Well, it’s winter, it’s cold, and there’s snow on the ground. So to me, it’s the perfect time to make candles for those dark evenings! I’m not one of those people who constantly has candles burning in the house. (Except for those battery operated candles. Although, the batteries on ours died months ago…) So I’m not going to claim that I make these clementine candles all the time or that I’m any kind of fruit candle expert. I made these clementine candles once, and I probably won’t make them again any time soon. But they really were fun to try!
Everything about winter fruit choices pretty much sucks. (At least where we live.) But the one shining star, is that you can buy clementines. I LOVE clementines. I love buying the first box of the season. And that first smell when you peel them and a bit of orange oil sprays out and makes the whole room smell like Christmas – it’s one of my favourite things!
I’ve seen this idea floating around on Pinterest for ages and I’ve always wanted to try it myself! You don’t need anything fancy. Just clementines. You are lighting the clementine itself on fire. Pretty cool, don’t you think?!
How to Make Clementine Candles
Here’s what you’ll need:
- Olive Oil
- A Small Spoon
- A Sharp Paring Knife
- A BBQ Lighter
Slice through the skin around the entire clementine. It’s not the end of the world if you cut through the fruit, it just makes it harder to peel off the skin.
Use a spoon to separate the clementine skin from the fruit.
Then gently slip your finger in to continue loosening the skin, and gradually peel it off.
I made about 6 of these candles, and only one of them ripped, so as long as you have nice ripe clementines, it’s really not difficult to peel off the skin intact. Remove the skin from both sides of the clementine.
BUT… You know the little white bits of clementine that are between the skin and the fruit? You’ll need to peel away the fruit while keeping as much of the white stuff that’s inside the end of the clementine as you can. The white stuff is what you’re going to use as the wick, so if it breaks off, you’ll have to start again.
You’ll be left with the clementine fruit – feel free to eat it. You won’t be needing it for these candles.
One end has a natural wick, and the other end has nothing. Take the end that has nothing, and cut out a small hole for air circulation. My hole was too small, so the skin started to burn on my candles. You’ll want to make yours bigger than what I’m showing in the images.
Take a small amount of olive oil and pour it into the skin that has the wick – about 1/4 full, as long as it doesn’t completely cover the wick. I couldn’t get a very long piece of natural wick to pull out of my clementines, so it’s pretty short. But you can kind of see it peaking up through the center of the clementine peel below.
Then all you have to do is light the wick.
Since my wicks were so small, my flames were also pretty small, but it didn’t seem to matter.
Cover the flame with the other end of the clementine peel and you have your little candles!
You can see the skin starting to burn in the photo below. That’s why you’ll want to make your air opening a little bigger than mine.
And then in the dark, they look like this. Beautiful!
See how the bottom clementine peel burns a little brighter than the top? That’s because it’s saturated with oil and it becomes more translucent. It’s a pretty neat effect, don’t you think?
CHEATER’S METHOD: If you have trouble getting the wick to light, don’t worry too much! Just take a wax tea light candle, remove it from the metal casing and use a sharp knife to carefully chop the wick out so the wax chunk is only about a 1/2″ square. Then place the small tea light chunk inside the clementine and light that instead. I found it works better with tea lights that have already been burned a little bit, so the wax isn’t so thick.
It will work completely naturally with just the clementine peel, but it will burn brighter and possibly longer with the tea light chunk. I tried both methods, and using a tea light is definitely less frustrating, but also less fun. 🙂
These clementine candles are really easy to make, and will burn for about half an hour. And they smell amazing! They’d be great to add a little charm to a dinner party tablescape. Or they’re fun just to set out on a plate on the coffee table on a cold winter evening.
I bet you were wondering if fruit candles are a thing, but they totally are! Check out our Fresh Apple Tea Lights post. Maybe I am a fruit candle expert after all. haha