How to Make Candles

Not only is candle making highly rewarding, there are several benefits that might surprise you:

  • The biggest benefit has to be money saved! Fancy candles can be expensive, especially those with nicer fragrances. Buying supplies in bulk means you can also make candles as presents for family and friends. Plus there are lots of candle making kits to make it super simple.
  • Leading on from the first point, making your own candles can lead to a handy home business. Selling at craft fairs, to friends etc can lead to greater opportunities. All you need is a little business acumen and some storage space at home.
  • Family projects are always needed to keep children busy on the weekends, especially on rainy days! Making candles is a cheap, indoor activity that can suit any age range.
  • Recycling is all the rage nowadays. Are you into eco-friendly living? A lot of people do recycle old bottles and jars which are then broken down; upcycling your old jars into candles is a great way of saving waste and landfill space.

If you’re thinking of starting the awesome task of making candles, you might be wondering what type of candle to make. Just so you know, there are a few to choose from.

How To Make Candles: A Step by Step Guide

  1. Set up the candle wicks. To do this buy the correct sized wick for whichever jar you’re using. Lay the metal piece flat against the bottom of your container. Pull the wick upwards and keep it over the glass. This needs to be done in case it gets into the melted wax, then you have a massive problem! To get the wick in place correctly you can either tape the end over the glass or use chopsticks/lolly sticks.
  2. Measure out the wax accurately using a measuring jug. A rough approximation would be using 2x wax flakes for each container. For example, if you’re using a 10 ounce container, measure out 20 ounce of wax flakes. Fill your saucepan half way with water, add in your jug of measured flakes.
  3. Make sure the water isn’t high enough to splash into the jug when it starts to boil. Once boiling, turn the heat to medium and keep stirring the wax flakes until completely melted. You can attend to other jobs while the wax is melting but never leave it unattended for too long.
  4. When the wax has completely melted, it’s time to add any colors, scents of spices you wish your candle to have. If you’re using color blocks, the heat will melt the blocks very quickly. Crayons will melt slower and will take more stirring to fully mix them in. Be aware the color will look quite dark when melting in the pot, it will lighten up when cooled.
  5. A way to test the color is to drip a small amount of the wax onto a paper plate or towel. When it has hardened, you will get a more accurate idea of what the finished candle color will be. When adding essential oils, do one drop at a time. You often find the scent will be overwhelming if you add even one more drop than necessary.
  6. Once the wax has completely melted, it’s time to pour! Keep a steady hand, don’t let your nerves get to you. Line up your containers ready to go. Pour the wax into each container carefully, if you do it too fast the wax will splash up the sides and ruin the look of your candle. Also make sure you don’t fill the container up past the widest part, unless it’s a tureen jar.
  7. Choose a space where the candles can be left alone to cool. This can usually take up to 3 or 4 hours to be cooled and solidify.

Candle Making FAQs

How do I remove my candle from the mold?

If you have used a mold you might be wondering how to remove the new candle from it. The easiest way of removing the mold is to let the candle cool completely. This should take around 4 to 5 hours until it is cool enough to touch. Turn the mold upside down and tap the bottom lightly for a few minutes. You should shake the mold gently and run your fingertips over the bottom. If this isn’t enough to loosen the candle, try tugging on the wick gently. DO NOT pull hard! You might rip the wick which would ruin all your hard work.​

How soon can I use my home made candle?

In candle making there is a process called ‘curing’. This is the chemical process for the wax and oils to bind together. You should allow the candle to ‘cure’ fully before lighting the candle as you can get unwanted scents if done too early. Most people will advise to wait at least 24 hours to light a paraffin candle and roughly a week before lighting a soy candle!

What about air bubbles?

Air bubbles! These are a pain and can cause your wonderful smooth candle to look less than perfect. To prevent these from happening, you should try and raise the pouring temperature of the wax. For safety reasons don’t let the temperature get over 205F. We don’t want any burnt fingers!

How can I keep the candle wick intact?

Along with using chopsticks/lollypop sticks to keep the wick intact, try using a clothespin. Most households have one and it is one of the most popular methods to keeping the wick tall.

How can I clean a jar thats previously been used for a candle?

To reuse a jar that has had a candle in before, you need to clean it completely of flakes. A good tip is to put the jar in the freezer overnight. In the morning take it out and shake it, tap it and give it a good whack. Place it in hot soapy water and leave for a few hours. This should clear the jar of flakes.

My candle is too smokey! What happened?

Smoking candles can happen if the wick hasn’t been trimmed and is too long. It can also happen if you’ve added too many oils and colors.

Can I put my new candle in the fridge to cool it down?

No, never try to cool the candles in the fridge or freezer! This can cause cracks in your candle which makes them impossible to give as a present.

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