See how to make a DIY stress relief candle with soy wax and essential oils! This natural aromatherapy candle smells amazing and can promote relaxation and calmness in moments of unrest and overwhelm. The homemade candle tutorial includes 8 soothing candle scents and tips for using your relax candle.
Aromatherapy candles for relaxation
We all experience stress and overwhelm every now and then. A great way to unwind after a busy day is to burn a stress relief candle. It won’t lighten your load but can boost your mood and promote a calming atmosphere – and enhance your home with a beautiful natural scent!
The best stress relief candles are homemade! They are all-natural + eco-friendly and far less expensive than the store-bought variety. Plus, you can customize the fragrance to your personal preference, and I’ll show you 8 incredibly relaxing candle scents.
What is a stress relief candle?
A stress relief candle is a type of aromatherapy candle intended to promote relaxation and create a peaceful, calming space.
Do stress relief candles really work?
Yes, stress relief candles can work, but it depends on the quality of the ingredients, such as the type of wax, wick, and source of the scent.
Mass-produced paraffin candles contain all sorts of problematic chemicals like synthetic fragrances, phthalates, aldehydes, toluene, and others.
A study found that almost 35% of people experience adverse reactions if exposed to artificial fragrances, like headaches, migraines, and breathing difficulties. Not what we want at all!
On the other end of the spectrum are all-natural aroma candles made with plant wax and essential oils. Essential oils lend these candles aromatherapeutic qualities and offer benefits for wellbeing and self-care.
While I couldn’t find any studies specifically investigating the potential benefits of aromatherapy candles, the boons of essential oils are backed up by countless research.
Relax candle benefits
- Aromatherapeutic: Essential oils lend this soothing candle aromatherapy benefits. I have created 8 stress relief candle scents that I feel so excited to share with you!
- Ambiance: The soft glow of candlelight creates a relaxing and cozy atmosphere and will make any room feel warm and welcoming.
- Natural: When you pour your own candles at home, you know exactly what goes into them. You won’t find any potentially hazardous chemicals or paraffin wax in this candle recipe. We’re using only natural materials like soy wax and a cotton wick.
- Easy: I know when you see candles in a store, you might assume they are difficult to make and require expert abilities. But they are actually super easy to make – and I show you exactly what to do!
- Beautiful gift: Stress candles are a simple and thoughtful homemade gift to deliver to dear friends and family. To present, tie a beautiful ribbon around the jar and personalize the candle with a gift tag.
Materials for stress relieving candle
Are you a candle fiend too? I don’t know about you, but in my opinion, it’s always a good time to light a scented candle. The key materials that make this homemade anti-stress candle so fantastic are:
- Soy wax: I love Golden Brand 464 soy wax for my essential oil candle recipes. This natural, clean-burning soy wax has a beautiful creamy appearance and distributes fragrance well.
- Wick: A pre-tapped cotton wick is a handy choice for DIY soy candles.
- Heat-proof container: To ensure the container is safe for candles, choose a heat-resistant vessel that won’t catch fire, leak, or break, such as oven-safe glass jars, ceramics, glassware, and enamel mugs.
- Essential oils: The quality and effectiveness of aromatherapy stress relief candles depend on the essential oils. For the best calming candle, skip over the cheap fragrance oil you find on Amazon. Instead, invest in pure, high-quality oils from a reputable manufacturer like Plant Therapy, Mountain Rose Herbs, or Tisserand. Read on to learn the most relaxing essential oil blends for candles!
Candle making equipment
- Melting pot to melt the wax.
- Hot glue gun to secure the wick to the vessel.
- Wick centering tool to keep the wick in place while the wax is cooling.
- Temperature gun to check the temperature of the wax.
- Scissors to shorten the wick.
Calming candle scents for stress relief
Time to grab your oils and create relaxing scents! I have created 8 different combinations that smell wonderful and promote relaxation and reduce stress.
My blends include familiar faces like lavender, vanilla, and patchouli, and a few EOs that might be new to you, such as hops flower, hemp, and valerian.
