If you read this blog, you know that I love DIY homemade nontoxic stuff. You also know that I am not really good at that. I’m pretty messy, I’m klutzy, and I almost never get anything right the first time. Because I have 3 kids – one with severe autism – in 3 different schools, I have about a million teacher/therapist/bus driver/aides to buy holiday gifts for! So I continue the quest because we need some good homemade budget-friendly, not-crappy, EASY gift ideas!

So, I’m super excited that I found something that even I can’t screw up! And everyone loves candles. Homemade candles are a bonus! They look elegant and impressive. In fact, if they look a little messy it’s even better, because they look so good no one realizes that you MADE them. Compared to the “good” scented candles, they are pretty inexpensive . And, these are completely nontoxic (Did you know that scented candles can be harmful?)! These are made only with soy and essential oils.

All you need is about a half hour to make these fabulous gifts. The materials that you don’t already have in your home are available at your local craft store or, of course, on Amazon. Warning: making them gets a little addictive. After you make a few, you’ll be scouring your home for empty containers that you can turn into candle holders.

DIY Soy Shot Glass Candles


Materials Needed

  • Candle holders (I used these holiday shot glasses)
  • Candle wicks
  • Soy wax
  • Something to hold the wick up (I used mini clothespins)
  • Essential oils (I used – separately, NOT mixed together – Peppermint, Joy, Christmas Spirit, and Cinnamon Bark)
  • Double broiler (or bowl on top of a small pot, which is what I used)
  • Silicon spatula (to stir the wax)
  • Small stirring utensil (spoon, skewer, NOT a finger)
  • Measuring cup (or any cup with a spout)
  • Scissors (to cut the wicks if needed)


  1. Bring water to a boil on the stove. Then, reduce heat. Add the soy flakes (I used about 2 cups for 4 shot glass candles, but I measured very loosely). Stir occasionally while the soy melts.
    melt soy wax
  2. When the soy starts to melt, dip the wicks into the melted part and secure them into the center of the candle holders.
    dip wicks into melting wax
  3. Put your essential oils into the measuring cup (I used 40-50 drops for 4 shot glass candles, but you don’t need to use that much).
  4. When the soy wax is completely melted into liquid, pour it into the measuring cup. Vigorously stir the wax and oil together. pour wax into measuring cup
  5. Pour the liquid from the measuring cup into the candle holders. (TIP: I read on a lot of candle making sites that if you are using a glass candle holder, it is better if it is a little warm to prevent the glass cracking. You can warm it with a hairdryer if you want to do this. I did NOT do this. I got the hairdryer out just in case, but I didn’t need it. If you are using shot glasses, they are pretty small and unlikely to crack unless they are really cold or something. I had no problems and no cracking at all.)
  6. Before the wax begins to dry, secure the wicks in the center with the mini clothespins.
    secure wicks with clothespins
  7. Let dry, and then cut the wicks down if needed.
    cut wicks if needed

That’s It! For real. So get making some beautiful EASY candles for everyone you forgot to get a holiday gift for, end-of-the year teacher gifts, impressive thank you gifts, whatever! Happy candle making and Happy Holidays!

homemade holiday candles

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