How to make homemade candles for gifts

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Cosy and soft winter background, knitted sweater and candles on an old vintage wooden board. Christmas holidays at home.

Image: Daria Minaeva/Daria Minaeva


There is little debate that candles are amazing, and in this crazy year, we need something that’s peaceful. Something that won’t be picked apart by both sides and divided down the middle, because there are endless possibilities in candle making!

The Benefits of Making Homemade Candles

Everyone can have whatever scent they want. Candles are soothing, comforting, and definitely relaxing. When it’s cold outside during these winter months, candles will make your home feel more inviting and more like a refuge from the elements. There’s something so calming about watching a candle flicker. You can place them on the mantle, or take a soothing bath surrounded by any scent you can imagine.

Once you start making them yourself, you’ll never have to go to the Yankee Candle Store again and be overwhelmed by the sheer amount of options. Instead, you can create candles unique to your needs, or to a friend’s. There are many blends you can create for any occasion: a calming scent, an energetic scent, spring scents, “sunshiney” scents, and on and on we go.

Here are the basics to getting started with making candles. Once you nail it, you can begin giving them as Christmas presents or house warming gifts. But you’ll probably end up just keeping them all to yourself, right? A candle for every mood and time of year….

You will need:

  • Wax flakes (There are many different kinds, so do your research as to which kind of flakes will work best for your needs. Check out craft stores or online.)
  • Candle wicks (The length will depend on what container you’re putting the candle in, so measure the container before purchasing the wicks.)
  • A container for the finished candle (a Mason jar, a ceramic mug, etc.)
  • Non-toxic crayons, if you want a colored candle. Omit if you want the candle to remain the same color as the wax.
  • Essential oils in the scent you desire
  • Glass container (separate from the one the candle is going in)
  • Saucepan
  • Skewers or chopsticks
  • Tape
  • Scissors


  1. Measure how much wax you will need for your candle. The amount is twice the quantity that fits in your candle container. For example, if your container holds one cup of wax flakes, you will need two cups of flakes. Place the appropriate amount of wax into your glass container.
  2. Place the wick in your container, placing the metal part flat on the bottom. Hold the wick up by squeezing it between the two skewers or chopsticks, then tape the skewers to the side of the container so the whole thing stays still.
  3. Fill the saucepan halfway with water. Put the glass container filled with wax inside the saucepan, and turn the stove onto medium-high heat. Stir occasionally as the wax melts.
  4. If you want to color your candle, now is the time. Add ⅛ of a crayon for every 16 ounces of wax. This will create a pastel shade. Add more crayon if you want a brighter color. Stir into the wax as it melts. (A little bit of color goes a long way. Don’t overdo it.)
  5. Once wax is fully melted, remove from the heat. Now you can add your scents. You can play around with the amount of oils that you add to suit your needs, but a common rule of thumb is 10-15 drops for a medium-sized candle. This can be adjusted to suit the size of your candle, the strength of the scent, and will vary depending on how many different scents you’re using in one blended candle.
  6. Pour the wax into your prepared container, being careful not to move the wick. Do not move the container for several hours, as the wax will need to set. At a minimum, leave the candle alone for 3-4 hours, but 24 hours is best. It will allow the wax to cool without breaking.
  7. Light it up and enjoy!

Here are some scented oil recipes for different winter blends:

Cider Candle

  • 6 drops of orange
  • 4-6 drops of nutmeg
  • 2 drops of cinnamon or clove

Gingerbread Man Candle

  • 8 drops of ginger
  • 4 drops of clove
  • 2 drops of cinnamon

Candy Cane Candle

  • 8 drops of peppermint
  • 4 drops of spearmint

Winter Chai Candle

  • 4 drops of wild orange
  • 2 drops of cassia
  • 4 drops of cardamom
  • 2 drops of clove

Holiday Joy Candle

  • 6 drops of wild orange
  • 4 drops of peppermint
  • 6 drops of frankincense

Wise Men Candle

  • 3 drops of orange
  • 5 drops of frankincense
  • 4 drops of myrrh

Forest Candle

  • 4 drops of cypress
  • 4 drops of fir
  • 2 drops of juniper
  • 2 drops of vetiver

Kaitlyn is a graduate from Lee University and is a staff editor for R.H. Boyd Publishing. She enjoys travel, books and penguins. When she's not working, she dreams of seeing the world.

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