Beautiful candles bring charm, style, and a sense of calm to your home, especially when they’re scented or customized to your individual style. But you don’t have to fork out for expensive candles from trendy homeware stores, because with the right equipment, it’s easy to learn to make candles at home. 

Read on for a step-by-step process for how to make candles. Add a scent of your choice, decorate the holder any way you’d like, and light up your space with your new creation. 

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Candle Making Supplies

candle materials
The essential candle making supplies.

Glass Jar

A simple mason jar or old jelly jar will do.

Soy Wax

Wax for candle making comes in chips or flakes. Packets come in different weights, but one packet will generally be enough for one or two candle-making projects. The candle-making instructions listed below call for 1 lb of wax. 

Candle Wick

This is the part of the candle that burns. You’ll need a wick that’s long enough to fit into the jar you’ve chosen. Try to find wicks that come with a tab—the flat, circular metal piece that attaches the wick to the jar—which makes the candle assembly process easier. 

Fragrance Oil

If you’re making a scented candle, this is an essential ingredient. Concentrated fragrance oils made specifically for candles are your best bet. You could also use essential oils, although you should use less, and the scent may not be as strong. Choose your favorite scent, whether that’s lavender, rose, or patchouli.

Hot Glue

You’ll need to stick your wick securely to the inside bottom of the jar. A glue gun is ideal for this purpose.

Materials for Preparing the Wax

To melt and mix the wax, you’ll need the following equipment:

  • Pitcher (metal or tempered glass)
  • Large pot for water (to make a double boiler)
  • Kitchen scales
  • Measuring spoon
  • Kitchen thermometer
  • Clothespin
  • Metal spoon
  • Scissors
  • Plastic pouring jug

Types of Candles You Can Make

Whether you’re more into scented or unscented, soy or traditional wax, there are many different varieties of candles you can make. Try one, or go for them all.

Scented Candles

Scented candles are a subtle way of scenting your home. Scented oils are added to the wax, and the fragrance is released into the air as the candle burns. One of the benefits of making your own scented candles is that you can choose or customize a fragrance that you love.

Learn Candle Making From Scratch

Candle Making: Scent Your Way to Paradise

Soy Candles

Soy candles are usually poured into a container.

Soy wax candles are made from processed soybean oil. They’re usually softer than other candles, so they’re often poured into a container rather than made freestanding. 

Unscented Candles

Unscented candles provide all the illumination and atmosphere without the fragrance. If you’re allergic to perfume or don’t like strong smells, unscented candles are a good option. It’s easy to learn how to make unscented candles, too—just follow the steps below but leave out the fragrance oil.

Candle Lamps

square candles
A variety of candle lamps.

Illuminate your dining table for a special occasion dinner with a candle lamp. These candle containers are made from wax and contain a small tea light inside. 

Glitter Candles

glitter candle
Glitter candles add some sparkle to your jar.

Sprinkling some glitter on top of a finished candle makes your creation extra festive. These are especially good to give as gifts for birthdays or holidays.

Novelty Birthday Candles

skull candle
Learn advanced candle making techniques to create spooky masterpieces like these.

Swap out those boring store-bought birthday cake candles for a more unique homemade version.

How to Make Scented Candles

Add a candle to a meditation spot or sanctuary corner of your home.

Skillshare instructor John Norman says that making scented soy wax candles at home is about as easy as making mac and cheese from a box. That’s pretty easy! Follow these steps to learn how to make soy candles.

Step 1: Measure Out Your Wax

Measure out one pound of wax (in chip or flake form) with your kitchen scales. Place the wax in the pitcher.

Step 2: Prepare the Double Boiler

melt wax
Make a double boiler on the stove top to melt the wax.

Fill the large pot with an inch or two of water and place on the stove top at a medium heat. Place the pitcher of wax inside the pot.

Step 3: Prepare the Jar and Stick the Wick

wick in mason jar
Stick the wick to the inside of the jar.

While the wax is melting in the double boiler, prepare your jar. Plug in and heat your glue gun, then stick the wick to the inside bottom of your jar. How do you keep the wick in the right place while the glue is setting, you ask? Use a clothespin to keep the wick centered, as in the picture above.

Step 4: Measure the Temperature of the Wax

melting wax
Take the wax’s temperature.

Once the wax has melted in the double boiler, take the pitcher off the stove and insert your thermometer into the wax. You want it to be about 185℉ at this point.

Step 5: Measure Out and Add the Fragrance Oil

Add one ounce of fragrance oil for every pound of wax. Measure out the right quantities with a measuring spoon and add it to the melted wax. Mix it all together with the metal spoon. Aim for 15-20 stirs each way to make sure everything is mixed together well.

Step 6: Cool the Wax

After mixing the fragrance oil into the wax, put the thermometer back into the wax. Keep checking the temperature until it’s about 125℉—the optimum pouring temperature.

Step 7: Pour the Wax into the Jar

pour wax into jar
Pour the melted wax into the jar.

Slowly pour the melted wax into the jar, with the clothespin still attached to the wick to make sure it stays in place.

Step 8: Wait for the Wax to Cool and Trim the Wick

lit candle
Now that you’ve learned how to make soy candles, you can sit back and enjoy!

Wait for the wax to cool, which will probably take a few hours. Remove the clothespin and trim the wick so there’s just a short tuft emerging from the top of the wax. Now your candle is ready to burn!

Experiment With Scents and Decorations

pink candles
A trio of lovely pink candles by Skillshare student Lina Morales.

Basic candles can be beautifully simple to make, but it’s also easy to experiment and further customize them to suit your style. Play around with different scents so you have candles that can calm you down or pick you up on hand when you need them. Try pouring the wax into different tins or containers or, if you want to really step up your candle gift-giving game, decorate the jars with glitter, ribbons, or personalized glass painting . Have fun experimenting with this special craft.

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Written by:

Elen Turner