Make: Winter spice candles

 
Winter spice candles
Winter spice candles

I'm going for full on festive from here on out  so expect lots of DIY gifts, lovely festive makes and bakes and all sorts of pretty. First up scented candles. Who doesn’t love a scented candle – especially at Christmas? But they can be ridiculously expensive which might put you off buying them. Making them at home, especially if you want to make lots to give as presents, works out much cheaper.

I made some rose scented ones back in the summer and these are exactly the same - but with a festive blend of essential oils. They're quite cinnamony (is that a word?) so feel free to fiddle with the blend and add a bit more orange if you want a softer scent. Don't worry about making a mess, if you use soy wax, which is natural and chemical free, it’s super easy to clean up.

Winter spice candles
Winter spice candles

They look gorgeous arranged as part of a festive table centre with lots of berries and foliage. I made mine on tray so it's easy to lift up and move.

To make your own you will need:

Soy wax – widely available online, it comes in flakes - I got mine here Tabbed votive wicks –I got mine here Essential oils – I used cinnamon, clove and orange Some pretty jars, votives or small glasses Saucepan Wooden spoon Funnel Scissors

Method:

To work out how much wax you need for each of your candles, weigh the amount of wax flakes it takes to fill your jar – it should be fairly tightly packed – and then double it. This will make one candle. I usually do four at a time.

Winter spice candles
Winter spice candles

Put your wax into your pan and melt it gently over a low heat until all the flakes have dissolved. You may need to stir it a bit to encourage any clumps of wax to break up. Turn the heat off and leave for a minute to cool gently.

Winter spice candles
Winter spice candles

Add in your essential oils – for each small jarred candle I used 18 drops orange essential oil, 12 drops cinnamon and 8 drops clove. This smells really strong at first, but some of it will dissipate with the heat of the wax. If you don’t like your candles too strong use fewer drops of oil. Give it a quick stir. Pour through the funnel into your jars. I use a funnel to stop the wax splashing or dripping.

Winter spice candles
Winter spice candles

Allow them to cool and turn slightly opaque before you pop in the wick. If you do this when the wax is hot and very liquid it will just float. Once the wax is cloudy and thick, but not set you should be able to push your wick to the bottom of the jar and it should stand up by itself when you let go. Leave your candle to harden over night, then trim your wick leaving a centimetre or so above the wax.

If you notice any little splashes of wax on your jar or worktop, just run the hot tap, soak a cloth and wipe the wax away. Soy wax melts at a lower temperature than paraffin wax so it’s much easier to clean.

If you have any left over wax pour it into a paper cup to either use again (cut the cup up so you can get it out and re melt the lump), or pop it in the bin. Don’t pour leftover wax down the sink or you’ll clog the drains.

Winter spice candles
Winter spice candles

Tie the jars with bakers twine or ribbon to give as a gift or light to scent your home for Christmas.

You can of course use other scents for your candles such as rose or lavender. Experiment with the number of drops you use to find your perfect scent.