Homemade Soy Candles with Essential Oils


* This article contains affiliate links. For more information, please read my Affiliate Disclosure.

 

These homemade soy candles with essential oils are a safe, healthy and all-natural alternative to store-bought candles. And they make a great homemade gift! #homemadesoycandles #soywaxcandles #soywax #homemadecandleswithessentialoils #diycandles These homemade soy candles with essential oils are a safe, healthy and all-natural alternative to store-bought candles. And they make a great homemade gift for Christmas or any other occasion!

***

I started making my own candles 3 years ago at Christmas when we couldn’t afford to buy gifts for everyone in our family.

I’d wanted to try candle-making for a while, but hadn’t wanted to spend the money on the supplies I needed to get started. But the fact that it was Christmas and I had to spend money on gifts anyway gave me an excuse to finally invest in some candle-making supplies for a fraction of the cost of individual store-bought gifts for everyone on our list.

I decided on soy wax for a few different reasons. First of all, I wanted a natural wax that burned clean and was safe and healthy for my family. This meant paraffin wax was not an option as paraffin is an oil derivative and has been shown to release toxic carcinogens into the air when burned. So my options were pretty much to either use beeswax or soy wax.

While I do love beeswax, I wanted a white candle that I could add fragrance to, similar to the ones you might find at the store. So I settled on soy wax and I’m still using it to this day.

 

 

Never buy candles from the store again

The first time I lit one of my homemade candles, I was hooked. I honestly don’t think I’ve ever bought a candle from the store since that day. I quickly started buying larger quantities of wax and making more and more candles. 

These homemade soy candles with essential oils are a safe, healthy and all-natural alternative to store-bought candles. And they make a great homemade gift! #homemadesoycandles #soywaxcandles #soywax #homemadecandleswithessentialoils #diycandles

I realized that buying in bulk was the best way to go because it ended up costing less per candle by purchasing large, 50-lb. boxes of wax. Now I always have a box of wax at home ready to go for whenever I need to whip up a few quick homemade gifts or replace some of the candles from my own collection.

I usually make my candles in repurposed old Mason jars, which I usually get from the local Thrift store for pennies. I also save money on wicks by purchasing lengths of wicking, measuring them out and placing the tabs on the wicks myself, but if you’re just getting started I would recommend just going with the ready-made wicks. They’re pretty affordable as is and make life a lot easier when you’re just starting out.

As for other supplies, I use a 4-lb. pouring pot, a kitchen scale and a meat thermometer, as well as  a wooden dowel I bought from the dollar store which has become my designated stir stick for mixing the wax. I always wipe it down with a paper towel while the wax is still hot so that it stays nice and clean. Same goes for the pouring pot.

The most costly part of making these candles is the money spent on essential oils, however I’ve found an amazing company that sells super affordable high-quality essential oils, so all in it only costs me an average of a couple dollars per candle, which is a sliver of the price of similar store-bought candles. Not to mention, using essential oils in candles is a much healthier alternative to the synthetic fragrance oils that are added to most store-bought scented candles.

 

Fragrance oils vs. essential oils

When I first began making candles at home I did use fragrance oils to scent them. I wanted to mimic the scented candles I used to buy frequently from boutique stores and a from a certain chain of soap and candle stores that resides in malls across North America. 

But it didn’t take me long to realize that, as lovely as these fragrance oils make candles smell, they’re anything but natural and they also emit toxic carcinogens into the air when burned. So I started looking for healthier alternatives.

Essential oils were the clear choice as they are 100% pure and natural and they smell amazing! So I began using essential oils in place of fragrance oils in my candles.

These homemade soy candles with essential oils are a safe, healthy and all-natural alternative to store-bought candles. And they make a great homemade gift! #homemadesoycandles #soywaxcandles #soywax #homemadecandleswithessentialoils #diycandles

The only problem with essential oils is that the scent from essential oils doesn’t “throw” well when burned in candle form, so you have to use a lot of essential oils in order to produce any scent at all.  And even then, you don’t get anywhere near the same intensity of fragrance that you get from synthetic fragrance oils.

But essential oils are like, a thousand times safer and healthier than candles scented with fragrance oils.

(Okay, I don’t have the exact stats in front of me. But you get the gist.)

I will admit though, that I do love scented candles (those spicy, warm apple pie, pumpkin spice and fresh evergreen ones that come out around the holidays are some of my faves!) and so I do still scent some of my candles with a little fragrance oil mixed with essential oils. Not all of them (I aim for the 80/20 rule), but I have fragrance oils left over from a couple years ago, so I used some in my latest batch.

I also mix fragrance oils with essential oils in the candles that I sell (I’ve sold at craft fairs and I’m selling some at a pop-up Christmas shop this season), because I know people are looking for delicious-smelling scented candles (plus I can’t afford to be putting hundreds of drop of essential oils in each batch I sell or I’d never make any money!) But I now also mix with essential oils, which I find actually enhances the smell of the essential oils so I’m able to use less fragrance oils and essential oils than I used to.

