How To Make DIY Candles, According To The Pros

Professional candle makers tells us which waxes, fragrances and wicks you need for homemade candles.
Melt and pour your homemade wax into your favorite container to make a one-of-a kind candle that you can't get in stores.
Melt and pour your homemade wax into your favorite container to make a one-of-a kind candle that you can't get in stores.

There’s nothing like lighting a candle that smells of warm spices or fresh balsam pine in the winter months. And while the most convenient option is to pick up a candle from your closest big-box store, professional candle makers told HuffPost that it might be worthwhile to start making your own.

Angel Vu, founder and creator of Blow Me Candle Co., said “Mass produced candles just don’t have that human love and touch. There’s just something about ‘homemade’ candles that light a little warmer, a little brighter than your corporate candle. Not to mention, a lot of corporate candles produce carcinogens and do not burn as clean and slow as handmade candles. Once you go handmade you won’t go back. Trust me.”

London Tierney of Particle Goods began her homemade candle career after realizing store-bought candles were actually worsening a chronic sinus condition that she had been battling for years.

“I am incredibly scent sensitive and believe that many mass-produced candles are made with cheap and irritating ingredients,” Tierney said. “Because regulations for candles are quite different than cosmetics, the labeling can be very confusing or misleading. For example, a manufacturer only has to disclose 51% of the wax composition (type) on the label. This means that if a candle is a soy/paraffin blend, but the paraffin is less than 51%, it can simply be labeled as a pure soy candle.”

Aside from ingredient transparency and complete product control, the interactive process of measuring and melting wax, developing completely customized scent blends and choosing your own containers can be a creative outlet and may also be unexpectedly therapeutic.

For Lex Dascoli, founder of Vibes Candles and The Wooden Wick Co’s “Next Top Candle Maker” for 2021, making candles was a way to create light in a dark time.

“To honor my mom and find my own comfort after her passing, I decided to make a special candle. Growing up, my parents always had candles burning and we all loved the mood and good vibes they brought to a room. This memory, along with my natural gravitation towards creativity as an outlet, made creating this candle feel so right,” Dascoli wrote on her website.

But before you begin melting some wax in a pan, Erica Boucher, the owner of Memory Box Candle Co. who has her own candle tutorial YouTube channel, reminded us that candle making is still very much a science.

“Little changes, such as temperature or the size of the wick, could make a huge difference in the outcome and performance of the candle. I like to say that candle making is a lot of trial and error, but once you get a good combination of wax, fragrance and wick— it’s the best feeling!” Boucher said.

To craft your own candles or give a thoughtful handmade gift to others, see what our candle making experts said you should have on hand.

HuffPost may receive a share from purchases made via links on this page. Every item is independently selected by the HuffPost Shopping team. Prices and availability are subject to change.

A set of three different premium natural waxes
Not all candle melts are created equal, and sometimes you want to try a few different waxes or a combination of waxes in order to find something that's just right for you. This natural wax sampling kit by one of the most trusted brands in candle supplies, The Wooden Wick Co., includes 11 ounces each of hemp coco soy, beeswax coco creme and 100% soy flakes, each one completely free of toxins for a safe burn.

Get it from Michaels for $46.99.
A foolproof way to melt your wax
Kandace Florence is the owner of Glo Through It, a holistic and eco-friendly candle brand. Florence said that "if you're serious about candle making, invest in a big wax melter. It saves you a lot of time and energy."

This 6-quart wax melter quickly melts down any kind of wax in larger batches and has a non-stick tank for easy cleanup. The glass lid prevents fragrance from escaping while the nickel-coated pour spout on the bottom of the melter means you can easily disperse your product into their heat-safe vessels or pitchers.

Get it from Amazon for $89.95.
An ideal capacity pitcher to pour your wax
Kevin Fischer, owner of Armatage Candle Company, shares his industry knowledge of candle making on his YouTube channel. If you don't want to invest in a wax melter, Fischer uses this dripless pour melting pitcher by EricX Light because of its excellent heat conductivity and non-stick surface.

