DIY Projects: Scented Candles for Reducing Stress
Back in the day, candles were seen as merely a source of light. The idea of scented candles was probably unheard of. But ever since candles have evolved, we now use them as decorations and for other benefits: creating ambiance, improving mood, calming the mind, etc.
Scented or aromatherapy candles contain essential oils. Some essential oils, like lavender, have therapeutic properties and help relieve stress. Though there’s little research about the specific benefits of using candles with essential oils, many find it calming. Some aromatherapy candle enthusiasts even say it’s a part of their self-care routine because it relaxes them.
Candles are made of waxes: paraffin wax and vegetable waxes (soy, palm, rapeseed). The goal of scented candles is to diffuse a fragrance. This occurs when the wax around the wick is hot and liquid.
Since large scented candles can be expensive, here’s an easy step-by-step process on how to make your own aromatherapy candles:
How to Make Scented Candles at Home
- Wax of your preference
- Glass jars (heat-resistant)
- Silicone spatula
- Double boiler pot
- Candle wicks
- Essential oils
- Wick trimmer
- Wick centering device of chopsticks
Step #1: Prepare Your Container
You need a container where you pour your wax. Sturdy glass containers are always a good option. If you already have a candle jar at home, make sure to clean and dry it before using it.
Step #2: Measure Your Wax
If you haven’t purchased your materials yet, consider buying candle-making kits since it’s more economical. The kit typically contains wax, wicks, and wick-centering tools.
Start by putting wax flakes into your container up to where you want the candle surface to start. Pour the flakes into your pot and measure the same amount again. You need the amount of two containers of flakes because they melt down so much.
Tip: Soy wax is most recommended for scented candles because they burn cleaner and release little soot as the candle burns. Plus, they’re non-toxic and melt fairly quickly. However, you may need to use a disposable device for stirring because it sticks to everything and is hard to remove once it’s set. A wooden chopstick that you can throw is the perfect tool for this one.
Step #3: Melt the Wax and Add Your Preferred Scent
After measuring your wax flakes:
- Melt them on a double boiler on medium heat. Use a metal bowl over a saucepan filled with water if you don’t own a double boiler.
- Use your silicone spatula to stir the flakes slowly.
- Add 10-20 drops of essential oil once the wax is completely melted.
Tip: You can mix two or three different essential oils together to produce a new scent. Just remember to use the correct percentage of essential oil according to the wax you’re using. As a rule of thumb, test a few candles first to make sure you’re getting the scent you want.
Here are some ideas of essential combinations you can try for stress relief:
- Lavender + Roman Chamomile + Ylang Ylang
- Sandalwood + Clary Sage + Bergamot
- Peppermint + Lavender + Rosemary
- Lemon + Ginger + Clary Sage
- Frankincense + Cedarwood + Lavender
- Juniper Berry + Grapefruit + Rosemary
Step #4: Attach the Wick Before Pouring the Wax
Before pouring your melted wax:
- Attach the wick to your container’s bottom. When buying, see to it that each wick comes with a flat metal bottom.
- Dip the metal part into the wax, placing it in the center of the bottom of your jar container.
- Ensure to hold it in place until the wax hardens and the wick can stand up on its own.
- Gently pour the hot wax into your container.
- Use the wick centering device if the wick can’t hold it in place. If you’re using a wide container, balance two chopsticks over the top of your container to keep the wick in place.
Tip: Always pour your candles into your jars over newspaper to avoid getting wax everywhere. Besides, cleaning wax off is not fun at all. Most importantly, never pour leftover wax down your drain!
Step #5: Allow to Sit
It takes at least several hours for the wax to harden again after melting. That’s why it’s best to let it sit overnight. Once your candle has completely set, always trim the wick to about 1.4 inches before burning. Here’s a guideline on how to burn candles to prevent home fires.