I know Joanna is ready and willing to start adding some cozy holiday touches to her tiny bungalow, and I’m not very far behind her. I’m already dreaming of trimming the tree and unpacking my Nutcracker collection (yes, really). But until we go full Christmas up in here, we thought it’d be nice to ease our way into the season with these super simple, beautiful juniper berry candles festooned with dried juniper berries and fresh cedar fronds. It’s a quick and easy way to make something festive — and it’s perfect for upcycling old glass vessels!
We’re all but addicted to essential oils in pretty much any form these days — especially when they help to make our homes smell amazing. Candle light is basically a Christmas and holiday must-have, so this DIY is perfect for adding a festive touch. Joanna has a lot of extra candle holders now that her wedding is over, so we put them to good use with this DIY, too.
How to Make Soy Wax Candles with Juniper Berry Essential Oil
- soy wax
- candle wicks and holders
- juniper berry essential oil
- dried juniper berries
- cedar clippings
- velvet ribbon
- glass votives (we used these that were leftover from Joanna’s wedding)
- glass measuring cup
- skewer or chopstick
Start by melting your soy wax. A couple of things to note for this process: you can either melt it in a pan over the stove, or in a glass measuring cup in the microwave. I personally prefer the second method because it’s easier to pour into your candleholders. Add about twice as much wax as you think you’ll need because it shrinks a lot as it melts. Then, microwave in one-minute increments, stirring with a skewer or chopstick to encourage melting.
Next — and this may seem counterintuitive — let the wax cool for a couple of minutes. We don’t want to add the essential oils when the wax is too hot, or it can dull the scent. After you’ve allowed your wax to cool a bit, add your oil. For this small candle, I used 50 drops of oil. This may seem like a lot, but you have to use a lot of essential oil in wax candles if you want to really get the scent. Feel free to use more if you like a more fragrant candle! Also, if you’re really looking to pack a punch, you can opt to use a fragrance oil instead of an essential oil, but I like to keep things on the lighter side.
At this point, pour a tiny bit of wax into the bottom of the vessel. Once it starts to turn opaque, press the wick onto the bottom of the candle, then keep it in place with the wick holder. If you don’t have one of these, you can cut a strip of tin foil, poke a hole in it and thread the wick through it. Just wrap the foil around the lip of the candle to keep your wick secure (wait to do this until after you’ve poured the wax for this method).
Once your wick is secure, pour the wax into the candleholder, leaving about 1/2″ of space at the top.
Let the wax cool until it’s opaque around the outer edges and just starting to set in the center. Drop a test berry onto the wax — if it stays afloat and just barely sinks into the wax, it’s ready to decorate!
Arrange juniper berries and freshly cut foliage in a pretty pattern atop the candle, and let cool completely.
Finish the candles by trimming the wicks to 1/2″ long and tying a pretty piece of velvet ribbon around the outside. You might need to use a bit of hot glue to keep the ribbon in place.
We’ve actually shared a pretty similar soy wax candle tutorial before, but that one was eggnog scented. They are just so addictive and easy to make! I also love recommending them as a good gift to keep on hand for any occasion or recipient. Set aside and afternoon to make a batch and then you’ll have thoughtful, handmade gifts at a moment’s notice! Plus, save a few for yourself to light when guests come over.
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Looking for even more handmade gift ideas that also smell great? Check out these posts:
- Essential Oil Room Spray
- Eggnog Soy Wax Candles
- Deep Sleep Pillow Spray with Essential Oils
- Hidden Crystal Candle
- Essential Oil Reed Diffuser with Etched Glass