Candle Making with Herbs
Try these candle making with herbs recipes to create aromatic candles for your home.
Herb Candle Crafts
Candle Making with Herbs
For centuries, candles were essential for
lighting the darkness. While candles today remain an option for
light during a power outage, most U.S. homes enjoy the luxury of
electric lights at the flip of a switch. Since the incandescent
glow of candlelight is one not easily recreated by modern
technology, candles continue to intrigue and enlighten. The appeal
of modern candles often involves scent, raising the “wick” of
appreciation and making lit candles not only perfect for romantic
ambiance, but also relaxing and therapeutic.
Whether you create them for your own enjoyment or as gifts for
others, making and decorating candles is fun and easy or can be as
complex as you like. Here are a few basic candle-making suggestions
followed by some simple yet stunning ways to add herbs to candles
you’ve already poured or purchased.
Candle Wax Suggestions
You can find more information on the details of wax from any of
the resources listed, and you may want simply to experiment on
your own to find what works best for you, but here are the brief
Paraffin, a common candle wax, is a petroleum byproduct (read,
“bad for the environment”) available with different melting points.
It often requires additives to keep it from shrinking. Beeswax, a
stellar, all-natural alternative with a naturally pleasant honey
scent, is more expensive but comes in a variety of forms, is easy
to work with, burns longer and doesn’t shrink when it cools. Keep
in mind that it’s important to purchase domestically collected
beeswax to avoid possible pesticides. A relatively new product in
the world of candles is soy wax. It’s all-natural, burns cleaner
than paraffin, is often microwaveable (check the brand’s
instructions on the package), and doesn’t shrink as it cools.
You’ll also find it’s less expensive than beeswax.
Making Candle Scents
When decorating your candle with herbs, it makes sense to scent
it with your favorite herbs as well. There are a few methods to add
scent to candle wax. You can use fragrance oils, essential oils or
dried herbs that steep in the hot wax and are then removed.
Aromatherapists would point out that only true essential oils from
herbs and spices—not fragrance oils—offer the healing,
relaxing, rejuvenating, stress-relieving or sensual properties
suggested by scent, but some candle makers prefer fragrance oils
because they mix better with wax than essential oils. If you choose
to use pure essential oils, remember that a little goes a long way
and test them in small doses before you make a large batch.
Alternately, if you have some dried herbs, flowers or spices on
hand, they’ll do the same trick. Though they require the mess of
straining, they cost less than essential oils. They also can add a
bit of their natural color to the mix.
If you’ve purchased an unscented candle to decorate and wish to
add scent to it, you can add a drop of essential oil to the wax
well in the top each time before burning it, or you can pierce
holes in a thick candle and fill them with essential oil. To do so,
heat a metal ice pick over your stove’s heating element and then
press it down into the candle, leaving a hole that you can fill
with essential oil. For larger candles, make two or three holes to
fill, about 1/4 to 1/2 inch from the wick.
Candle Making Safety
Be conscious and smart while making and using your candles.
While making the candles, don’t leave heating wax unattended and
keep some baking soda handy to extinguish fire. Never leave burning
candles unattended, and don’t place them where they could be
knocked over. Use only non-flammable, candle-safe candle holders and
keep matches, lighters and candles out of reach of
Try the herb candle recipes at the top of this article.
Dawna Edwards, a former Herb Companion editor, is a freelance
writer who spends her time writing about and enjoying the scent,
flavor and beauty of herbs.
Candle Making Resources
General Wax And Candle Co. Factory Outlet Store
Glory Bee Natural Foods
National Candle Association
Peak Candle Making Supplies
Candle Making Books:
The Handmade Candle by Alison Jenkins.
Storey Books, 2001.
Candlemaking for Fun And Profit by Mischelle Espino. Prima
The Book of Candlemaking: Creating Scent, Beauty And Light by
Chris Larking. Sterling Publishing Co., 1998.
Elderberry vs Poke Berry Identification
Learn to distinguish elderberry (Sambucus canadensis, s.nigra) from poisonous pokeberry.
Harvest Like a Pro
Make the most of these summer garden favorites with expert tips for harvesting, storing and preserving.
The Effects of Nature on Mental and Physical Health
Science is proving that time spent outdoors can have a calming, rejuvenating effect on your mental and physical health.