If you choose to mix fragrance oils and essential oils to get a nicely scented candle, I’ve found I like 2 ounces of fragrance oil for every pound of wax, and about 20 drops of essential oils mixed in. 

You could, of course, forgo both the fragrance and the essential oils altogether if you wanted and still get that warm, cozy glow:)

 

Say no to dyes

One more thing to consider is the dyes that are used in commercially-produced candles. Coloured candles typically use synthetic dyes, and surprise surprise! These dyes also contain toxic carcinogens! 

I used dyes in my own candles once when I wanted to make some different coloured candles for the holidays. But after learning about the dangers lurking in these synthetic dyes, I decided never to use them again. 

Plus, I really love classic white candles, don’t you? They look much cleaner and classier than coloured candles in my opinion.

 

Supply list for making soy candles with essential oils

While I could go on all day about the reasons why you should make your own all-natural soy candles with essential oils and no dyes, I’m sure that if you’re here, what you really want is to know how to make them. So let’s get on with it…

These homemade soy candles with essential oils are a safe, healthy and all-natural alternative to store-bought candles. And they make a great homemade gift! #homemadesoycandles #soywaxcandles #soywax #homemadecandleswithessentialoils #diycandles

First, you’re gonna need a few supplies. I’ve linked to the products and brands I personally use and/or recommend for starting out:

  • Soy wax (flakes or pellets) 
  • Essential oils (I use and recommend Plant Therapy)
  • Wicks (either pre-made or cotton wicking by the length plus wick tabs to make your own) 
  • Wick holders (store-bought or using items from home such as clothespins)
  • Jars (Mason jars work great!)
  • Glue gun (for sticking wicks to jars)
  • Pouring pot plus sauce pan to use as double boiler
  • Digital kitchen scale
  • Wooden spoon or dowel for mixing
  • Kitchen thermometer
  • Fragrance oils (I almost feel guilty including these here since I preach all-natural everything all the time. But hey, ya gotta live a little too. And if you’re like me and LOVE scented candles fragrance oils, you may as well make your own. At least this way you can add beneficial essential oils, omit dyes, know that your wax is all-natural and control the amount of fragrance oil you add).
  • Labels (these are optional, but they help you to remember which oils are in which candles and they look great for gifting). 

 

*** I’ve got some free printable labels for soy candles available under the “Labels” section of my Free Resource Library

You can also grab a copy of my FREE Guide to Candle-Making with Soy Wax & Essential Oils from the “Homesteading & Self-Sufficiency” section of the resource library. Sign up to gain access and download your freebie so you’ll have everything you need to make soy candles at your fingertips! 

 

How to Make Soy Candles With Essential Oils

1. Prepare your jars.

If repurposing old jars, make sure they’re clean and dry.

2. Measure out your wax.

I recommend weighing wax with a digital kitchen scale.Tare the pouring pot first (tare just means hit the “tare” or “weight reset” button with your empty pot on the scale so that the scale doesn’t count the weight of the pot itself). Reset the scale to 0, then fill with wax until you’ve reached your desired weight.

*Note: Even though I use a 4-pound pot, I usually make my candles in two-pound batches so I can do a wider variety of scents. Two pounds of wax will fill approximately four or five 8-oz Mason jars (jam jars or half-pints) or 8 to10 4-oz jelly jars. 

3. Melt wax in pouring pot or double boiler on the stove.

Never heat up a pouring pot directly on the stove top. Always fill another pot with about an inch or two of water and place pouring pot in the pot. Melt wax on high until wax has completely liquified. Use a kitchen thermometer to check the temperature of the wax. For best results, allow it to reach 180ºF and then take it off the heat and allow it to cool a bit before adding your essential oils.

4. While wax is cooling, prepare your wicks.

Centre and glue wicks to the inside bottom of jars using a glue gun. Place wick holders (or clothespins) across the tops of jars to keep wicks upright and centred.

5. Allow wax to cool to roughly 130ºF.

Once cooled, add your essential oils. You’ll want to add about 100 drops of essential oils for every pound of wax. Yes, you read that right. I told you you need to use a lot! Mix in essential oils using a wooden spoon or mixing tool. (If you’re adding fragrance oils, now is the time to add those in too).

6. Pour wax slowly into prepared jars.

Allow to cool completely before moving the jars (sort of like leaving the jars to cool on the countertop after canning). Trim wicks to desired length, put custom labels on your jars and voilà! C’est fini! 

These homemade soy candles with essential oils are a safe, healthy and all-natural alternative to store-bought candles. And they make a great homemade gift! #homemadesoycandles #soywaxcandles #soywax #homemadecandleswithessentialoils #diycandles

Enjoy your candles, whether you’re giving them away or burning them yourself at home:)

 

Essential Oil Combinations for Soy Wax Candles

Candle-making is by-and-large an exact science. The creativity lies in coming up with different essential oil combinations to use in your homemade candles. 

The following are some of my favourite essential oil combinations that I use in my own homemade candles. Feel free to follow these recipes or create your own combinations!

