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How to make Homemade Candles

Updated on February 29, 2020

Who says you have to spend upwards of ten bucks for a really nicely colored and scented candle? Trust Gamergirl to find you the good information on all kinds of topics. Today's topic is: How to make candles at home, DIY style, all by yourself!

Candles are a source of light that can delight the senses of sight and smell, can set the mood for a romantic night, or save your bacon in case of an emergency. You don't have to worry about electricity when using candles for light - and the best part is that for the cost of one or two cd's, you can make your own supply of candles to last you through many a romantic night.

Fun fact: Did you know that ten pounds of candle wax, once you add color and fragrances and such, will fill enough tealights to provide you with that dainty comfort for months on end?

If you do a few searches across the internet, you'll find lots and lots of references to candle making recipes, candle making lessons, candle making classes and all various other types of tips and hints and goodies. BUT - why do that? Here is what you will learn by the time you've finished reading this hub:

  1. The equipment you'll need
  2. How to make a candle - a basic idea
  3. Ideas for places to buy candle making supplies
  4. Just how fun candle making is, but also - how much money you can save!

So, with all this in mind, let's get started.

Equipment for making homemade candles

Making candles at home is fairly easy. Here are some things you will need:

  • Candle wax
  • A single pot big enough to hold the melting pot

  • Coloring agent
  • Glass candle holders
  • Gloves
  • Scented oil (optional)
  • Label paper (the kind with a sticky backing)
  • Wax pouring container - melting pot

You will need two pots because you should never melt wax over direct heat. Just like grease, wax of any kind has a flash point - a point where it will burst into flames. You don't want that!

From here, let your creativity take you!

Basic Candle Making

The first step to making your own candles at home is to sit down and get an idea about the kind of candles you want to make. Whether you are making special colored candles for a particular holiday, preparing a gift for a friend or stocking up for a disaster, having a solid idea about what kind of candles you wish to create will help you choose the items you need to purchase.

For the purposes of giving a clear example, I will explain how to make a plain candle in a container three inches in diameter by four inches tall.

First, take one pot and fill it 3/4 full with water. Put this pot over high heat until it boils, then turn the heat down to a setting between low and medium. On a scale of one to ten, you want to keep a constant heat of about a three - though you should always check the packaging of your candle wax for information on it's melting point and flash point.

Next, take the second pot, the wax pouring pot and set it on top of the first. This is called double boiling, as it requires two pots. This gives you a source of heat to melt your wax, but insulates your wax against that evil flash point, letting the wax melt evenly and become liquid without scorching.

Fill this top pot with the proper amount of wax for the size and number of candles you are preparing. Suggested amount: 14 ounces of wax. Allow the wax to melt, then stir in your additives if you are using a wax that is not prepared with additives already.

A note about additives for candle making:

There are many different kinds of additives, and their purpose is to increase the hardness of the candle, prevent bubbles and surface pitting, and assist in the candle having a glossy surface. Always check the wax you are purchasing to decide whether or not you should use additives in the first place.

Candles in Containers!

So, when your wax is hot - you check this with your thermometer by the way - you'll want to pour it into something, right? Okay.

When using a container which does not have a wick already stuck and waiting, all you have to do is take two pieces of tape and make an X over the top of the container, with the join of the X over the very center of the container you're using. Then, poke a hole into the center and bring your wick up through the bottom of the tape. Make sure to leave enough wick hanging up through the tape that you'll have a long enough wick to light when you want to use the candle.

The final step in making your own candle at home is: Pouring the wax. You want to pour quickly, but not too quickly that the wax splashes. Start pouring slowly at first, and then you can pour a bit faster. Always leave a little melting room at the top of the container so your candle doesn't overflow.

That's how you make candles at home!

How easy is that? Very! Now let your candles cool for a full 24-48 hours before you use them. Congrats! You're on your way to saving money as well as keeping your home and hearth warmly lit in any season or for any occasion.

Have you made your own candles? Share your story!

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    • profile image

      sandra 

      8 years ago

      candles are fun i was doing photos on candles i was heart candles,,fabric candles yes fabric i used fabric ribbon and it was fun but for decoration only like a bedroom or kitchen i did a betty boop also i still have the candles..but it was alot of work so i broke it down to jar candles but i did search and search to see what i was satisfied with and jar is alot eaiser..i sented candles out of my home and business is well. once you start you start off small them it gets to the point were your stuff is getting larger your pots are getting bigger your ordering bigger quanitys of scent and wax..wow but it is fun..i myself just orderd a bunch of scents now am getting ready for the holidays just doing my halloween scent candles for. but if you enjoy candlemaking go for your dream and never give up we learn by our mistakes to make it better in the business..so all you candlemakers go for the dream...have a happy halloween 2011

    • SEXYLADYDEE profile image

      SEXYLADYDEE 

      8 years ago from Upstate NY

      Good hub! I am making candles again because I need to use soy candles. I have breathing issues and I am finding that the petroleum based ones they sell are starting to bother me. I am making soap to sell so I will add candles to my table. But I love having my own in the house. I dont want to ever have to buy soap or candles again! Now I just have to find that laundry soap recipe again and life will be perfect lol Dee

    • profile image

      Lucku 

      8 years ago

      XD ... what should i say !!!!!!! Excellent jOb! lluuuVVvX! pls tell hw 2 make homemade crafts tooo!! thxx!! tht was totally cooll!

