Save on the Warm Glow of Candlelight with Homemade Candles

by Gina Blitstein · 0 comments

A pleasant way to brighten our homes, especially during the cooler and darker time of the year, is with decorative candles. If you burn candles regularly, you know that the cost can add up quickly. An easy, fun and cheaper alternative to purchasing candles is making them yourself. You can design homemade candles to be precisely the shape, size, color and scent you desire. Homemade candles also make personalized, attractive, thoughtful and useful gifts.

Making basic candles is easy but before I proceed with instructions, I want to stress some important safety issues. Candle making involves very hot substances that can cause serious burns. It should be attempted only by adults or by older children with adult supervision. Never leave hot wax unattended and, because it is a flammable substance, monitor its temperature constantly. Should a wax fire occur, do not attempt to extinguish it with water! Put out the flames with baking soda or a fire extinguisher.

Basic Paraffin Wax Candle Making


Candle making materials are available online or at craft shops:

  • Paraffin is standard candle wax made from petroleum.
  • Wicking with base is available in various sizes depending upon the type of candles you’re making.
  • Coloring and/or scents (optional) are available specifically for candle making.


  • Heating apparatus – The safest, simplest and most straightforward way to melt wax at home is in a double boiler. One can be fabricated by setting a metal coffee can into a larger pan containing a couple inches of water.
  • Candy thermometer – This is a crucial piece of candle making equipment. The temperature of the wax must be carefully monitored because it will catch fire if it gets too hot.
  • Candle molds and/or containers – These will contain and create the shape of your candle. They can be purchased or you can reuse and/or repurpose items around your house as candle molds and containers. A candle will be removed from a mold; it will remain in a container. If using glass, make certain it is tempered so it will withstand the heat without shattering.

Prepare any molds by coating them inside with vegetable oil to facilitate the removal of the candles. Set a wick in the bottom of each mold and/or container. The wick should stand straight and be 2” longer than the height of the candle. Wrap the tip of the wick around a stick, and place it across the top of the mold or container to hold it out of the wax when it’s poured in.

Attach the thermometer to the side of the can, making certain that it doesn’t touch the bottom. Place the wax, broken into 1”-2” pieces into the can; add desired coloring and stir in thoroughly. Heat on low heat until wax reaches no more than 170°F. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in scent, if desired.

Carefully and slowly pour the hot wax into the molds or containers, to ⅛” from the top of the container. Allow to cool. Wax shrinks as it cools and will cause a dimple around the wick. Reheat the wax to 180°F and fill the container to the top to level the surface.

When candles are completely cool (depending upon their size, from 1-12 hours), remove molded candles from their molds. Trim the wicks to ¼” and wait 24 hours before burning your new candles.

Enjoy the satisfaction and savings from homemade candle making!

Have you tried making candles at home?

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