 

1. Lemon & Lavender

I like blending 3 parts lavender and one part lemon, so 75 drops of lavender and 25 drops of lemon. But you could do it the other way around if you’d like a more “lemony” scented candle. I also like to add bergamot and/or vetiver essential oil to this combo.

 

2. Orange & Cinnamon

I usually mix equal parts orange and cinnamon bark essential oils, but I also like to add clove, nutmeg or ginger to this combo for a warm, “holiday” scented candle. 

 

3. Rosemary & Cedarwood

This is a new favourite of mine. I really like the combo of rosemary and spruce or fir needle as I find it woodsy and manly. But I’ve recently discovered cedarwood essential oil and it’s one of my new all-time favourites. You can also mix a combination or rosemary, cedar wood and spruce or fir. These are all earthy, woodsy scents and they make a great combo if you’re looking for a more rugged, “manly” candle.

I’ve also started playing around with adding vanilla to my candles. Plant Therapy sells vanilla essential oil, which is what I use in mine. But it’s more like vanilla extract, so it doesn’t blend quite the same way.

You need to make sure it’s really well blended into your wax before pouring so it doesn’t “gather” at the bottom of your candle. But the vanilla does make the candles smell amazing. You could even try this with plain old vanilla extract that you have in your kitchen!

 

Of course, the possibilities are endless when it comes to essential oil combinations, so feel free to play around with different scents. If you’re not sure how certain oils will smell together, open the bottle of the oils you’re thinking of using a hold them all together and smell them in the bottles together. 

And of course, if you come up with some unique and delicious scent combinations, this homestead mama wants to know about them! Comment below, share on Instagram and tag me @thehouseandhomestead or post your recipes and any photos of your candles to our Facebook page!

P.S. Don’t forget to grab your printable labels and a copy of the Complete Guide to Candle-Making from my Free Resource Library!

I’ve included more in-depth information on candle-making as well as a trouble-shooting guide for common problems and printable labels to use on your own homemade candles. 

 

Wishing you homemade, homegrown, homestead happiness 🙂

 

 

 


CATEGORIES
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NATURAL LIVING

48 Comments

  1. drew

    Great guide here and looking forward to my next candle-making attempt! Quick question, though… When you say to add ~100 drops essential oil or ~2oz fragrance oil per pound of soy wax, is that per pound of solid wax or per pound of melted wax?

    Thanks for clarifying!

    Reply
    • Anna Sakawsky

      I weigh my wax out in solid form, then melt it. It will still be the same weight once melted. So base the amount of oils/fragrance on the weight you get when you measure it out in solid form. I hope that makes sense!

      Reply
  2. Trish Geisler

    Thank you for the information. I am Trish and I live in Adelaide South Australia. In “the land down under”.
    I have just started making my own candles, and am well and truly hooked.!~!!!
    I love mixing my own scents to make a unique blend. A little bit of this , and a little bit of that, voila. Beautiful. I write down what I have done so I can repeat the recipe if necessary, ( or though I do rather like mixing the oils up a bit) .and I also give them a name eg. ” Woodland Caper “, “Sea Shanty” etc. Great fun and very very relaxing, then I get to light them and enjoy the newly created scent. Thank you again, it was very pleasant and enjoyable reading all the comments. Happy candle making and take care, Warm Regards, From Trish (Adelaide South Australia)

    Reply
    • Anna Sakawsky

      Hi Trish! Thanks for the comment! I used to live in Australia and remember making my way through Adelaide. Beautiful!
      I also love playing around with different scents. I do find I need to use a bit of fragrance oil to get the essential oils to really throw. I’m currently on the hunt for natural fragrances made from botanicals (rather than synthetic). We’re coming up on candle-making season here in Canada as we head into fall and winter. Take care and happy candle-making to you too!

      Reply
  3. Nikki

    Thanks for this information. I just started making candles. I have a question about essential oils, how do you measure how much oil to put if you will be using 3 or more essential oil ? Likewise with mixing fragrance oil and essential oils?

    Reply
    • Tish Painter

      Hi Nikki,
      When adding more than 2 essential oils, just divide that number by 100 (the number of drops needed per pound of wax). But it really is up to you. So- if using 3 oils – that is basically 33 drops each if you want an even distribution of each scent… or you could use 50 drops of one and accent with 25 of each of the other two. The combinations are endless and this is where your creativity comes in to make it your own blend.
      As for mixing fragrance oil and essential oils together, Anna recommends to use 2 ounces of the fragrance oil with 20 drops essential oil per pound of wax. Mixing any different oils within those guidelines is up to you.

      Reply
  4. Josie Concannon

    Hi,

    Thank you soo much for providing this information. I did my first lot of candles the other day and could not understand why they didn’t smell of anything. Now i know why as i only put about 10 drops of essential oils in!

