Now that you know the profit potential that can come from making candles to sell, it is important to learn how to make candles.

In this edition, we will talk about a variety of methods to making candles, but it is always in your best interest to do some additional resourcing before you start out. The key is to have the most unique and interesting product you can so that your market is specialized enough from others who are selling candles. You may want to explore some of the more unique methods for making candles, then!

In addition, note that there is not just one method for making candles. There are many and it is understood that you can be as creative as you would like to be here. The following method is a basic one that outlines the basic method of making candles with basic ingredients you can find at most any craft store, though you may find more options if you shop online for the candle making ingredients.

What You Will Need 

The following are some of the requirements you will need to start making candles. 

  1. Take the time to learn about candle making safety. You need to understand that making candles can be quite dangerous if you do not follow some basic safety.
  2. You will need some type of heat source. Many candle makers will purchase an electric hot plate to use solely for candle making to keep their stove from becoming wax caked. If you do not do this, use your electric stove, not gas, as your heat source.
  3. You will need a double boiler, a set of bowls or pans that nest inside of each other. It allows you to melt items in the top bowl without actually placing the product on the heat directly. You can find these in stores, but you can also use some of the pots and bowls you have at home. First, you need a large low pot that you will boil water in. Then, place a bowl on top. Glass or metal are fine. The bottom of the bowl should not touch the bottom of the pan, but preferably, there should be several inches between. Some people will use an old coffee can set to do this.
  4. You will need wax. Wax can be purchased in various styles. Choose the product you wish to use.
  5. You will need a wick. You can purchase strings of wick directly, which is often the best option since it allows you to avoid having to worry about the safety factors involved with having the wrong type of product.
  6. You will need a mold. The mold needs to be in the shape that you want the candle to be shaped in. Bowls, containers or even professional candle molds are available to use here.
  7. You will need fragrance and/or color to add to the hot wax so that you can create something interesting. You do not have to use either one, though. Appropriate products are available in most craft stores and online.

Keep in mind that when you are creating a unique style of candle, you may need specialized wicks and wax to produce it. The good news is that this does not have to be difficult to do.

Another tip: do consider the use of a variation of candles in your sales. For example, you may want to use different essential oils in your candles to create several different scents to attract buyers.

Making a Container Candle

The easiest type of candle to start with is a container candle. You can create these rather easily and it is a good type of candle to test the waters with. You can use a variety of different types of containers for these candles. Try out a few options such as glasses, buckets, bowls or any other container that is able to handle the hot wax you will be putting into it. It needs to be leakproof and it should also be fireproof since the candle does not come out of the container when it is being burned!

The following are some simple steps to creating a candle like this.

  1. Set the wick by using a straw to do the work for you. Use hot glue on the bottom of the wick tab to hold it in place at the bottom of the container. Press down well.
  2. Be sure that the wick is centered in the bottom of the jar or the candle may not burn properly.
  3. Attach the wick bars or plastic straw to keep the wick in the center of the candle. These lay across the top of the container opening and hold the wick straight up.
  4. Heat your jars to avoid wet spots, where the wax does not stick to the jar well. To heat your jars, you should simply place them on a cookie sheet and place them in a very low oven, with a temperature about 150 degrees. This heats the jars just enough but it does not melt the wicks in the process. It will take just a couple of minutes.
  5. Next, use a double boiler to melt your wax. As mentioned, place a pan of water on the stove over medium heat. Then, place a bowl on the top of the pan. It should nest there (not touching the water underneath.) Place the wax inside the bowl and slowly heat. Heat the wax to about 180 degrees.
  6. Measuring the amount of wax, you need can be tricky sometimes. Keep in mind that if you make an 8-ounce candle in a jelly jar, you will likely need about 7 ounces of wax.
  7. Once wax is completely melted, you can add any color or fragrance oil you would like to. The color and smell of the candle will depend on the amount of color and fragrance you put in. Control the color to fit your needs.
  8. Stir well to combine the fragrance and the coloring so there is an even color throughout the wax.
  9. Cool the wax to about 150 to 160 degrees. This usually takes just a few minutes. Hint: it is best to use a candy thermometer for all of these measurements rather than guessing at them!
  10. Place the heated jars on a safe, stable surface. Keep the jars in a close grouping so that they stay warm longer.
  11. Slowly pour the wax into the jars. You do not want to overfill them. It is best to leave at least some room at the top of the jar.
  12. Once poured, check the wicks to make sure they are still in the center of the candle.
  13. Wrap the candle jars in a towel so that they stay warm as long as possible. Cooling them slowly is the best method possible.

After the candles have cooled completely, which should take you at least overnight, you can then trim off the wicks to about half of an inch above the candle. Use a match to light them and turn them on. Enjoy them.

Here are a few more ideas for making candles using similar methods:

  • Try to make votive sized candles by using Dixie cups.
  • You can make pillar candles using a proper style of container.
  • Rolled pillar candles are another option to consider.

Come up with your own ideas too!

Key Tips

There are other methods for making candles you can use. Explore them. Also, keep in mind these very helpful tips.

  • Keep an area of your home set aside for making candles. Wax can easily get on surfaces that you could not imagine. The key is to contain the mess!
  • Remember that candle making is not something that children should do alone. Help your child. Candle wax can be incredibly hot and this means second-degree burns or worse can occur.
  • The first candles you make may not be as "pretty" as you would like them to be. Give yourself some time to actually learn the method and to perfect your art. Over time, you will improve your skills to a level that is appropriate for candle making fun!
  • Do consider the various options you have and experiment with new methods to making candles. Variety is often a very important part of a candle making business.
  • Be careful purchasing candle making kits. This may be a good option if you plan to simply try out the process of making candles, but it will not be acceptable if you are doing it for your business. These kits are often far too costly for the number of candles you will make. You can find wholesale candle supplies readily available online to use to make candles for your business.
  • The quality of the wax is important. Inexpensive and even cheap wax is available, but it may not melt well or it may not dry properly. You do not want those areas of the candle to be limited by inexpensive wax.

Making candles can be a lot of fun. You are only limited by the creativity that you have. Keep in mind that safety should come first, both for you and for those who will later use your candles. For this reason, always use high-quality ingredients in your candles.