DIY scented candles

Just before Christmas, I wrote a post about ideas for homemade Christmas presents. It was at that point that I found Rebecca’s beautiful tutorial over on Really Pretty Useful for DIY scented candles and I did a little squeal of excitement because I am obsessed with scented candles but they are SO expensive. I was thrilled at the prospect of saving about £30 each time I buy one and there is no easier way of instantly lifting your home than burning a beautifully scented candle.

I hope you will find this as exciting as I do and even better news – they are so ridiculously easy to make. Thank you also to Helen who saw my homemade Christmas present post and made her own candles (see the post for a picture of her candles)  and told me about The Soap Kitchenwhich is a great place to buy essential oils and fragrances for candles.

DIY scented candles tutorial | How to make candles | Apartment Apothecary

You will need:

Soy wax flakes (£3.16) – I bought 800g of the EcoSoya CB-Xcel flakes and this was enough to make 5 candles in the 220ml jars that you can see in my pictures.

Tabbed pre-waxed wicks (£2.05 for 10) – As Rebecca says in her tutorial, getting tabbed wicks is very important as they are a lot more stable.

Jars (£8.95 for 5) I bought Weck tulip jars just purely because I love the shape. However, any old jam jar, tea cup, sugar bowl, kilner jar, sea shell, egg shell will do and make sure you save scented candle jars that you have bought in the past as you can easily recycle these.

Fragrance or essential oil (£2.35 for 5ml) – I chose the Fig Tree fragrance, which smells wonderful but it is quite subtle. If you want to spend a bit more and want a stronger scent then choose an essential oil.


Saucepan (with a lip is preferable or you may need a funnel)

Wooden spoon

I spent about £16 in total but if I had used jam jars it would have cost only £7 for five candles. Amazing!

DIY scented candles tutorial | How to make candles | Apartment Apothecary


To do:

1. To work out how much wax you need, pack your jar quite tightly with wax flakes – you will need double this amount for each candle.

2. Melt the wax flakes on a low heat in a saucepan, preferably one with a lip as this will help later when you pour it into the jars. I did it in two batches. Don’t be worried about using a decent saucepan as the wax is natural and washes out with washing up liquid very easily.

3. Add your fragrance or oil once all of the flakes have dissolved. I added about 2ml of the fragrance per candle (just roughly speaking). If it smells overpowering, this is ok. Remember, you have a couple of candle’s worth of wax in your saucepan and when you burn your candle only a small amount of the wax will melt and release scent at a time.

4. Carefully pour the wax into your jars. If your jars have lids that you want to use fill up to a couple of centimetres from the top so there is space for the wick to fit under the lid.

5. Allow the wax to cool in the jar and when it starts to become cloudy and thick, which can take 15-20 minutes, push the tabbed wick in to the centre of the candle. Make sure the tabbed end makes contact with the bottom of the jar and hold in place for a few seconds until it sets in the wax.

6. Allow the wax to cool completely, preferably over night, before you cut off the top of the wick about 1cm above the level of the wax.

DIY scented candles tutorial | How to make candles | Apartment Apothecary

DIY scented candles tutorial | How to make candles | Apartment Apothecary

DIY scented candles tutorial | How to make candles | Apartment Apothecary

I think you will need to experiment with scent combinations and intensity to find the right one for you. If I hit on any winners I will update you as I’m pretty sure I will be making candles forevermore. If you need me, I will probably be making more – I am totally obsessed!

Katy xxx (extra kisses for Valentine’s Day)



  1. 13th February 2015 / 6:49 am

    Fab tutorial Katy, might just have to get myself some candle making bits and pieces, looks like a lovely craft for an afternoon. Always denying myself the big beautiful candles you see in the shops, now I’ll just have to make one instead. xx
    p.s. Loved your behind the scenes shoots!

    • katy
      13th February 2015 / 11:35 am

      Indeed! Honestly, it doesn’t take more than about half an hour – it is so quick, so easy. x

  2. 13th February 2015 / 9:50 am

    yay! I’ve been meaning to do scented candles someday and this is perfect. Thanks so much for all the tips and links! I’ll let you know if I’m successful. xxx

    (PS. LOVE the behind-scenes shots….makes me giggle at how far we go to get the most of the day light in the UK. You’d seriously laugh at my antics!)

    • katy
      13th February 2015 / 11:36 am

      It’s the positions I get into that must look bizarre. The apartment block opposite us can see into our sitting room and they must think I am MAD! xx

  3. Farah
    13th February 2015 / 10:04 am

    Oh my goodness, I think even I could manage this. I use scented candles while cooking curries. Kind of absorbs the smell.

    • katy
      13th February 2015 / 11:36 am

      You could definitely make these, Farah! I dare you to try! x

  4. 13th February 2015 / 10:24 am

    Love this tutorial both for myself and as ideas for homemade presents. I love candles, for me they’re the winter equivalent of having flowers in my home!

