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{DIY Tutorial} Homemade Hostess Gift: All-Natural Candle & Cleaners

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all natural candles and cleaners - hostess gift set

Designer Jen St. Clair from Little Sprout Creations is here with a fantastic HANDMADE GIFT TUTORIAL today! These All Natural Mandarin Mint Candles and Cleaning Sprays are wonderfully creative ideas for homemade hostess gifts, housewarming presents, and more. After reading about the all-natural cleaning sprays below (and seeing how easy they are to mix up), I’m actually excited just to try this “recipe” out in our own house too!

Jen also designed some super stylish labels & gift tags for each item that include the ingredient lists, and is generously including the labels as FREE PRINTABLE downloads with the tutorials below. Thanks, Jen! :)


DIY DETAILS, as told by Jen

Finding that perfect, original gift is tough. Finding that perfect, original gift while trying to keep within your holiday budget? Even tougher. Homemade gifts are a great way to give unique gifts and save money, and today we’ll show you how to make a great gift AND help you make it into a picture perfect presentation with free printable labels!

This all-natural, mandarin-mint scented cleaning set is a perfect choice for your holiday hostess, that friend who just moved into her dream house, your daughter’s violin teacher.  The set includes an all-natural window and mirror cleaner, an all-natural countertop spray, a soy wax candle, organic cotton towels and sweet mandarin oranges, all tucked into a cozy basket.

I have to admit, I didn’t think that all-natural cleaners would really work. At least not as well as windex, or or my clorox countertop spray.  But after trying a natural window cleaner recipe from a friend, I’m a believer.  I tested windex and the all-natural blend side by side, on a toddler fingerprinted window, and seriously, I think the all-natural blend worked better! Plus, it smelled much better, and is much safer for use around my curious toddlers. Over the last year, I’ve played around with the ingredient amounts, and the recipes below work best for me.


all natural cleaners - homemade gift idea

All-Natural Mandarin Mint Mirror & Window Cleaner

12 oz spray bottle (Mine are from The Container Store.)
3/4 cup vinegar
3/4 cup water
1/4 cup rubbing alcohol
1/2 tsp liquid dish detergent
3 drops of mandarin orange/tangerine/sweet orange essential oil (check out AuraCacia essential oils, which are also available at Whole Foods and other natural stores)
3 drops of peppermint essential oil

Mix well before each use to avoid streaks.
Add more or less (or different type of) essential oil depending on your scent preferences.
Use newspaper instead of paper towels for an incredible, streak-less clean.  It’s true!


All-Natural Mandarin Mint Countertop Spray

12 oz spray bottle (Mine are from The Container Store.)
– 3/4 cup vinegar
3/4 cup water
1/2 tsp liquid dish detergent
10 drops of mandarin orange/tangerine/sweet orange essential oil (AuraCacia essential oils available at Whole Foods and other natural stores)
10 drops of peppermint essential oil

Mix well before each use to avoid streaks.
Add more or less (or different type of) essential oil depending on your scent preferences.


all natural wax candle - homemade gift idea

All-Natural Mandarin Mint Soy Candle

natural soy wax “for container candles”  (I love cargill’s c-3 naturewax.)
standard wicks  (This pack from candlewic is great.)
– mandarin orange/tangerine/sweet orange essential oil  (AuraCacia essential oils available at Whole Foods and other natural stores.)
– peppermint essential oil
jar  (For this batch, I used a sampling of hermetic jars from The Container Store, and some cleaned-out food jars.)
melting pot (You can get a standard wax pot from any craft supply store, or simply use an old sauce pot. Depending on what oils you use though, be careful about reusing the pot for cooking, as some oils are toxic when ingested.)


homemade candle - diy tutorial images

Get a large pot of water boiling on your stove.

Fill your melting pot with wax chips.

Hold melting pot in boiling water, as if you’re melting chocolate.

Stir wax occasionally.  As it starts to melt, you can add more wax chips in (depending on how many candles you’re making.)  For stirring, I use the non-business end of a wooden spoon.

