Make Homemade Scented Candles: DIY

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The gentle glow of candlelight and the soothing aroma of scented candles create a cozy ambiance that instantly transforms any space into a haven of tranquility. Whether you’re seeking a relaxing evening at home or a therapeutic creative outlet, learning how to make homemade scented candles offers a world of possibilities to unleash your creativity and indulge in the calming benefits of aromatherapy.

The Essence of Scented Candles

Scented candles are more than just decorative pieces; they are sensory experiences that can uplift your mood, promote relaxation, and infuse your environment with inviting fragrances. The appeal of these aromatic wonders lies in their ability to create a cozy atmosphere and provide aromatherapy benefits through the careful blend of natural scents.

The Power of Fragrance

Scents have a profound impact on our emotions and well-being. The right fragrance can transport us to cherished memories, evoke feelings of tranquility, or energize our senses. By crafting your own scented candles, you can curate a collection of fragrances that resonate with your personal preferences and desired ambiance.

Exploring the World of Scents

The realm of fragrance is a vast and captivating one, offering a kaleidoscope of aromatic notes to explore. From the fresh and invigorating citrus scents to the warm and comforting notes of vanilla and cinnamon, the possibilities are endless. Floral fragrances like lavender, jasmine, and rose can evoke feelings of serenity and romance, while woodsy scents like sandalwood and cedarwood can create a grounding and earthy atmosphere.

When crafting your own scented candles, you have the opportunity to experiment with various fragrance combinations, blending different notes to create your signature scent. This allows you to capture the essence of a specific memory or emotion, or simply indulge in a fragrance that speaks to your personal preferences.

The Science Behind Scent and Emotion

The connection between scent and emotion is deeply rooted in our brain’s olfactory system. Scents are processed in the limbic system, which is responsible for regulating emotions, memories, and behavior. This close relationship between scent and emotion explains why certain fragrances can evoke powerful emotional responses and trigger vivid memories.

For example, the aroma of freshly baked cookies may transport you back to your grandmother’s kitchen, filling you with a sense of warmth and nostalgia. Conversely, the scent of a particular flower may remind you of a romantic evening, evoking feelings of love and affection.

By understanding the impact of scents on our emotions, we can harness the power of aromatherapy to create personalized candles that not only fill our spaces with delightful aromas but also contribute to our overall well-being and emotional balance.

make homemade scented candles

Types of Scented Candles

The world of scented candles is a vibrant tapestry of choices, each offering its own unique characteristics and benefits. From the classic paraffin wax candles to the eco-friendly soy and beeswax alternatives, the possibilities are endless.

Paraffin Wax Candles

Paraffin wax candles are a traditional and widely available option known for their strong scent throw, making them ideal for larger spaces. These candles provide a long-lasting fragrance and are often associated with nostalgic and cozy aromas.

Advantages of Paraffin Wax Candles

  • Affordability: Paraffin wax is an inexpensive material, making it a cost-effective choice for candle making.
  • Scent Intensity: Paraffin wax has a strong scent throw, allowing the fragrance to permeate larger rooms effectively.
  • Versatility: Paraffin wax can be easily molded and colored, offering a wide range of design possibilities.

Considerations for Paraffin Wax Candles

  • Environmental Impact: Paraffin wax is a byproduct of petroleum refining, making it a non-renewable resource.
  • Soot Production: When burned, paraffin wax candles can produce soot, which can discolor walls and ceilings over time.
  • Safety Concerns: Paraffin wax candles can release small amounts of potentially harmful compounds when burned, so proper ventilation is recommended.

Soy Wax Candles

Soy wax candles have gained popularity for their clean-burning properties and natural, subtle scents. These eco-friendly candles are derived from soybeans, making them a sustainable choice for those seeking a more environmentally conscious option.

Advantages of Soy Wax Candles

  • Eco-Friendly: Soy wax is a natural, renewable resource, making it an environmentally friendly choice.
  • Clean Burning: Soy wax candles burn cleanly, producing little to no soot or harmful byproducts.
  • Longer Burn Time: Soy wax candles tend to burn slower than paraffin wax candles, providing a longer-lasting burn.