Get it from Amazon for $22.95.
A set of assorted clean-burning wooden wicks
For a truly safe and relaxing experience, Dascoli recommended "100% wood wicks from the Wooden Wick Co. because they are eco-friendly and clean burning. Not only are they FSC certified wood, they are hand-crafted, made in the USA and have a crackling sound like a mini fireplace."

This sample kit includes all of The Wooden Wick Co's. classic wicks and clips in assorted sizes.

Get it from Michaels for $46.99.
Ten different fragrance oils to get your own customized scent
To avoid encountering any harmful chemicals in fragrance oils, Florence recommended phthalate-, carcinogen- and toxin-free fragrance oils, like these created by The Wooden Wick Co.

This set of 10 curated fragrance oils include some of the brand's top selling scents that run the gamut of spicy saffron and tobacco to cozy cashmere and vanilla and sweet Prosecco and pink raspberries.

Get it from Michaels for $58.99.
A way to dye your candle that is safe for you and the environment
Fischer said that if you're planning on customizing the color of your candle, it's important to use oil-soluble dye without any kind of alcohol in its formulation; otherwise, you run the risk of fire hazard. These eco-dyes by The Wooden Wick Co. are made with a renewable solvent system free from parabens and phthalates. You can customize color vibrancy and, according to Fischer, "It’s a ton of fun combining cool scents and colors together, especially when the colors don’t traditionally match the scent. Ever smell a blue cinnamon candle?"

Get it from Michaels for $10.99 each.
A mess-free thermometer
Temperature monitoring is an essential part of crafting a candle that will actually provide enough scent to fill the room. For Vu, this is where a thermometer is most vital. "I love my point and shoot one. It’s so much less messy and super quick," Vu said.

This digital temperature gun uses a laser IR gauge to read temperatures more accurately.

Get it from Amazon $22.99.
A digital scale to correctly weigh your wax
"There is also a lot of math needed to ensure the proper percentage of fragrance is added to the melted candle wax. The main thing to remember with candle making is that everything is measured in weight, not volume," Boucher said.

This simple kitchen scale by Ozeri can make this process much less daunting with its easy to read display that instantly converts measurements at the touch of a button.

Get it from Amazon for $10.
Heat-safe vessels to hold your candle and match your decor
Possibly the most fun part of homemade candle-making is finding just the right vessel to put them in. Tierney said it's important to use "containers that are durable in high heat, such as glass, metal or glazed ceramic." You can also refill them once you are done!

Get the retro purple relief candy jar from Amazon for $15.99.
Get the green apothecary jar from Amazon for $21.99.
Get the assorted set of 20 colorful tins from Amazon for $23.99.
Get the ceramic containers with bamboo lids from Amazon for $33.99 (set of three).
Get the pink ceramic container with golden deer lid from Amazon for $22.99.
A way to "jazz up" your candle
Once you have gotten down your candle-making basics, Vu said "you can really jazz up your candles with eco-friendly glitter, dye, dried florals, stones and more."

The biodegradable glitter by EcoGlimmer creates minimal environmental impact and can break down in normal treatment facilities, septic systems and soils unlike traditional glitter made from micro-plastics.

Get the glitter from EcoGlimmerEcoGlitter at Etsy for $6.50.
Get the dried flowers from CapriceFlowers at Etsy for $6.75.
Get the gemstones from BeadNova at Etsy for $2.19+.
A convenient candle making kit with sultry fragrances
If you want to ease into the whole candle-making process, Florence said kits would be a good place to start before investing in all the materials. She suggested one from The Wooden Wick Co., because "it comes with all of the supplies you'll need and you won't waste your money."

This particular kit comes in a gift-able box with instructions and sultry complex fragrances like dark rose and labdanum and cashmere and vanilla.

Get it from Michaels for $111.99.

Before You Go

A set of smiley pillowcases

Pantone Color Of The Year 2022: Home Decor

Popular in the Community


HuffPost Shopping’s Best Finds