I have a really fun and shockingly easy little tutorial for you today! I recently became obsessed with candles – I never used to burn them due to some childhood trauma with fire, but I gave them a shot a couple of years ago and my love for them has only grown since then. There’s something so cozy and wonderful about lighting a few candles and curling up on the couch for a movie, and my candle collection seems to grow daily. I think it has taken on a life of its own at this point!
And, um, it’s about to get worse.
‘Cause I just learned how to make my own.
I’ve been itching to try this out ever since we met the awesome guys at Buddy’s Artisan Concrete when we went to Haven, but (like most things I haven’t ever tried) I was kind of nervous to give it a shot and totally convinced it was going to fail.
But, also like most things I’m avoiding, I eventually decided it was time to just do it. After all – what’s the worst that could happen?!
The concrete candle holders are incredibly easy to make. You’ll need a mold (you can purchase it online, or if you have a friend who happens to have a 3-D printer, I’ve heard you can design your own molds!) and concrete. We used Buddy’s Artisan Concrete because they sent us a bunch for the One Room Challenge, but any concrete will work.
Just follow the directions on your package to mix it up – we had some coloring tint, so we did a couple in white and a couple in a pretty mint green. With this stuff, you do 4 parts mix to 1 part water – no matter what mix you’re using, you’re shooting for a pancake batter consistency. Once you’ve got it, pour it into your mold and let it sit overnight.
Seriously, it’s that simple.
The hardest part? Getting the dang thing out of the mold.
You could stop here – I actually have a few that I made a while back that I just tossed a tealight candle into and called it a day. But, since I’ve been itching to try out the whole DIY candle thing for so long I decided to fill some of them up with my own concoction.
Here’s a quick peek at all of the materials I used to make the candles:
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Fair warning, I just grabbed this stuff at Hobby Lobby on a whim when I was feeling brave. If I actually get into candle-making (which I’d like to!), I’ll be researching and purchasing the materials that will be the best, not just the ones that are most available.
But, you know, work with what you’ve got.
Especially when you’re semi-terrified of the project you’re attempting.
Although I have to say – I really didn’t have anything to be scared of. Making candles is really simple, and I am a little embarrassed that I didn’t try it earlier. I still have a lot to learn because I have a feeling there are a lot of nuances to making the perfect candles, but I’m pretty proud of these for my first go-round.
Here are all the details:
How to make your own candles
Materials for candles:
- Wax flakes (I used soy wax flakes)
- Candle scents (I used this one, but I don’t know if I’d buy this brand again. I’ve heard you can use essential oils too!)
- Wicks (I used wood, but you can also use wax wicks)
- Something to melt candles in – I used a stainless steel pot and made sure to clean it really well afterward
- A container for your candles
How to make the candles:
- Measure and pour your wax into a saucepan. You’ll need about 2 times the volume of your container – you can just use that as a scoop and do it twice. Heat over low heat until the wax is completely melted.
- While your wax is melting, attach your wick holder into the bottom of your candleholder. You can purchase stickers for the wicks, but the wood ones come with a little metal holder. I used super glue to attach mine, but you could also just add a bit of melted wax to the bottom, pop it on top, and let it dry. Cut your wick to the desired length, and insert it into the holder (if you’re using wax wicks, you can cut it afterward).
- Once you wax has melted, add your scent. My research indicates you can use essential oils, but I just used these little candle scents I picked up at Hobby Lobby. You can mix and match scents however you want – I bought a Christmas Tree scent that I used alone, and I mixed Gardenia and Sandalwood for some of my other candles.
- Stir together, and pour into your container. Be sure not to fill all the way to the top of the container.
- Set in a cool place where it won’t get messed with, and let sit for several hours (overnight is ideal).
I definitely still have a little bit of work to do – these don’t smell nearly as awesome as I imagine they could if I purchased a better brand of candle scents, and I think playing around with mixing some scents instead of just using one will make them smell a lot more layered and wonderful.
I love the wood wicks, though – the crackling noise they make is so fun, and the smell of the wood burning adds a nice element to the scent of the candle. They’re more expensive, but they’re definitely worth it if you want something a little special!
I have a feeling this will be a really fun little hobby to get into. The sky is really the limit with what you can do with this basic little recipe – you can add colors to your candles, you can play around with different scents, waxes, and containers. Who knew it was this easy to make a candle?!
I’ll definitely be playing around with this a lot more in the coming months – Corey and I have talked for ages about opening an Etsy shop, and I think these would be really fun to sell once I perfect my strategy!
Have you ever tried making your own candles? I’d love any scent combo suggestions you have for me to try!