. Stir well to mix the scent through the wax evenly.

Add dye if desired

Rolio Mica Powder

At this point, you can choose to color your candles with a liquid or powdered candle dye before pouring. 

Pour and leave to set

Now simply pour the wax mixture into the prepared containers. Leave to set for at least 24 hours before trimming the wick and burning your candles. 

What you need to buy for candle making

Ancient Health Remedies Soy Wax Flakes

Ancient Health Remedies Soy Wax Flakes

Soy wax flakes are the main component of your candles. We love this brand because it comes from USA-grown soy, while some soy is grown in cleared areas of rainforest.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Lagunamoon Premium Essential Oils Set

Lagunamoon Premium Essential Oils Set

This essential oils set contains 20 oils, allowing you to imbue your candles with a wide array of fragrances and make your own blends. It comes with an essential oil guide that can help you with your candle-making journey.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

EricX Light Cotton Candle Wicks

EricX Light Cotton Candle Wicks

You can’t make candles without wicks. These are cotton wicks, so they burn cleanly and come in a pack of 100 to keep you going for some time. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Aroparc Candle Tins

Aroparc Candle Tins

These 24 tins hold 4 ounces apiece and are ideal for making small container candles. The tins are available in two colors.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon


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Lauren Corona writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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