Warmth releases fragrance (as is obvious when you add some fresh herbs to a hot pan). By bringing your herbs closer to a heat source, you will be able to reap the full benefits of the tantalizing aromas. In candle form, herbs not only smell amazing, but set a relaxing mood both with scent and lighting.
Herbal candle are an excellent alternative to the chemical-filled, overpriced, and often overpowering candles that are so popular in regular stores. Instead, try making your own herbal candle and see the difference for yourself!
Here are several things to take into consideration when making your own candles:
Type of Wax
One of the most commonly used waxes for candles, after the unscented paraffin, is beeswax, due to its sweet, honey-like smell and long-lasting qualities. It is recommended to mix the beeswax with coconut oil to help avoid the center caving in while burning.
If you are interested in a vegan option, carnauba wax is a good option. Carnauba wax is a hard natural wax that should be mixed with coconut oil for candle making. It takes a bit more patience to use carnauba wax, but the results will be worth the effort!
Containers and Wicks
When it comes to containers, you can use anything you like that will not burn or melt under heat. Glass jars are usually the container of choice.
The size of your container determines the size of your wick. A little research is necessary here, as the type of wick also depends on the material you are making your candle out of. The right size wick with the correct temperature threshold will create an even burn and waste less wax.
Naturally scented candles are ideal for incorporating aromatherapy into your space. If you decide to use essential oils to scent your candles, keep in mind that you will need to use more oil than you would in a body care recipe, as the oil will dissipate when mixed with hot wax. A good ratio is ½ oz to 1 oz essential oil to 8 oz melted candle wax.
- Wax of choice
- Butter/oil/fat of choice
- Essential oils or dry herbs of choice
- Wick holders or pens/pencils for centering wicks
- Metal pot
- Candy thermometer
- Pyrex measuring glass that can hold twice the amount of wax you need
- Heat wax/fat blend in a double boiler until melted. Insert candy thermometer in center; look up the flash point for the wax you are using and do not heat it too close to that point.
- Once melted, dip the wick end into the melted wax (only works for beeswax) and place in the center of your container, pressing into the bottom. For other wax, you can secure the wick with tape or a thin layer of wax.
- Wrap the other end of the wick around a pencil/pen/wick holder balanced horizontally across the jar opening to position the wick.
- Right before you pour your wax, while the mixture is still on the heat, add the essential oils or dry herbs and stir quickly once.
- Pour wax into containers, leaving about ½ inch of room at the top.
- Let cool completely, overnight if possible. Remove wick holders, snip wicks to ½ inch, and enjoy!