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How to Make Wax Melts with Herbs and Natural Ingredients

Wax melts are a popular way to fill your home with fragrance, but they are often made with artificial scents that can be irritating to some people. Herbal wax melts are a natural alternative made with soy wax, essential oils and herbs. As the scented cubes of wax are melted on the top of a wax melt warmer, they release aroma and allow for the ritual of using herbs while safely keeping the dried plant material away from a candle flame. Wax melts are easy to make at home and make a great handmade gift idea. How to Make Herbal Wax Melts

What is a Wax Melt?

A wax melt is a scented square of wax that can be melted in an electric-or candle-heated ceramic vase to release the scent of the wax. Wax melts and warmers are a way to get all of the fragrance and warmth of a candle without the flame. The beauty of wax melts and candle warmers is that you can use botanicals and dry herbs to decorate your projects without the worry of them catching fire. The electric options also keep your home safe from flames if you have young children or pets.

Herbal Wax Melts

How to Choose a Wax Melt Warmer

A wax melt warmer looks like decorative ceramic vase that has a dish set on top. The base can either have an opening for a tea light or votive candle or house the electrical components to heat the upper tray. Wax cubes are placed in the top dish and gently warmed so they melt. As they melt they release fragrance.

Herbal Wax Melts in Electric Warmer

A wax melt warmer is not to be confused with a candle warmer, which is an electric heated tray that you set a container candle on to warm it and release the fragrance.

Using Essential Oils to Scent Wax Melts

Many of commercial wax melts and candles are scented with artificial fragrance which is why I choose to make my own. Candles and wax melts are often made with fragrance oils because they offer the most consistent and reliable scent, in addition to being less expensive. They have been formulated to be heated to high temperatures and added to molten wax without evaporation. Fragrance oils also come in a wide-variety of lab-created scents like strawberry and green apple that are pleasing and not available as essential oils.  But when it comes down to it, I prefer natural scents of essential oils as the artificial fragrances tend to give me headaches.

Essential oils are natural but it doesn’t mean that they also won’t cause a reaction. Essential oils are the concentrated volatile oils extracted from thousands of plants squeezed into a tiny bottle, meaning they are very powerful. It important to be safe when using essential oils by choosing gentle oils, oils that you and your family don’t react to, and oils that have been approved my your health care professionals. A good way to test for scent-sensitivities, it to smell the oils. If you don’t like the smell, then you should avoid it, even if it has some benefits that you think might be good for you. Trust your senses. The nose knows.

Close up of Herbal Wax Melts

How to Make Wax Melts

You can easily make wax melts at home by melting flaked soy wax, stirring in essential oils and herbs, and then pouring the wax into heat-proof molds to set. The following covers two methods for making wax melts (in the microwave and in a double boiler) and shares some recipe ideas from my Make & Give Home Candle Making book.

Also see this resource list for all the supplies you will need to start candle and wax melt making at home: Home Candle Making Supplies and Resource Guide.

Melting Soy Wax Flakes in the Microwave

Microwave Method

Microwave melting can be tricky as it is harder to control temperature. If you choose wax that is labeled as appropriate for the microwave it will have instructions included that will help you avoid cooking and burning the wax. Here are the steps I use to melting wax in the microwave and avoiding burning it.

Equipment

Make it!

  • Weigh microwaveable soy wax for wax melts in a heatproof container with a pour spout.
  • Weigh scent oil in a paper cup. Prepare the herbs in advance of using the microwave so you are ready to add them as soon as the wax has melted.
  • Melt in 20-second intervals to be sure to melt as opposed to cook the wax. The first few times you set the timer for 20 seconds, you may be tempted to set the timer for longer as you will see little change. But, after a few tries, you will see that the wax quickly turns from a solid to a liquid in the microwave. Overheating the wax can cause it to burn and it smells terrible, so set intervals and check the wax frequently.
  • When the wax has fully melted, stir in the essential oil and half of the dried herbs.
  • Pour the wax into a flower-shaped mold. Choose a mold used for soap making or candy making to be sure it can handle the heat of melted wax.
  • Sprinkle the remaining herbs onto the top of each melt and allow the herbal wax melts to dry completely before popping them out.

Herbal Wax Melts Recipe

Double Boiler Method

Making wax melts in a double boiler is much easier to control and will ensure that the wax melts evenly.

Equipment

Melting Wax for Wax Melts

Make it!

  • Set up a small double boiler using a heatproof glass jar to hold the wax and a metal bread pan filled part way with water. Stir the wax frequently until it is fully melted.
  • Weigh soy wax and essential oil.
  • Bring the wax to the specified temperature for adding dye or scent oil (i.e.: 160°F—see the instructions that came with your wax). Add in scent and color (if using) and stir until completely mixed.
  • Pour the wax into a silicone ice cube tray.
  • Allow the wax melts to dry completely before popping them out of the mold for use.

Citrus Wax Melt Cubes Citrus Celebration Wax Melts

Herbal Sleepy Time Wax Melts Recipe

These herbal chamomile, calendula, and lavender wax melts are the perfect way to send you to dreamland, as the calming scent of herbs will fill the room and relax you as the wax melts. Packaged with a wax melt warmer, they are a lovely self-care gift for a friend that could use a restful night.

Herbal Wax Melts with Lavender and Calendula

Sleepy Time Herb Blend

There are some herbs that wake you up and others that quiet you down. Herbs like lavender, chamomile, calendula, hops, mint, and passionflower are calming for the nerves and quieting for the mind. Using these herbs before bed can help to promote an easier time falling asleep as well as better quality of sleep.

Making this recipe as herbal wax melts allows the wax, oils and herbs to melt together at a safe temperature without risk that the herbs will catch fire.

Materials

Makes twenty-five 0.3 oz (9 g) wax melts

Make it!

Make the wax melts according the instructions in either the microwave or double boiler method.

Fill a wax-lined window bag with the herbal wax melts and label it with letter stamps. Use some floral stamps to further embellish it. Move the melts around so that the show their pretty faces in the window.

Citrus Celebration Wax Melts Recipe

Citrus celebration wax melts are the perfect housewarming gift. The festive scent is both cheerful and uplifting and will give any home a refreshing, energizing feel. The bright and cheery aroma of citrus is fresh and lively, but also very calming.

Close up of Citrus Wax Melts

Use citrus scented wax melts to make your home smell fresh, clean, and welcoming. Give a pretty wax warmer along with some homemade citrus wax melts topped with lemon, lime, and orange zest. An ice cube mold is the perfect size for these wax melts. You will want to make enough to give away and keep some for yourself, too.  Pro tip: just don’t use a grapefruit scent before a dinner party, because it is said to curb the appetite!

Materials

Makes twelve 0.5 oz (15 g) wax melts

Make it!

Make the wax melts according the instructions in either the microwave or double boiler method.

Fill a Mason jar with citrus wax melts and pair it with a small tea light wax warmer. Wrap both the Mason jar of wax melts and the wax warmer with a tea light in a clear cellophane bag tied with a satin ribbon.

Gift Wrap Ideas for Wax Melts from Home Candle Making

More Candles and Handmade Gift Ideas

Comments

  1. Thank you for this, I have been wondering about how to make my essential oils last longer when using the candle warmer (I usually do some essential oil in a little water) and I think this may be the trick! I have flaked beeswax on hand. I am assuming I could use that in place of soy wax?

    Reply

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