Candles instantly make any space cozier. But a good candle can run upwards of $15 to $20. And that can get very expensive if you are like me and have candles burning at all times in the house.
But, I am here to share with you that you can make candles at home. And this DIY project is good for beginners or veteran crafters.
Not only is making candles at home a great eco-friendly option, but you can also create your own custom scents and invite your friends over to make a night out of it.
Homemade candles make great gifts, and you know your family members actually enjoy the gift when they ask you to make more candles every year!
Here are 8 easy steps to make candles at home.
Organize Your Supplies
Most likely, you do not already have all of the candle making essentials at home, so you will need to do a little shopping.
Candle Making Supply List
- Soy Wax
- Candle Wicks
- Essential Oils
- Chopsticks, popsicle sticks, pens or pencils (use what you have at home- no need to buy)
- Rubber Bands
- Clothes Pins
- Wooden Spoon (this needs to be dedicated to your candle making supplies and should not be used for food after you use it to make candles)
- 2 Pots (think double boiler) - again this will become your candle pot, always good to check out Goodwill or use an old pot you don’t care about anymore. You need a large one to put a little bit of water in, and then you need a smaller one (your pour pot) to melt the wax.
- Candle Jars/Containers - Condiment or jelly jars work great, old candle jars, or teacups work great. We like to go to Goodwill and look at the dishes they have to mix and match our jars, just make sure they are glass. A plastic holder will melt.
- Newspaper or Paper Towels - It will get messy and this makes the clean up a lot easier!
Before you begin making your candles, it’s important that you practice safely. This is not a DIY project you want to enlist your toddler to help you with.
You will be dealing with HOT wax. It could burn you so you need to be careful and make sure you are giving this project your undivided attention.
Also, I need to mention, you should never leave a burning candle unattended. I don’t have to tell you why you know what could happen.
Also, I recommend covering whatever surface you will be using to make your candles on with a newspaper. This will help with any wax that drips over the side and trust me, it will happen. You will make a waxy mess. But, if you are prepared the cleanup will be a breeze!
My suggestion is to read the instructions first and understand the steps before diving into your DIY candle making project.
Step 1 - Measure your Wax
In order to know how much wax you need to make your candles you need to know how many candles you are making.
Set out all of your candle containers and fill them with wax. Empty the wax into your wax pot and do that again. You need double the amount of wax for every candle. We tend to be a little messy in our house, so we always add an extra candle worth to the pot, just in case!
In general 1 container of melted wax = 2 containers of solid wax
Leave all of your containers out (on top of paper towels or newspaper) and place a wick inside each empty jar/container.
Note, if your wick does not stick out a few inches past the jar, you won't want to use it.
Step 2 - Melt the Wax
Now that you have your wax measured out you can begin to melt it.
First, fill your bottom (bigger) pot about halfway with water. You do not want your water to be close to boiling over so if it starts creeping up, pour some of it out.
Add in your thermometer and wait for the temperature to rise to about 170 degrees. Then add in your wax slowly.
Stir the wax to prevent burning and help it melt. It should take about 10-15 minutes to melt all of the wax.
Step 3 - Add Essential Oils
Once the wax is completely melted, you can add in your essential oils. A little goes a long way with essential oils. Depending on how strong you like your candle to smell will dictate how many drops. We like our candles to smell pretty strong, so I normally add 15-20 drops per candle.
This is going to take some testing; you will notice some oils are more fragrant than others. But, if you add too much the candles won’t set properly and it will be a waste. It’s best to start conservatively with the oils and then add more once you get a feel for it.
This is also the time you can add some personalization to your candles.
If you want to change up to colors you can add some crayons to the pot. Since they are wax-based, they will easily melt right in.
Coloring your candles can be tricky. Keep in mind the color that the melted wax looks will not be the same color once it’s cooled. The color will be more muted once it hardens.
Add more crayons to create a more vibrant melted color if you want rich-colored candles.
Step 4 - Set your Wick & Pour in the Melted Wax
If your wicks have fallen over to one side of the jar (which they will), move them back to the center. They will not stay in place completely, but try to get them as centered as possible.
This is also your chance to add more personality to your candles!
In our house, we love to add glitter and dry flowers to our jars before we add wax. You can also add some in the middle of pouring if you are up for the challenge.
Once you have your wicks and added flair placed in the jars you can begin to pour your wax. Remember, this is hot wax and it can burn you! Make sure your pets or children are not in the way when you begin the pouring process.
Slowly pour the wax into the jar and fill it up almost to the rim. Feel free to add more glitter or dried flowers if you want on top of the melted wax.
Step 5 - Secure the Wick
Now you are going to need to move quickly for this step and secure the wick. This step might test your patience and creativity, but is very important for making a successful candle.
We like to use pencils and rubber bands at our house to secure the wicks in place, mainly because that is what we have around the house.
But, you can use clothespins, popsicle sticks, or anything else that will keep the wick centered.
Once you have them centered, don’t touch them.
Step 6 - Wait for Wax to Harden
Now, you just sit back and let the wax set. To completely harden it will probably take 4-6 hours.
You can clean up the pot and the rest of the area while you wait.
Related: How To Make Kombucha At Home
Step 7 - Cut the Wick
Once your wax has hardened you will need to cut the wicks down. They should be about ½ inch long. You can also clean the jars if any wax dripped on the side or around the edges.
Step 8 - Light your New Candle
Now spark your new candle and ENJOY!
Now that you have a step by step guide on how to make candles at home you can get creative and have fun with personalizing them.
Happy candle crafting!