Considerations for Soy Wax Candles

  • Scent Throw: Soy wax candles generally have a more subtle scent throw compared to paraffin wax candles.
  • Softening Point: Soy wax has a lower melting point, which can cause the candle to become misshapen in warmer environments.
  • Cost: Soy wax candles are typically more expensive than paraffin wax candles due to the cost of the raw material.

Beeswax Candles

Beeswax candles offer a warm, honey-like aroma and are prized for their air-purifying qualities. These candles burn cleanly and emit a soft, natural glow, creating a cozy and inviting ambiance.

Advantages of Beeswax Candles

  • Natural Aroma: Beeswax candles release a pleasant, natural honey-like scent when burned.
  • Air Purification: Beeswax candles are known for their ability to remove pollutants and allergens from the air, creating a healthier indoor environment.
  • Longer Burn Time: Beeswax candles have a longer burn time compared to other wax types, making them a cost-effective choice in the long run.

Considerations for Beeswax Candles

  • Cost: Beeswax is a premium wax, making beeswax candles more expensive than other options.
  • Coloring Limitations: Beeswax has a natural yellow hue, which can limit the range of colors achievable in candle making.
  • Melting Point: Beeswax has a higher melting point than other waxes, which can make it more challenging to work with during the candle-making process.

make homemade scented candles

Gel Candles

Gel candles provide a unique visual experience, allowing for the incorporation of decorative elements like seashells, marbles, or glitter. These candles offer a long-burning time and can be molded into various shapes and designs.

Advantages of Gel Candles

  • Visual Appeal: Gel candles offer a transparent or translucent appearance, making them ideal for embedding decorative elements.
  • Long Burn Time: Gel candles have an exceptionally long burn time, often lasting twice as long as traditional wax candles.
  • Design Versatility: Gel candles can be molded into various shapes and designs, allowing for creative expression.

Considerations for Gel Candles

  • Limited Fragrance Options: Gel candles may not be suitable for strong fragrances, as the scent can become overpowering.
  • Heat Sensitivity: Gel candles can become soft and misshapen in warm environments, so they may not be ideal for use in hot climates.
  • Safety Concerns: Gel candles burn at a higher temperature than wax candles, so caution should be exercised when handling them.

Palm Wax Candles

Palm wax candles are known for their crystalline appearance and excellent scent dispersion, making them perfect for creating tropical or exotic fragrances. These candles can produce stunning visual effects and are a great choice for those seeking a unique and eye-catching centerpiece.

Advantages of Palm Wax Candles

  • Unique Appearance: Palm wax candles have a distinct crystalline texture and can create visually stunning designs.
  • Strong Scent Throw: Palm wax has excellent scent-throwing properties, allowing the fragrance to permeate the room effectively.
  • Eco-Friendly: Palm wax is a renewable and sustainable resource, making it an environmentally friendly choice.

Considerations for Palm Wax Candles

  • Limited Availability: Palm wax candles may be less readily available than other wax types, making them harder to find.
  • Melting Point: Palm wax has a higher melting point than other waxes, which can make it more challenging to work with during the candle-making process.
  • Cost: Palm wax candles tend to be more expensive than other wax candle options due to the specialized nature of the material.

No matter which wax type you choose, each offers its own unique advantages and considerations. It’s essential to consider your desired fragrance intensity, burn time, and design preferences when selecting the appropriate wax for your homemade scented candles.

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The Benefits of Scented Candles

Beyond their aesthetic appeal, scented candles offer a multitude of benefits that contribute to overall well-being and mindfulness.

Aromatherapy and Relaxation

The natural fragrances emitted by scented candles have been found to alleviate anxiety and promote relaxation. Essential oils like lavender, chamomile, and bergamot are known for their calming properties, helping to reduce stress and create a serene atmosphere.

Aromatherapy and Mood Enhancement

Certain scents have the power to uplift your mood and enhance your emotional state. Citrus fragrances like lemon or orange can energize and invigorate, while floral scents like jasmine or rose can promote feelings of joy and contentment.

The Science Behind Aromatherapy

Aromatherapy works by stimulating the olfactory receptors in the nose, which are directly connected to the limbic system in the brain. The limbic system is responsible for regulating emotions, memory, and behavior. When you inhale specific essential oils or fragrances, the olfactory receptors send signals to the limbic system, triggering various physiological and psychological responses.

