Adding unique items to candles is the latest popular trend. You probably already know you can combine fragrance oils with candle wax to make scented candles, but there are also plenty of other ways to make your candles memorable. So, what are some unexpected things you can add to candles to make them even more unique?
You can use coffee grounds in candles to make coffee-scented candles. You can also use these other additions in your candles:
- Cupcake Sprinkles
- Citrus Peels
If you’ve been making candles for a while, it’s easy to fall into a rut. Melting the wax, mixing the fragrance, pouring the candle… these are all fun activities, but they can seem repetitive after a while.
If you want to change up your candle-making or just add a unique twist, here are some great additions—including coffee grounds—you can add to your candles.
These additions to your candles are generally considered safe, but make sure you conduct a proper burn test before selling or giving your candles away to others.
How to Use Coffee Grounds in Candles
If you have been known to walk into coffee shops or make a pot of coffee just for the aroma, you should consider making coffee ground candles. Coffee grounds are a great additive because they not only fill your home with a soothing smell, but they can also help get rid of persistent odors like those caused by your pets.
How to Add the Coffee Grounds
The first time you use coffee grounds in your candle, keep it simple. Use paraffin or soy wax, and do not use other additives such as fragrance oils.
Here are the steps to make coffee grounds candles:
- Melt wax
- Mix in coffee grounds (you can also use whole beans) while the wax is hot
- Stir with a silicone stirrer
- Pour in the candle container, making sure you keep the wick upright
- Cure the candle for the proper length of time
The length of time you need to cure your candle varies according to the wax you use. For paraffin, you can burn your candles after two days of being left in a warm, dry place. For soy wax-based candles, you will need to cure your candle for two weeks to get the best results, including optimal scent throw.
Other Ideas for Coffee Candles
After making several candles with coffee grounds, you can experiment with add-on scents for an extra unique smell. For a vanilla-latte scent, you can add vanilla beans or fragrance oil to the hot wax.
You can also try chocolate-scented fragrance oil for a candle that smells like a mochaccino!
How to Use Glitter in Candles
Sometimes we just need a little glitter in our lives. You can use glitter to add a bit of sparkle to your candle, delivering an exciting visual aspect to your handiwork.
How to Add Glitter to Candles
Some candle recipes I’ve seen recommend mixing the glitter with the wax. However, this is not my preferred method, as I do not believe this delivers the striking visual aspect that glitter candles should have.
I first read about this innovative method of adding glitter to candles only a few years ago. With this method, you coat the inside of your glass jaw container with corn syrup before you pour the candle. While the corn syrup is still sticky, you pour glitter on the inside of the jar and shake it all around until the inside is coated.
After you pour your candle, you can add a sprinkle of additional glitter to the surface of the wax for an added effect.
Select one with fine or micro-fine particles when choosing a glitter for your candle.
Which Colors Work Best?
My preference is one-toned glitter, especially silver or gold. If you use multi-colored glitter, the different colors absorb different light frequencies, so the resulting candle doesn’t glow as much as one with shiny, one-tone glitter.
Hemway advertises this glitter as “the sparkliest glitter in the world.” Add this to candles for a guaranteed dramatic effect.
How to Use Cupcake Sprinkles in Candles
Would you believe you can use ordinary candied sprinkles to make cupcake candles? You absolutely can!
How to Make a Cupcake Candle
You will employ roughly the same method you used to create a glitter candle to make a cupcake candle.
Use corn syrup or glucose syrup (diluted with water if necessary) and paint the inside of the glass container with the syrup using a brush. Then add as many sprinkles as you like while turning the jar to coat the inside with sprinkles.
You can watch this video tutorial from Recipes by Carina to see how straightforward this candle is to make.
For the birthday cake look, use white wax. Creamy soy wax is a perfect base wax for cupcake candles.
When to Use Cupcake Candles
Cupcake candles are a perfect birthday gift, especially for a friend or family member who does not like to eat sweets but still deserves a wonderful birthday experience. These candles are also perfect for making, to sell or your own home use!