    Thank you for the behind the scenes shots, this is similar to how I take photos of my cards so I’m glad I’m not the only one making a big pile of mess while I masking tape fabric to the walls. I’d love more tips on bodging photos if you have them 🙂

    • katy
      13th February 2015 / 11:37 am

      I will get to work on more bodging tips 😉 x

  5. 13th February 2015 / 10:40 am

    I can’t believe how easy these sound to make – I’d always assumed it would be a lot trickier. Thanks for sharing the ‘behind the scenes’ photos too!

    • katy
      13th February 2015 / 11:37 am

      I think that’s why I have put it off for so long, plus I didn’t know what I needed to make them. Hope you give it a try x

  6. Tia
    13th February 2015 / 11:29 am

    Hi Katy, does the candle dip as it cools and then need topped up to make it flat again?

    • katy
      13th February 2015 / 11:33 am

      Nope, mine cooled completely flat with a lovely crisp line. A couple cracked slightly but nothing major and once you start burning it it all melts into itself anyway. x

      • Tia
        13th February 2015 / 12:21 pm

        Great – thank you!

  7. Helen
    13th February 2015 / 11:41 am

    Woohoo! So happy you enjoyed it too. Rebecca’s lovely tutorial brought so much pleasure to the female half of my family this Christmas. Thank you Rebecca!
    Is it possible I am about to blow the same small fortune I once spent on scented candles on an account at the Soap Kitchen…? I think so X

    • katy
      13th February 2015 / 3:47 pm

      I know! That’s why I restricted myself to one fragrance…for starters! x

  8. Shelley
    13th February 2015 / 1:39 pm

    How do you push the tabbed wick into the candle… it still liquid enough so you drop it in, or do you need to use something to push it down into the wax? Thanks, and love this and all your posts!

    • katy
      13th February 2015 / 3:09 pm

      Hi Shelley. You need to wait until the wax turns from clear to slightly cloudy and white (it is still liquid, but has become thicker). You just push the tabbed wick into the centre of the candle (just holding it at the top with your fingers – no special implement required). You push it to the bottom so that the tabbed end comes into contact with the bottom of the glass, which is really easy as the wax is still liquid, and you hold it there for a few seconds until you let go and it will stand on its own. I promise you, it is really simple and as soon as you have done the first you will get the hang of it immediately! x

      • Shelley
        13th February 2015 / 4:27 pm

        Thank you….I think these will be perfect for Easter baskets!

  9. 13th February 2015 / 2:18 pm

    Ah BUT your house is still tidy even when doing a product/ diy shot. MY house is a constant tip! Hence only photographing my mantelpiece. I might be brave one day to show a ‘real’ shot. 😉 xx

    • katy
      13th February 2015 / 3:48 pm

      I don’t believe you, Lou! It always looks soooo dreamy beautiful in your shots xx

  10. 13th February 2015 / 7:19 pm

    I have a friend who adores scented candles – this is perfect! The little jars are so sweet. Trouble is I would make them and then not want to give them away (how mean of me!). xx

    • katy
      13th February 2015 / 9:41 pm

      Ha ha! I made five and only managed to give two away 😉 xx

  11. 14th February 2015 / 9:11 am

    Great tutorial. I’ve found that melting the wax in a big old jar in a pan filled with water saves on mess in a pan….you can just ditch the jar after use! (Maybe that’s just the lazy in me that loves that!)

    I also love that you have to create your ‘studio’ – it’s really great to see some behind the scenes shots!

    • Katy
      16th February 2015 / 8:05 am

      With the soy wax flakes it is so easy to clean that there really is no mess. I was well prepared with surface coverings and an old beaten up pan, but I didn’t really need any of that xx

  12. Olivia
    14th February 2015 / 3:46 pm

    you are such a super star sharing this brilliant tutorial. such great tips & so kind with all the links. The candles are my idea of perfect & am going to get cracking, thank you. olivia X

    • Katy
      16th February 2015 / 8:04 am

      Yay! Enjoy xx

  13. 15th February 2015 / 12:52 am

    Hey Katy, I love this idea! But I’ve got to say, I love your photos even more! Seeing how you create such gorgeous imagery is really encouraging me to spend more time on my photo set up – so thank you! 🙂 xx

    • Katy
      16th February 2015 / 8:04 am

      So glad to hear that, Leanne! It’s not to difficult to produce simple, clean shots if you just go with a plain background and natural light, which seems like a good place to start. Xx

  14. 17th February 2015 / 1:27 pm

    Finally got around to reading this in full…what a treat! Super tutorial, as ever Katy! {and as much as I’m all for recycling jars etc, these tulip glasses are just beautiful} x

  15. 5th March 2015 / 7:09 pm

    A lovely post! I’ve been wanting to make my own soy candles for a while as I’m sick of forking out a fortune on expensive ones. I love those little weck jars too – I bought a jar of mustard back from Paris just for the jar! x

    • Katy
      7th March 2015 / 11:22 am

      Ha! I’ve done that before, too. It’s now my utensil holder (a big stoneware one). Good luck with the candle-making xx

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