For example, the aroma of lavender is known to promote relaxation by lowering blood pressure, heart rate, and stress levels. This is achieved through the release of neurotransmitters like serotonin and dopamine, which are associated with feelings of calmness and well-being.

By understanding the science behind aromatherapy, you can harness the power of scented candles to create personalized fragrance blends that target specific emotional states or therapeutic benefits.

Mindfulness and Meditation

The gentle flicker of a scented candle, coupled with its soothing aroma, can create a serene ambiance that encourages mindfulness and meditation. This sensory experience can be incredibly grounding, helping individuals find peace and clarity amidst the chaos of everyday life.

Creating a Mindful Space

To create a mindful space conducive to meditation or relaxation, consider incorporating elements that appeal to multiple senses. In addition to a scented candle, you may want to include soft lighting, comfortable seating, and calming background music or nature sounds.

Lighting a scented candle can serve as a ritual that signals the beginning of your mindfulness practice, allowing you to shift your focus inward and leave distractions behind. The gentle flicker of the flame can become a point of concentration, helping to anchor your attention in the present moment.

Incorporating Scented Candles into Meditation Practices

When incorporating scented candles into your meditation practice, it’s important to choose fragrances that resonate with your desired state of mind. For example, lavender or chamomile can promote a sense of calm and relaxation, while citrus scents like lemon or grapefruit can help boost energy and focus.

Experiment with different scents and combinations to find what works best for your individual needs and preferences. Some practitioners may also find it helpful to incorporate scented candles into specific meditation techniques, such as visualization or breathwork exercises.

make homemade scented candles

Air Purification and Well-being

Certain types of candles, like beeswax candles, have air-purifying qualities that can contribute to overall well-being. By burning these candles, you can help remove pollutants and allergens from the air, creating a healthier and more refreshing environment.

Beeswax Candles and Air Purification

Beeswax candles are known for their air-purifying properties due to the release of negative ions when burned. These negative ions can help neutralize positively charged particles in the air, such as dust, pollen, and other allergens.

By reducing the concentration of these airborne particles, beeswax candles can help alleviate symptoms associated with allergies, asthma, and respiratory issues. Additionally, the natural honey-like aroma of beeswax can create a soothing and calming atmosphere, further contributing to overall well-being.

Creating a Healthier Indoor Environment

In addition to using beeswax candles, there are several other steps you can take to create a healthier indoor environment:

  • Incorporate air-purifying plants into your living spaces
  • Regularly clean and vacuum to remove dust and allergens
  • Use natural cleaning products to avoid introducing harmful chemicals into the air
  • Ensure proper ventilation by opening windows and using air purifiers when necessary

By combining the use of air-purifying candles with these other strategies, you can create a healthy and rejuvenating indoor environment that supports your overall well-being.

Materials Needed for Candle Making

To embark on your candle-making journey, you’ll need to gather a few essential materials. Each component plays a crucial role in shaping the final product, from the wax type to the fragrance oils and containers.

Wax Types

  • Paraffin Wax: A popular choice for its affordability and strong scent throw.
  • Soy Wax: An eco-friendly option that burns cleanly and offers a subtle scent.
  • Beeswax: A natural wax with a warm, honey-like aroma and air-purifying properties.
  • Gel Wax: Ideal for creating unique designs and incorporating decorative elements.
  • Palm Wax: Known for its crystalline appearance and excellent scent dispersion.


Wicks are the backbone of a well-made candle, ensuring a steady flame and even burning. Choose wicks appropriate for the size and type of candle you plan to create.

Wick Selection Guidelines

  • Candle Diameter: The diameter of your candle will determine the appropriate wick size. Larger candles require thicker wicks to ensure proper burning.
  • Wax Type: Different wax types have varying burn characteristics, which can affect wick selection. Consult the manufacturer’s recommendations for the specific wax you’re using.
  • Wick Material: Wicks can be made from various materials, including cotton, paper, zinc, or lead-free options. Consider the burn time and intended use of your candle when selecting the wick material.

candles with containers


Containers such as jars, tins, or teacups not only hold your candle but also contribute to its overall aesthetic appeal. Consider the style and size that best suits your design vision.

