I love to make candles; I usually make them near Samhain since that is the traditional time to make “light” with the holiday marking the traditional new year and a decent into the darkest part of the year. However, this year my autumn was a little busy with work and with grad school so I waited to make candles until December.
I love to incorporate herbs from the garden into these candles and with my “Tour of France” holiday theme, I thought I would include an herbs de Provence blend of powdered herbs into the candles. Not only would this include the fragrance and color of the herbs into the candle, but some of the traditional properties of the herbs such as rosemary, thyme, savory, basil and lavender.
To make the candles, melt the wax in a double boiler. I prefer to use natural beeswax, so I broke apart about 5 pounds of wax and melted it over my stove gently, bringing it to 128F. Once melted, I added about a half a cup of powdered herb blend into the wax and blended it well. Turn off the heat at this point, it will begin to cool the water and then the wax; it also gives time for the herbs to permeate the wax and spread its scent and color to the wax.
Once the wax is cooled slightly add your choice of complimentary essential oils (I used rosemary and lavender), then you can pour it into your prepared jars. It is important to cool the wax a little before you pour. The cooler you pour, the less shrinkage you will have with your finished candles. Pour a little wax into the bottom of the jar and stand up the wick in the jar. Once cooled, pour the candles to shoulders of the jar. As the wax sets, it will naturally form a small well around the wick. Once fully cooled (about an hour) use a chop stick or tooth pick to poke around the wick to relieve the pressure and then pour a little more wax around the wick to just below the initial pour.
Allow the candle to completely cool, trim the wick to about a half an inch to three quarters of an inch, replace the lid and label with a pretty store bought or homemade label.
These kitchen candles make great gifts, they will infuse the kitchen with the scent of herbs as they burn and help to eliminate some of the other unpleasant odors from cooking.
This project is a great way to incorporate herbs into your holiday or anytime gifts. Powdering the herbs also allows you to use up any herbs from last year as well as dried herb gleanings, preventing waste.