As much as I love my maintenance-free electric fire place, it is missing a key component: the warm sound of crackling wood. There are those insanely expensive Wood Wick candles that make this comforting sound but they are also known for their "divine" scents. I have written about the dangers of artificial fragrances here. Phthalates are especially troubling as it is an endocrine disruptor (as if we don't have enough going on in our lives to make our hormones wacky) and has links to breast cancer and birth defects.
So, of course I am making this myself because #1, I'm frugal (cheap? whatever!) and #2, watery eyes and headaches are not my idea of relaxing in front of the fire. My local craft store sells wood wicks in a package of six for $6 and two pounds of palm wax for $10- completely reasonable in my book.
A quick note on palm wax: please make sure that it comes from a Rainforest Alliance Certified company. Malaysian and Indonesian rain forests have been devastated by the over-harvesting of palm trees. Even if the bag reads an eco-friendly renewable resource, it is just a technicality. Trees are being cut down at a rate where new plantings can't keep up. Wildlife can't survive in a grove of new saplings and mature trees are the lungs of this planet. Of course, non-GMO soy or beeswax will work just as well!
2 wood wicks with metal clamps (should come together in the packaging)
2 cups wax pellets (palm, beeswax or soy)
2 glass jelly mason jars
1 glue gun
1 large glass measuring cup
1 sauce pan for the water bath
1 cookie sheet
1 cooling rack
Essential oils for fragrance (optional but I have a pleasing and stress-reducing combo below)
Start by hot gluing the metal wick clamps to the bottom of the jelly jars. Try to center them as much as possible. Pour the wax into the large measuring cup and pre-heat the oven to the lowest setting.
Make a water bath by placing the glass measuring cup into a sauce pan. Carefully fill the sauce pan with water until it is half way up the measuring cup. Don't get water in the wax. Place on the stove over medium to low heat until all the wax has melted, stirring occasionally. Remove the measuring cup from the water bath. While the wax cools, place the jelly jars on the cookie sheet and place in the oven to heat for 3 minutes. Warming the jars will help the wax cool more evenly and slowly to help prevent any dips or air bubbles in the finished candle.
After the wax has cooled for a few minutes add: 80 drops lavender essential oil, 50 drops rosemary essential oil and 30 drops cedar wood essential oil. Stir gently to combine. Place the wood wicks into the the metal clamp and carefully pour half the wax into each jelly jar.
Place the candles on a cooling rack to harden over-night.
The next morning, using sharp scissors or nail clippers, trim the wood wick to 1/4 inch- it is important to keep the wick short or you will have a mini-bonfire in a very small container. As always, please don't leave a lit candle unsupervised, especially around children and pets.
Linked with the Homemade Mondays blog series.