Within about 5 minutes, your wax should be nearly melted.  The wax will go from solid chips, to a cloudy-chunky mixture, to a completely clear, yellow-tinted liquid.

Add your oils – keep smelling until it’s the concentration that you’d like.

Grab your wicks, place them into your jars, and pour in the wax.  To hold the wicks in place, I typically wrap the “lighting” end of the wick around a skewer and lay the skewer across the lip of the jar.

Allow your candles to set.  This usually takes about 30 minutes to an hour, depending on the size of your jar.

Trim your wicks – i usually trim mine to about 3/4”-1”.

Add your gorgeous label (we’ll design and print some for you!)

Place near your nose, smell, and enjoy your hard work.



Once you’ve made your all-natural cleaners and candle, it’s time to get them prettied up for giving.  Print our free printable labels (with list of ingredients and ‘to & from’ text areas!) onto full sheet labels or cardstock. (Find links to download below.)  Glossy or waterproof labels will help ensure that cleaner droplets won’t make your ink run during use.  I’m a huge fan of Labels by the Sheet.

CANDLE LABELS: Click to download in PDF or JPEG.

free printable lables for homemade candles

CLEANER LABLES: Click to download in PDF or JPEG format.free printable labels for all natural cleaners

For the perfect presentation, fill a small basket with excelsior (container store has both), and tuck the cleaners and candle inside, padded with either an organic cotton towel, or a few natural, biodegradable sponges.  For the sponges, twist brand is great & available at Whole Foods. Tuck in a few mandarin oranges to complete the set, and attach our included ‘Handmade with love’ gift tag (included on the candle label printable).


P.S. Have other homemade gifts you’d like custom labels for?  At Little Sprout Creations, we use our passion for graphic design & handcrafted paper goods to turn your idea seedlings into blossoming celebrations, complete with invitations, decorations, favors, and more. Contact us for information.

HWTM Readers get 10% OFF in the Little Sprout Creations shop with the promo code: HOSTESS10!”


  1. Jennifer December 9, 2011 at 8:14 am

    Love this! It’s the perfect addition to a housewarming gift-basket of homemade goods I’m making for my sister-in-law. But, is anyone else having trouble with the PDFs? Both links open up the candle labels for me…

    • jenn s. December 9, 2011 at 8:47 am

      You’re right – thanks for pointing that out! I just updated the Cleaner Label PDF to the correct URL – it should work for you now. Sorry about that! :)

  2. Daneilia December 9, 2011 at 10:00 am

    This is awesome…definitely way better than harsh chemicals. We try to use everything all natural in our house ;)

  3. Al December 9, 2011 at 10:23 am

    This is such a practical gift idea. It will certainly be a welcome addition to any hostess’ home. Citrus is always such a fresh scent too :)

  4. Gail December 15, 2011 at 5:34 pm

    I ran out of counter spray tonight and didn’t feel like going to the store so I tried your recipe for the counter spray. WOW! Works better than store bought. I love it. I will never ” buy ” it again. The scent I used was clean linen. Thank you!!!

  5. Jennifer Woods December 16, 2011 at 9:08 pm

    Such a fan of these recipes that don’t include weird stuff I wouldn’t have at home already. I’m also a citrus mint gal all the way. Thanks for posting this! I’m totally making a home stash (especially the candles) when I can gather some time after the holidays.

  6. Lori Winfree January 30, 2012 at 3:40 pm

    I am having trouble with the .jpg for the cleaner – it keeps bringing up the .jpg for the candle. Love this!!

  7. Ann February 20, 2012 at 10:35 pm

    Yep, it’s the candle image, not the cleaner one. Here’s the URL that I get…


  8. Rachel May 5, 2012 at 9:17 am

    I accidently made the one for the windows…can I still use on the countertops??

