Reuse Old Spices To Craft The Best Homemade Candles For Every Season

Find yourself with a handful of expired spices in your pantry? While spices and dried herbs don't necessarily go bad, they do lose their flavor over time and don't make for the best tasting food. Instead of wasting those spices and throwing them away, why not try and make a beautiful homemade candle? That's right; you can make a candle using those expired spices at home with just a few extra simple ingredients. 

Many of your expired spices like cinnamon, cardamom, ginger, allspice, nutmeg, and even vanilla bean or dried herbs like basil will all work well in a homemade candle. Mix and match combinations with your essential oil of choice, and to make this project even more eco-friendly, reuse an old candle jar instead of tossing it out and buying something new. Here's a step-by-step process on how to make the candle, as well as different scent combinations that work with those expired spices you have on hand.

How to make a candle with old spices

To make a candle, first gather your ingredients. You'll need a heat-resistant glass container to use for your candle, like a mason jar or a ceramic candle cup. Old mugs could also work well here if you want something quirky. Even a Pringles can works well as a mold! Next you'll need wax (beeswax, soy, paraffin, or palm are the most popular), a candle wick (made from cotton/paper, wood, or hemp), and those expired spices. Essential oils are also great for adding scent to your candle if you want to mix it with the spices that you have to make an original fragrance.

Next, measure out how much wax you'll need by filling your vessel with wax pellets. Transfer the wax pellets to a double boiler and melt until a thermometer reads 185 degrees. This is where you'll mix in your spices and essential oils. Remove the wax from the heat and let it cool down to 125 degrees before transferring. While you wait, prepare the container with the wick; stick the wick string to the bottom of your vessel with a wick sticker or hot glue, then tie it at the top to a stick or hold it with a clothespin that can sit across the top of the container. Be sure that the wick string is straight, then when everything is ready, pour the wax into the container. Leave it to cool until the candle hardens then trim the wick.

Spice combinations that work well in a homemade candle

Likely the most common spice you think to use in a candle is cinnamon, especially for a candle with a mixture of fall or winter-related scents, like pumpkin or apple or nutmeg. However, there are a number of spices (and dried herbs) that work well in a candle that you should consider using. If you have to combine anything with cinnamon, experts say an orange essential oil pairs nicely, giving it a mixture of spicy, earthy, sweet, and bright. Other great combos include cardamom with plum, rosemary and thyme with cedar wood, dried lavender and lemon, vanilla bean with apple and cherry, basil with lime, and peppercorn with tangerine.

To blend these scents, mix in each spice or dried herb and the essential oil with the hot wax while it is in the boiler. You might need more depending on how big your candle vessel is, so this is where you can experiment with how strong you want the scent to be. Experts say 1 tablespoon of spice per pint of candle wax, and about 10 drops of the essential oil of your choice. Love the scent of your new candle and never want it to end? A pinch of salt is all you need for a longer-burning candle.