WILD Festive DIY: Homemade Candles

This year, our writers are putting together a series of how-to guides, to inspire you to make your own Christmas gifts this year – saving money, and the planet. Lizzi Philokyprou kicks off the series with a guide to making your own candles.

Image Credit: Lizzie Philokyprou

Here at WILD, it’s beginning to look a lot like…Christmas! Due to the most recent national lockdown, many of us have had to put the christmas shop on hold…and that’s where WILD comes in! In this series, we’ll be sharing how you can make gorgeous gifts at home. In this article, I’ll be showing you how to make personalised candles at home, the perfect gift for cold winter nights. Not only will this thrifty gift idea benefit the planet, and your pocket (especially if you make them in batch), they will also be completely unique, meaning you have something truly special to give this christmas.  

You will need: 

  • Wax; this can be the odd ends of old candles you have lying around, or bought soya wax. 
  • Clean jars
  • Wicks
  • A pencil
  • Essential Oils or Scented Wax Melts. 
  • Additional extras; lavender buds, cinnamon, flower petals, ribbons, string
Image Credit: Lizzi Philokyprou
  1. First of all, grab a pan, and a glass/ceramic bowl slightly bigger than the pan. Boil a kettle full of water, and fill the pan halfway to the brim.
  2.  Add the wax to your bowl, and then pop the bowl on top of the pan, essentially creating a bain-marie to gently melt the wax in. 
  3. Meanwhile, take the wick, and cut to length; it should be approximately 2-3 inches longer than the height of the jar you are using. Tie one end of the measured out wick to around the pencil, mid way. The place the pencil across the jar, so that the wick hangs down in the centre of it. 
  4. Once the wax is melted, you can start to get creative! Add your desired essential oils to the wax or scented wax melt. The volume of essential oils will vary depending on how strong you want the candle to smell, whilst roughly one small wax melt should be enough to give a subtle, but enhancing scent to your candle. Creating a blend of oils creates a unique, and personalised scent; check out the positivehealthwellness guide to help you decide what oils you want to use.  You can also add more decorative elements, such as dried flower petals, or lavender buds to the wax mixture. 
  5. Very carefully pour the wax mixture into the jar, making sure that the wick remains roughly in the centre. Once the jar is filled to the top, and the wick securely set in place, untie its end from the pencil, and trim to approximately 3 centimeters above the jar. You may want to sprinkle a few extras (petals, flower or lavender buds, small leaves) on top. 
  6. Pop the jar in a cool place, out of direct sunlight, and wait for the wax to slowly harden. Once it is solid, scrape away any excess wax that’s dripped onto the outside of the jar, and give a quick wipe to get rid of any waxy residue. Pop a piece of ribbon or string around the jar and tie in a bow for an extra special touch and voila! Your Christmas candle is complete. 

About the Author: Lizzi Philokyprou is Deputy Lifestyle Editor for WILD, and is in her third year of studying History and Philosophy at the University of York.

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