Learning how to make scented candles at home was so much fun. With their soft glow and gentle perfume, there’s nothing quite as relaxing as curling up on a cold winter evening to read a few pages by candlelight you crafted yourself.
Yes, stores are full of all sorts of scented candles but I can promise you its much more fun to learn how to make diy candles from scratch.
You’re able to create diy scented candles to suit your own tastes and preferences, it’s not difficult and only your imagination will limit your designs. One of the biggest advantages is the benefit of making unique scents, shapes and colors.
And, although I strongly suggest you make use of synthetic fragrance oils for your candles, in this post I will also discuss using essential oils, as well as how to build a scent profile by using multiple different fragrances or essential oils in a single candle. It’s exciting stuff that gives you ample room for experimentation.
After we’ve discussed oils and fragrances I’ll be showing you how to make scented candles, Step By Step!
Candle Making Scents
Making scented candles is a wonderful way to turn a boring pillar into a beautiful, luxury candle! When you light the candle and your wax begins to melt, the fragrant oils will vaporize with the wax and infuse the air with a lovely aroma.
Fragrance oils are, by in large, the most widely used fragrance agent for diy scented candles. They’re relatively cheap and very easy to get hold of, making them extremely attractive for the budding candle maker.
Unlike essential oils, the synthetic nature of fragrance oils means it is relatively simple for industry professionals to manufacture lots of different types of fragrances. Fragrance oils of specific fruits, flowers, foods, woods, and spices are all available to buy online or at your local aromatherapy/craft store.
You can also buy blends of other fragrance oils that mimic the scent profiles of different designer perfumes or colognes. I’ve used these many times in lots of different crafts, but particularly like using it for candles. It’s a great way of getting a complex, interesting fragrance into your candles with none of the fuss of blending your own.
But how much do I use to make a great candle? A very good question with a very simple answer – roughly 6-10% of the overall weight of your wax should do it. If you find that the fragrance is too strong, tone it down by adding only 7%. Whatever you do, don’t add more than 10%, as the integrity of your candle will suffer.
You’ll want to add your oil right after you’ve mixed in your dye, try your best not to get the wax too hot, say over 200F, once you’ve added your oils. This will ensure that you don’t burn off the fragrance, allowing it to be suspended evenly in the wax once it’s cool.
Essential Oils For Candles
So we’ve talked about fragrance oils for making scented candles, but what about the luxurious and sacred aromas of essential oils? You absolutely can make use of them, but there is something to consider before we dump a whole bottle into the wax.
Essential oils are the concentrated oils that are extracted from various plants, seeds, spices, woods, and fruits. They have lots of active properties for the body, but also for the mind by utilizing techniques used in aromatherapy.
Although essential oils are a fantastic way to make use of a more natural fragrance agent, they can be exceptionally expensive depending on the type of oil you buy. Candle making can be a relatively cheap craft, but using essential oils can really put pressure on your wallet.
Because of this, I wouldn’t consider using essential oils to scent a larger candle. Essential oils are, however, excellent in beeswax tea lights. A small batch of 5 or 10 tea lights (or a small jar) will require considerably less oil than say a medium to large pillar, and give your little candles a luxurious fragrance to offset their meager appearance.
The guide for how much essential oil to use is around 1 ounce of oil for every pound of wax you use. This works out at between 6-7%. Keep in mind that different essential oils will vary in strength, so add a little less (perhaps 5%) if you’re finding the aroma is too strong. You’ll also want to add the oil after you’ve colored your wax.
Building a Candle Scent Profile
Building a scent profile for your homemade scented candle can be difficult, but it is one of the most rewarding and exciting aspects of using fragrance or essential oils. The goal is to add oils, in the right concentrations, that complement each other for an overall attractive aroma.
Start off small, perhaps with just a couple of fragrance oils. To get an idea of what the oils will smell like together, remove the lids from their bottles and give them both a good smell at the same time. If they smell nice, then you’re good to go! It’s difficult to find two fragrances that smell awful together, but personal preference plays a massive role here. Use your good judgment.
Remember that we only really need 10% fragrance oil, so if you’re using two different oils you might want to add 5% of both. Keep in mind that some fragrances might overpower others, so there will be times when you might want to use 3% of one and 7% of the other. An example of this would be rose and jasmine, as rose has a more subtle aroma. The strength of the oil will also vary by manufacturer.
Just experiment. There is no limit to the amount of different oils you can use, providing your overall oil count is no more than 10% of the weight of your wax. Fragrance oils aren’t that expensive, and neither is paraffin wax. Don’t be afraid to make a mistake, that’s how we learn!
Before we move on to making candles with lovely scents
I would like to make it clear that it doesn’t matter what style of candle you are making, adding the scent is pretty much the same for all. You can use a mold, a jar, or any other suitable container. Take a look at my pillar candle, my soy candles, and beeswax candles, I’m using scents in all of them.
How To Make A Scented Candle
- A skewer or bamboo stick
- In this demonstration, I'm using soy candle wax, so the first thing you will need to do is refer to my soy candle making page to determine how much to use. Then gather your other ingredients and materials detailed above.
- Place the wax into a double boiler or a metal container placed over a pan of hot water, and set it on the stove until it melts. Be extremely careful, because hot wax is extremely HOT.
- Glue the stabilizer attached to the bottom of your wick to the inside base of your jar. Your wick should stick out at the top. Use the wick holder or balance a pencil or skewer on top of the mold and wrap the wick around it; this will help to keep the wick in a central position.
- Once the wax has fully melted stir in the candle dye, I am matching the raspberry fragrance with a red candle dye.
- Now your wax and dye should be nice and melted. This is the point where you will want to add your fragrance and/or luxurious essential oils. For this candle, I’ve used raspberry fragrance oil. It’s a relatively cheap oil to buy, and a perfect scent for a candle. You’ll want to add around between 7 to 10% of the weight of your wax.
- At this point I have to say my kitchen is smelling lovely, the deep red color looks like melted jello, yummy! Now carefully pour the wax into the jar or mold.
- Support your wick using a bamboo stick or pencil. Whilst the wax cools it contracts, sometimes resulting in the candle sinking a little in the middle.Wait until the candle is half set, then pierce the top of the candle with a bamboo stick or needle and top it up with wax that's been reheated. Making sure you don't top over the original level of wax or you won't be able to remove the finished candle very easily. You may need to do this more than once. A full explanation on fixing sink holes with photos can be found on the basics of candle making at why do homemade candles sink in the middle.
- Give your candle 24 hours to harden, you now have another masterpiece to add to your collection of homemade candles! As I mentioned before its possible to scent all kinds of candles. You can see this raspberry candle in the middle of the photo below amongst my recent collection.
If you want your homemade scented candles to be truly stunning, then you can paint some nice designs on the side using gold paint or decal stickers. Candle making is a lot of fun, especially because you can mix and match, and create some amazing candles.
So I thought it might be a good idea to have a whole post about candle wicks and wicking your candles. Wicks are important for candles, for obvious reasons. Putting it quite simply, it’s the bit of braided thread that, when lit, vaporizes the wax (along with any fragrance oils you’ve infused into your candle).
And here’s how to make soy candles that are both colored and delightfully scented. They smell absolutely amazing when using your favorite candle fragrance oil! They’re also pretty similar to the make-up of your favorite popular brands, namely Yankee Candle.
Here’s everything you need to know about candle making. Learn how to use different wicks and molds, and how to color and scent them in many interesting ways.