How To Make Tea Cup Candles

If, like me, you lust after Jo Malone candles, but don’t have the budget, then you can make your own beautifully fragranced candles which unlike a lot of the cheapies for sale, actually give you a proper fragrance hit, as well as the therapeutic benefits of the essential oils that they contain.



  • First you will need some old china, very easy to pick up for next to nothing in charity shops.  Make sure the cups are clean and dust free so that you don’t affect the burn.
  • You’ll need some wax (I bought soy wax as it gives a clean burn and is free of nasty chemicals) and some wicks (they come in packs of 10 and are very cheap)
  • Next, find a big pan that you’re not too precious about.  I have a battered old jam making pan which is perfect for the job.
  • This is the most important bit: choose your essential oils.  As an aromatherapist, I’m a bit picky about this and would never use cheap candle scents or pre-blended essential oils.   You need to think about how you want your candle to smell, and what you want the oils to do for you e.g. relaxation, stimulate your mind, pick you up.   I chose jasmine (Jasminium officinale) and petitgrain (Citrus aurantium) because I wanted a scent reminiscent of the Costa Del Sol (imagine taking tea in a walled garden surrounded by creeping jasmine with orange trees just coming into blossom).  I  could have chosen neroli, but I think that petitgrain has a bit of an eau de cologne feel about it and a slightly spiky edge.  Both jasmine and petitgrain are mood boosting and uplifting: perfect for winter in the UK!


So now you have all your kit together, let’s begin


  • Measure how much wax  you need by filling your cup with flakes to where you want the candle to reach, then put double this amount of wax per candle into the pan.
  • Heat the wax until melted, keeping an eye on it and stirring.
  • In each cup, place a wick (I tried to glue them down, but it didn’t work) then cut the wick to size.


  • When the  wax is melted, you need to leave it to cool to about 100 degrees before you add the essential oils (otherwise they will evaporate which will smell fantastic, but is not the idea!).
  • How much essential oil to add is very much up to you.  I personally like to use a lot as I want the fragrance hit so each tiny teacup candle has about 20 drops of oil.  However, I would vary this according to what I’m trying to achieve e.g. less for a bedtime candle with oils for relaxation as too much lavender for example can be stimulating and have the opposite effect.
  • Pour the melted wax into the teacups.
  • Now comes the tricky bit – while they set you need to keep the wicks upright.  I used spaghetti to balance mine.
  • Leave overnight to set fully then enjoy!

PS this will make a mess of your kitchen worktops, so be prepared for some cleaning up after!




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