We love a good candle. And honestly, who doesn’t?
Whether you like the aesthetics of a tall table candle, a funky, chunky candle or a classic Yankee fragrance, candles come in enough shapes, sizes, colors and scents to keep our homes smelling just how we want them at all times.
The great news is that you can make your own candles right at home and, if you’re serious about it, you’ll never buy a candle ever again!
Here’s all you need to know about making your own candles, from the supplies you’ll need to the tips, tricks and methods used to make them just right.
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2,261 likes, 9 comments - candleapothecary on July 25, 2022: "Get a glimpse behind the scenes with candle maker @ovacollection 🤍 . . . #candles #candle #can..."
Easy DIY candle making methods
Materials and ingredients
- Wax: There are many different types of wax that can be used for candle making, including paraffin wax, soy wax and beeswax. Each type of wax has its own unique properties, so it is important to choose the right one for your specific needs.
- Fragrance oil: Fragrance oil is used to add scent to your candles. It is important to use only fragrance oils that are specifically designed for candle making (do not use essential oils!).
- Wicks: Wicks come in different sizes and materials like string and wood. The size and type of wick you choose will depend on the type of wax you are using and the size of your candle container.
- Dye (optional): Dye can be used to add color to your candles. It is important to use only dyes that are specifically designed for candle making.
- Heat-proof containers: You will need a heat-proof container to melt the wax and a heat-proof container to pour the melted wax into.
- Thermometer: A thermometer is used to measure the temperature of the wax. It is important to make sure that the wax is at the correct temperature before pouring it into the candle container.
- Double boiler: A double boiler is a safe and effective way to melt wax. You can use a large pot and a heatproof glass bowl, in a pinch.
- Wooden skewers: Wooden skewers can be used to stir the wax and to center the wick in the candle container.
- Clothesline pins: Clothesline pins can be used to hold the wick in place while the wax is cooling.
Candle Making Academy • Pillar Candle Course on Instagram: "It looks difficult right? In fact it’s a simple technique! Just pour in some coloured wax into white wax and stir 👩🍳 Amazing work and candles by @urbansoycandleco 🤍 Follow @candleapothecary for more candle tips and tricks 🙌🏼 . . . #candlemaking #candlebusiness #xmascandle #candletips #candlehacks #candletricks #soycandle #candleapothecary #candledecor #candletutorials #candlegifts #candletree"
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Making your candle
- Prepare your candle containers. Make sure they are clean and dry. If you are using glass containers, you may want to heat them in the oven at a low temperature (200 degrees Fahrenheit) for about 10 minutes to prevent them from cracking when you pour the hot wax.
- Measure your wax. You will need enough wax to fill your containers, plus a little extra to account for any spills. To measure the wax, fill your containers with water and then pour the water into a measuring cup. This is about how much melted wax you will need (which means you’ll need to measure a little more dry wax than that).
- Melt the wax. You can melt the wax in a double boiler or in a melting pot. If you are using a double boiler, fill the bottom pot with water and bring it to a simmer. Place the wax in the top pot and stir it occasionally until it is melted. If you are using a melting pot, simply follow the manufacturer's instructions. If you are melting the wax in a microwave, be careful not to overheat it or it will burn.
- Add your fragrance oil (optional). Once the wax is melted, remove it from the heat and add a few drops of fragrance oil, if you want to go down the scented route. Stir to combine.
- Add liquid dye (optional). If you want to color your candles, add a few drops of liquid dye to the melted wax and stir to combine.
- Place the wick. If you are using pre-waxed, tabbed wicks, simply center the wick in the container and press the tab to the bottom of the container. If you are using wooden wicks, you will need to use a wick holder to center the wick in the container. At this stage, the wick should be about 1 inch longer than the height of the candle container so it can be easily positioned while the wax cools.
- Pour the wax. Pour the melted wax into the containers, leaving about 1/2 inch of space at the top. Be careful not to overfill the containers, as the wax will expand as it cools.
- Allow the candle to cool and cure. Once the wax is poured, allow the candle to cool completely and cure for at least 24 hours before burning.
- Trim the wicks. Once the candles have hardened, trim the wicks to 1/4 inch.
- For a more even burn, trim the wick to 1/4 inch before each use.
- If you are using coloring, be sure to use a coloring that is specifically designed for candle making. Do not use food coloring, as it can clog the wick.
- If you are using fragrance oil, be sure to use a fragrance oil that is specifically designed for candle making. Do not use essential oils, as they can be flammable.
- Do not burn your candle for more than four hours at a time.
- Always burn your candle on a heat-resistant surface.
Making candles can be an incredibly creative process and can be very unique to everyone. Take some inspiration from your favorite scents, your favorite colors and your favorite materials to create something that is one-hundred-percent you!
A great place to start looking for inspiration is at your local craft or home goods store. There, you can find wall-to-wall candles of every scent and color imaginable, as well as plenty of easy-to-find materials like jars and dyes.
You can make your candles even more unique by thrifting your candle holders. An old glass jar or a funky mug make perfect candle holders, and you’re keeping the process more sustainable all the while! You can even re-melt old candles to create new ones!
Finally, the internet is full of millions of people who have done this process over and over again and are excited to share ideas, inspiration and tips. Browse through Pinterest, check out a how-to video or follow a candlemaker’s account. When life gives you the internet, make candles.
Here are just a few variations you can keep in mind as you think of ideas for your candle making journey.
- Scented candles: Add fragrance oil or essential oil to the melted wax to create scented candles.
- Colored candles: Add liquid dyes to the melted wax to create tie-dye and colored candles.
- Container candles: Use a variety of containers to create unique and stylish candles.
- Layered candles: Pour different colors of wax into the candle container to create a layered effect.
- Embellished candles: Add embellishments such as dried flowers, glitter, or beads to your candles (make sure they’re okay to burn first, of course).
- Candle glitter: Candle glitter can be added to melted wax to create a ✨sparkly✨ effect.
- Candle release spray: Candle release spray can be applied to the inside of the candle mold to make it easier to remove the candle once it has hardened.
- Hardening wax: Hardening wax can be added to soy wax to make it harder and more durable.
Candle Making Academy • Pillar Candle Course on Instagram: "A little reminder: Candle making takes time, dedication, the willingness to learn from setbacks and most importantly enjoyment of the process! And when you get it finally right, it’s the best feeling having crafted a beautiful handmade piece ✨ Do you want to learn how to create stunning pillar candles at home, without the cycle of trial and error that never seems to end? Tap my link in bio for more info about the online Pillar Candle Course 🙌 . . . #candlelight #candlebusiness #candlemakingacademy #candlecommunity #candletips #acrylicmoulds #candlemakingtutorial #candlemakingworkshop #pillarcandles #makingcandle #candleapothecary #candles #candlebusinessinthemaking #handpoured #handpouredcandles #candlesmaking #candletricks #candletutorial #pillarcandlemaking #pillarcandlecourse"
984 likes, 17 comments - candleapothecary on March 9, 2023: "A little reminder: Candle making takes time, dedication, the willingness to learn from set..."
Making your own candles has never been easier, so give it a try and see how you like it!
Featured photo courtesy Pixabay/EvaMichalkova