These amounts are enough to scent one 8-oz / 225 g candle. The fragrance load is 6%.
- Relaxation: 100 drops vanilla + 75 drops ylang ylang + 45 drops hops flower + 30 drops sandalwood + 20 drops vetiver
- De-Stress: 100 drops mandarin + 75 drops geranium + 75 drops lavender + 30 drops clary sage
- Deep Calm: 110 drops bergamot + 70 drops lavender + 55 drops hops flower + 30 drops black spruce
- Quiet Mind: 120 drops lavender + 80 drops ylang ylang + 45 drops marjoram sweet + 25 drops chamomile
- Worry Free: 90 drops peppermint + 90 drops lavender + 60 drops lime + 15 drops black pepper
- Meditation: 135 drops sweet orange + 70 drops frankincense + 45 drops thyme + 20 drops valerian
- Tranquility: 100 drops bergamot + 85 drops patchouli + 50 drops blood orange + 30 drops hemp
- Serenity: 95 drops ylang ylang + 75 drops may chang + 65 drops pink grapefruit + 35 drops cedarwood
How much essential oil can I add to my calming candle?
464 soy wax can hold up to 10% fragrance. However, I recommend you go only as high as 6% to 7% because anything over 7% will lead to burning issues. For a lighter scent, add between 3% to 4% essential oils.
To fragrance an 8-oz / 225 g candle you need (% indicates the fragrance load percentage):
- Light scent: 130 drops / 0.23 oz / 6.5 g (3%)
- Medium scent: 180 drops / 0.31 oz / 9 g (4%) – 220 drops / 0.38 oz / 11 g (5%)
- Strong scent: 270 drops / 0.47 oz / 13.5 g (6%) – 310 drops / 0.55 oz / 15.5 g (7%)
How to make a stress relief candle
If you haven’t made DIY aromatherapy candles yet, you must try it! Not only do I adore this de-stress candle because it smells so good, but also because it’s so easy to make. Here’s what you do:
Step 1: Secure the wick
- Make sure the candle container is dry, clean, and dust-free.
- Place a dot of hot glue on the wick tab.
- Gently push the wick in the center of the candle jar.
- Let the glue harden.
Step 2: Affix wick centering tool
- Place the wick centering device on the jar and thread the wick through.
- Pull the wick straight and secure it in the little notch of the centering tool.
Step 3: Melt the wax
- Add the soy wax into a melting pot.
- Heat on the stovetop over medium flame, occasionally stirring, until the wax has completely melted and reached 185°F / 85°C temperature.
- Take the wax off the heat.
Step 4: Mix essential oil blend
- Add the essential oils of your choice into a small glass beaker or jar.
- Stir to blend the oils together.
Step 5: Add essential oils
- Then add your essential oil blend to the wax.
- Stir 40 to 50 times. Don’t rush this step. Stirring is important to bind the wax and oils together.
Step 6: Pour relaxation candle
- Wait until the temperature of the wax has cooled to 140°F / 60°C.
- Pour the wax into the container going up to 1/4 in / 5 mm below the rim.
Step 7: Cool and cure candle
- Let the candle harden at room temperature. The color of the wax will change from transparent to white and opaque.
- For the best performance and scent throw, allow the candle to cure for 12 to 24 hours. Curing allows the essential oils to incorporate into the wax. The longer the cure time, the better the scent throw.
How to use aromatherapy stress relief candles
Burning scented candles for stress relief is a wonderful way to fragrance a room and create a calming environment to unwind at the end of a hectic day full of activities or whenever you need to relax.
Sit down, lean back, and close your eyes. Focus on nothing but the scent and try to let go of worries and racing thoughts. You can put on relaxing music or listen to a guided meditation. I love this guided breathing meditation from Caroline McCready.
You can also try a candle gazing meditation technique such as trataka sadhana. This is a type of open-eye meditation where you focus your attention on the candle flame. This practice is said to improve concentration and mindfulness. Mind Boy Green has a great beginner’s guide to candle meditation.
