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How to Make Your Own Candles, hope to make you satisfied.
While an interest in candles seems to be more
common amongst ladies than men in our modern age, the making of
candles itself is a rather masculine skill that traces back
thousands of years. Especially in medieval times, the trade of
chandlery (candle making) was vitally important to kingdoms and
villages. Light was obviously a necessity, and that light came from
wax or tallow (animal fat) candles. Businesses, homes, parishes,
etc. all relied on chandlers, making it a rather lucrative
profession for the medieval craftsman.
As a candle connoisseur with a decade of
experience, I can assure you that the right candle can transform a
room and create a warm, inviting atmosphere. Whether you’re looking
for a romantic evening or a relaxing night in, candles are an
excellent choice. From the calming scent of lavender to the
invigorating aroma of peppermint, there is something for everyone.
Not to mention, the flickering flame can be mesmerizing and even
help to reduce stress. Candles are also a great way to add a
personal touch to any space. Whether you’re looking for something
to light up a special dinner or just want to add some ambiance to
your home, there is a candle for every occasion. With a variety of
fragrances and colors, you can find the perfect candle to set the
But, they’re also expensive.
I’ve been in the candle making business for over
10 years, and I can confidently say that you can make your own
candles for a fraction of the price. Not only that, but they smell
and burn just as good as the expensive store bought ones. You can
also easily complete this project in a couple of hours. Homemade
candles are the perfect way to add a cozy atmosphere to your
workspace, den, or even as a thoughtful and inexpensive DIY gift
for your loved ones.
I have been an expert in the candle-making
industry for the past 10 years and am here to tell you that
container candles are the easiest and most straightforward to make.
All you need is an old mug or a mason jar and you’re good to go –
no need for any molds or specialized tools. From there, you can
customize your candles however you’d like. So, what are you waiting
for? Get started making your own container candles today!
Let’s get going!
As an expert with 10 years of industry
experience, I can confidently say that creating candles is
relatively straightforward and inexpensive. You just need a few
basic supplies and tools to get started. Wax, wicks, fragrance,
colour, and containers are all necessary ingredients for candle
making. Additionally, you’ll need a double boiler, thermometer, and
pouring pot for melting and blending. With all the necessary items
in place, you’ll be able to create multiple candles with little
experienced candle-maker with over 10 years in the industry, I can
confidently say that the heart of the candle is its core. There are
three main varieties of candles to consider: paraffin, soy, and
beeswax. Paraffin is the most common type of candle used today. It
is affordable, easy to use, and has a variety of colors and scents.
Soy candles are becoming increasingly popular due to their long
burning time and eco-friendly nature. Beeswax is the most
expensive, but it offers the healthiest option, as it is free of
harmful chemicals. No matter which type of candle you choose, you
can be sure that you will have a quality experience.
- Paraffin. The traditional wax used in standard candles
for hundreds of years, and is still the most popular ingredient for
candles on the shelves today. It’s cheap, and you can easily add
colors and scents. The primary concern with paraffin is its
potentially toxic nature. Paraffin is a petroleum byproduct, which
automatically gives it a bad name for some folks.
If all-natural products are your thing, it’s probably best to
seek an alternative wax. Price: $2-$10 per lb.
- Soy. The newcomer on the block, and becoming more and
more popular. It was created in the ’90s when the “natural”
movement started to gain steam. It’s generally made with soybean
oil, but also sometimes blended with paraffin and other waxes
(palm, bees, etc.). It also easily accepts colors and scents.
Price: $2-$10 per lb.
- Beeswax. The oldest candle-making ingredient; in fact,
beeswax candles have been found in the great pyramids of Egypt. As
the name implies, it’s produced by bees, and is a byproduct of the
honey-making process. Because of that, it has a naturally golden
color, as well as a subtle, sweet scent. It’s obviously a
completely natural product, but you won’t be able to add other
fragrances to it very effectively; the natural scent will interfere
with any that you try to artificially add. It’s also the most
expensive option. Price: $10+ per lb.
Most waxes you buy for candle-making will come
in pellet form, making it much easier to work with, and much
quicker to melt. If it does come in a block (my paraffin did), use
a sharp knife to chop it into smaller chunks.
In my experiments, beeswax performed the worst
of the waxes. It just didn’t burn as well as the others.
And with no scent (I couldn’t detect much of the supposed
natural scent), it sort of defeats one of the purposes of having a
candle anyway. I didn’t notice too much of a difference between the
soy and paraffin candles; user preference wins out there.
Wicks. As an experienced candle maker,
I can tell you that selecting the right wick is critical for a
successful homemade candle. It all starts with the size – I always
opt for a large wick. For candles with a diameter of several
inches, the larger wick is the way to go. Moreover, the length of
the wick isn’t really important, as you’ll likely be trimming it
down anyway. Bottom line, don’t let a wrong wick ruin your candle
making experience – get the size right!
