Over the last 5 years or so my husband and I have been progressively changing out the products we use to more natural alternatives. We now make our own soaps and beauty products, and a number of everyday cleaning products which are healthy, natural alternatives.
We are really trying to remove as many chemicals in our house as possible. We have recently purchased an amazing ultra sonic diffuser to emit lovely essential oils into the air. One thing which I really enjoy are the warming scents from a candle, although we rarely use candles unless at Christmas. You would think that a lovely scented candle with its warming and calming scents would be good for you, but the toxins they can produce is quite alarming and they can actually harm our health.
Paraffin wax candles are the main ones to avoid; made from a bi-product of petroleum, they can emit a lot of toxic nasties into the air. Have you ever studied the label on a candle? It’s often a long list of ingredients you’ve probably never heard of when it could simply be narrowed down to just a few simple, all natural ingredients.
Of course not all scented candles are bad for you. If you don’t want to make your own then be sure to look for beeswax or soy wax candles and opt for ones which have been made using essential oils rather than fragrance oils which are synthetic and can also be toxic.
Did you know that burning beeswax candles can actually purify the air? Please get in touch in the comments below if you are interested in finding out more as I can provide links to websites that have lots of information.
Are you ready to make your own candles?
You will need:
- Coconut oil
- Glass jars, tins or tea cups
- Essential oils if desired
- Clean tin such as a baked bean tin
- Stainless steel saucepan
Here’s what you need to do:
Use a clean empty tin can which you can re-use again and again.
Add beeswax pellets to just below the top.
Place can into a saucepan roughly half filled with water and simmer until the wax has completely melted. This may take around 15 minutes.
You can stir occasionally with a bamboo stick or chopstick to break up the wax.
Get your wicks ready. You can buy pre-prepared wicks with metal bases which are much easier, or you can buy a length of wick and dip them in wax before using. I like to use natural cotton wicks and dip them myself. If you are a beginner though, a pre-prepared wick will be easier.
When the wax is fully melted remove from the heat and carefully take the tin out with something to protect your hands from the heat.
Now is the time to add about a tablespoon of coconut oil to your wax and stir in with the bamboo stick. It will melt rapidly. Coconut oil is added as it helps to prevent cracking and also allows the wax to last a bit longer.
At this stage you can add your fragrance if you are using it. I added nutmeg essential oil as I wanted a Christmassy scent. Add just enough to your liking; you don’t need too much as beeswax has a lovely smell alone.
Dip your prepared wick into the wax and quickly fix it to the centre of the base of your jar. Hold it for a few seconds while it dries.
Use something to support your wick so it stays in an upright position. You can use just one bamboo stick and curl the top of the wick around it, or you could make something like this which is a bamboo stick cut in half and taped together at either end with a gap just big enough in the middle for the wick. I find this works better as the wick is supported by both sticks.
Sometimes the wax can crack when it dries so it’s often worth melting a small amount of pellets again later on and topping up the candle to cover any cracks.
Leave your candles to fully harden for a few hours or overnight.
I love this jar below; it has a fantastic shape.
It’s actually re-purposed from Rick Stein’s fish & chip take away in Padstow, Cornwall, where we visited this summer. I would highly recommend it; the food really was fantastic and there is a lovely pathway along the beach perfect for walking or cycling. We also purchased some delicious fresh crab and lobster for our evening meal. Back to the jars! They serve cheesecake in these jars, which were really delicious and the jar was a real bonus. I just wish we’d bought two.
Visit Stein’s Fish & Chips
As a guide, one tin of beeswax pellets will make about 2-3 candles depending on the size of the jar, so you will need to melt more wax if you are making a few.
The great thing about using the tin is that you don’t need to wash it out (don’t even try, it’s not worth the effort) and if you have any wax left over you can just leave it in the tin to harden and then melt it down again next time.
I made 5 candles in total, and I love how they turned out.
Tip when burning your candles: when you burn your candle for the first time, allow the wax to melt all the way to the edge if possible. This will ensure that the wax doesn’t just melt around the wick creating a pooling effect. Your candle will burn more evenly and you will get a longer burn time.
Have you made your own candles? How did they turn out? I’d love to hear from you. Please post your comments below.
Happy crafting x