How to Make Candles: A Beginner’s Guide

If you’re looking for a fun and creative hobby, making candles is a great option. Not only is it a relaxing and therapeutic activity, but it also allows you to create your own unique scents and designs. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced candle maker, there are a variety of techniques and materials that you can use to make beautiful and fragrant candles.

One of the first things you’ll need to do when making candles is choosing your wax. There are several types of wax to choose from, including soy wax, beeswax, and paraffin wax. Each type of wax has its own unique properties and benefits, so it’s important to do your research and choose the one that best suits your needs. You’ll also need to decide on a wick, as well as any fragrances or dyes that you want to use.

Once you have your materials, you can start making your candles. The process typically involves melting the wax, adding any fragrances or dyes, and pouring the mixture into a container with a wick. There are many different techniques and styles to choose from, including layered candles, scented candles, and decorative candles. With a little practice and experimentation, you can create beautiful and unique candles that you’ll be proud to display or give as gifts.

Materials and Tools


The first thing you’ll need for candle making is wax. There are several types of wax available, including soy wax, beeswax, paraffin wax, and palm wax. Soy wax is a popular choice for beginners because it’s easy to work with and produces a clean burn. Beeswax and paraffin wax are also good options, but they require more skill to work with. Palm wax is a sustainable option, but it’s not as widely available.


Wicks are an essential component of any candle. They come in different sizes and materials, such as cotton, hemp, and wood. The size of the wick you choose will depend on the diameter of your candle. It’s important to choose the right size wick to ensure that your candle burns evenly.

Fragrance oils or essential oils

If you want to add a scent to your candle, you’ll need fragrance oils or essential oils. Fragrance oils are synthetic oils that come in a wide range of scents. Essential oils are natural oils that are extracted from plants and have therapeutic properties. When choosing a fragrance or essential oil, make sure it’s suitable for candle making and follow the recommended usage rate.

Coloring agents

If you want to add color to your candle, you’ll need coloring agents. These can be liquid dyes, color blocks, or natural dyes such as beetroot powder or turmeric. It’s important to use coloring agents that are specifically designed for candle making to ensure that they don’t affect the burn of the candle.

Double boiler

A double boiler is a tool that is used to melt wax. It consists of two pots, one larger than the other, that fit together. The larger pot is filled with water, and the smaller pot is placed inside it. The heat from the water melts the wax in the smaller pot without overheating it.


A thermometer is necessary to ensure that the wax is at the correct temperature for pouring. Most candle making thermometers have a range of 50-400 degrees Fahrenheit. It’s important to monitor the temperature of the wax throughout the process to ensure that it doesn’t overheat and cause a fire hazard.

Measuring cups and spoons

Accurate measurements are crucial for candle making, so you’ll need measuring cups and spoons. It’s best to have separate sets for wax and fragrance oils to avoid cross-contamination.

Stirring utensil

A stirring utensil is needed to mix the wax and fragrance oils together. A wooden spoon or silicone spatula is a good option because they won’t scratch the surface of the double boiler.

Mold or container

You’ll need a mold or container to pour the wax into. This can be a glass jar, tin, or silicone mold. Make sure the container is heat-resistant and suitable for candle making.

Optional: Wick centering device

A wick centering device is a tool that helps to keep the wick centered in the candle while it’s setting. It’s not necessary, but it can be helpful for beginners.

Preparing the Wax

Melt the Wax

The first step in making candles is to prepare the wax. You can use different types of wax, such as soy wax, beeswax, or paraffin wax. Regardless of the type of wax you choose, the first thing you need to do is melt it. Here’s how:

Step 1Place the wax in a double boiler or a heat-resistant container that can be placed in a pot of boiling water.
Step 2Fill the pot with water and bring it to a boil.
Step 3Place the container with the wax in the pot and stir occasionally until the wax is completely melted.

Add Fragrance and Coloring (Optional)

If you want scented or colored candles, you can add fragrance oils and coloring to the melted wax. Here’s how:

  • For fragrance oils, add a few drops to the melted wax and stir well. Be careful not to add too much, as this can affect the quality of the candle.
  • For coloring, you can use candle dye or crayons. Add a small amount to the melted wax and stir well. Keep in mind that the color will be lighter when the wax cools and hardens.

Remember, adding fragrance and coloring is optional. You can also make unscented and uncolored candles if you prefer.

Preparing the Mold or Container

Before you can start pouring wax into your mold or container, you need to prepare it properly. This involves attaching the wick securely and ensuring that it stays centered during the pouring process. Here are the steps to follow:

Attach Wick to the Bottom of the Container

The first step in preparing your mold or container is to attach the wick to the bottom. This can be done using a wick sticker or a small dab of hot glue. Make sure that the wick is centered and straight before securing it to the bottom of the container.

Secure Wick with a Wick Centering Device (Optional)

If you want to ensure that your wick stays centered throughout the pouring process, you can use a wick centering device. These devices are available in a variety of sizes and can be placed on top of the container to hold the wick in place. If you don’t have a wick centering device, you can use a pencil or chopstick to hold the wick in place while pouring the wax.

Once you have attached the wick and secured it in place, you are ready to pour the wax into the mold or container. Make sure to follow the instructions for your specific type of wax and mold or container to ensure the best results.

Pouring the Wax

Pour wax into the mold or container

Once you have prepared the wax by melting it and adding fragrance and dye, it’s time to pour it into the mold or container. Slowly pour the wax into the mold or container, making sure not to spill any. If you are using a container, make sure to leave some space at the top to allow for the wick and any decorations you may want to add later.

If you are using a mold, make sure to secure the wick in place before pouring the wax. You can use a wick centering device to ensure that the wick stays in the center of the mold.

Let wax cool and harden

After pouring the wax, let it cool and harden. The amount of time this takes will depend on the type of wax you are using and the size of your candle. Generally, soy wax takes longer to cool than paraffin wax.

While waiting for the wax to cool, make sure to keep the wick centered and straight. You can use a wick holder or pencil to keep the wick in place.

Once the wax has completely cooled and hardened, you can trim the wick to the desired length and add any decorations or labels. Your candle is now ready to use or give as a gift!

Trimming the Wick

Cut wick to desired length

Trimming the wick is an important step in candle making. It ensures that the candle burns evenly and prevents the wick from becoming too long, which can cause the flame to become too large and potentially dangerous.

When trimming the wick, use a pair of scissors or a wick trimmer to cut it to the desired length. The ideal length depends on the size of the candle. For small candles, a wick length of 1/4 inch is recommended. For larger candles, a wick length of 1/2 inch may be necessary.

It’s important to trim the wick before each use of the candle to maintain the proper length and prevent any potential safety hazards.

Optional: Dip wick in melted wax for added stability

For added stability, some candle makers choose to dip the wick in melted wax after trimming it. This helps to reinforce the wick and prevent it from bending or falling over during the burning process.

To do this, melt a small amount of wax in a double boiler or microwave. Dip the trimmed wick into the melted wax and hold it in place for a few seconds until the wax hardens. This will create a small wax base around the wick, providing added stability during the burning process.

While this step is optional, it can help to ensure that the candle burns evenly and prevents any potential safety hazards.