Container Selection Tips

  • Material: Choose containers made from heat-resistant materials like glass, ceramic, or metal to ensure safety when burning the candle.
  • Size: The size of the container will determine the amount of wax needed and the appropriate wick size. Larger containers may require multiple wicks for even burning.
  • Style: Explore different container shapes, colors, and designs to create unique and visually appealing candles that complement your home decor or serve as thoughtful gifts.

Fragrance Oils and Essential Oils

Fragrance oils and essential oils are the heart and soul of scented candles. These aromatic ingredients allow you to create unique and personalized scent blends that evoke specific moods or memories.

Fragrance Oil vs. Essential Oil

  • Fragrance Oils: Synthetic fragrances designed specifically for candle making. They offer a wide range of scent options and tend to have a stronger scent throw.
  • Essential Oils: Natural oils extracted from plants, flowers, fruits, and other botanical sources. Essential oils provide therapeutic benefits in addition to their fragrance.

Blending Fragrance Oils and Essential Oils

Experiment with different combinations of fragrance oils and essential oils to create your signature scents. Consider complementary notes, such as floral and woodsy or citrus and spicy, to create well-rounded and captivating aromas.

Coloring (Optional)

Adding coloring to your candles is an optional but creative step that can enhance the overall design and visual appeal. Candle dyes or pigments offer a wide range of hues to choose from, allowing you to create vibrant and eye-catching candles.

Coloring Options

  • Liquid Dyes: Liquid dyes are easy to incorporate into the melted wax and offer a wide range of colors.
  • Candle Pigments: Candle pigments are concentrated powders that can be added to the melted wax for vivid and opaque colors.
  • Natural Colorants: For a more natural approach, consider using plant-based colorants like turmeric, beet powder, or activated charcoal.

Tips for Adding Color

  • Start with a small amount of coloring and gradually increase the amount until you achieve the desired shade.
  • Stir the wax thoroughly to ensure even distribution of the color throughout the candle.
  • Experiment with layering different colors or creating marbled effects for a unique and artistic look.

christmas candlesTools

To navigate the candle-making process with ease, you’ll need a few essential tools:

  • Double Boiler or Microwave: For melting the wax safely and evenly.
  • Thermometer: Crucial for monitoring the wax temperature and ensuring accurate pouring.
  • Stirring Utensil: Used for blending the wax, fragrance oils, and dyes.
  • Molds or Containers: To shape and hold your candles during the cooling process.
  • Labels and Packaging Materials: For adding the finishing touches and gifting your creations.

Double Boiler or Microwave

A double boiler or microwave-safe container is essential for melting the wax without overheating or scorching it. A double boiler provides gentle, even heat, while a microwave offers a convenient and quick option for smaller batches.


A thermometer is an invaluable tool in candle making, as different wax types have specific temperature ranges for optimal performance. By monitoring the wax temperature, you can ensure proper melting, fragrance dispersion, and pouring consistency.

Stirring Utensil

A sturdy stirring utensil, such as a heat-resistant spatula or wooden spoon, is necessary for blending the wax, fragrance oils, and dyes. Proper mixing ensures even distribution of the ingredients and prevents separation or clumping.

Molds or Containers

Molds or containers play a crucial role in shaping your candles and determining their final appearance. Choose molds or containers made from heat-resistant materials like silicone, metal, or glass, and experiment with different shapes and sizes to create unique designs.

Labels and Packaging Materials

Once your candles are complete, add the finishing touches with labels and packaging materials. Custom labels can enhance the presentation and provide important information, such as the fragrance and burn instructions. Packaging materials like boxes, bags, or wrapping paper can make your homemade candles look professional and gift-ready.

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Step-by-Step Guide to Making Homemade Scented Candles

Now that you’ve gathered all the necessary materials, it’s time to dive into the art of candle making. Follow this step-by-step guide to create your very own homemade scented candles.

1. Prepare Your Work Area

Start by setting up a dedicated workspace that fosters creativity and inspiration. Clear a clean, well-ventilated area and gather all your materials within reach. Consider incorporating natural elements like plants or stones to create a calming atmosphere.

Creating an Inspiring Workspace

  • Choose a spacious and clutter-free area to work in.
  • Incorporate natural elements like plants, flowers, or crystals to enhance the ambiance.
  • Play soothing background music or nature sounds to set the mood.
  • Gather inspiration from magazines, Pinterest boards, or online tutorials.