    Thank you! 🙂

    Reply
  5. Rachel Stevenson

    I make my own ‘essential oil’ by warming 1 cup of my favorite carrier oil (my current favorite cheapest is Costco Avacado Oil) in a small crock pot. I add whatever spices I want: coffee grounds, Orange Peel, Vanilla Pods, Fir Needles from my small living christmas tree, nutmeg, you name it. I bring it to just under a boil and turn it down to simmer an hour or two. I then store in a glass container, I currently use my husbands old wine bottles. My family says my candles smell like cookies!
    I also get dried twigs from a tree outside and light my candles with those. It is cheap and gives it a fun rustic look!:)

    Reply
    • Anna Sakawsky

      Really!? And they actually throw scent? I’m gonna have to try this!

      Reply
  6. Suzanne Martin

    Hi Anna,
    I noticed you said you buy soy wax in 50# bags. Would you be able to send me a link to where I can purchase in bulk? Thanks so much for the great tutorial!

    Reply
    • Anna Sakawsky

      Hi Suzanne,

      It looks like the wax that I normally use is currently unavailable on Amazon, but this one is rated as the number 1 best seller and is comparable to the brand I use, AND it comes in a 50-lb. box:) Here’s the link: https://amzn.to/2YgKdRS

      Reply
  7. Cindy

    Is there another soy wax that you recommend? The link is a discontinued product. Thanks!

    Reply
    • Anna Sakawsky

      Hi Cindy,

      Thanks for letting me know! For wax, most any pure soy wax will do. But I’ve also used CandleScience soy wax and like their products.

      Reply
  8. Sarah B

    A great resource, thank you for posting as I really want to try my hand at making my own candles. I tried at sign up for access to your resource library but I haven’t been sent a confirmation email yet and I’ve now tried 3 times in the last 5 days.

    Reply
    • Anna Sakawsky

      Hi Sarah! Sorry to hear you’re having trouble accessing the resource library. I will email you directly with details as it looks like you signed up a while ago, which is why you’re not getting a confirmation email now. Please check your inbox for an email from me with instructions:)

      Reply
  9. Mumtaz

    This was very helpful Anna, thank you for this piece. I tried making beeswax candles with essential oils which was not only costly but really quite difficult and the smell was not amazing as beeswax doesn’t work that well with essential oils plus finding the right wick was so difficult. Hopefully I might try with soy wax see if that fares any better.

    Reply
  10. Samantha Sunshine

    Hello
    I was wondering what the absolute max is of essential oil that I can add? For a strong smelling candle? Is it dangerous to add more than a teaspoon per pound of wax? What would happen?

    Reply
    • Anna Sakawsky

      Hi Samantha,
      I don’t know that there’s a maximum as far as safety is concerned. It’s just that it starts to get very expensive the more essential oils you add and the scent doesn’t become much more potent. I’ve tried up to about 125 to 150 drops but I didn’t notice a huge difference adding the extra 25 to 50 drops so I’d rather conserve my oils:)

      Reply
    • Tina Griffin

      I have wasted so much money trying to get my Candles to smell. I use 444 soy wax and I’ve spent tons on variety of essential and fragrance oils. The wax burns beautifully, but no scent. I’ve tried every melting temp from 185-130. Added oil at temps from 180-120. I’ve tried making 1 single candle to making 3 8 ounce which averages out to 1 pound of melted wax to 1ounce of oil. I either get a perfectly burning candle with no scent or a candle that catches fire if I add more oil for stronger scent throw. I don’t know what else to do??‍♀️??

      Reply
      • Anna Sakawsky

        Hi Tina,

        That’s strange that you can’t get them to smell… I could see if you were only using essential oils, the scent just doesn’t throw well with essential oils so they’re very mild. However, I’ve never had a problem when using fragrance oils. Are you using fragrance oils that are specifically meant for candles and cosmetics? I use fragrance oils from a company called Voyageur Soap & Candle Co. Here’s their website if you’d like to check them out: https://www.voyageursoapandcandle.com/

        Reply
  11. Aileen

    I’m just getting into candle making and this was so helpful, thanks so much for all the tips.

    Reply
    • Anna Sakawsky

      My pleasure:)

      Reply
      • Danielle

        Thanks for this! What kinds of ratios do you use when mixing fragrance and essential oils? Are certain fragrances more popular or better for starting out?

        Reply
        • Tish Painter

          Well, Anna recommends using 100 drops of essential oils per pound of wax. So, if you want to blend your own scents, then I would recommend thinking about which scent you want to stand out a little more and do a 60/40 ratio– or you may want to divide them equally for a balanced scent combination. I would start with a 1/2 pound of wax and 50 drops of your favorite scents for starters, or follow her blends listed and maybe you will find your favorite there? The ones she has listed are her most popular ones so far.
          Enjoy!

          Reply
          • Kayla Rhode

            Hi, this really did help. I just have some questions! I started making soy candles. I’m struggling on getting a strong scent. I have 8 oz jars and 4 oz. I make each at a time. Verses a big batch. What would you suggest on how much essential oil to use per 8 oz and 4 oz to get the best results?

          • Tish Painter

            Well, if you use only 8 oz of wax (1/2 pound) to make 2 small (4 oz) candles or one larger candle, then I suggest starting with 50 drops of essential oil. That would be the best place to start based on Anna’s recipe. Scents can be a very personal thing and everyone has their own perception of what is a strong smell. If this is not enough, then you can increase the drops until you have the strength you desire.
            If you only want one small candle using 1/4 pound (4 oz) of wax then perhaps start at 25 drops and work up (or down) from there. These are just some guidelines to start and then you can proceed with what appeals most to you and then you will have your own personal recipe for your needs.
            Good luck with your small batches of candles!

