do your own candle making

Candle Making Guide: How to Make Your Own Candles

Candle making is one of the most popular artisan handicrafts that allows craftspeople to experiment with various fragrances, molds, and colours. In our stressful society, many people love the calming ambiance of burning candles in their homes. Our candle making guide explains everything about creating unique candles for use at home or giving as gifts.

What is Candle Making?

Candle making, one of the world’s oldest arts, is also a science and utilizes various ingredients. It’s essential to choose components that ensure your success as a candlemaker. Types of candles include:

  • Container
  • Floating
  • Pillars
  • Specialty
  • Taper
  • Tealight
  • Votive

1. Container candles are an excellent project for anyone new to candlemaking. This type of candle is made by pouring wax into a glass container like a mason jar.

2. Floating candles are made with a round or tapered base that allows them to float on water.

3. Pillar candles have a cylindrical shape and are two to three inches in diameter. The candles can be of various heights and can be free-standing or used in a hurricane lamp.

4. Specialty candles don’t conform to traditional categories and can be carved, pyramid, square, or dome-shaped.

5. Tapers are slender, tall candles that taper at the top. They must be used with conventional candleholders and add a festive atmosphere to any celebration.

6. Tealights are short, tiny candles usually about one inch in height. The wax for tealights is poured into an aluminum or plastic container.

7. Votive candles are two to three inches in height, with a cylinder shape. Votives can be placed in glass containers or free-standing.

Brief History of Candle Making

Candlemaking is an ancient craft dating back as far as 3000 BC when Egyptians used bronze as candleholders. The Romans created dipped, tallow candles as far back as 500 BC. The Chinese made candles from whale fat during the Qin Dynasty. In India, temple candles were made by boiling cinnamon and using the wax. Supplies needed to make candles by early civilizations included pieces of rush plants and seed or insect oil. After paraffin was discovered during the 1800s, candles were primarily made of paraffin and stearic acid.

When machinery was invented in the 19th-century, candles were mass-produced faster than they could be created by hand. Production further declined when people started using electricity, and most people only used candles during power failures.
In the last few years, there’s been a resurgence in creating handcrafted items. Candlemaking is a favorite activity of craftspeople who love the unlimited options for creating unique, homemade candles.

Different Ways on How to Make Candles

Candle making for beginners can be overwhelming if you don’t follow directions carefully. The best way to learn is to take it a step at a time, and you’ll soon be creating candles you’ll be proud to display in your home, sell online, in a shop, or give as gifts.

Types of Wax

The first thing to know about candle wax is that some varieties are more difficult to scent than others. the type of wax you use is a personal preference. Paraffin is a good choice for someone new to the craft. Other candle waxes include:

  • Apricot
  • Beeswax
  • Blended
  • Coconut
  • Gel
  • Palm
  • Rapeseed
  • Soy

1. Apricot wax melts at a higher temperature than some other candle waxes that may cause holes in the wax as it cools. However, it does have a wonderful scent.

2. Beeswax has a natural scent and colour and can be more challenging to add fragrance to than some other waxes. However, some people prefer beeswax due to the natural scent.

3. Coconut wax is the choice of many candlemakers because of its scent. However, this wax is softer than some other varieties, so combining it with another resin makes the final product more firm.

4. Gel wax isn’t a wax since it’s composition is mineral oils and resins. However, it’s fun to experiment with and is easy to colour. If you choose gel wax to make your candles, make sure to use glass containers.

5. Palm wax is easy to put colour and fragrance in. However, this wax isn’t as popular as some other varieties because more people are concerned with the environment and sustainability.

6. Rapeseed is a natural wax that’s easy to colour. However, it isn’t easy to work with, so it isn’t recommended for beginners.

7. Soy wax has an unusual texture and burns for a long time. It can be more challenging to add fragrance to than some other varieties of wax. The maximum amount of fragrance is recommended to achieve the scent you want.