2. Melt the Wax

Using a double boiler or microwave-safe container, carefully melt the wax according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Avoid overheating or scorching the wax, as this can affect its properties and scent.

Wax Melting Tips

  • Use a double boiler or microwave to melt the wax gradually and evenly.
  • Monitor the temperature with a thermometer, following the recommended melting point for your chosen wax type.
  • Stir the wax occasionally to prevent scorching or uneven melting.
  • Take safety precautions when handling hot wax, such as wearing oven mitts and avoiding direct skin contact.

3. Add Fragrance Oils or Essential Oils

Once the wax is fully melted, it’s time to infuse it with your chosen fragrance. Add your preferred fragrance oils or essential oils, following the recommended usage guidelines. Remember, a little goes a long way, so start with a small amount and adjust as needed.

Fragrance Oil and Essential Oil Tips

  • Follow the recommended usage guidelines for the specific fragrance oil or essential oil you’re using.
  • Start with a small amount and gradually increase until you achieve the desired scent strength.
  • Stir the wax thoroughly to ensure even distribution of the fragrance throughout the candle.
  • Experiment with blending different scents to create unique and personalized fragrance combinations.

4. Add Coloring (Optional)

If you wish to add color to your candles, this is the time to do so. Carefully incorporate candle dyes or pigments into the melted wax, stirring gently to achieve an even distribution.

Coloring Tips

  • Add the coloring gradually, starting with a small amount, until you achieve the desired shade.
  • Stir the wax thoroughly to ensure even distribution of the color throughout the candle.
  • Experiment with layering different colors or creating marbled effects for a unique and artistic look.
  • Consider using natural colorants like turmeric, beet powder, or activated charcoal for a more organic approach.

wooden wick candles

5. Pour the Wax into the Container

With the wax scented and colored to your liking, it’s time to pour it into your chosen containers or molds. Carefully fill each container, ensuring that the wick remains centered and upright.

Pouring the Wax

  • If using a wick, secure it in place before pouring the wax to ensure proper positioning.
  • Pour the wax slowly and steadily to prevent air bubbles or spills.
  • Adjust the wick as needed to ensure it remains centered as the wax sets.
  • Consider pouring in layers or using multiple colors for a unique layered or marbled effect.

6. Insert the Wick

If you’re using a pre-tabbed wick, carefully position it in the center of the container before pouring the wax. If not, use a wick holder or a pair of tweezers to secure the wick in place once the wax has been poured.

Wick Placement Tips

  • For container candles, use a wick holder or wick sticker to keep the wick centered and upright.
  • For freestanding candles, use a wick sustainer or wick bar to support the wick during the cooling process.
  • Ensure the wick is securely anchored at the base of the container or mold to prevent shifting or leaning.
  • Trim the wick to the appropriate length once the candle has fully cooled and set.

7. Let the Candle Cool and Set

Allow your candles to cool and harden completely, following the recommended curing time for your chosen wax type. Resist the temptation to move or disturb the candles during this process, as it can affect their appearance and structural integrity.

Cooling and Setting Tips

  • Allow the candles to cool and set undisturbed, away from drafts or temperature fluctuations.
  • Follow the recommended curing time for your specific wax type, typically ranging from 4 to 24 hours.
  • Resist the urge to move or touch the candles during the cooling process, as this can cause imperfections or distortions.
  • Consider placing the candles in a cool, dark area to promote even cooling and prevent discoloration.

8. Trim the Wick and Enjoy

Once your candles have fully cooled and set, carefully trim the wick to the recommended length for optimal burning. Now, it’s time to bask in the warm glow and soothing aroma of your homemade scented candle creation.

Trimming the Wick

  • Use scissors or wick trimmers to trim the wick to the recommended length, typically 1/4 to 1/2 inch.
  • Trimming the wick regularly during burning will ensure a clean and even burn, preventing sooting or flaring.
  • Enjoy your homemade scented candle in a well-ventilated area, and never leave a burning candle unattended.

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Unleashing Creativity through Candle Making

The beauty of homemade candle making lies in the ability to personalize and express your creativity in countless ways. Each candle becomes a unique work of art, reflecting your personal style and preferences.