  12. Gigi

    Hi! I’d using fragrance oils, how much would you use per lb?

    Reply
    • Anna Sakawsky

      I would stick with no more than 2 oz. of fragrance oils per pound of soy wax. Some sources recommend 1 oz. per pound, but I like mine scented a little stronger. Any more than that and you risk having “oily” candles as the ratio of fragrance oil to soy wax can be too high. But feel free to experiment! I have added up to 4 oz of fragrance oils per pound before. But I did find the tops a bit oily once cooled.

      Reply
  13. Kelly

    How did you attach the labels!

    Reply
    • Anna Sakawsky

      Hi Kelly,

      I use these sticky Kraft paper labels for mine, but you can also use paper and glue: https://amzn.to/2XStO76

      Reply
  14. Tammy Hutchins

    I’m just starting to research this topic. I want pretty colored candles but understand not using the dyes. I am wondering about the powdered food coloring they use in macaroons or even freeze dried berry powder. Would that work? Yes, I’m more of a baker but dip my hands in many crafts. Just looking for alternatives. This isn’t necessarily the brand I would use but an example with more information than the one I would use. https://www.amazon.com/Americolor-Powder-Food-Color-Black/dp/B006ZCPFPW

    Reply
    • Anna Sakawsky

      Hi Tammy,

      I don’t have experience working with powders like that so I can’t say for sure how they would turn out but it’s definitely worth a try!

      Reply
      • Aychelel

        Hi! Would lemongrass essential oil and vanilla essential oil work together? Trying to decide what to buy. Thanks!

        Reply
        • Anna Sakawsky

          I don’t see why not! You never know until you try:)

          Reply
  15. Jacqueline Roth

    I was wondering how many tsp/TBL spoons 100 drops of essential oil would be. Thank You

    Reply
    • Anna Sakawsky

      Hi Jacqueline!

      While I’ve never measured it out myself, from the research I’ve done, 100 drops of essential oils equals approximately one teaspoon.

      Reply
  16. Melissa

    I was wondering if you could tell me where you get your fragrance oils at..like a link if possible..also I’m just getting into this and was wondering since u sell ur candles what do you charge ?

    Reply
    • Anna Sakawsky

      Hi Melissa,

      I actually get my fragrance oils from a local company close to where I live here in BC. It’s called Voyageur Soap & Candle Co. So I’m not sure where all they ship to, but here is the link: https://www.voyageursoapandcandle.com/

      As for what I charge, I had some candles for sale at a Christmas pop-up shop this past year and she had them on sale for $18. I got 60% of that, so $12. I think $18 was a bit high. I might have gone $16 for the 8oz candles and $10 for the 4oz if it were just me. I’m also in Canada if that matters! Hope that helps:)

      Reply
      • JackieT

        Just made these candles for the first time! It was fun and relaxing! Something to keep you zen during these difficult times. A little comforting light and soothing smell. I used Frasier Fir essential oil. ??

        Reply
        • Anna Sakawsky

          Yes! I love getting into little projects like this in stressful times. It really helps to refocus attention on something calming and productive at the same time.

          Reply
  17. Melia

    This was a great tutorial, thank you!! I was wondering, though, is it possible to add the oil individually to each jar if you want to do different scents? Some friends and I want to try this, but we all have different scent preferences.

    Reply
    • Anna Sakawsky

      Hi Melia,

      Yes you could probably add the individual oils to each candle and maybe just gently stir them in with a toothpick. Just be careful not to stir them too quickly as this can cause the wax to splash up on the jar and can introduce air bubbles which might affect how smooth your finished candle is. And of course you’ll want to add a lot less. I would probably add maybe 20 to 25 drops of essential oils per 8oz candle. The alternative would be to make one batch of candles with specific oils and pour one for everyone and then do another batch, etc. so that each person has one of each different scent to take home. I hope this helps! Let me know how they turn out:)

      Reply
        • Tish Painter

          The link to Anna’s Free Resource Library is at the end of the article, highlighted in red.
          Follow the instructions and then you will get an email with the password to access the information in the library.
          Enjoy!

          Reply
    • Shona

      I am extremely new this and with all the research I have done I definitely want to go for the natural candles to make where could I connect with you more.

      Also was wondering if there are any more essential oils mixes you could recommend for my first collection please

      Reply
      • Anna Sakawsky

        Hi Shona,

        If you sign up for my Free Resource Library, there is a printable candle-making guide under the “Homesteading & Self-Sufficiency Resources” section that walks you through the candle-making process and has a bunch of recipes for essential oil combinations. It’s also got lots of great troubleshooting tricks and tips. PLUS, if you sign up for the Free Resource Library, you’ll get on my email list and will get to connect with me every week when I send out new content! (You can also reply to my emails and chat me anytime:) Heres the link to sign up: https://thehouseandhomestead.com/resource-library/

        Reply
  18. Asha shah

    Useful tutorial ,was searching.
    Thanks

    Reply
  19. Robyn

    A great tutorial! Can’t wait to try making them.

