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Making candles is a fun, cheap and creative hobby that is easy to learn or could be a new DIY project on a day off.
The best part is that you are in full control of the type of wax, color, scent, and shape of the candles. So you can make candles that fit your interior much better than store-bough candles.
In this article, you will learn everything you need to get started making candles at home.
What do I need to make candles at home?
Before you can get started making your candles, there are a few things you will have to prepare.
Here is a list of candle ingredients and equipment you will need.
- Candle wax
- Candle wicks
- Heat resistant pot or pan
- Containers or candle molds
- Essential oils or fragrance oils (optional)
- Candle dyes (optional)
Candle making starter kits for beginners
Buying all the materials can be a little overwhelming the first time. Even though the list isn’t incredibly long, you can choose from many different types of wax, essentials oils, dyes, etc.
That’s why I normally recommend beginners to buy a candle making kit that already includes everything you need to get started.
When choosing a started kit, you want to consider which wax it includes, how many candles you will be able to make, if you like the fragrance oils and colors that come with it, and which type of candles you can make.
Here are some good options you might want to consider.
Soy candle making kit
If you are interested in making soy candles, I would recommend the started kit by Dilabee, which has received a ton of positive reviews.
It comes with 4 dye blocks, 4 fragrances, 4-8 oz soy wax bags, melting pot, thermometer, 2 round candle tins, 2 square candle tins with covers, 4 cotton wicks, 4 glue dots, 4 Warning Labels, 4 Stirring Sticks, 4 Bow Tie Clips. With one kit you will be able to make 4 container candles.
It also comes with a clearly illustrated instruction manual on how to make soy candles.
Beeswax candle making kit
Beeswax is great for making candles because this type of wax burns longer and cleaner than any other type.
I love this set by Yinuo Light because the containers look amazing and the essentials oils are very high quality.
In this set contains a melting pot, thermometer, 6 candle tins, 4 fragrance oils, 4 candle dyes, 32 oz of beeswax, and 10 cotton wicks, 10 glue dots, 2 center devices and a manual.
With one kit you will be able to make 4 container candles.
Paraffin candle making kit
Paraffin is not the most popular type of wax among hobbyists since it’s made out of petroleum and releases a small amount of soot while burning.
However, paraffin has some advantages such as being cheaper than other types of wax, shining brighter, and smelling more strongly.
Finding a good paraffin candle making kit can be difficult but you might want to consider the kit by Candlewick.
This kit comes with granulated wax of 4 different colors that don’t even need to be molten to make the candles. Simply add the wick and wax into the container and you are done.
This make candle making super easy, but unfortunately it doesn’t give you the option of using dyes and essential oils. As a result this set would be best suited for candle making with children.
How to make DIY candles at home – step by step
- Measure the amount of wax that you will need to fill your molt or container.
- Heat the wax in a pot or pan to 180 degrees Fahrenheit and keep stirring until it’s completely molten. Depending on the type of wax you are using you might have to change the temperature a bit.
- Add the candle dye of your choice and keep stirring until it is completely dissolved and mixed evenly.
- If you are using fragrance oils, you can add in right away at this temperature.
- If you are using essential oils, you want to wait until the wax cooled down to 130 Fahrenheit before adding it to the wax.
- Prepare your container or molt by attaching the wick to the bottom. You can do this by dipping the wick in the molten wax before placing it in the container.
- Pour the wax into the container while holding the wick in place.
- While the wax is cooling down you want to secure the wick in place by using a center device, a pair of chopsticks, etc. You can be a little creative here.
- If your candle wick is very long you should cut it down to about half an inch or less.
Frequently asked questions
How to make scented candles?
Many beginners wonder what can be used to scent candles. Personally I prefer to use essential oils because they are all natural and don’t cause any allergies.
However, if you want to particular scent that you can’t find among essential oils, you can try fragrance oils as well.
Fragrance oils can be added to the hot molten wax right away, while essential oils need to be added at lower temperatures to prevent it from evaporating.
For more information, read our article on making scented candles.
How do you add color to candles?
The best way to color candle wax is by using candle dyes. These dyes can come liquid, or as solid blocks, chips, or flakes.
You can add the dye when the wax is completely molten.
If you are using a solid dye, you want to make sure that it is completely dissolved to prevent any chunks of dye in your candle.
For more information, read our article on candle coloring.
Which wax is best for making candles?
The best wax for making candles depends on your personal preference.
Most people agree that beeswax is the best in terms of quality and burning properties. However, it is also the most expensive type of wax.
Soy wax is very popular nowadays because it is natural like beeswax but is normally a bit cheaper.
Paraffin wax is not used that often because it is petroleum based. However, it is the cheapest among them all and has a very good hot scent throw.
For more information, read our article on the different types of candle wax.
How much does it cost to make candles?
The soy and beeswax candle sets recommended above cost around $40,- and can be used to make 4 different candles. This would mean that each candle would cost around $10.
However, keep in mind that these starter sets include a lot of items such as a melting pot, thermometer, etc. that you would only have to buy once and can be used again in the future.
If you would just buy candle wax, you can get about 10 pounds (4.54 kg) for just $15. Assuming you will make medium-sized candles of 8 oz (0.3 kg) each, every candle would only cost you $0.75. Of course, you might want to buy wicks, fragrance oils, and candle dye as well. But even with those added, your home made candles will probably still be cheaper than $1,- a piece.
Is it cheaper to make your own candles?
Making candles yourself can be much cheaper than buying them in the store. However, in order to start making candles you probably will have to invest in equipment like a melting pot and thermometer. Moreover, since it’s always cheaper to buy candle ingredients in bulk, the more candles you make the lower the price per candle will be.
However, if you never made candles before you might be better of buying a starter kit. Since you don’t want to be left with a large amount of wax after realizing candle making isn’t for you.
What can I use as a wick?
Wicks are very cheap and I would recommend just buying them. However, if you ran out of wicks and you need to make some emergency wicks you can simply take a string of cotton and let it soak in molten wax. Once the cotton string is fully dried you can use it as a wick for your candles.
Other items that can be used to make wicks include:
- Rolled up newspaper
- Toilet paper
- Balsa wooden sticks
What kind of wax burns the longest?
Beeswax has the highest melting point (149°F/65°C) and will therefore burn the longest, followed by soy wax (130°F/54°C) and paraffin wax (99°F/37°C).
However, if you are simply trying to save money then soy wax might be the best option. Even though it doesn’t burn as long as beeswax, it is much cheaper.
What is the cleanest burning candle?
Natural candles made out of beeswax or soy wax both burn very cleanly. While paraffin candles release a higher amount of black soot that might discolor wall and furniture.
However, you will need to burn a very large amount of paraffin candles before you will notice this effect and good ventilation in your room can reduce this problem as well.