DIY mini pumpkin candles

Comfy & Cozy issue

Turn your gourds
into centerpieces!

Now that the kids are back in school, you can finally decorate your house in peace. With fall just around the corner, this means lots of sunflowers and branches, cinnamon sticks, pinecones and, of course, pumpkins. Although adding a few mini gourds to your fall tablescape is cute, why not kill two birds with one stone and feature these DIY pumpkin candles?

DIY pumpkin candles

Each candle is made from a carved-out gourd, so you still get that fall look you crave while giving the pumpkins another purpose! If you'd rather use plastic pumpkins (so they last longer), just be sure the plastic is thick enough to hold the hot wax. We chose to make these pumpkin candles cinnamon scented, but you can make them any scent you'd like or leave them unscented!

*NOTE: Because these are fresh gourds, they will only last about 3 weeks. For a longer lasting product, use a plastic or fake pumpkin/gourd.

materials needed for pumpkin candles

What you'll need:

  • Gourds and mini pumpkins
  • Sharp knife
  • Spoon
  • Wax flakes
  • Candle wicks
  • Candle scent
  • Spoon

Step 1: Carve your pumpkin

Using a sharp carving knife, cut off the top of the pumpkin or gourd.

Carving the gourd

Cut open cut gourd

Keep the top for decor purposes.

Step 2: Scoop out inside and clean

Using a spoon, scoop out all of the flesh from the inside of the gourds and pumpkins as well as the seeds.

Scooping out the seeds

Carved gourd/pumpkin

Carved gourds

Make sure the inside of the gourd is as clean as possible before you continue.

Step 3: Melt wax and add scent

In a large double boiler, heat wax over low heat.

Wax flakes in a double boiler

Stir the wax with a spoon while it melts and continue until wax is fully melted (and reaches about 160 degrees F).

Melted wax in a pot

Stir in drops of your chosen scent and mix well.

Adding scent to the melted wax

Remove from heat and let sit until thick (the consistency of a Slurpee).

Step 4: Fashion wick into the pumpkin

While the wax melts, fashion the wick into the pumpkin. Either glue or stick your wick (using an adhesive) into the center bottom of the pumpkin.

Wick at the bottom of a hallow gourd

We found that hot gluing it kept the wick from moving when the wax was added.

Wicks attached to the bottom of two gourds

Step 5: Carefully pour melted wax into the pumpkin

Holding the wick in place, carefully pour the hot wax into the pumpkins, filling about 2/3 to 3/4 full.

Pouring melted wax into the pumpkin

Gourd with wax and wick

Step 6: Let sit to harden

The pumpkin candles will need to harden for at least 24 hours before lighting.

Hardening wax in a hallowed out pumpkin

Keep them at room temperature or in a colder room to prevent the wax from remelting. Once wax has hardened, carefully cut the wicks so they are only slightly showing from above the rim of the pumpkin.

Cutting the candle wick

Then display and enjoy!

Finished DIY pumpkin candle

Traditional vs. Modern Thanksgiving

More fall DIY projects

DIY vintage paper leaf wreath
DIY fluffy burlap wreath
Make a fall welcome sign


Recommended for you


Comments on "DIY mini pumpkin candles"

OhClaire714 October 06, 2012 | 5:49 AM

I'm definitely going to try this for my Thanksgiving table. Seems like using a bit of melted wax to coat the cut edges of the gourd would help keep them looking fresher longer,too. :)

Gina September 18, 2012 | 12:47 PM

This is an excellent idea and I like that it’s so easy to make! I love decorating with gourds and mini pumpkins in the fall and I think the candle idea is ingenious. Jack o’lanterns are a little too over the top for me as I like for my fall decorations to be more mellow and subdued, so I like that there is something that I can do with mini pumpkins that is seasonal but which fits with my tastes. This article also made me think of the apple tutorial and I agree with Tina that combining pumpkins and apples would be very “fall.”

Tina September 18, 2012 | 10:32 AM

Very cute! There was a tutorial on the same type of thing but with apples. I like both ideas and think it'd be very "fall" to combine pumpkins and apples. Thanks for the guides!

+ Add Comment

(required - not published)