These DIY fall candles are simple and non-toxic. They are safe for the whole family! With wholesome ingredients like beeswax and wood wicks, these DIY fall candles actually enhance your air rather than harming it with synthetic fragrances!
I am not the typical pumpkin spice latte kind of girl. I really wish I was, but try as I might I cannot bring myself to like them.
Now pumpkin spice donuts or cake- I’m your girl!
Though spring is my favorite season- fall is a close second!
I love the falling leaves, the scent of cinnamon, and the cozy feel that this season brings. And what says “Happy Autumn” better than DIY Fall Candles?
Last winter I developed an obsession with candle making.
It was too cold to do much else and my sewing machine was broken. I found this small Mennonite shop in our town that sold soy candles with wood wicks.
I immediately fell in love with the soft glow and warm scent. I’m certain they were better than a typical Wal-Mart candle, but I soon found that the soy seemed to bother my throat. That was probably not good, but I burned them anyways.
But I wanted something better.
Something non-toxic, scent filled but synthetic fragrance free, and beautiful.
Plus with a house full of kids it is typically my philosophy that if it isn’t safe to eat- it isn’t safe to sit out.
I know, no one should be eating my candles, but I have had enough conversations with Poison Control to know that someone will probably try.
So, why make your own DIY fall candles when the store has an entire aisle devoted to them?
The Problem with Typical Store-Bought Candles
There is something so homely and cozy about a candle.
They used to be one of my favorite things to shop for. I even liked getting stuck in a long line at TJ Maxx or Homegoods and being ‘forced’ to sniff all the candles while I waited.
I particularly like the ones that smell like dessert.
Of course this may also explain why my kids feel enticed to eat them..
The problem is your typical $8.99 candle at TJ Maxx is filled with toxins just waiting to be lit and poured into your home.
Now you aren’t going to die from sniffing your B&B candle- unless you catch yourself on fire or something.
But the fact that candles come with a warning for how they can affect pets- particularly birds and small animals- should cause us to pause and consider the effects they could have on us and particularly our children.
Fragrances, much like the fragrances in your lotions or perfumes, are not rendered from their host.
So if you have an orange scented lotion- most likely (unless it is a very expensive brand)– the orange smell is concocted in a lab rather than from the essential oil or zest of an orange.
What is that ‘fragrance’ made of?
Often times we simply don’t know and companies don’t have to tell us. According to the FDA, companies only have to specify that “fragrance” or “flavor” is added. (Crazy, I know.) “Fragrances” have been linked to developmental and reproductive harm. Long term burning of scented candles can even lead to traceable amounts of Formaldehyde and other carcinogens leaked into the air.
Um, can we please just have cozy candles without the toxins- thank you!
How are most candles made?
Most store bought candles are made with paraffin wax. Paraffin is derived from Petroleum byproducts. It is far cheaper than tallow, soy, or beeswax which is why it is the average candlemaker’s medium of choice.
Paraffin wax does, however, produce soot and emit toxins into the air. In a large setting this may yield little harm, but in small rooms with prolonged exposure paraffin can affect lungs and even irritate your skin.
So we will not be making our fall candles with paraffin.
So what about soy?
Soy is still a cheaper option than most other mediums, but I am not a fan of soy in general. As I mentioned earlier, soy candles seem to irritate my throat. And it is possible that the culprit is once again paraffin.
Most ‘soy’ candles are not in fact 100% organic soy but rather a combination of soy and paraffin. We can all just agree at this point that this is crazy. We just want to burn a candle and not affect the health of our family.
You can make your candles from whatever substance you prefer. Many see the risks as so small it doesn’t really matter, but if you are truly seeking a beautiful and non-toxic candle all hope is not lost!
The Magic of Beeswax for Candle Making!
Is there anything better than the humble bee?
Bee pollen, beeswax, honey, royal jelly- you name it! Bees are a gift from a truly gracious God.
Not only is beeswax all natural- it actually cleans the air as it burns! (I mean seriously– what!) I think the lesson here is if God makes it- it is a million times better than what we can create in a lab!
Because beeswax candles clean the air and reduce indoor pollutants, they can effectively reduce asthma, allergies, and hay fever symptoms.The Truth About Beeswax Candles
Beeswax is slower melting which means candle making takes a little longer- but it also means your candle burns slower- and lasts longer!
Beeswax is a bit more expensive than soy or paraffin wax; however, it is still cheaper to make a dozen beeswax candles at home than to buy a large Paraffin candle in most stores!
(Note: There is only one issue I am aware of with beeswax, and that is- beeswax does not easily come off of dishes. You will want something you can designate for melting beeswax only, otherwise you will be eating it in your next meal.)
What Kind of Wick Should You Use for Candles?
There are some negative affects again associated with cotton and hemp wicks. Though I do understand it to be uncommon. There are rare illnesses associated with each. As I have read before “They are safe unless you burn them”. Which kind of defeats the purpose of a candle.
