How to Make Candles at Home

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Learn how to make candles using basic supplies, like wax, wicks and essential oils. This is the best guide for beginners!

I adore the process of making candles. There is something almost magical about taking pieces of wax and melting them down to pour into a vessel. Not to mention that homemade candles make a wonderful gift for family and friends.

Once you try this simple DIY, you’ll fall in love with learning how to make candles, too.

FYI: This is how to make candles last longer.

What Is the Best Wax for Making Candles?

There are many types of wax to use to make candles:

Soy Wax

I like to use natural soy wax. It is a slow-burning, all-natural (made from soy beans) wax, free of additives and chemicals.

Paraffin Wax

Paraffin wax is a widely used option that’s also incredibly affordable. Paraffin wax will take on more scent (if added) and color.

Beeswax

This wax is all-natural, too. It’s made by bees during the honey-making process. It has an almost sweet honey smell to it when it burns, so I don’t add scent to beeswax candles.

How to Make Candles

candle making supplies on a white kitchen countertopSara Albers for Taste of Home

Tools You’ll Need

  • Soy candle wax – the material your candle will be made of
  • Pouring pitcher – to hold the pieces of wax while it melts
  • Pan – to hold the heated water that will help the wax melt
  • Bamboo skewers – used for stirring the melted wax
  • Essential oils – which will give your candle fragrance
  • Vessels (like glass jars) – the container that holds your final candle
  • Candle wicks – for burning the candle
  • Popsicle sticks – for holding the wick in place

Editor’s Tip: Love a store-bought candle’s vessel? You can reuse it! This is how to get candle wax out of a jar.

Directions

Step 1: Prep your vessel

Choosing a vessel for a homemade candle is almost as fun as making the candle itself. You want to select a heat-resistant glass jar. You can reuse thicker glass jars. You can also buy jars and other vessels at the craft store or on Amazon. If you are reusing an old jar or candle container, make sure it’s clean and dry.

Step 2: Melt wax

top view of melting wax on a hot plateSara Albers for Taste of Home

We used Hearts & Crafts soy wax to make these candles. To melt the wax, add a few inches of water to a metal pan and heat on the stove. Place the pouring pitcher in the pan with wax in the pitcher. Stir often with a bamboo skewer.

How much wax do I need? A good rule of thumb is that you will need enough wax flakes to fit in the vessel about two times. Once melted, it will pour into the vessel nicely.

Step 3: Add scent

two different fragrance oils on a white kitchen counterSara Albers for Taste of Home

Once the wax is melting, you can add fragrance. I have this set of essential oils for candlemaking. You can use good-quality essential oils or candle fragrance. Add about 8-10 drops of fragrance to the wax. Stir with a bamboo skewer.

Step 4: Add wick

side by side of two different candle wick options, on the left there is a pink jar with a hand holding a wooden wick, on the right there is a clear jar with a hand holding a standard wax wickSara Albers for Taste of Home

Standard candle wicks come with a flat metal bottom. Dip that metal part into the melted wax to “adhere” it to the bottom of the jar. Hold the wick until it stands up straight on its own. You can also use a wood wick and holder.

Step 5: Pour wax

pouring melted wax into a clear glass candle jarSara Albers for Taste of Home

Now it is time to pour the wax! Pour the wax into the vessel. Make sure to stop an inch or so from the top. If the wick starts shifting, hold the wick in place with a wooden wick holder.

Step 6: Allow candle to set

The candle will need to set or harden overnight. Trim the wick with small scissors or a wick trimmer. (It’s one of the candle accessories we can’t live without!)

Editor’s Tip: Is the top of your candle bumpy? Here’s how to smooth a candle surface.

FAQs About Making Your Own Candles

a homemade candle on a stack of three books with a vase of yellow flowersSara Albers for Taste of Home

Is it cheaper to make your own candles?

It can be! You can find a whole candle making kit on Amazon for under $25. That’s going to be less expensive than a nice candle at a high-end shop.

Can I make my own candle wick?

You can! I follow the steps from Just Crafting Around. You’ll need 100% cotton rope, vegetable oil and scissors.

How do I make candles with a stronger scent?

Using good quality essential oils is key. It helps to use paraffin wax for stronger scents, too.

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Sara Albers
Alice & Lois is a popular DIY and lifestyle blog run by twin sisters, Sara Albers and Melissa Fenlon. Sara calls the fairytale city of San Francisco home and Melissa calls the beautiful mountain town of Crested Butte, Co home. Together they create and inspire others with their creative projects and photography. Their blog was named a Top 10 DIY blogs by BHG in 2015 & 2016! Domino has named Alice & Lois a DIY blog to follow the past two years!