    Reply

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ABOUT ANNA
Hi! I’m Anna, and I’m a city girl turned modern homesteader who’s passionate about growing, cooking and preserving real food at home, creating my own herbal medicine and all-natural home and body care products, and working toward a simpler, more sustainable and self-sufficient life each and every day. 
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Our winter squash failed miserably this year.

As a gardener, it’s always disheartening when a crop fails. You put so much time and effort into starting seeds, nurturing seedlings, planting them out, weeding and controlling pests, and waiting months for your plants to mature before you harvest them.

But you also come to learn that no year in the garden is the same. There’s almost always something that doesn’t do so well, but on the flip side there’s usually at least one crop that exceeds expectations. It all balances out in the end.

Despite having a measly handful of tiny squash to show for our efforts this year, we’re blessed to have many amazing local farms in our area run by farmers and gardeners who are much more talented and experienced than us. I’m so grateful to these farmers for supplying our community with local food, especially when the global supply chain is faltering.

One of my favourite local farms for pumpkins and squash is @shamrockfarm. We’re planning on visiting this weekend and we’ll be getting most of our squash from them this year. When we do, spaghetti squash is definitely on the list!

Many people don’t know what to do with spaghetti squash. Due to its “stringy” nature, it’s not like other types of winter squash.

A great way to enjoy it is to use it in place of pasta noodles. Not only is it healthier and much lower in carbs, it’s also tastier in certain dishes in my humble opinion.

This recipe for Spaghetti Squash with Brown Butter and Sage is one of my favourite ways to enjoy it, and I’m pretty confident that if you try it it’ll become one of your favourites too!

Recipe link in bio @thehouseandhomestead or go to https://thehouseandhomestead.com/spaghetti-squash-brown-butter-sage/
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What’s your favourite food preservation method??

For Angi Schneider of @schneiderpeeps, the answer is pressure canning, hands-down.

The fact is, there are many ways to preserve food, and each of them has its place and serves its purpose. But the only preservation method that allows you to preserve full meals that are ready to eat straight out of the jar is pressure canning.

Water bath canning allows you to preserve high acid foods like fruits, pickles, jams and jellies.

Fermenting adds beneficial bacteria, increases the nutritional value and adds a distinct (and acquired) flavour to foods.

Dehydrating and freeze drying are great long term storage preservation methods, and are a great option for preppers, hunters or anyone who needs to carry their food preps with them.

Pressure canning, on the other hand, allows you to have jars of food ready to serve and eat at a moment’s notice. It’s great to hand on hand during an emergency, but it also serves as practical, every day food that you and your family will actually eat.

Whether it’s a busy weeknight and you have no time to cook, you’ve got unexpected company or you find yourself in the middle of an emergency or power outage, having jars of healthy, homemade food –including full meals– on hand always comes in handy.

Angi and I sat down to chat about the many benefits of pressure canning, and about her brand new book Pressure Canning For Beginners And Beyond in an interview for the fall issue of Modern Homesteading Magazine (out now).

To read the full interview and/or to check out Angi’s new cookbook (which includes some seriously drool-worthy canning recipes like Chicken Marsala, Beef Street Tacos, Maple Ginger Glazed Carrots and French Onion Soup), click the link in my bio @thehouseandhomestead or go to www.modernhomesteadingmagazine.com to subscribe and get your first issue free!

For a limited time, you can also become a member and get full access to our entire library of issues for just $7.99/year. Link in bio to get all the goods:)

Seriously though… What’s your favourite food preservation method and why? (There are no wrong answers!)

Let me know in the comments below!👇
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For the past week or so, I’ve been sharing a new morning routine I've been committing to...

It's the simple act of lighting a candle to start each day.

In this age of unnatural blue light emanating from our screens, fluorescent and even LED lighting from overhead lights and lamps, it can be quite a shock to the system to go from sleeping in complete darkness to flipping on the bright lights and checking email on your smartphone first thing in the a.m.

By simply lighting a candle and allowing your eyes a minute or two to adjust before turning on the lights or checking a screen, you have the power to create a much calmer and more peaceful start to your day, and that has lasting effects that can and will stay with you all day long.

I know I’m not the only one who can benefit from this simple but powerful morning ritual, so I decided to start a challenge to encourage others to do the same.

If you'd like to participate, grab a candle and a pack of matches (or a lighter) and commit to lighting a candle to start your day for as many days as you can during the month of October.

Every time you share a photo of your candle/morning ritual on Instagram posts or stories and tag me @thehouseandhomestead and use the hashtag #candlelitmorning, you'll be entered to win a naturally-scented candle of your choice from Plant Therapy!

This being said, I know that good quality candles aren't exactly cheap, but you can save a tone of money by learning how to make your own!