The scent throw refers to the amount of fragrance you want in your candle. When a scent is combined with hot wax, the fragrance is strong and is less intense when the wax cools. Two methods of scenting candles are using:

  • Essential Oils
  • Fragrance Oils

The difference between the two types of fragrance is that essential oils come from plants, and fragrance oils are created in a laboratory. The scent of fragrance oils is stronger than plant-based essential oils. A guideline for the amount of fragrance to add to candles is that the oils shouldn’t exceed 10 percent of the wax. If you want to combine oils to create a unique scent, fragrance oils can be purchased pre-blended. However, you must blend essential oils yourself.

Candle Dyes and Colours

Colouring candles takes some practice. The main thing is not to use too much of the color or dye because it may affect how well the candle burns or clog the wick. Color for candles is available as blocks, liquid, pigment, chips, and flakes. Liquid dyes are more comfortable for beginners to work with.

How To Make Candles At Home Step By Step

1. Candle making instructions for beginners should be followed precisely, or the result may not meet your expectations. You need a flat, clean surface. Set out all your supplies. If you don’t know how much wax you need for your project, measure water into the container, and subtract approximately 20 percent, which provides an exact amount.

2. Melt the wax. The candle wax temperature should be approximately 70 degrees celsius or 158 degrees Fahrenheit. The glasses or containers for the candles should be washed thoroughly and dried. The wicks can be attached to the inside of the glass with candle stick-ums. Dipping the wick into the melted wax, then adhering it to the inside of the candle glass, is another method. The wick should be placed in the middle of the glass and allowed to set. The best way to determine the temperature of the wax is to use a soap or candle making thermometer.

3. When the wax has reached the proper temperature, it’s time to add the candle dye. If you’re using chips, pigment, or flakes, empty the dye bag into the melted wax and stir until the colour is evenly distributed. Resin with a vegetable base may require more of the dye to achieve the colour you desire. When the colour is thoroughly mixed into the wax, remove it from the heat and cool to 65 degrees Celsius or 149 degrees Fahrenheit. Check again with a thermometer for candle making to ensure the wax is sufficiently cool and add the fragrance.

4. When the wax, colour, and fragrance are thoroughly mixed, and the wax is cooled sufficiently, pour into the candle glass. Remove from the heating pan and into a pouring jug. The wax should be poured slowly to avoid spilling. Move the wick out of the way while the wax is being poured. Move the wick back into the middle of the glass when all the wax is in the container. Approximately one cm should be left at the top of the glass.

5. Allow the wax to cool for 20 to 30 minutes. If there’s a hole near the wick, it’s part of the cooling process. A little leftover wax can be re-heated to 65 degrees Celsius and poured over the hole. Check the temperature again with the candle making thermometer before re-pouring.

Supplies Needed to Make Candles

The list of supplies includes wax, dyes, fragrance, glasses, and wicks. Additional supplies may consist of:

1. Double boiler for melting wax
2. Wax stirring utensils
3. Pouring jug
4. Wax thermometer
5. Wicks and centering tools
6. Stick-Ums
7. Scales

How Much Wax To Make A Candle?

Choose the wax you prefer. One pound of paraffin is equivalent to 20 ounces of melted wax. One pound of soy wax equals 18 ounces of liquid. An excellent way to determine amounts is to use a candle wax calculator.

At What Temperature Does Wax Melt?

The temperature at which candle wax melts depends on the wax you’re using. The melting point for paraffin is approximately 46 to 68 degrees Celsius or 115 to 154 degrees Fahrenheit. The melting point for soy wax ranges from 49 to 82 degrees Celsius or 120 to 180 degrees Fahrenheit.

General Tips When Making Homemade Candles

Make sure to use the right type of candle wax, wicks, containers, dyes, and fragrances for the candles you’re creating. Always use caution when working with melted wax, and don’t be discouraged if your first efforts aren’t what you expect. Candle making is a rewarding craft to learn and takes practice.

Final Thoughts

Learning a new craft is always satisfying. When you make your candles, you don’t have to buy a lot of expensive equipment, and you’ll have a unique creation that you’re proud of.