Our friends had just bought their first house, and we wanted to give them something small and thoughtful as a housewarming gift. Beautifully scented white coffee and vanilla candles symbolising purity, innocence and enlightenment were just the thing.
As always, my virtual BFF, Pinterest, had tons of ideas for making candle holders. The ones that really appealed to me involved coffee beans and a mason jar – easy, rustic simplicity.
What You Need
- Medium-sized mason jars (we had some collecting dust on our kitchen shelf)
- White candle; unscented (the candles that burn from the inside are the best)
- Yummy lightly roast coffee beans
- Vanilla pods and a few drops of vanilla essence
- Cinnamon sticks
- Some ribbon to decorate
Pour your favourite-smelling coffee beans and the vanilla pods into the mason jar. Add a few drops of the essence and insert a candle in the centre pushing down slightly. Make sure the candle is stable; you don’t want to burn the new house down. It’s best to use a candle that burns from the inside and doesn’t drip wax. We learnt the hard way the first time we made these. When the candle melts, you’re left with one big blob of melted candle wax and coffee beans :-(Tie a ribbon around the neck of the jar (I used burlap to add to the rustic charm) and add a cinnamon stick for some oomph.
Before lighting the candles, we spritz the coffee beans with a little bit of water. Coffee beans are quite dry, and I don’t want to risk burning the house down. I also think that a little bit of water enhances the scent. There’s nothing like the rich, spicy aroma of freshly ground coffee, followed by the heavenly scents of vanilla and cinnamon. It makes the room smell warm and inviting, and with all the load-shedding we have in South Africa, candles are always a winner. We’ve also tried using tealights, but I found that the scent wasn’t strong enough. But then again, maybe our beans weren’t fresh enough 😉
Some things to keep in mind when making coffee and vanilla candles
- Use a glass container that can handle the heat. Those really thin glass jars could crack or, even worse, explode.
- Choose a container with a larger enough opening to let air circulate nicely.
- Candles should never be left unattended. Never.
- Coffee beans oxidize with exposure to oxygen and heat, losing their smell after about two months. Add them to your garden; they make great compost 😉
I’d love to hear what you think. Have you tried making these before?