If you're interested in learning how to make your own all-natural soy candles with essential oils at home, I'm currently offering my DIY Scented Soy Candles Masterclass for FREE as part of the Handmade Holiday Giveaway, hosted by my friend and fellow Vancouver Islander Diana Bouchard of @wanderinghoofranch

Other limited-time freebies include:

* Exclusive homestead holiday recipes
* Free knitting and crochet patterns
* Free homemade cocktail mixers course
* Cute printable gift tags and more!

Click the link in my bio @thehouseandhomestead to check out everything that's included in the Handmade Holiday Giveaway.

And don't forget to join in the #candlelitmorning challenge right here on Instagram!
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Sometimes I don’t post photos because I can’t think of a brilliant, thought-provoking caption to go with each one.

But then again, sometimes a photo speaks for itself:)

This weekend reminded me how important it is to be present, both with ourselves and with the ones we love. This weekend I was reminded of what I’m truly grateful for. 🧡

Happy (Canadian) Thanksgiving!

#givethanks #staypresent #familyiseverything
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Drop a ❤️ below 👇 if you can relate!

A professional teacher turned homeschooling mom of two, Allyson Speake was spinning her wheels trying to keep up with her family’s fast-paced modern lifestyle until she made the intentional decision to slow down and quit her job as a teacher to stay home and educate her children at home. Nowadays she helps others do the same!

If you’ve ever stumbled across her Instagram page @tanglewoodhollow, you’ve likely been met with beautiful photos of children playing and exploring in the woods, nature crafts, treasures and toadstools galore. Her passion for slow, seasonal living and nature-based education shows in everything she posts!

But her inspiring Instagram page is just a glimpse into what she has to offer other homeschoolers, teachers, parents and guardians from all walks of life who want to bring a little more seasonal magic into their children’s lives, and who know that the best classroom is the great outdoors.

I sat down with her for the latest issue of Modern Homesteading Magazine and she shared some real nuggets of wisdom for anyone with young children (not just homeschoolers!)

In the interview, Allyson shares that “on average three-year-olds can identify 100 different brand logos, and that increases to 300-400 by age 10.” If that’s not reason enough to turn off the TV and get outside, I don’t know what is!

“Whatever children are exposed to, they are able to soak it up like sponges, but they aren’t getting that exposure to nature,” she says.

Catch the full interview in the Fall issue of Modern Homesteading Magazine. Subscribe for free to read your first issue free or become a member to get this issue plus access to our entire library of past issues for just $7.99/year!

Link in bio @thehouseandhomestead or go to www.modernhomesteadingmagazine.com

#homeschool #homeschooling #naturebasedlearning #naturebasededucation #wildandfreechildren #freerangekids
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🛠 “Even the simplest tools can empower people to do great things.”
- Biz Stone

The other day I asked you what the most valuable asset is on your homestead, and I shared that mine is my dear husband @thehumblehandyman

Everyone who knows him knows he can build and repair just about anything. It’s a true talent, but he’s also spent years learning and sharpening his skills.

But talent and skills are only half of the equation; You’ve gotta have the right tools for the job!

As homesteaders, our main mission in life is to become more self-sufficient, and that extends to building and repairing things at home. But whether you’re an expert handyman or a fledgling fixer-upper, you can't do the job if you don't have the right tools on hand.

If you’re just starting out and wondering what tools to invest in, The Humble Handyman and I put together a list of 15 essential tools that everyone should have on hand for minor repairs and odd jobs around the home (and homestead), along with tips on how to actually use each one.

Link in bio @thehouseandhomestead to check it out or go to https://thehouseandhomestead.com/15-essential-tools-home-toolkit/

Which of these tools do you already have?

Which ones are next on your list to invest in??

What are your go-to tools to use around your house and homestead??? (Duct tape totally counts 😉)

Let me know in the comments below! 👇

#toolsofthetrade #toolkit #diy #handyman
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🪓 What’s the most valuable asset on your homestead?

For me, it’s this guy right here.

He was only away for two weeks, but that’s all the time it took for me to realize how much he brings to the table, and how valuable it is to have a live-in handyman on a homestead!

When our burner crapped out on our stove in the middle of a canning project last week, I had no idea how to fix it and was ready to buy a brand new stove, but luckily Ryan came home with all of his tools just a couple days later and fixed it for a fraction of the cost of buying a new stove.

When we were getting chickens, he built our chicken coop. When I wanted to put in new garden beds, he built them. Deck? Done! Firewood? Chopped! Bathroom? Remodelled! Car broken down? Fixed! (Did I mention he’s a trained mechanic too?)

If you don’t have your own handyman at home though, you can still learn the skills you need to become more self-sufficient when it comes to tackling new building projects and repairing and maintaining things at home.

I’m thrilled to announce that @thehumblehandyman now has his own regular feature in each issue of Modern Homesteading Magazine, where he’ll share simple steps you can take to increase your self-sufficiency by learning how to DIY all sorts of projects around your house and homestead.

In his debut feature, he shares 5 simple steps you can take this fall to help you prepare your house and homestead for the coming winter, all of which could save you time, money and effort during the season of rest.

