a loving diy homemade Christmas gift, wedding favor, sustainable gifting, non toxic candle with a free printable label
As we enter into fall and especially around Christmas, I really look forward to finding + burning some new candles in our home. Pretty, lit candles and their scent inhibit instant feelings of relaxation and create a positive emotional state by creating a calming atmosphere. I really used to love a special fragrant candle called “winter” which was a combination of pine, clementine, and clove. To me, the scent was Christmas all wrapped up in three little wicks.
A year ago, I decided to break up with my winter candle love. After several shipping disasters (that led to five of my winter candles arrived shattered), I decided to give them up. And honestly, retrospectively, I’m so glad I did. With two little ones in our home, and a new baby boy, I don’t think lighting those candles would have been a healthy choice. Which brings me to now. A soap making, shea butter slinging, lip balm designing mama, who laughed with my hubby last night as we stood over the stove making our own candles. “How did we turn into these crunchy people?”
It took me months to dive in and make these amazing beeswax candles. I figured:
- it must be impossibly hard since beeswax candles are so hard to come by
- they wouldn’t burn properly, evenly. Somehow they would be failures and I’d have wax everywhere for no reason.
However, I was totally wrong and it was mess free, took minutes, and the outcome was and beautiful, and a pleasure to burn. I actually probably never need to buy another candle again, between this brand new candle making skill ( and we can’t ignore my newish love for diffusing scents ) who needs “winter” candles? Not this lady.
why do I avoid paraffin wax candles?
90% of the candles you find on the market are paraffin. Paraffin wax is cheap, keeping candle costs low to the average consumer. But, as usual, cheap and poor quality may come at a cost to our bodies and our surroundings. First and foremost I want to be very clear, not all paraffin is bad or toxic. Some can even be food grade. However, the process of refining paraffin can be so toxic, you would immediately stop purchasing them if you could only understand how bad they can be to the quality of the air you’re inhaling, potentially polluting in your home. It is my understanding that a regular candle (one made from paraffin wax) made from a reputable small batch creator – from within the US would most likely be using a good quality paraffin, along with a quality wick in their candles. However, if you’re purchasing from offshore manufactures, it’s very possible they are using crude paraffin to create candles. These type are toxic may still contains up to 11 toxic compounds and chemicals. Again, to prevent “fear mongering” and misinformation, paraffin can be very safe. Please don’t boycott your local candle maker who is doing all of the right things. The problem arises when you’re purchasing from a large wholesale distributor and the source of the candle is unknown. How do you know what quality it is? It’s something I would rather avoid. I like to keep things as natural as possible when there’s possibility to do so. And regardless of who’s making them, paraffin candles should be avoided by those with allergies or asthma.
why do I avoid soy candles?
Soy is a trendy “healthy” alternative to paraffin candles right now. However, despite being trendy, we would opt to avoid soy candles in our home. Soy is terrible for our environment, due to deforestation to grow soy to feed livestock animals. Growing soy has been known to cause soil erosion and reduce water availability. Soy candles are likely to be made from genetically modified soy crops that are typically sprayed with toxic pesticides. Lastly, to be labelled as a pure soy candle, it only has to be 50% soy. The rest would be paraffin. I would actually prefer to burn a paraffin candle than a soy!
why did I opt to make beeswax candles?
Beeswax is environmentally friendly and safe. It burns clean, and the wax is natural and biodegradable. It is actually considered good for the environment by naturally cleaning and purifying the air. It naturally has a nice scent, and as unrefined as they came. It also burns much longer than paraffin or soy! Long lasting, natural, earth friendly is my preferred choice. I also had a really difficult time finding a candle that is both made from beeswax and fragrance free. When I say fragrance, I am referring to artificial fragrance, that is 99% of time added to candles. I used this beeswax.
why should I make my own at home?
There are no regulations on disclosing candle ingredients. Candles labelled as “beeswax” may actually contain as little as 5% beeswax. Unless a product is labeled “100% pure beeswax candles”, it would be avoided in these parts.
what about the wick?
Lead was once regularly added to candle wicks to assist in allowing them stand up straighter and the candle burning better. Obviously, burning lead will lead to health issues if vaporized into the air and inhaled. Fortunately, CPSC Banned Candles With Lead-Cored Wicks in the USA years ago. However, if you’re unsure of the origin of your candle, how do you know for sure? You should definitely look for cotton wicks, like these.
how should I add fragrance to my beeswax candle?
Naturally, of course! After eliminating all artificial fragrance from our home in the last year, I can honestly say I can not stand the smell of “regular” store bought candles anymore. I decided to try, and on a whim bought a beautiful candle from anthropology (for a mere $100 – sorry Patrick!) that I literally had to give away. I would recommend quality essential oils (1 ml for every 1 oz) if you want a lot of scent to emit from your candle. I made holiday scented candles and opted for peppermint in mine.
what do I need?
What you’ll need to make your own candles are:
- Any glass jar
- Beeswax pellets
- Cotton wick, wick stabilizer, wick stickers
- Pour pot
(I used this affordable kit, which included 3+4 – the cotton wicks, stabilizer, stickers, and pour pot)
essential oils but NOT fragrance oils.
how do you make beeswax candles?
- Prepare your jar with the your sticker on the bottom, securing your wick to the base of your jar, the stabilizer holding your wick in place, and plenty of wick at the top (do not cut yet)
- Pour your beeswax into your pour pot. To determine how much you need, add the exact amount of beeswax pellets your glass jar will hold, plus 1/3 that amount
- Melt your beeswax entirely
- Once melted, turn off heat and add 25 drops of your essential oil (or blend) for every 1 oz of wax. Stir gently.
- Quickly pour wax into your jar
- Wax will start to solidify at room temperature. Allow it to solidify completely before use.
- Trim wick to desired length.
make it a gift…
I also wanted to make a super cute “strike on the bottle” match jar to make this the cutest gift-able option you’ve ever seen. I was completely shocked when I saw these online for $15 each! To make your own is too easy.
- Fill a small jar with matches. I used green to keep it festive for Christmas.
- Cut a match striker into desired shape, or leave it square. I used a heart.
- Stick your match striking sticker onto your match jar. Alternatively, you could just use the sticker on the candle itself, and gift matches separately. Either way, it’s too darn cute!
Lastly, I created this beautiful “beeswax candle” label, if you’d like to make your candle an extra special gift. You can print it square or round, however you feel it would look best on your jar of choice.
I hope you enjoyed this candle diy, and that you will consider making the swap in your space! If so, let me know how you love it. Much love, and happy thanksgiving friends!
If you’re looking for another loving DIY gift… check out my