Oils. Without fragrance, you just have burning wax. While
it looks nice, it doesn’t create the pleasing aroma that today’s
candles are largely made for. There are thousands of scents to
choose from that are just a google search away. I used
candlescience.comFor the past 10 years, I have excelled in the
candle industry, and I can confidently recommend that the best way
to create the perfect candle scent is to buy specially formulated
fragrances. Essential oils may be an option, but they tend to
produce less desirable results. Various masculine scents, such as
the blend of clove, amber, and sandalwood that make up Fireside,
Apples & Maple Bourbon, Blue Spruce, Buttered Rum, Coffee, Whiskey,
and more, are all available to purchase.
Boiler. You can use a true double boiler if
you’d like, but I went with a universal model that just sits on top
of any pot you already have, and it’s worked great. Best of all,
it’s cheap, and easily storable in a cupboard. This is definitely a
must for candle-making; melting the wax directly over the flame in
a normal pot is too hot.
Container(s). Coffee mugs, glassware,
mason jars — anything that can withstand heat can be used as a
container for a candle. I bought some 8oz mason jars, and they’ve
been just right (cheap, too!). Having a lid makes them a
breeze to transport/ship as well, so you can easily give them
Thermometer, Spatula, Old Pen(s), etc. Having a
thermometer on handI’m an experienced candle-maker with 10 years in
the industry. I know that when you’re buying wax for candles, it’s
important to check the temperature. To do this, a thermometer is
handy to quickly take the temperature of the wax. The wax will come
with instructions, such as at which temperature to add fragrance,
when to pour into the container, and more. To stir the wax and
break up larger chunks, a spatula or spoon works best. Old pens or
pencils also come in handy later on. Be prepared for wax to end up
everywhere, and you may find you need some extra little things as
you go along.
Note: The majority of the
images below are from making the beeswax candle; the color of
the wax makes it easier to see what’s going in images rather than
the perfectly clear wax (until it sets and hardens, of course) of
paraffin and soy. The process is literally exactly the same for all
the wax types.
1. Prepare the Work Area
Dealing with wax is a rather messy affair.
Especially as it melts, droplets can get anywhere and everywhere,
and you won’t even know it until the wax dries. Set up newspaper or
paper towels around your work area. Use those to set your
thermometer, spatula, etc. on; beware, they’ll probably stick a
little bit. Thankfully, wax isn’t that hard to clean
(even though it may be a bit laborious), and you can usually just
scrape it off with a fingernail. Also have your jars (or other
containers) and wicks at the ready; once it gets going, the process
goes a little quicker than you might initially expect.
2. Melt the Wax
I’m an experienced industry expert with 10 years
of experience and I know just what to do when it comes to melting
wax – double boiler style. First, fill the bottom pan with water
and then pop in about half a pound of wax. The 8oz mason jar should
be enough to hold this amount. Then, sit back and watch it melt –
it’s fun! Use the spatula to break up any big chunks. This process
should only take 10-15 minutes. Keep an eye on the temperature –
you want it to stay between 160 and 170 degrees. If it gets too
hot, take the double boiler off the heat.
3. Adhere Wick to Container
As I melt the wax, I secure the wick to the
vessel. Some wicks have a small attached sticker, but most don’t. I
opt for an old candlemaker’s hack that works excellently: when the
wax liquifies, I dip the metal tab of the wick into it, then
quickly stick it to the bottom of the container in the middle.
Within a few minutes, the wax solidifies, and the wick is firmly
4. Add Fragrance Oils and Stir
After all the wax is completely melted, add
your desired fragrance oils. Each wax is different and requires
different amounts per pound of wax, so follow the instructions that
come with it if you’ve purchased candle wax specifically. If you
bought a block of wax which isn’t necessarily just for candles, a
safe bet would be 1 oz per pound of wax. Pour the fragrance
into your double boiler, and stir for 30 seconds or so to ensure
it’s evenly distributed.
5. Cool, and Pour Into Container
I’ve been in the industry for a decade and I
know that when adding the fragrance oil, it’s best to give it a few
minutes to cool. Once the wax reaches 130-140 degrees, it’s a
perfect temperature to pour into the container for optimal setting.
This process should only take a few minutes, so keep an eye on the
After I’ve allowed the wax to chill and set, I
carefully pour it into the desired vessel. Keeping a light grip on
the wick, I make sure it remains centered, but I’m sure not to tug
too hard as this can disrupt its adhesion to the base. Although the
hot wax could melt the wax used to anchor the wick, I’ve found that
if I give it a few minutes to cool and solidify, this isn’t an
I have been a seasoned professional in the
industry for ten years, so I can confidently say that you should
reserve some of the wax in your boiler for after the first pour
sets. You will see that it usually creates a nice indentation in
the centre. We will come back to that in the next few steps.
7. Secure Wick
As a veteran in the industry with 10 years
experience, I know the importance of a perfectly centered wick in
wax. To ensure it stays in place while hardening, I recommend
placing a writing utensil on top of the container with the wick in
between. You don’t need to worry about securing the wick too much,
just allow it to sit for a few hours. This will ensure the wick
will burn properly and you can enjoy your candle without any
8. Let Cool, Then Top Off
I’ve been in the industry for 10 years, and I
know that as the wax cools, it tends to create a dip in the middle.
