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How to make candles at home

Brighten up your home with this guide to how to make candles in the comfort of your own home.


scented candle ingredients

Key steps

  • Attach the wick to the wick holder.

  • Suspend the wick upright in the middle of the mould.

  • Pour melted wax into the mould and allow to cool.

  • Trim the wick.

Candles are the perfect way to brighten up your home, and being homemade gives them even more charm. Here’s a quick guide to candle making at home for beginners.

The method for how to make candles is simple, but you might occasionally have trouble getting a candle out of its mould. If so, try putting it in the fridge for twenty minutes. Make sure it’s cooled completely beforehand, though. If you put a still-warm candle in the fridge, it might crack.

How to make homemade candles: What you’ll need

Here are the basics you’ll need to hand if you want to know how to make candles at home:

  • Wax (this could be bought for the occasion, or it could be a collection of wax from old candle stubs).

  • Cooking thermometer.

  • Candle wicks.

  • Wick holder.

  • An empty jar, shorter than the wick from bottom to top, to serve as a mould (or, alternatively, a shop-bought candle mould). If you’re using a candle mould, you’ll be able to slide the candle out afterwards. If you’re using a jar, you won’t be able to get the candle through the neck, so make sure you choose one you like the appearance of.

  • An old saucepan (you won’t want to do this with a saucepan you need for cooking).

  • Scissors.

  • A pencil (or something with a similar shape).

How to make candles at home, step-by-step

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Make sure you’re in a well-ventilated area before you begin.

  • Put the wax in the saucepan and melt it on low heat. The amount of wax you’ll need is about twice as much as it takes to fill your mould when it hasn’t yet been melted.

  • The wick will need to run through your entire candle, from bottom to top. Secure the wick in the wick holder. Tie the other end of the wick to the middle of a pencil. Put the wick holder in the bottom of the mould, and lay the pencil across the top. Adjust the wick around the pencil in order to make sure the wick is held upright in the centre of your mould.

  • Let the wax cool a little, checking it with the thermometer. You want it to be around 140° F.

  • Pour your wax into the mould. Take care with this step; you want to avoid getting hot wax on yourself. Wear heat-resistant gloves.

  • Leave the candle for a few hours. You want it to cool completely. In the meantime, if you’ve managed to get wax on yourself, follow our guide to how to remove wax from clothes.

  • When the candle is firm, trim the wick, leaving about a centimetre above the wax. Slide it out of the mould if necessary.

If you want to decorate your candle, it’s best not to to use spray paint, as the paint may release fumes or ignite as the candle burns. If you’ve made it in a jar, the decoration is easy – all you need to do is decorate the jar! If you’ve made the candle in a mould, you could carve patterns into the wax, or glue seashells or rhinestones onto the sides.

To add an extra touch, take a look at our guide on how to make scented candles.

When you’re actually burning the candle, make sure there’s someone in the room at all times to keep an eye on it.

And those are the basics for knowing how to make candles! If you’re planning to give them as a gift, you could couple them with a homemade candle holder.

Do you want to learn which household cleaning tasks cause the most stress?  Then read our Heated Household data analysis. 

Originally published