How to make Candles: A Step by Step Guide
Our candle making guide is a must read for beginners and perfectly complements our candle making kits as they contain all the key ingredients which are listed below.
• Cooker or heat source to melt the wax
• Container to melt the wax in such as a double boiler or a pan inside a pan
• Utensil to stir the wax
Now let’s get started with the exciting craft of candle making!
Step 1: Preparation
Before you begin your candle making, it's important to prepare your space, especially as dealing with wax can be quite messy! Make sure you have a clean flat surface to work on, moving anything you don’t want to get wax on. Also make sure you have your containers and wicks at the ready as the process can go a lot faster than you might initially expect.
Weigh/measure how much wax you need. For this example, we are using 160g to fill a 20cl glass.
TIP: If you’re not sure how much wax you need simply fill your container with water and pour into a measuring jug, then measure the amount of water the container holds in ml’s. Minus 20% off this amount, this leaves you with roughly the amount of wax your container holds in grams.
Step 2: Melting the wax
Empty your now measured wax into your heating pot. Heat your wax to 70°C whilst stirring gently. Do not exceed 80°C. It only takes 10 to 15 minutes to melt. For this example, we placed a glass bowl into a pan filled halfway with water.
Step 3: Prepare the glasses
Whilst your wax is melting, wash candle glasses in hot water, ensure there are no foreign objects inside and the glasses fully dried. Stick on your candle safety label on the underside of your glass. Ensure they are left on a flat surface.
Step 4: Prepare the wicks
Attach your wick ‘Stick Ums’ to the bottom of your wick then place the wick firmly in the center of your glass.
Alternatively, you can attach your wick with wax: Carefully dip the wick sustainer into the molten wax, place the wick firmly in the centre of your glass and allow to the wax set the wick in place.
Step 5: Colour
Once your wax has reached 70°C, open your bag of candle dye and empty into the molten wax. Stir gently until all the colour has dissolved and spread evenly. We suggest using 0.2%, therefore a 10 g bag of dye will colour 5 kg of paraffin wax. Vegetable waxes may require a higher loading. (If you are using liquid candle dye, use a few drops at a time to get your desired colour.)
Step 6: Fragrance
Once the dye is fully dissolved take your wax off the heat, regularly check the temperature until the wax reaches 65°C. Once the wax is at 65°C, open your bottle of fragrance and pour in. Gently stir the wax whilst pouring the fragrance. We suggest using up to 10% fragrance oil therefore 500 ml of fragrance oil will fragrant 5 kg of wax.
Step 7: Pouring
Now all your ingredients are mixed, with your wax is at 65°C, it is time to pour the wax. Pour your molten wax out of the container and into a pouring jug. Slowly pour your wax into the candle glasses leaving 1 cm from the top. (You can move you wick centering too to the side as you do this and place it back in the center when finished). It is important to gently pour into your glasses to avoid air bubbles. Pour any leftover wax back into your heating container, you may need this later.
Step 8: Setting
Ensure your wicks are suspended tight and upright by using a wick centering tool and rest across the glass. Wax naturally shrinks whilst cooling, this may cause a sink hole around the wick in the center of the candle, don’t panic, this is an unavoidable part of candle making. Allow your candles to cool at room temperature to a point where they are still warm but not fully hardened. This should take around 20 – 30 minutes.
Step 9: Re-pour (Optional)
If you have found your candle wax has sunk/dipped on the surface, don’t worry! Reheat the left-over wax to 65°C and pour into your pouring jug. Gently pour the wax into the sinkholes to leave a smooth flat surface. You may need to repeat this process 2 or 3 times to get a flat finished surface.
Step 9: Trim the wick
Allow your candles to set overnight. Now it’s time to trim the wick to approx. 5mm and your candle is now ready to light! Well done, you’ve made your first candle.
Please note, this candle making guide is a general starter guide for beginners into container candle making. Variations in waxes, fragrances, and dyes can all affect the finished product, what works for some candles may not work for others.
The key to great candle making is trial and error.
Not sure what wick to use?
You've come to the right place! Check out our guide on how to choose the correct wick for your candles here.