How to Use Flowers in Candles
You can use flowers in candles to achieve striking visual and aromatic effects. You should use only dried flowers in candle making. If using flowers directly in your wax, cut them into small pieces to reduce the chance that the candle will accidentally release a large spark.
How to Make Flower Candles
As alluded above, you can mix dried flowers into any candle wax by cutting them into small pieces. Then as the candle burns, the flowery scents should flow through the air.
You can also make flower candles by using a two-container method. The first container should be slightly smaller than the second.
Start by pouring the candle as usual into the small container. Then, instead of curing the candle as you usually would by leaving it in a warm, dry place, you place the candle in the freezer for about an hour.
Being in the freezer will make the wax recede, so you should easily be able to remove the candle from its container. Then, put that candle into the slightly larger container and press flowers along the sides between the candle and its new container.
Finally, you pour more hot wax along the candle’s sides to seal the flowers. You can read more about this innovative method here, which is how I first learned about it.
What Flowers Are Best to Use?
Flowers that deliver the best results include Lilies of the Valley, Roses, Peonies, Freesia, Tulips, and Jasmine.
How to Use Citrus Peels in Candles
Citrus peels, including orange peels, lemon peels, lime peels, and even grapefruit peels, can make excellent additions to candles. They are not so many additions as they are incredibly innovative candle containers.
How to Make Citrus Peel Candles
First, cut the fruit in half. Next, scoop out the fruit, being careful not to rip the peel or remove too much of the white stuff on the inside of the peel, which is known as the pith.
While the peel is still fresh (going through the drying process will make it brittle), attach your wick to a wick tab and glue the wick tab to the bottom center of the peel. Then pour your candle and cure usually.
Adding Scents and Colors
You can also add fragrance oils and matching colors to the wax for added effects. For example, for a grapefruit candle, adding pink dye and grapefruit-scented fragrance oil produces a pleasing, unified result.
How to Use Seashells in Candles
You can use seashells in candles in the same manner as listed above for the citrus peel candles, or you can use seashells in a molded candle.
Make Molded Candles with Seashells
Pillar candles are made using a silicone mold instead of using a container. When the candle has been cured, you remove the mold, leaving a freestanding candle with no outer container.
You can use seashells in any mold. Once you have removed the candle from the mold, you can use a heat gun to melt the outer layer of wax, uncovering the seashells. You can read more about this method at the Running with Sisters craft blog.
Hold on to a Nostalgic Memory
Seashell candles are a great way to commemorate a beach vacation. You can also use them to decorate your home in the summer or even in the winter when you are missing the ocean waves.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is it dangerous to put these additions in my candles?
Being flammable, most aspects of candle-making can be dangerous. You should never leave candles to burn unattended or use near flammable materials like curtains. Use the minimum number of additions to create the desired effect and ALWAYS conduct a burn test.
What is the best wax to use with candle additions?
You want to use a smoothly burning, predictable wax when making candles that contain additions like coffee grounds. The best waxes for candles with additions are paraffin and soy wax. Try both waxes to see which works better for you.
Looking to start your own candle making business, check out my startup documents here
Please note that the contents of this blog are for informational and entertainment purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice. Any action taken based on the information provided in this blog is solely at your own risk. Additionally, all images used in this blog are generated under the CC0 license of Creative Commons, which means they are free to use for any purpose without attribution.
Meet Shawn Chun: Entrepreneur and Candle Business Fan.
I’m a happy individual who happens to be an entrepreneur. I have owned several types of businesses in my life from a coffee shop to an import and export business to an online review business plus a few more and now I create online candle business resources for those interested in starting new ventures. It’s demanding work but I love it. I do it for those passionate about their business and their goals. That’s why when I meet a candle business owner at a craft fair, farmers market, retail location or anywhere else I see myself. I know how hard the struggle is to obtain and retain clients, finding good employees all while trying to stay competitive. That’s why I created Candle Business Boss: I want to help candle business owners like you build a thriving business that brings you endless joy and supports your ideal lifestyle.