Check out the full article in the Fall issue of Modern Homesteading Magazine, available now!

Link in bio @thehouseandhomestead or go to www.modernhomesteadingmagazine.com to subscribe and read your first issue free, or become a member and get this issue plus unlimited access to all past issues for just $7.99/year!

I’d love to know what handyman/DIY skills or projects you’d like to see featured in future issues. Leave a comment below👇and let me know!

#handyman #homesteading #diy #handymanhusband #skills #woodworking #jackofalltrades #selfsufficiency #selfsufficient #selfsufficientliving #sustainableliving #homesteadersofinstagram
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Did you know you can now buy pumpkin spice ramen noodles, pumpkin spice Pringles, pumpkin spice macaroni and cheese, pumpkin spice sausages and even pumpkin spice dog treats?

It’s not exactly a stretch to say that we’ve taken the whole pumpkin spice craze a little bit too far.

But our obsession with pumpkin spice speaks to something much deeper than the flavour itself. (Let’s be honest, pumpkin spice ramen noodles sound gag-worthy).

The reason we tend to love pumpkin spice so much is because it triggers feelings of comfort and nostalgia; Memories of days spent with family at the pumpkin patch or around the Thanksgiving table. In short, pumpkin spice triggers our emotions as much as it tantalizes our taste buds.

But let’s be real, pumpkin spice Pringles ain’t it.

If you’re feeling all the fall vibes and craving a little pumpkin spice in your life right now, stick to the tried and true pumpkin spice latte, but ditch the expensive (and highly processed) commercial PSLs and make your own pumpkin spice syrup (with real pumpkin!) at home for a fraction of the cost! Keep it on hand to add to your coffees, teas and steamed milk beverages all Autumn long.

It’s super easy to make and will put pumpkin spice macaroni squarely in its place (and keep it there!)

Link in bio @thehouseandhomestead to grab the recipe or go to https://thehouseandhomestead.com/homemade-pumpkin-spice-syrup/

#pumpkinspice #psl #pumpkinspicelatte #fallvibes #fromscratch
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I’ve been feeling pulled to slow down and retreat into my home lately; To turn off the news and social media and focus on the tangible things like lighting the wood stove, preserving the mountains of food still coming out of the garden, and slowly stirring a pot of soup as it cooks on the stovetop.

With everything that’s going on in the world right now, I know I’m not the only one feeling pulled toward hearth and home. This is a heavy time for all of us. No one person is meant to bear the weight of the world on their shoulders, but I've heard from so many people lately who say that's exactly how they've been feeling.

If you read my post from a few days ago, you know I’ve been feeling like that too, but luckily, I've learned how to soothe my soul in difficult times.

And so that's what I've been doing lately...

I've been focusing on the tangible things that I can control, like cooking meals and preserving food.

I've been lingering a little longer in the morning, taking time to sit by the river or sip my coffee in front of the wood stove before hurrying on with my day.

And I've been making a conscious effort to turn off the noise of the outside world and give my family and my own emotional health my full attention.

If you've also been feeling that pull to turn off all of the noise and immerse yourself in more nourishing, productive activities, I want to tell you about a collection of resources that will help you do just that.

The Simple Living Collective’s Autumn Issue includes seasonal guides, tutorials, e-books, recipes and more to help you slow down and reconnect with what matters this season.

* Learn how to forage for healing herbs and how to make your own natural medicine

* Find new ways to celebrate old traditions, and create new seasonal traditions with your family

* Discover new seasonal recipes and crafts to do on your own or with your kids

And much more.

If this sounds like it’s exactly what you're in need of right now, check out the Simple Living Collective and get the Autumn Issue for just $25. But this issue is only available until tomorrow, so don't wait…

Link in bio @thehouseandhomestead to grab it now before it disappears 🍁
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I laid in bed the other night and couldn’t sleep.

I know that probably doesn’t sound out of the ordinary, especially considering the collective stress we’ve all been through over the past year and a half. But if I’m being totally honest, I’ve done a pretty good job of not letting it get to me.

I used to have really bad anxiety, and I made a conscious effort to learn how to manage it in (mostly) healthy, natural ways. I practice a lot of gratitude every day, and overall I’ve learned to deal with stress, anxiety and negative thoughts pretty well.

Lately though, I’ve been feeling the weight of it all. Aside from dealing with personal issues like our ongoing infertility/pregnancy loss journey and the every day stresses we all face, the bigger things have been feeling bigger and heavier lately; The mandates, the politics, the pushback, the arguments and attacks online, the divisiveness, and the seemingly never-ending pandemic that every single one of us is still dealing with in some capacity.

I’ve been seeing more and more calls to “choose a side.” I’ve witnessed my own close friends on both sides of the debate hurling insults at each other, defending their ground, and refusing to listen to each other’s valid points and concerns.

I’ve even witnessed a widening crack in the homesteading community, despite the fact that so many of our core values and beliefs align and are unique to us.

Despite the division, I would still argue that ALL of us have much more in common than not, and to see the divide continuing to deepen has started to get under my skin lately.

(Continued in comments…)
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