How To Make a Candle:
A Simple Introduction to your Next Obsession

Sometimes, you can’t quite find that product or miniscule magic. It’s something only you know and apparently that means it’s not for sale. In trying to help you create your own magic, we want to give you a few tips. We wish we could give you a whole guidebook for adding your magic to everything, but we’re just a humble candle shop. Still, a simple “How to” on making your own candles is not a bad place to start. We’ll walk you through the materials you need, the basic steps, and some of the variables or challenges you may face along the way.

First, a list of tools… 


Strongly recommend



Weight scales


Container (candle)

Infrared thermometer

Wick holder

Container (melted wax)

Heat gun

Glue gun

Heat source

Fragrance, oil, etc.



Wick trimmer



This list is fairly straight forward and does allow a variety of substitutes. As long as you have these items or some similar variant, you should have everything you need to make candles. To help you navigate the vast candle space, here are a few tips to help you narrow your selection.


For the purposes of this article, we consistently work with 100% soy wax. However, there are a variety of other blends and individual types that all have their unique properties and effects on the final product. Mostly, it is difficult to find waxes that are incompatible with different fragrance products but there are certain effects that depend directly on the products you choose so it helps to do a little research about the candle qualities you prefer and which combinations are perfect for you.


The most common and usually agreed upon as the best are cotton and wood wicks. There are some that require some assembly, others sold ready to be used. This is where the glue gun will help hold down the wick but there are other options like double-sided tape. Similarly, there are a lot of gadgets that help keep your wick centered – which is important for a consistent burn – but those gadgets can also be as simple as masking tape. 


Obviously, you need something to hold your candle. Less obvious are the containers needed to melt, transfer, and pour wax. In choosing your containers, the top priority is always heat resistance and maybe a handle, to help minimize burns because you will be working with high temperatures. Further, consider the type of tool you will use to heat your wax. A presto pot might be the best option, but you can use other heating methods like a hot plate or your stove. Strongly related are the weight scales (one is great, two is better) as they will help you with portion control and precise measurements needed to make a candle in the exact way you want.

miscellaneous notes and considerations

While not necessary, it will be extremely helpful to take notes throughout your candle-making adventure. Some of this comes from a need to measure the balance between fragrance and wax that you like the most. Doing so will make sure you are making a candle perfectly, to your liking, every time. Mostly, this is helpful if you’re testing out different waxes and changing your recipe or using different containers but, if you’re being fairly consistent or happy with whatever outcome, you can worry less. Additionally, it may be helpful to get a face covering or ventilated mask as the smells can be very strong. Similarly, it may get fairly warm in hot spaces so make sure to have a ventilated room. Also, if you are looking to make candles for yourself and everyone around you, we would suggest buying in bulk. Otherwise, you can just get enough to make a few at a time.


The Candle-Making Process

After collecting all the necessary materials, the process is fairly straightly-forward, where the largest demands are patience and attention to detail. This also can be messy so make sure to keep a clean station and be wary of things you’d like to remain clean; though, the worst is usually just scraping off the wax once it cools and hardens. 

Step 1

Depending on the wax you have and the tools you are using, measuring the exact amount of wax for one container may be difficult. Use your best judgement when deciding how much wax you will first melt, though, you can reuse any that doesn’t get used the first time around. Regardless, the first step is melting the wax. Pour the wax into the container to be heated and wait until it is completely liquid. If you are using a thermometer, the heat should be anywhere between 140oF – 200oF. Keep this in mind as some fragrances have a melting point and should be added, only at certain degrees.

Step 2

After the wax has melted, you can add your fragrance, which should only be a small percentage of the total wax weight. Usually, you are looking to add between 6% and 15% of the total weight (which is where the scales come in handy). Again, this depends on factors like the type of wax and how strong of a scent you want. This information is usually shared when you buy wax, otherwise, it’s fairly easy to find online. After you have calculated your preferred percentage, add the fragrance and stir with a heat-resistant wick or silicone spoon for a minute or two. We would recommend against using a wooden stirrer, as you may not be able to cleanly use it for food afterwards.   

Step 3

Secure the wick to the container that will hold your candle. This can be done in a variety of ways including hot glue, double-sided stickers, or even candle wax (which doesn’t hold as strongly). Aim to keep the wick centered as that will lead to the best burn for your candle.

Step 4

Then, pour the wax into the container. You don’t have to worry too much about the speed at which you pour, but it often helps to have a slow, steady stream. It may help to hold your wick to make sure it doesn’t fall in or become detached. Do note that pouring at higher temperatures may lead to sinkholes in the candle. Nevertheless, these can be fixed by reapplying heat and creating a small melting pool with your heat gun but this can exhaust some of the fragrance and lessen the candle’s cold throw (scent when unlit). Pouring at lower temperatures is often better for an instantly smoother candle; around 130oF – 160oF. 

Step 5

Center your wick. You can do this with chopsticks, tape, pencils, or a popsicle stick. Basically, you just want to keep your wick centered and upright as that will help create an even burn once your candle is cured and ready. Once done, just let the candle cool.

Step 6

After an hour or so, depending on how hot the wax was when poured, you should have a finished candle. There may be some imperfections or sinkholes, which you can fix by reapplying heat over the top or adding a little more wax. Beyond that, you can remove your wick stabilizers and trim the wick to about a quarter inch. 

Voilà! Your very own candle. Usually, it helps to let the candle rest for a few more hours before lighting but we understand if you may be a little impatient.

Step 7

Clean up and find the perfect place for your new candle.


Mostly, candle-making and chandlery are a science. There are varied calculations and a process that asks for consistency. Though, that does not mean you cannot make mistakes or continually try new and different things. This is what we hope you take away: candle-making is a fairly simple process that requires minimal tools and more effort than strategy. By learning how to make your own candles, you open up a new arsenal of creativity; you add little twists and bits of personal creativity to come up with something new or with something made just for you. Try it out, make something that only you will like, because sometimes the only person that can satisfy a desire is yourself.