Summer is coming and in most places, that means outdoor challenges like insects. Whether you have an outdoor patio or go on camping trips, bug repellent is something you will need to use.
If you are an essential oil user, making your own is very simple to do with just a few oils, and the best part is its non-toxic. It’s also very easy to add it to candles to help prevent the bugs from surrounding you.
If you’ve never made candles before, it is not as daunting of a task as it seems. Your local craft store should carry a pre-formulated paraffin wax, which makes it very easy. It comes in a brick form and you can buy it in different amounts, depending on how many you are planning to make.
Find a cute upcycled glass jar or a small tin (for travel size), get your out your essential oils, and have fun!
What you will need:
- Glass jar with lid, in a 6 to 8 oz. size/or small tins with lids
- Digital thermometer
- 12 drops peppermint essential oil
- 13 drops cedarwood essential oil
- 10 drops lemon essential oil
- 8 drops lemongrass essential oil
- 2 bricks preformulated paraffin wax
- Wick with clip at the bottom
- Wax adhesive if you choose, but not necessary
- Double boiler
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First, fill your double boiler bottom with water close to half full, then place one paraffin wax brick in the top half, (you will just need to save the second one for later.)
Place over medium to high heat, and as it heats up and begins to boil, turn it down to a low simmer. Be careful not to burn the wax. The wax packaging should have temperature instructions on it for you to follow, so be sure to read over them before it gets going too long on the heat. Also remember to place your thermometer in the wax after a couple of minutes.
While you’re waiting for the wax to melt, attach your wick to the bottom of the jar, so you have it ready. You can attach it in one of two ways: Either use the wax adhesive if you bought some, to adhere it, (I used a spoon to scoop a little bit out of the container and then used the handle of the spoon to press the clip down and attach it.)
If you don’t have the adhesive then just place a few drops of the hot wax as it’s melting, into the bottom of your jar and then use the thermometer or spoon handle to push and hold the clip down.
Once your wax is melted and all clear in color, check the temperature to see if it needs to cool off a little bit before pouring. If it does, just remove it from the heat, then go ahead and stir half of the drops of your essential oils into the wax, stirring well. Adding the oils now will also help it cool faster. If the temperature is already fine, add your oils as it is on the burner still and stir.
Next, pour your wax into the jar slowly, using every bit of the brick up, which should be about halfway up the jar.
If you are using a small jar, you may not need the second bricks and you can just split up the wax in this one. Fill it to about halfway, and take the rest of the wax off the heat until you need it later.
If you are making small tins of candles, have them laid out and ready to fill, there will be no middle step in the process like there are with the jars.
If you have trouble getting your wick to stay straight up in the center of the candle as you’re pouring it, you may need to attach it to something above the jar to help you out. I used a ruler and a clothespin to hold it in place above the jar. (See photo.)
Run the wick through a hole in the ruler, then clip it in place, and it will stay in that spot for you while it sets up.
Allow the wax to cool for about 30 minutes, then use a sharp tool to poke a few holes in the wax, around the wick, to release any trapped air that can get in there when you filled it. (This is the step you’ll skip for the tins.)
Now it’s time to reheat the remainder of the wax for a smaller jar, or your other full brick, over low to medium heat. When it’s melted, add in the other half of the drops of your oils, and slowly top off the rest of the candle, filling in the holes you made. You will want to fill the jar all the way to the top.
Let it cool off for a few hours to be sure it’s all ready before putting on a lid. The bottom of the jar should be all cooled when it is ready. Lastly, all you need to do is trim the wick to about ¼” in length, and you can use your candle!
These candles make perfect summertime gifts so make several at a time so you can keep a few for yourself and give a few away to your neighbors!