Scent Combinations and Blending

Experiment with different scent combinations to create your signature fragrance blends. Floral notes like rose or jasmine can be complemented by earthy scents like sandalwood or patchouli, creating a harmonious and captivating aroma.

Scent Blending Tips

  • Start with a base note, such as vanilla or musk, and layer complementary notes on top.
  • Combine citrus and floral scents for a refreshing and uplifting blend.
  • Incorporate warm spices like cinnamon or clove for a cozy, seasonal fragrance.
  • Experiment with different ratios of fragrance oils or essential oils to find the perfect balance.

Color and Design

Let your artistic side shine by incorporating vibrant colors and unique designs into your candles. Swirl different hues together for a marbled effect, or embed decorative elements like dried flowers, seashells, or crystals for a one-of-a-kind creation.

Color and Design Ideas

  • Create ombre effects by layering different shades of the same color.
  • Incorporate natural elements like dried herbs, petals, or spices for a rustic and organic look.
  • Experiment with metallic or pearlescent pigments for a luxurious and sophisticated touch.
  • Use stencils or stamps to create intricate patterns or designs on the surface of the candle.

Container Choices

The container you choose for your candle can be just as important as the candle itself. Repurpose vintage jars, teacups, or tins to add a touch of nostalgia and charm to your creations. Alternatively, explore sleek and modern containers for a minimalist aesthetic.

Container Inspiration

  • Scour thrift stores, flea markets, or antique shops for unique and vintage containers.
  • Repurpose everyday items like mason jars, teacups, or wine bottles for a creative and eco-friendly approach.
  • Consider the container’s shape, size, and color when selecting the perfect match for your candle design.
  • Experiment with different container materials like glass, ceramic, or metal for varied textures and effects.

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Crafting as Self-Care

Candle making is not just a creative pursuit; it can also serve as a form of self-care and relaxation. The process of melting the wax, blending fragrances, and pouring the mixture into containers can be a meditative and therapeutic experience, allowing you to disconnect from the stresses of daily life and focus on the present moment.

Mindful Candle Making

  • Set aside dedicated time and space for your candle-making sessions, free from distractions.
  • Focus on your breath and the sensory experience of working with the wax, fragrances, and colors.
  • Incorporate affirmations or positive mantras into your process, infusing your candles with intention and positivity.
  • Embrace the creative journey, allowing yourself to experiment and explore without judgment.

Sharing the Joy

Share the joy of your creations by gifting homemade scented candles to loved ones. Infuse each gift with heartfelt thoughtfulness by tailoring the scents and designs to the recipient’s preferences. A handmade candle is a cherished present that conveys your care and creativity.

Gift-Giving Ideas

  • Personalize candles with the recipient’s favorite fragrance or color scheme.
  • Create a themed gift set, such as a spa-inspired collection or a cozy winter blend.
  • Package your candles beautifully with ribbons, tags, and handwritten notes.
  • Include a personal story or message about the inspiration behind the candle’s design or scent.

Turning a Hobby into a Business

For those with an entrepreneurial spirit, consider turning your passion for candle making into a profitable business venture. Sell your handcrafted creations at local markets, craft fairs, or online platforms, sharing your aromatic artistry with the world.

Starting a Candle Business

  • Research local regulations and licensing requirements for selling candles in your area.
  • Develop a unique brand identity and marketing strategy to set your candles apart.
  • Invest in high-quality packaging and labeling to create a professional and cohesive look.
  • Explore online marketplaces, social media platforms, or local retail opportunities to showcase and sell your candles.
  • Offer custom or personalized candle options to cater to individual preferences and occasions.

make homemade scented candles

Embrace the Art of Candle Making

The art of candle making is a journey that combines creativity, mindfulness, and the pursuit of crafting something truly unique and personal. By following this guide, you’ll not only learn the techniques and materials needed to create beautiful homemade scented candles but also discover a therapeutic outlet for self-expression and relaxation.

So, gather your materials, unleash your imagination, and let the soothing aromas and flickering flames of your homemade candles transform any space into a sanctuary of tranquility and comfort. Embrace the art of candle making and ignite your passion for this captivating craft.

Chloé Reynolds-Allen