    • profile image

      Sariel 

      8 years ago

      I agree with Cosmoflower.... anyway you can recycle old wax??

    • The Jet profile image

      The Jet 

      8 years ago from The Bay

      Very interesting. I may even attempt this!

    • profile image

      Cosmoflower 

      9 years ago

      Thanks for this, really useful and you make it sound simple. Is there a way to use old candles and candle wax, I throw away so many candles would be nice to recycle the wax.

    • Karanda profile image

      Karen Wilton 

      9 years ago from Australia

      It was only recently I took the plunge and ordered some wax, oil and wicks. Firstly I couldn't believe how cheap it was and then how easy. Not perfect mind you, a couple of the wicks went sideways, wish I'd seen your hub before my first attempt. I'll have to bookmark this for the next try.

    • profile image

      ricky 

      9 years ago

      when i make home made candles the light then about an hour later the flame goes small and can hardly be seen, anyone got any ideas whats wrong, thanks

    • realfun profile image

      realfun 

      9 years ago

      Hello There

      Many Thanks for commenting on my first hub, love yours!!! They are superb.

      Alix

    • SEO Expert Kerala profile image

      SEO Expert Kerala 

      10 years ago from KERALA

      nice tips ..Can give some best place to buy fantastic molds designs?

    • compu-smart profile image

      Compu-Smart 

      11 years ago from London UK

      Cool hub Gamegirl!

      I used to make candles from butter and used a peice of rag as a wick! it did not smell good and was noisy, but did the trick to have some form of fire! ..it was a long time ago!

    • gpetrou85 profile image

      gpetrou85 

      11 years ago from greece

      good

    • gamergirl profile imageAUTHOR

      Kiz Robinson 

      11 years ago from New Orleans, Louisiana

      Oh man! I'd be tempted to paint on the wax heads with different colors of wax too. Inspiring!

    • livelonger profile image

      Jason Menayan 

      11 years ago from San Francisco

      Another terrific hub!

      My brother used to make giant candles that looked like people's heads. He'd use chunks of colored wax, and fill in the gaps with molten wax. Was a cool, eerie effect.

    • gamergirl profile imageAUTHOR

      Kiz Robinson 

      11 years ago from New Orleans, Louisiana

      Bluewings - thank you! :)

      Oh yay, bee's wax. Man, is there anything bee's wax isn't good for? It makes a great base for natural lipstick, natural salves, candles and even perfume! hugs!

    • G-Ma Johnson profile image

      Merle Ann Johnson 

      11 years ago from NW in the land of the Free

      Very nice...I like to make mine with pure bee's wax...simple and classie....Great hub my dear and in time for the Holidays...yikes!!!!thanks...G-Ma  :o)  hugs

    • bluewings profile image

      bluewings 

      11 years ago from Milkyway

      That surely was an engaging hub!

    • gamergirl profile imageAUTHOR

      Kiz Robinson 

      11 years ago from New Orleans, Louisiana

      Zsuzsy-

      (((HUGS!!)))

      You can actually make your own essential oils for putting into candles, but that's a lesson for a whole new Hub. ;)

      Shadesbreath-

      I think somewhere along the way we lost our primal Neanderthal connection to fire as the base element of passion, life and virility. But that's just me! And heck yeah, make some candles! I'm going to start my own little candle business once my fiance starts working again. :D

    • Shadesbreath profile image

      Shadesbreath 

      11 years ago from California

      Hah, Gamergirl... this not only sounds easy, but sounds like a blast!!!  You know, I had TOTALLY forgotten about making candles.  You'll laugh, but, seriously, it never even crossed my mind as a possibility.  I love candles, we use them all the time.  Our neighborhood power went out a couple years back and stayed out for several hours.  FUnny thing is... ALL the neighborhood children ended up at our house because, well, we were lit up like a store front window at Christmas time.  We have tons of candles.  Firelight is spiritual and... well, I won't go into it, but, anyway.  lol (whew, I actually deleted a little diatribe there).  Anyway, I made wax candles pouring them into sand forms in a summer camp when I was in like sixth grade.  I can't believe I forgot how fun that was.  This hub rocks, I'm making candles next weekend!!!

    • Zsuzsy Bee profile image

      Zsuzsy Bee 

      11 years ago from Ontario/Canada

      Great hub GamerGirl! I love making my own, usually when it gets a little cooler I make up a whole slew. My favorite is the one that I add lavender oil to the wax and if I have enough lavender blooms coming coming in from the garden, mixed right in with the candle wax.

      regards Zsuzsy

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