But again, there is a safe, all natural, and eco-friendly option. (I think God wants us to have candles- He seems to have supplied all the ingredients!)
Meet the Wood Wick.
It is literally just that- a piece of wood that burns like a small campfire candle in your living room.
This also prolongs the life of your candle and they aren’t crazy expensive!
(I do have cotton wicks that I use from time to time, but the wooden wicks are my personal favorite!)
What gives candles their scent?
Candles have three basic parts: wax, wick, and scent.
This is why they are easy to make at home.
You already know the issues with so called “fragrance” in a typical candle, but how do you replace it with something non-toxic and still just as pleasant.
I think essential oils are the easy answer to the question; however, good quality essential oils are not cheap and candle making requires a lot of oil in order to produce a good scent.
That can get on the costly side.
Of course if you have a wide variety of essential oils sitting around this is a great option. For a full list of fall essential oil combinations: Click here!
I am determined, however, to make a fall scented candle without pricey oils- using only kitchen scraps and items already on hand in your pantry!
How To Make an All Natural Scent for Candles
To make a simple scented oil (infused oil), I simply began with melting down some coconut oil which I always add to my candles. (I have made unscented candles also and I think the beeswax still gives off a soft, slightly sweet smell all on its own.)
To begin start with:
- 1/3 cup of coconut oil
- 1 Tbsp of cloves
- the outer peel of an orange
- 1 tsp ground cardamom
- 2 cinnamon sticks
Combine all of your ingredients in a saucepan on medium-low heat and allowed the coconut oil to melt completely. Then, leave it to steep on low heat for about 20 minutes.
(Note: This created a very soft scent, if you want it stronger simply add more spice or peel and allow to steep until you reach the scent you want! This could also sit in a jar together for days- in a warm environment- for an even stronger scent!)
When you’ve reached your desired scent, simply strain out the spices and peel through some cheesecloth and continue making your candle like normal! (Full Recipe down below!)
You can create just about any scent you want this way, and I hope you will play around with it and make it your own.
Vanilla beans, pumpkin puree, even black pepper or apples could be used to create a scent your whole family will love!
Just make sure you strain out your mixture before mixing it with beeswax- and of course check that none of your ingredients are flammable. You will be lighting this at some point!
(If you make infused oils for other projects like lavender infused oil for bars of soap, you can also add that fragrance to beeswax to create a candle in any scent you want!)
- 3 half pint jars
- 3 wooden wicks or cotton wicks
- a hot glue gun or glue dots
- A double boiler and a designated pot or jar for melting wax (beeswax does not wash out easily)
- 2 1/2 cups of Organic Beeswax pellets
- 1/4 cup coconut oil (this helps your candles burn slower)
- Your choice of scented ingredients steeped in your coconut oil; or about 20 drops of essential oil or combination of essential oils
1. If you are creating your own scent, begin by steeping your favorite ingredients in the coconut oil until you achieve your ideal scent! Full directions/ideas listed above!
2. Then, assemble your wicks. If you have wooden wicks, the wooden piece simply slides into the metal bottom to hold it upright. Apply a generous amount of hot glue or a glue dot designed for candle making to the metal base of the wick. Gently apply to the base of the jar and hold firmly for about 30 seconds. If you are using cotton wicks you will need a clothespin or skewer to hold the wick up while the wax sets.
3. In a double boiler, begin melting down the beeswax until fully liquid. This usually takes some time, but just be patient- it will eventually all melt. Be mindful not to let the pot run out of water during the process.
4. Pour your scented coconut oil, melted coconut oil, and/or essential oils- into the beeswax and stir well to combine.
5. Then gently (it is very hot) pour the melted wax into the jars until it reaches your desired point. If you used a cotton wick be sure to keep the wick secured in place above the wax with a clothespin or skewer. A pencil would work also!
6. Lastly, allow the candle to sit for about 24 hours. Once the beeswax is solid, you can remove the skewer or clothespin if you used a cotton wick. Cut your wick (wooden or cotton) to the desired length (about 1/4 inch above the wax)- and you are ready to light it and enjoy!!
Oils are going to give the strongest scent (especially based on how much you add to your candle!)
Get Creative with Your Homemade Candles!
One of my favorite parts of candle making is that there are very few rules. You can create candles in old mason jars, pottery, sugar dishes, teacups, or anything else you can think of! Take a walk through your favorite thrift store and just day dream of all the things that can be repurposed for candles on your coffee table or in your dining room!
Craft new scents, try different wicks, and enjoy every minute of it!
Creating a cozy feel for your home is a year round endeavor, for more inspiration on crafting an atmosphere of peace check out our blog: What is a Homemaker?
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Half-Pint Mason Jars (Psst! You could probably find these for cheaper!)
Wooden Wicks (50 wicks for $10.99!)
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