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As the Autumnal season swiftly turns into Winter, and staying indoors is increasingly appealing, it is more important than ever to make your home feel cosy.

One way to achieve a truly relaxing home atmosphere, is to fill the space with lovely scents. And what better way to create this, than by making your own candle that you will cherish every time it’s lit.

In The Scented Candle Workshop Niko Dafkos and Paul Firmin show us how to make candles at home to achieve calm, lift the mood or help you to feel energised.


Let’s make a candle that will lift the mood. We’ll keep this simple; everything you need is all listed in the simple container candle exercise, but since we’re working on a scent that’s going to be uplifting, here’s a recommended essential oil blend for you to work with:


7ml lavender

5ml bergamot

2ml grapefruit

1ml lemon

1ml spearmint

2ml clary sage


You can adjust some of the citrusy notes as long as the overall quantities stay the same; if you don’t like lavender try neroli, jasmine or ylang ylang instead.


Simple Container Candle Method

1. Start with measuring out the wax you need and place it in the doublewalled boiler pan or a heatproof bowl set over a pan of boiling water. Keep a kitchen thermometer in the part of the pan or bowl with the wax at all times, to make sure you’re monitoring its temperature throughout the process. Do not overheat. While the wax is melting, start preparing the oil blend and the vessels you will be pouring into.

2. Start with the vessel. Using your glue gun or stickered wicks, attach the wick to the base of the vessel, making sure it is centred in the jar. You can use a straw to help you fix the wick to the base.

3.  You can now measure out the scent combination you have created. You will need a digital jeweller’s scale for this, to ensure the blend is accurate. By this point your wax should have melted. Check to make sure the temperature is between 65 and 75°C. Pour the wax out into one of the metal jugs and set aside to cool a little. Once the temperature of the wax is at a steady 65ºC, you can add your oil blend. Pour it in, stirring slowly clockwise and then anti-clockwise to ensure a thorough blend. We recommend then pouring it into the second metal jug and repeating this process to ensure an evenly distributed blend of oil and wax.

4.  Place your wicked jars at even intervals on a tray or on a work surface covered with greaseproof paper – this will reduce any mess from spillage. Push the wick away from the direction of the pour to the side of the vessel – this will stop the wick splitting the flow and reduce any potential spillage. You can pour in the wax to the desired height of the vessel (we recommend leaving 5mm from the rim of the vessel, which is the perfect wick height – this is especially important if you are using containers with lids), or you can pour threequarters of the way up to allow for a top pour once the vessel has set.

5. Once you’ve poured your candles, bring the wick gently back to the centre of the vessel and use the pegs to fix the wick in the centre of your creation. You can buy wick centring devices, which are useful if the diameter of your vessel exceeds the length of a standard peg. Create some friction between the peg and vessel to ensure the wick stays in place as the wax sets. You can do this by pushing the peg against the jar and pulling the wick ever so slightly at the same time.

6. Leave the candles until cool and set, then remove the pegs or wick-centring devices, clean around the vessels if necessary and trim the wicks to size. Now put the candles aside for another 48 hours to cure. The whole thing is pretty much an exercise in patience from start to finish! You might notice that your candles have little spots or crystals on the surface, this is known as frosting and occurs frequently with soy and other vegetable wax candles. A top pour or reheating will solve this and iron out any cracks that may appear in the top layer of your candle, creating a perfect smooth finish.


Remember that the throw of this candle won’t necessarily fill a room, you are creating this for its aromatherapeutic benefits.


More candle workshop ideas in The Scented Candle Workshop