Let’s just get this out in the open right off the bat – a professional candle maker I am not. What I am is someone who was dying to bring some sort of Fall feels into my house in spite of Phoenix’s 104 degree temps and didn’t want to pay $42 of pure pumpkin spice candle regret to do it. So naturally that lead me to extensively research how to make a candle with Fall scents at home, with ease, affordability and max customizability at the forefront of my requirements for DIY candle-making greatness. And of course, I had to subsequently assemble and distill that information for you here, so you (hopefully) don’t have to suffer through the trial and error process like I did after following many a candle-making tutorial that conveniently left it just vague enough for me to question my sanity. You’re the only people I’d nearly burn down my kitchen for and enjoy every second of it!
Turns out, in the end, making your own candles at home is pretty easy (once you’re working with all the pertinent info), and if it’s a scented Fall candle you’re after it’s also a delightfully affordable alternative to buying those eye-poppingly expensive Fall candles at the store. Bonus, you can also easily customize these cozy candles with the look and scents that fit your vibe. Boom!
So let’s get to the goods, shall we? And by goods I mean the tutorial that will hopefully provide all the info you need on how to make a candle with Fall scents at home. Just when I thought I didn’t have any more uses for those $2 Home Depot terracotta pots I love so much, my life somehow steered me here. And I love it!
Now I should say that the affordability of this DIY project is somewhat predicated on the idea that you probably have a lot of the stuff you’ll need hanging around the house. Like the essential oils, some Mod Podge, a clear silicone waterproof sealant of any sort, sticks, an old glass pitcher or measuring cup and hey, maybe even an old terracotta pot or other vessel that you’re willing to sacrifice to the candle gods. So there’s that.
How to Make a Candle with Fall Scents
- Fall Essential Oils of your choosing (for a balanced, cozy, festive fall scent I used Cinnamon, Vanilla and Clove)
- 4″ Terracotta Pots ($2 at Home Depot)
- Soy Wax (the 2 lb. bag would be fine for a few candles of this size, but I got the 5 lb. bag and made about 6 candles)
- Wicks (the soy wax linked above comes with wicks)
- Sticks (I used leftover bamboo skewers that we had hanging around from summer BBQs)
- Large Pot
- Heat and water resistant glass pitcher for melting wax using double boiler method (I used an old glass Pyrex measuring cup, but you could just thrift something like this so you don’t feel bad about possibly making a mess of it)
- Measuring cups to measure dry wax
- Mod Podge
- Clear Silicone Waterproof Sealant
1. If using a terracotta pot as your vessel like I am (it just feels so fall, doesn’t it?), seal the inside with two coats of Mod Podge. Before pouring wax into it, it’s so important to seal the inside of a porous vessel like a terracotta planter so that wax doesn’t seep through the clay when warmed and turn your cute candle into one giant fire hazard.
2. Then put a piece of tape over the outside of the drainage hole in the bottom of the pot (I actually just left the price tag on and utilized that since it was already sitting over the drainage hole) and seal the hole from the inside of the pot with a generous bead of clear silicone waterproof sealant (think the waterproof kind you’d use in your bathroom, which can easily be found in the caulk aisle at a home improvement or hardware store).
3. Let all of that dry as you begin the process of melting your soy wax over the stove.
4. Once your terracotta pot is dry from all that sealing, grab a wick and wrap the top of it around a stick that’s long enough to fit over the opening of your terracotta pot. Place the stick with your wick in the center of the pot, making sure the wick is long enough to reach almost to the bottom of your pot.
5. Melt the wax using the double boiler method with the goal of getting the wax completely melted and to a temp of 185 degrees.
Double Boiler Method for Melting Wax:
- Fill the large pot or saucepan with about a few inches of water and place it over medium heat.
- Place about 3 cups of dry soy wax flakes into a smaller container that’s heat and water resistant. This could be a glass pitcher like a pyrex measuring cup like I used here, which makes for easy measuring and pouring.
- Once the water is boiling, place the glass container directly inside of the large pot or saucepan.
- Lower the heat and bring the water in the large saucepan to a gentle simmer. As it evaporates, periodically add more water to keep the water level consistent, which will help move the melting process along.
- When the wax is melting, monitor the temperature with your thermometer if you have one. Wax that’s completely melted into a liquid and a temp of 185 is the end goal.
- Once the wax has completely melted and reached the proper temp, remove it from the heat (I just place my glass picture onto a hot pad).
6. Add 40 to 50 drops of the essential oils of your choosing per 3 cups of wax (I did a mixture of cinnamon, clove and vanilla for a really nice, balanced fall scent). More drops will make for a stronger scent, but no need to overdo it – this ratio will give your candle a nice, fragrant, long-lasting scent.
7. Pour the wax & oil mixture into the terracotta pot, making sure the wick is centered while you do it. Adjust the wick if necessary after the wax is poured, but before it starts to harden.
8. Let the wax cure/harden for an hour or two at room temperature.
9. Once your candle is fully cured, remove the stick from the wick and then cut the wick down to about 1/4 inch sticking out of your candle.
Tips & Tricks
- CLEANUP: While the container that the wax melted in is still warm, wipe out the excess wax with a paper towel. Spray some isopropyl alcohol into the container, wipe out, and continue until all the remaining wax residue is gone.
- BONUS: You can paint the pots with craft paint like I did to add to the festive fun or match your decor. For an easy tutorial for whitewashing and painting these pots, head to this post!
- DOUBLE BONUS: Any vessel could work for this, even the bottom of a small pumpkin, but for most porous vessels (pretty much anything but glass), for fire safety purposes, you must remember that it’s important to seal the inside with a couple of layers of sealant like Mod Podge before you add wax to it.
- TRIPLE BONUS: While the wax is still slightly soft, toward the end of your curing time, but before it gets totally hard, you can add decorative accents and press them into the top of the wax like I did above! For another hit of fall fragrance, I chose to add pretty star anise and whole cloves. Just be careful to keep anything that’s flammable or has the potential to spark away from your wick. The whole cloves do spark slightly for a second when lit, so when I lit my wick I stayed close and watched to make sure it burned out quickly.