Aromatherapy Candles: How to Make Candles with Essential Oils

Candle-making can be a therapeutic way to squeeze in some well-deserved self-care in your hectic schedule. In the process, you will discover a world of scents that enhance your senses. Even better, you’ll save money creating individualized aromatherapy candles to improve every aspect of your mental and physical well-being.

Aromatherapy candles are made using these 5 steps:

  • Prepare the containers and wicks by gluing each wick to the inside of the container. Wrap the other end of the wick around a dowel, taping it in place.
  • Melt the measured amount of wax in a saucepan over medium-low heat for 5 minutes, stirring continually until smooth.
  • Allow the wax to cool for a few minutes before adding the desired amount of essential oil.
  • Hold the wooden dowel steady as you pour the wax into each jar.
  • Let the candles cool completely before removing the dowel to trim the wicks.

Aromatherapy dates back to Ancient Egypt where they used it for beauty, embalming, and everything in between. Modern science unlocked the secrets of how certain pheromones engage with the chemicals in our brains. Making personalized aromatherapy candles at home will be a rewarding activity with a side of health.

How to Make Aromatherapy Candles

Begin by cleaning the area you will be making the candles. Surface areas like stove tops and your workspaces must be free of potential contaminants. Once you have sanitized your candle-making space, gather your materials.

You will need:

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  • 4 – 8oz heat-resistant glass jars
  • wicks cut to fit the height of the jar ×4 with a 2-inch overhang
  • pennies ×4
  • wooden dowels ×4
  • superglue gel
  • 6 cups of wax flakes or 2 lbs. of wax bars
  • 75-125 drops of essential oil
  • large saucepan
  • wooden stirring spoon

Step One – Prepare Your Containers

I recommend starting with preparing the containers before melting the wax so that you’re not rushing through these vital steps. For this part, you will need your heat-resistant glass containers. Canning jars are a great choice as they are designed to withstand high temperatures. Small 8-ounce jars are the perfect size for this candle recipe.

Wicks come in a variety of premade lengths and styles. They can also be purchased in large spools of 200 ft. Michael’s sells 48” long wicks by ArtMinds for around $5. That’s enough to make eight of these small candles.

Measure and cut your wicks to fit the 8-ounce jars. If you are using standard mason jars, your wicks should be 6 inches long. For beginners, it’s better to go too long than too short. You can always trim off the excess, but you can’t reattach a cut wick.

Securing the wick to the bottom of the inside of your container is a crucial step. The old way used hot wax to stick the wick into place. However, you run the risk of the anchor wax melting when pouring in the hot candle wax.

Try using a unique mooring to dock your candlewick and keep it straight and true. I like to glue one end of the wick to the head side of a penny for good luck, then glue the tails side in the jar.  I recommend The Original Super Glue gel 2-pack available at Dollar Tree. It’s strong and quick drying, so you’re not stuck waiting for it to set. 

The weight of the penny will cause the wick to act like a plumb line, keeping it perfectly vertical as you put it in place. Using a round, flat object like a penny can make it much easier to get your wick centered in the container. And using a strong adhesive will ensure the wick doesn’t shift during the pour or cool-down phases.

After the gel has dried, wind the other end of the wick around the center of a wooden dowel and secure it with tape. You can use skewers or pencils as your dowel, as long as it has enough length to lay across the top of your jars. The wooden dowel stabilizes your candlewick so that it stays vertically rigid in the middle as you pour the hot candle wax.

Step Two: Melt the Wax

Candle wax is made from a variety of materials and is measured by weight. It can be found in both bars and flakes for most types of wax. Prices of candle wax vary greatly, with paraffin being the cheapest at $20 for 4-pounds. The most expensive candle wax, beeswax, typically costs around $20 per pound.

ParaffinSoyCoconutCoconut/BeeswaxPure Beeswax

Aromatherapy candles are most often made with either paraffin or soy wax. The verdict is still out on which wax holds onto the essential oil’s scent better. But the experts do agree that beeswax is not the best type of wax for making aromatherapy candles.

For this step, you will need your large saucepan, wax, and your wooden stirring spoon. Keep the temperature of the burner between low and medium. The melting should only take around 5 minutes. You may have to increase the temperature if the wax is taking too long to fully melt.

Be cautious when you are stirring to prevent the potential igniting of the wax. Stir slowly with consistency in your movements so as not to splash onto the stove top. Take extraordinary care during this process if you are working on an open flame like a gas stove.

Step Three: Cooling and Essential Oils

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Making aromatherapy candles requires an understanding of the different temperatures associated with wax. Each type of wax has a melting point, the temperature at which the wax begins to melt, and a pouring point. This is the hottest temperature the wax needs to be for a smooth pour.

Essential oils are added once the wax has cooled from its pouring point to a suitable temperature for the oil. This temperature will vary based on the type of wax and the oils being used. Adding the essential oils at the correct temperature results in the scent distributing evenly throughout the wax.

The following chart gives you an idea of the temperatures reached by the top two popular types of aromatherapy candle wax.

 Melting PointPouring PointAdd Oil
Paraffin Wax135o F165o F160o F
Soy Wax145o F160o F140o F

In order to speed up the cooling process, pour your wax into another vessel, like a pitcher with a spout. This will make it easier to get the wax into your containers. It will also prevent the essential oil aroma from adhering to your saucepan. Once the wax has cooled to the proper temperature, stir in your essential oils

Step Four: Pour Your Candles

Now it’s time to pour your scented wax into your glass containers. Be sure to hold the skewer in place while adding the wax. Consider using a funnel to guide the melted wax into the jars and prevent sloshing or splashing.

Make sure your filled containers will not be disturbed as the wax cools completely. Moving the candles or agitating the wick may cause fractures to form in the candle. This could impact the way in which the candle burns.

Aromatherapy candles generally take around an hour to cool, depending on the size and shape of the container. As the wax reduces in temperature, it will become solid. You will know the candle is ready when the color is opaque.

Step Five: Trim the Wick

Untape the wick and remove the wooden dowel. Use sharp scissors to trim off the excess amount of candle wick. Your aromatherapy candle’s wick should be no longer than ¼ “from the top of the wax.

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Best Essential Oils for Your Healt

You’ll find a plethora of information on the vast number of essential oils. Each one offers a dose of natural magic to keep you healthy and wise. Essential oils can be used in complementary unification to develop your arsenal of aromatic remedies.

If you’re looking for some help unwinding after work, use essential oils that help reduce stress hormones. Popular choices used by aromatherapists include ylang-ylang and clary sage. These floral scents evoke a sense of calming and warm relaxation.

Aromatherapy can be used to help reset your circadian rhythm. Need a better night’s sleep, then try lavender in your bathtime candles. Having trouble staying awake at work? Use a dose of peppermint oil in the candles you have on your desk.

Other essential oils are a must-have for maintaining health and wellness. Consider using eucalyptus essential oils to fight off allergies and those winter sniffles. If you find your mind is wandering, make some candles using rosemary to improve concentration.

Related Questions

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Do I have to use glass for my aromatherapy candle containers?

Candles can be made in a number of different types of containers. In addition to using heat-resistant mason jars, metal tins are a popular candle-making container. Be sure to check that the container can withstand the high heat of hot wax. Unsuitable containers risk cracking or leaking if they are not made for candle wax.

How long can I burn my aromatherapy candle?

Aromatherapy candles are safe to use for a 2–4-hour period. Burning candles for too long can damage them. It also increases the risk of fire the longer a candle burns. Never leave candles unattended. Be extra cautious if there are children or pets in the home.

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