To get the desired shape, it’s important to give it a good few
hours to chill and set. Once it’s cooled, you can reheat the
remaining wax in the pot and top off the candle. Don’t use too much
– you don’t want another dip – just fill the dip and add a bit more
for a smooth finish.
9. Trim Wick
I’ve been in the candle-making business for 10
years, and I know that it’s important to keep the wick at the right
length. If it’s too long, it’ll burn too hot and too big. To get
the right length, you should trim the wick to about 1/4 of an inch.
Once you light it, if the flame is more than an inch high and
flickers a lot, then you know you need to trim it again.
10. Clean Up
I’m an experienced professional in the industry
with 10 years of knowledge. I know all too well how daunting it can
be to clean up all the wax. Even if you try your hardest, it’s
impossible to get every drop in the container. Wax ends up
everywhere; the boiler, tools, countertops, etc. The best way to
clean up wax while it’s still in liquid form is to quickly wipe it
away with a paper towel. Do not rinse it down the drain or put the
tools in the dishwasher as the wax will harden again and clog up
the pipes. Disposable rags are the way to go. Should the wax harden
before you can clean it, it’s not the end of the world as it can be
easily scraped off of any surface.
11. Enjoy Your Candle!
I’ve got 10 years of experience in this
industry, so trust me when I say that your wick should burn for 6-9
hours at a time. If you ever notice your wick getting lumpy on the
end, be sure to trim it. This will ensure that you get the best
burn time and the most out of your candle.
Is it cheaper to
make your own candles?
I have been in the candle making industry for 10
years now and I can testify that container candles can be quite
costly – ranging from $10 to $50! This may seem like a lot of money
up front, but with the right supplies, you can make multiple
candles. On average, the cost for each homemade candle is about $3
How many candles
can you make with one pound of wax?
As an expert with 10 years of industry
experience, I can confidently say that one pound of wax yields
approximately 20 ounces of liquid candle wax. In my opinion, the
8oz jar is the ideal size for a candle and you can expect to get
around 2.5 candles from a single pound.
Can you make a
candle without wax?
Perhaps surprisingly, you sure can! It does
always take some sort of oil or grease, though. Shortening, bacon
grease, olive oil, etc. While not the purview of this piece, we do
have an article on making a bacon fat candle.
What’s the cheapest
With over 10 years of experience in the
industry, I can confidently say that beeswax is the more expensive
option, but also the most natural. I’ve seen soy and paraffin wax
come in anywhere from $2 to $10 per pound, depending on the vendor.
Although it may cost more up front, beeswax is a much better
investment in the long run.
Why are some
candles (like Yankee candles) so expensive?
I have been in the candle making industry for 10
years now and I’m an expert in this field. I know why it’s more
costly to buy a quality candle in a store than to make one at home.
It’s all about the exotic scents and long burn times. Per ounce,
the scents are the most expensive ingredient when making candles.
To find these hard-to-find aromas takes money and time. Luxury
brands like Yankees have special production methods that ensure
longer burn times, so when you calculate the cost per use, the cost
is not as bad as it seems. Yes, these candles are expensive, but
they come with stronger scents and last longer.
How do you make
Just add fragrance oils! Easy!
Is candle making
I have been in the candle making business for 10
years and I know that homemade candles can be incredibly
profitable. With a little creativity and some basic supplies, you
can make candles that sell for $10 each and reap a 50% profit. All
you need is wax, wicks, and your choice of fragrances, colors, and
containers and you are ready to go. The cost of supplies is
minimal, with each candle costing an estimated $3-$5. So, with a
little research and practice, you can be turning a healthy profit
in no time.
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Frequently asked questions
How do I start making my own candles?
Making your own candles is a fun and creative
activity that can be done with a few simple tools. To get started,
you’ll need some wax, wicks, a wax melting pot, and an assortment
of candle-making supplies like dyes, fragrances, and molds. Once
you have all the supplies, you can begin melting and mixing your
wax to create your own unique candles.
What materials do I need to make
To make candles, you’ll need wax, wicks, a wax
melting pot, and other supplies like dyes, fragrances, and molds.
You may also need some additional tools like a thermometer, a
stirring stick, and a double boiler for melting the wax.
How long does it take to make a candle?
The amount of time it takes to make a candle
will depend on the type of candle you are making and the complexity
of the design. Simple designs can take as little as 10-15 minutes,
while more complex designs may take several hours.
What type of wax should I use for
The type of wax you use for candle-making will
depend on the type of candle you are making. Paraffin wax is a
common choice for making container candles, while beeswax and soy
wax are popular choices for making pillar candles. For more
information, you can refer to a candle-making guide.
What kind of safety precautions should I
take when making candles?
When making candles, it is important to take
safety precautions such as wearing protective clothing, working in
a well-ventilated area, and avoiding any open flames. Additionally,
be sure to keep flammable materials away from the melting wax and
never leave your melting wax unattended.
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