DIY: Essential Oil Scented Tea Lights

May 24, 2017

Lately, I've been experimenting with blending essential oils searching for the perfect scent to freshen up our home. Lavender, Eucalyptus, Lemon is my go to blend, especially when I'm in clean-the-house mode. But the blends in this yoga & meditation pack are becoming a close second.

Most of the time, I will blend oils together in our essential oil diffuser and the house smells amazing! But I've been longing to make a few candles using my favorite scents that I can bring with me when I travel or even give as a gift. That's when I remembered a DIY trick I once saw for adding botanical decorations to tea light candles. What if I could melt tea light candles and add my own scents? And right then, a new DIY idea was born.

Here are tips for how to create simple scented tea lights using your favorite blend of essential oils.

Step 1

Preheat oven to the lowest setting. My oven was set on warming at 175 degrees.

Step 2

Place a few tea lights on a foil covered cookie sheet and pop them in the oven for 10 minutes.

Step 3

Prep your mix of essential oils.

I made four different candles by using a few pre-made blends (12 drops each), my own mix of lavender and lemon (6 drops each), and eucalyptus and lemon (8 drops and 4 drops). You can make them all the same scent or mix them up.

Step 4:
Check on the tea lights to see if they have melted. If not fully melted, give them a few more minutes in the oven.

Step 5

Remove from the oven and add 10-15 drops of essential oils to the melted wax.

Be careful not to wiggle the tray around too much or the wax will spill out of the aluminum holders. If a little bit of wax escapes it's not a big deal, but it will make the tea lights stick to the aluminum foil after the wax dries. Simply peel off the foil and wipe away the excess wax.

Step 6

Use a toothpick to gently stir the essential oils in. The wick will become loose once the wax is melted, so be careful not to move it too far out of place. 

(Side note: On my first attempt, I added food coloring to try and tint the candles, but the water based food coloring did not mix with the wax and I ended up with little pockets of food coloring at the bottom of the candles. It became quite a mess once the wax dried and the food coloring leaked out from the aluminum holder. There may be another way to add color, such as melting crayon shavings into the wax, but take it from coloring is not the way to go.)

Step 7

Let the wax cool and become solid again. If you are working with more than one scent, keep your essential oils nearby to keep track. 

(Note: For the safety of those precious essential oils, do not place bottles on the baking sheet while it is still warm.)

Step 8

Write the scent of the candle on the bottom or side of the aluminum shell in sharpie. Then light and enjoy! 

I chose to light the lavender and lemon candle first and it was heavenly! I used 12 drops (6 of each) in this candle and the scent was powerful without being overwhelming. 

Depending on the essential oil, the wax may dry to be white or tinted. A few of my candles ended up with a yellowish color and some roughness to the top. Other candles dried white and smooth. If you start to see bubbles or indents forming, consider smoothing the top of the candle as the wax dries. You can also cover any roughness on the top of the candle by adding botanical elements such as lavender buds, bits of cedar or pine, cinnamon stick, or even glitter. Select your decorations according to the essential oil scent.  

And there you have it! A simple way to add natural essential oil scents to a plain old tea light.  I hope you enjoy making some of your own signature scents or giving a few away as gifts. And please share your scent recipes in the comments below! 

Celebrate Creative Beginnings Month

May 2, 2017

Did you know, the month of May is Creative Beginnings Month? I haven't found much information regarding the origins of this celebration, but it sounds like a wonderful way to motivate some creative energy. There's no better time to start that new craft project you've been dreaming about, finish one that has been lingering in a between-the-creative-urges state, or share your creative passions or your new etsy shop with the world.

While there are a lot of makers out there who are fortunate enough to use their creativity daily and earn a living, the majority of us see creative projects as a hobby or luxury and sometimes tend to let life get in the way.  If you identify with the latter, why not use this month as a challenge to nurture your creative spirit and enjoy dreaming up and creating something new? The creative process can enhance how you engage with other aspects of your life, including a boost of satisfaction and confidence from completing a project or learning a new skill. I for one, love the feeling I get when an idea or inspiration plucked from my mind comes to life.

The reality is, you can do and create almost anything. Sometimes it just takes the courage to get out of your comfort zone and see what happens. There may be times when you create something that doesn't quite turn out the way you had pictured it in your mind, but that is perfectly OK and for the most part expected. Not only did you try, you did what you set out to created. Sometimes it's enough just to create something once, but if you choose you can do it over and over again until you have refined the process and end up with your perfect result. Either way, you will find satisfaction in knowing that you tried or you may even surprise yourself and create something you are profoundly proud of or maybe learn a valuable new skill. Why not find out?!

One easy way to come up with a creative project idea is to sit down and set a timer for 3 minutes. Quickly jot down all list of all of the creative things that you like to do or would like to learn how to do. Would you like to take a pottery class, write a poem, learn a new recipe, or play the piano? Whatever comes to mind, write it down. No judgment or worry about your skill level for now. When the timer goes off, read through your list and select a few ideas that you can begin immediately without buying additional supplies or signing up for a class. Then pick one and start today or even wait until tomorrow and see what continues to call you.

If you are interested in learning a new skill, Craftsy has classes for beginners and intermediates covering almost every crafty skill you can think of. There is seriously something for everyone and some classes are available for as little as $10. Some of my favorites are Professional Yarn Dyeing at Home, Metalsmithing At Home, and Creative Weaving Techniques.

Whatever your skill level, you most likely can begin right where you are with the tools and knowledge that you have. Just let the creative process meet you there. However, if the idea you have involves heavy machinery, fire, heavy duty adhesives or sharp objects, it is always best to sign up for a 101 class or professional guidance until you learn the basics and important safety measures. For intensive projects, invest in the building blocks and then see if your creative curiosity carries your forward.

For those of you looking for inspiration for your list or a few simple and free project DIYs, here is a list of 31 creative project ideas to choose from. Or one idea for every day of the month of May!

  1. Paint smooth stones with words or designs
  2. Try free writing a story, poem, or journal entry
  3. Relief paint botanical art
  4. Draw a mandala
  5. Make a leather tassel for a necklace or key chain
  6. Find new music and make a playlist
  7. Paint a mug with sharpies
  8. Make a flower arrangement
  9. Create candles from crayons
  10. Knit a scarf or hat
  11. Try a new recipe
  12. Make a concrete stool or faux concrete planter
  13. Make a succulent wreath or tea cup planter
  14. Paint with watercolors
  15. Make a yarn wall hanging
  16. Create abstract art with paper scraps
  17. Learn to fold origami
  18. Decorate pillows with embroidery, paint, or yarn.
  19. Paint a sweatshirt or t-shirt with watercolor designs
  20. Make simple raw stone earrings
  21. Weave a rag rug or a pot holder
  22. Sew an apron out of salvaged clothes
  23. Infuse simple syrups or olive oils
  24. Make kombucha or switchel
  25. Sew sachets and fill with lavender
  26. Embroider your pet's collar
  27. Try your hand at calligraphy or hand lettering
  28. Blend herbal bath bags or fizzy bath bombs
  29. Make a bird feeder or wind chime 
  30. Make a simple jewelry organizer, or two
  31. Draw patterns on leggings or shirt sleeves with a bleach pen

If you have little ones at home, many of these ideas are kid-friendly and group projects are encouraged! You could also take a jar and fill it will all of the ideas from your creative project list and pull one idea out any time you need some inspiration. I see a few on this list I can't wait to try!

If you have a DIY you would like to add to this list or share the results of your project, please comment below. Otherwise, have some fun this May and let your creative spirit soar.