  9. Juiny C. June 28, 2012 at 9:13 pm

    It’s no harm to try and make some eco-friendly products. It’s too good to be true that some of the DIY recipes are pretty simple but still effective. For instance, rolling a beeswax candle can be done in just a few minutes. You can burn it for yourself or give them to friends or family as a gift. I’ll love to share the recipe at http://3beeswaxcandles.blogspot.com/2012/05/easiest-way-to-make-beeswax-candle.html

  10. Lisa July 3, 2012 at 6:15 am

    I love this gift idea! Would you mind sharing what size jars you used? And, do you know how much wax it takes to fill one jar? I’m going to order the supplies and I need a rough estimate so I do under/over buy. Thanks!

  11. lori ann larmand September 26, 2012 at 6:19 pm

    curious….maybe i missed this before, but why are the oils now crossed out in the directions? help?

    • jenn s. September 27, 2012 at 6:49 am

      Hi Lori – It looks like they changed the URLs of those products in their shop… links get crossed out when the pages they were originally linked to no longer there. You can visit the entire store here to check out everything that’s available: https://www.auracacia.com/ and I will go ahead and update the links in the post. Thanks for the heads up! :)

  12. Felicia Goodfellow October 6, 2012 at 6:10 pm

    Love these, and they seem really simple to make!

  13. Ashley October 8, 2012 at 6:56 pm

    Hi quick question while looking through the instructions regarding the oils. Are you using 3 different essential oils? And if so 3 drops of each? I hope you can clarify for me.

  14. Alexis August 7, 2013 at 8:48 pm

    Love the recipes and labels, I just would love to know where you bought the spray bottles????

  15. skalbiniu minkstikliais March 21, 2014 at 5:45 am

    Talking about candles it is amazing recipe, but cleaner… I don’t think so.. Do you believe it will help you to clean all these bacteria? I do not think so :) From my side I can only recommend you this line of products- deutsche Reiniger , they seem for me better that others :)

  16. Melissa Rochefort Herman April 23, 2014 at 1:47 pm

    Could you use castile soap instead of dish detergent in the countertop spray?

  17. Kim May 8, 2014 at 8:07 am

    Is it 3 drops of each oil or do you use just one oil.

  18. Lizzy Johnson December 11, 2014 at 5:53 am

    You have amazing ideas! Have you ever learn chemistry or something like this because you know a lot about all of the ingredients int he cleaners. Thanks a lot for sharing with us!

  19. visit website February 4, 2015 at 6:01 am

    lavender and tea tree oil are the most potent as far as antibacterial properties go. That’s why I use them in particular so much. However, many of the essential oils are antibacterial, as that’s how they work in nature to protect plants from disease. Other good ones are eucalyptus, lemon, and orange. But tea tree oil really packs the most!

    Best regards! Sands End Carpet Cleaners Ltd.

  20. our website February 5, 2015 at 6:53 am

    I love reading DIY articles and this one is really useful! I can make my own cleaner and candle which I could give as a present. Thanks for sharing!Becontree Heath Carpet Cleaners Ltd.

  21. Cynthia Ahner March 25, 2015 at 6:55 am

    seem really simple i will be make!!

  22. Jolie June 8, 2015 at 10:49 am

    I love all of the orange scents this place has! I always make soaps with the Orange -Ginger scent: http://www.candlewic.com/candle-making/candle-scents/candle-scents/page.aspx?id=1382&utm_content=2015-06-11-093013

  23. Jolie June 22, 2015 at 8:32 am
  24. Jolie June 22, 2015 at 8:35 am

    Check out this company, Candlewic – they have awesome scents and candle wax too!! http://www.candlewic.com/candle-making/candle-making/page.aspx?id=1381

  25. Janine Paterson November 11, 2015 at 4:33 am

    Totally love this idea! I have few recipes for cleaning solutions and often recommend them to friends and clients, could never think of making a gift set.Tis will be a great surprise for my guests for coming holidays and for few regular clients too. Thank you so much for the inspiration! Jenine from http://fulhamcarpetcleaners.org.uk/ :)

  26. Giselle Giselle June 20, 2016 at 12:35 pm

    Hi, I’ve made this recipe and have noticed that after a few weeks my spray bottle stops working. I have tried different brands of spray bottles and each time the same thing happens. I am wondering if anyone has had this issue and how they fixed it? Thanks :)

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