Do you love the soft glow of candles on your dining room table or mantle? It is so easy and fun to make your own candles. Even better, the variety of candles you can make is limitless!

Supplies:

Wax

You can purchase blocks or shavings of wax, including beeswax or soy wax. You can also use leftover wax after you burn a candle down.

Coloring

There are special dyes for candles, or you can use food coloring or crayons. Add crayons into the wax as you melt it. I cut different colored crayons into small pieces and add them to a white wax candle as the wax starts to harden. The wax is hot enough to melt the crayons a little, and as the candle burn, the crayons melted into different shapes, adding unique pools of color to the candle.

Scents

Use fragrance oils to scent your candles. Or use natural items. Try zesting citrus, like lemon, lime, orange, or grapefruit, and adding it to the wax. Add a cinnamon stick, nutmeg, or cinnamon. Press different dried herbs, dried flowers, or even coffee beans into the wax after it has cooled slightly. You can put the scent in the wax itself or make your wick out of scented wax.

Wicks

You can buy pre-waxed wick string with a metal anchor, or you can make a wick out of regular string. Run a length of string through melted wax. Lay your string out on parchment paper, making sure it is straight, and allow to dry. If you use enough wax on your string, it will burn slower and more evenly. You don’t have to use a metal piece on the bottom of the string to keep your wick straight, but it does add some stability.  Wrap the string around a wooden skewer or pencil and place that across the top of your container, and pour in the melted wax.

Pot for Melting Wax

You can purchase a pouring pot used specifically for melting wax. These pots have a handle for easier pouring. If you don’t have a pouring pot, you can use an old pan, or a large food can, washed clean and placed in hot water in a larger pan. Just remember that the wax, food coloring, and scented oils will likely damage any pot you use.

Candle Container

Just about any container can be used to make a candle. You can use jars, teacups, or even wine glasses. Reuse your votive candle jars over and over again. I have used milk cartons made of cardboard. Once the wax has dried, just peel the carton off.

For variety, try making a sand candle. Get some sand and place it in a box. Dig the size and shape you want. For my sand candle, I used a freeform shape to create a “lake.”  I added three wicks and as it cooled, I added a small amount of sand and sticks to create an island with driftwood on it. After the candle cooled completely, I pulled it out of the sand, warmed the deepest parts of the candle to make them more flat for stability (I patted some sand back into those spaces). I gave my mother the candle as a gift, and she displayed it on her coffee table for years.

Be creative with color, scent, and shape—and fill your house with candlelight!