Candle Making Instructions & Supplies
Supplies List & Links to Purchase
Melting pot or stainless steel kitchen pot
Pyrex glass measuring cup with spout (size: 1-2 cups)
Thermometer (food grade)
Teaspoons for measuring essential oils/fragrance oils
Chopsticks or spoons to mix oils and wax
Clothespins or wick centers
Tabbed wicks (cotton core or any kind without lead centers)
Purchase wicks here - we recommend CD wicks for coconut wax or soy wax, select wick size based on the diameter of your container (more information at link)
Wick stickers to adhere wick tabs to bottom of containers
Glass, ceramic or tin containers. You can even repurpose other candle containers, tea cups, mugs, tea tins etc. Just make sure to use containers that are fire-safe (no plastic).
Labels and decorations
Wax – try to use coconut, soy or other non-paraffin type of wax if you want your candles to be clean and nontoxic. Paraffin wax is a petroleum byproduct and isn’t clean burning.
Essential oils/fragrance oils – we suggest using nontoxic oils that are phthalate-free and paraben-free
Dye – while we don’t use dyes in our candles, you can experiment with different types of nontoxic dyes for colored candles
Candle Making Instructions
Cover your work area to protect from spills
Get out all supplies needed – see attached suggested supplies list
Pre-wick your containers to have ready before you begin to melt wax and pour oils: adhere wick tabs to wick stickers and stick inside the container bottoms
Now you are ready to start candle making!
Step 1: Measure out the wax
Weigh or use a pyrex glass measuring cup to measure the amount of wax needed and add to your melting pitcher or kitchen pot.
Example of amount of wax needed to make one candle:
A standard medium-sized candle container is typically 8 ounces in size. One pound of wax is 16 ounces, so if you are making one 8-ounce candle, then you will need to melt ½ pound of wax for the candle. If you are making two 8-ounce candles, then you will need 1 pound of wax and so on.
Step 2: Melt the wax
Melt wax over low to medium-low heat on the stove. Don’t use higher than a medium-low heat setting to avoid overheating the wax. Keep an eye on the wax and once it’s fully melted, keep it on the lowest heat setting until you are ready to start pouring candles. The wax will need to be heated to 200°F to 210°F and make sure to check the temperature periodically while you are preparing for the next steps.
Note: You can also melt wax in a glass pyrex cup in the microwave if you are making a small number of candles. A standard glass pyrex cup typically holds 2 cups of liquid, which equals 16 ounces, which equals 1 pound. When melting wax in the microwave, start by heating the wax in 1 minute increments until fully melted.
For safety reasons, do not leave the melting wax unattended while the stove is on or while microwaving!
Step 3: Measure & add essential oils/fragrance oils
While the wax is melting, measure and add the essential oils/fragrance oils. There are 2 ways to mix the melted wax with essential oils/fragrance oils:
You can measure and add the oils directly to the melted wax in a pyrex cup for easy pouring. This way is easiest if you’re making all of your candles in the same scent. Be sure to measure the ratio of oils to wax before you mix the oils directly into the melted wax in the pyrex cup.
2. You can add oils into the wicked candle containers first and then pour in the melted wax after – this is the method we did in class. I prefer to add oils to the wicked containers first if I’m making multiple scents at a time and so I can adjust the mix of scents prior to pouring in the wax if needed.
In either scenario, it is important for the melted coconut wax to be at 200°F-205°F when you mix in the essential oils/fragrance oils or pour the melted wax into the containers with oils inside. This is to ensure that the oils and wax bind properly and for the scent throw to fill the room in the finished candle. So, make sure to check the temperature of the melted wax before it makes contact with the oils.
Note that 200°F-205°F is usually the optimal temperature for coconut wax to mix with oils. If you’re using soy wax or another type of wax, then check with the supplier or on their website for the optimal temperature because it could be lower than 200°F.
Amount of essential oils/fragrance oils to add in one 8-ounce candle:
For most oils, add one ounce of essential oil/fragrance oil to one 8-ounce candle (12.5% fragrance load calculated by 1 ounce of oil divided by 8 ounces of wax) – this is the ratio we used in class. If you’re using pure essential oils, then you’ll have to experiment with the ratio of oil to wax as some essential oils are lighter in scent and you may have to add more. If you want a stronger scented candle, then add 1.5 ounces of oil to one 8-ounce candle.
Keep in mind that the ideal oil to wax ratio can vary depending on the oils, type of wax used and personal preferences on strength of scent throw. It is possible to add too much oil to a candle, which could result in the wick smoking while burning or the candle “sweating” out oils on the surface.
So, whether you are using coconut wax or soy wax, pure essential oils or the Candle Science oils we used in class, I suggest that you test for the optimal ratio of oil to wax by making a few small test candles first.
Step 4: Pour wax into containers and lightly mix
Whether you already mixed oils into the melted wax or added oils into the containers first, now is the time to carefully pour the melted wax into the containers and lightly stir to mix the wax and oils. Don't stir too hard because the melted wax will splash and it will be hot!
Note: If you pour too quickly, then the wax could splash up on the side of the container or form small air bubbles on top of the wax. Do not fill your containers to the brim as melted wax could spill over.
After you’ve filled the containers, use clothespins or wick centers to center the wicks before the wax sets.
Step 5: Allow to cool
Now, the containers can be left to completely cool at room temperature. It is best if you move them as little as possible, so the wax does not slosh up the sides of the container. Make sure there are no fans or air vents blowing directly on them since you do not want to accelerate the cooling process, which could cause the wax to form air bubbles or not adhere to the sides of the containers evenly. Once the candles have cooled completely, carefully remove the clothespins or chopsticks you used to center the wicks.
Note: Don’t put candles in the refrigerator or freezer to set faster. That will cause the wax to solidify unevenly and could cause the wax to separate from the edges of the container.
Step 6: Trim the wick
Trim the wick to ¼” length using wick trimmers, scissors or nail clippers.
Note: Be cautious as to not to trim them too short because they won’t burn properly. However, leaving the wick too long will cause smoking when burning the candle.
Step 7: Finishing touches
Now you can decorate your candles. Get creative, have fun!
Candle Care Tips
Allow candles to cure for at least 72 hours before burning. 1 week is even better. Curing is needed for the wax and oils to fully bind and produce a consistent scent throw.
To extend candle life and avoid tunneling, burn candle until the entire top layer has melted to the edges of the container before blowing out the flame.
Trim wick frequently as you enjoy your candles