It’s also helpful to relax before bed to make the night a restful sleep. First, turn off your phone and other electronic devices. Light the candle and lay down. Close your eyes, steady your breathing, and enjoy the scent to ease yourself into sleep. Of course, be sure to extinguish your candle before you fall asleep.
Taking a shower is another lovely way to relax and provide self-care. I use my DIY relaxation shower tablets in the shower to infuse the steams with essential oils. When I step out, I burn my anti-stress candle for even more aromatherapy as I continue with my skincare routine.
Tip: You don’t have to light your calm candle to enjoy its benefits! The scent of the cold candle is calming too. Simply hold the candle close to your face, close your eyes, and inhale the relaxing scents for a few minutes.
How to get the most out of your relaxing candle
Breathing is one of the simplest and most impactful ways to calm down and encourage relaxation. Mindful breathing also helps the essential oils stimulate your nose’s smell receptors and influence the nervous system.
- Light the candle on a table and sit down on a nearby chair.
- Close your eyes and take slow, rhythmic breaths.
- To help you relax, follow the 4-7-8 breathing technique: Inhale for 4 seconds, hold your breath for 7 seconds and then exhale for 8 secs. Do this for at least 5 minutes or until you feel calm and more relaxed.
When is the best time to light candles for relaxation?
Light a relaxation candle before bedtime to prepare for sleep or when you feel anxious and overwhelmed throughout the day. For the best effect, implement other relaxation techniques while you burn your stress-relieving candle.
- Storage: You want to store the DIY aromatherapy candle in a dark, cool place, avoiding direct sunlight and heat sources. Essential oil candles keep well at room temperature as long as the container is tightly sealed. Sealing the container airtight preserves the scent and prevents the volatile essential oils from evaporating.
- Shelf life: I recommend you use your relax candle within 1 year of making it. Soy wax will last for at least 2 years, but the exact shelf life depends on the essential oils you have included. Citrus essential oils usually last the shortest, between 9 to 12 months.
More natural candle making tutorials
If you’d like to learn more natural candles recipes, stick around a while and try some of our other projects:
- citronella candles
- lavender candles
- lemon candle
- peony candle
- fresh linen candle
- eucalyptus candle
- pumpkin spice candle
- sweater weather candle
- Secure the wick. Make sure the candle container is dry, clean, and dust-free. Place a dot of hot glue on the wick tab. Gently push the wick in the center of the candle jar. Let the glue harden.
- Affix wick holder. Place the wick centering device on the jar and thread the wick through. Pull the wick straight and secure it in the little notch of the centering tool.
- Melt the wax. Add the soy wax into a melting pot. Heat on the stovetop over medium flame, occasionally stirring, until the wax has completely melted and reached 185°F / 85°C temperature. Take the wax off the heat.
- Mix essential oil blend. Add the essential oils of your choice into a small glass beaker or jar. Stir to blend the oils together.
- Add essential oils. Then add your essential oil blend to the wax. Stir 40 to 50 times. Don't rush this step. Stirring is important to bind the wax and oils together.
- Pour candle. Wait until the temperature of the wax has cooled to 140°F / 60°C. Pour the wax into the container going up to 1/4 in / 5 mm below the rim.
- Cool and cure candle. Let the candle harden at room temperature. The color of the wax will change from transparent to white and opaque. For the best performance and scent throw, allow the candle to cure for 12 to 24 hours. Curing allows the essential oils to incorporate into the wax. The longer the cure time, the better the scent throw.
Please follow these safety tips when burning your DIY soy candle to prevent fire and accidents:
- Light the candles only on heat-resistant, straight surfaces (stone, metal).
- Never leave a burning candle unattended, and don't light it near flammable objects.
- Always allow the wax to harden before re-igniting, moving, or touching the candle.
- Take extra precautions when children or pets are present.
- Don't extinguish the candle with water.