How To Make Orange Peel and Olive Oil Candles

Orange Peel Candles: the perfect camping activity.  Make a candle out of just 2 items, an orange and some olive oil. 
Orange Peel Candles: the perfect camping activity make a candle out of just 2 items, an orange and some olive oil. 

This fun camping hack is sure to impress.  Make an orange peel candle with only 2 ingredients:  an orange peel and some olive oil.  Yes it really works.  It looks great at night, and the smell of the orange is great too.  It only takes a few easy steps to create.  We made our candles on a camping trip and used the candles around the campfire at night.  This would be a really fun craft during the holiday season too.  It uses all natural elements, and look really beautiful as it burns.

This craft only needs two materials.  No need for paraffin wax, or natural soy wax, or a double boiler, or cotton wick for this easy craft.  These natural candles are made with just regular zesty mandarin orange peels and olive oil.  With these all natural ingredients they are naturally lead-free wicks, and even cleaner than soy candles, soy wax blend or beeswax candles.

Olive Oil

This is a wonderful all natural craft.  Olive oil was used in ancient oil lamps.  It is a clean burning fuel, and it doesn’t spread toxins into the air as it burns.  It is odourless and smokeless and makes a great fuel for our orange peel candles.  Each orange peel candle should give you a burn time of about 3-4 hours, depending on the oranges size.


We used oranges as the container for our candles.  One trick is you must cut the orange in half in the right direction.  The orange stem in the center of the orange becomes the natural wick for the candle.  You must slice your candle so that the orange stem wick is in the center.  Notice  a small round circle on the outside of the orange where it attached to the orange tree, this is where the orange stem that we used for the candle wick is, so let it guide in which direction to slice the orange.

You can use any oranges for your orange candle.  An orange with good thick orange rinds works well.  You can also experiment with different kinds of citrus peel like grapefruit, lemons, or limes.  Different citrus fruits will give you slightly different scents from the natural essential oils in their peels.  And when you’re all done with them, they can go into the compost bin.

Orange peel candle

Orange Peel Candles

Orange Peel Candles
Active Time 15 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes


  • orange
  • olive oil


  • knife
  • lighter


    1. Cut your orange in half and scoop out the flesh, being careful not to damage the white middle stem. This is really important, because the stem will become your candle wick.
    2. Pour olive oil into the half of the orange, letting it flow over the white stem. Try to get the stem as saturated as possible, maybe even let it sit for awhile.
    3. Light the stem and enjoy your candle.
how to make a candle out of an orange peel


I found it kind of hard to light the wick for the first burn.  

We tried different oil, but the olive oil seemed to work best.  

I had a good bbq lighter, and just kept it on hoping it would light…it would light and then go out.  I tried to trim wicks but that didn’t help.  So, I kept re-lighting it with my lighter, until my lighter run out of lighter fluid.  

My friend poured a small amount, like a spoonful, of lamp oil from a lantern over the wick and it lit very easily.  So if you have lamp oil it might work great.

My sweet friend drove to the camp store for a new lighter.  The orange had been sitting with the oil at this point for about 20 min.  I tried again and after a min. or two it lit and stayed lit the rest of the night.  Sweet success.  

If you’re having trouble you may need to let your olive oil sit a little longer so that the stem wick can soak up the oil through capillary action.  It’s best to make these a few hours before you want to make them.  

Orange peel candles

The orange candles are super cool looking as they burn.  Activities like this are such good things to do on a camping trip.  It was totally a fun hanging out around the campfire kind of an activity.  These would also be gorgeous inside as beloved year-round candles.  They make a lovely orange-spiced fall candle.  They’re especially nice as a winter favorite at Christmas time.  Arranged them with some dried orange slices for the holidays and enjoy the natural fragrances of the orange zest.  No need for a tea light, wax melts, or orange essential oil when you have an olive oil and orange candle to enjoy.

how to make Orange peel candles

With a homemade orange peel candle lighting up the night, life really is a party!

More Camping Inspiration

You might also like our Campfire Cinnamon Rolls here.

Also check out our Campfire Paninis here.

Campfire Paninis: make your own DIY campfire paninis press with a foil covered flat rock and enjoy a campfire panini in the woods.

You might also enjoy our Campfire Muffins here.

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