Make Your Own Scented Holiday Candles With Just 3 Ingredients

Last Update: September 29, 2022

Sugar cookie, warm apple pie, candy cane. The scented candles that are so popular this time of year can be drool-inducing—but once you find out what they’re really made of, they might leave a sour taste in your mouth.

Anyone who’s taken one too many whiffs of a gingerbread candle knows that these powerful fragrances can leave you nose-blind after a while—and for the super-sensitive, headaches and nausea follow close behind.

Why? Most mass-market candles are made with paraffin wax, a petroleum byproduct that’s carcinogenic when burned. The soot left behind is irritating to the respiratory system and potentially harmful for the rest of the body. And that’s not to mention the artificial fragrances and dyes that can cause allergic reactions in many people and pollute the home.

This year, skip the store-bought candles and whip up your own. It’s super easy and fun—and you can still make them smell like your favorite holiday treats!

DIY holiday candles

Basic Coconut Oil Candle Recipe

2 teaspoons coconut oil
6 ounces of soy wax beads
1 pack of tea lights with wicks or candle wicks 

Over a double boiler, melt coconut oil and soy wax beads together. Pour mixture into tea lights or glass jar, making sure the wick is upright and remains clean. Allow to cool and harden before using.

That’s it! So simple, right? This basic recipe imparts a light coconut scent, but if you want to get into the holiday spirit, try adding the following essential oil combos.

DIY holiday candles


10 drops cinnamon oil, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, 2 teaspoons dried ginger, and 2 teaspoons nutmeg

Pumpkin Pie

1/4 teaspoon each of cinnamonnutmeg, ginger, and allspice

Candy Cane

10 drops peppermint oil 

Hot Toddy

20 drops orange oil, 10 drops of clove oil, 1/4 teaspoon of cinnamon

Photo credit: Paul Delmont

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Michelle Pellizzon

Certified health coach and endorphin enthusiast, Michelle is an expert in healthy living and eating. When she's not writing you can find her running trails, reading about nutrition, and eating lots of guacamole.

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