DIY candles: illuminate and perfume your home using recycled materials

by Mark Bennett

May 25, 2024


Candles are very popular and much-appreciated light sources used in many homes - but often, candles can contain potentially harmful, chemical products.

If you want to be sure that your candles are all-natural and safe, you can make yourself at home for near-zero expense.

Below, we describe how you can recycle old jars, bowls and baking trays whilst making DIY candles.

Materials necessary for making DIY candles


Here's a list of the resource you will need for your DIY candles:

  • wax: this is the main raw material needed to make candles; use all-natural, pure beeswax or soy wax;
  • wicks: you can get ready-made wicks made from cotton, paper, zinc or wood or make them yourself using cotton thread and wax; the advantage of making your own wicks is that you can customize them for your candles;
  • scented oils: to ensure your candles give off a pleasant scent, add essential oils you like;
  • containers: it is important that the containers you chose are heat resistant - recycle glass jars or drinking glasses (provided they are tempered), tin cans, bowls, old ceramic cups or mugs, small pots or baking trays;
  • other utensils: you will need a saucepan/pot (filled with a little water) and a metal container to serve as a bain-marie, a heat-resistant spatula (to stir the wax), a food thermometer and sticks/skewers to stabilize the wicks.


Procedure for making your DIY candles

  • First of all, measure out the quantity of wax needed to make your candles: flaked wax takes up more space than liquid wax and for this reason, it will probably be necessary to use two containers for each flaked-wax candle you want to make. Then, melt the wax in the bain-marie over a low heat, constantly monitoring the temperature. Each wax type has its own melting temperature (beeswax will melt at around 60 degrees C; soy wax melts at around 50 degrees C).
  • When the wax has melted completely, add the fragrances (essential oils), individually or by mixing them together. A dosage of approximately 30-40 drops of essential oil for each 250 gram candle will suffice. During melting process and while adding the fragrances, mix thoroughly with the  spatula to ensure even distribution of the essential oils.
  • Insert the wicks into the containers, securing them to the bottoms with a drop of wax or glue, and pour the liquid wax into them while keeping the wicks in a vertical position with the help of skewers, chopsticks or pegs.
  • Pour the wax into the containers slowly to avoid air bubbles forming. Clean up any spills immediately to prevent the the wax from drying and becoming more difficult to remove later.
  • Wait for your candles to harden and set at room temperature. If you use all-natural waxes, this will take longer (approximately 4 days for soy wax and up to 10 days for beeswax).

Once set, light your candles and enjoy!