Experienced bird owners know how fragile a bird's respiratory system is, but new owners usually find out in a fatal way.
We've written in the past about:
- Scentsy Products and their use around birds
- Alternatives to scented candles
- Parrot safe air fresheners
I recently posted a video on my YouTube channel and had a candle burning in it. Of course, it caught the eye of a bird owner who asked about it. I was excited to explain that it was in fact, home-made by me and my daughter using parrot safe ingredients.
It made me realize I should just publish a blog on it for other DIY-ers. My daughter and I made candles this year as Christmas presents and it was really fun, although she couldn't do much of it except add the essential oil scents... (hot wax + kids = no go)... plus waiting around for the wax to dry was quite "boring" for a kid, too.
But, we were successful and I wanted to share the how-to side of it.
Here's what you can use to make birdie-safe candles. I still don't recommend burning them directly around your bird (birds + fire = no go, too.) however, you'll be able to experience some pleasant scents throughout your home when your bird is not within reach of the firey part...
You have two options for wax: beeswax or soy.
I used soy. But both are easily available online, and slow burning. I ordered from amazon.
Next, you need 100% cotton wicks! I also found these on amazon, as well.
I used large and small mason jars but in the end I really preferred making the smaller candles. You can experiment with more scents, make more of them, and be done quicker with the process. My large candles were more likely to crack (although I drove them from the desert to the Pacific Northwest soooo quite the temperature change even after they hardened!)
Lastly, you pick your scents! I used DoTerra essential oils (but do your own research and pick a company you trust. I know there are some serious opinions when it comes to choosing an essential oil company.); peppermint, cinnamon, wild orange, rosemary and so forth. I tried to keep my scents rather holiday-ish feeling, though. So clove made it in there, too.
5 Simple Steps for 3-Ingredient Candles:
Step 1: Melt the wax. Most people say to use a double-boiler but I was doing this in an RV and you end up with 1/2 the amount of wax when it's melted as you do with it dry. So if you use 1 cup of wax, you get 1/2 cup of melted wax. This made my process slow-going so I ended up using my crockpot! I was able to melt a ton of wax evenly, and pour it into jars easily to make many at a time.
Step 2: Set the wicks. Make sure you use something (clothes pin, two pens, chopsticks, etc.) to hold the wick STRAIGHT and in place. Your wicks will be anxiously awaiting your melted wax in each empty jar.
Step 3: Pour the melted wax into the jar around the wick.
Step 4: Add your essential oil drops into the still melted wax. Most sites I found said to use around 15 drops, I pretty much doubled that... but it will truly depend on the size of your candle and how strong of a scent you're going for. Make sure your essential oils are not only a quality brand but double check that there are no additives, including but not limited to fragrance.
Not all essential oils are safe, for example, tea tree oil is a common oil used by many households but is HIGHLY toxic to parrots. Make sure to do your research on safe essential oils and if you have any doubts with the information you come across please consult your avian veterinarian prior to using around your flock.
Step 5: Let set to harden in room temperature to avoid cracks in the wax. Once the candles are hard, you can cut the wick to the correct length you want.
I love these because they're so simple, you can personalize them with specific scents for people and gift them to your birdie owning friends, too!
Here are some other resources on soy and beeswax, and sourcing the right stuff for your candle making:
Other related resources: