There are so many little things you can do to bring joy to your everyday. One of the easiest? A sweet-smelling candle. In fact, research suggests certain aromas have real mood-boosting and stress-busting affects.
Sure, there are plenty of great candles on store shelves. But who doesn't love a good DIY project? And luckily, it's easy to make homemade candles. With a few inexpensive supplies and a little guidance from the crafting experts at Michaels, you'll be a pro at DIY candles in no time.
First, here's what you'll need:
There are several different options when choosing wax.
- Paraffin: This is the most popular wax for candle making, but be sure to use a paraffin wax designed specifically for the task.
- Soy: Derived from vegetable oil, this wax has a longer, cleaner burn that's more environmentally-friendly. The downside? It's not a good option for strong-smelling or brightly-colored candles.
- Gel: This type of wax makes a liquid-looking candle with a slow and non-toxic burn, but it doesn’t hold scent well.
2. Fragrance and Coloring
To ensure a safe, clean burn, use only fragrance oils and liquid dyes specifically for candle making.
Prewaxed, tabbed wicks: The easiest option for DIY candles, these wicks come cut and assembled, so all you have to do is glue them down.
Wood wicks: Another great option for homemade candles, wooden wicks provide a long, clean burn and have a more sophisticated look that's perfect for gifts.
Though a candy thermometer will suffice, wax can be messy and hard to clean. A soap or candle thermometer devoted to the job will render the best results with the least amount of effort.
5. Wooden stirring stick
To minimize cleanup, use a disposable wooden stick to stir hot wax during the candle making process.
6. Pour Pot
A pour pot is a heat-safe aluminum container used to heat wax, then safely and precisely pour it into the candle container.
Any medium saucepan will do—it's simply used as a double boiler while heating wax.
You'll need a thick, heat-proof container to create your DIY candle, but this is a great place to get creative. Try tea cups, aluminum tins, ceramic containers, or recycled jars.
How to make candles at home:
- Chip wax off of the block using a hammer and screwdriver or chisel. Place the wax into the pour pot.
- Place the pour pot in a saucepan filled 1/3 of the way with water. Bring water to a boil.
- Stir the wax with a wooden stick until the wax melts completely. (The melting point of soy wax and paraffin wax is generally 125 degrees Fahrenheit.)
- When wax is melted, measure the temperature of the wax with the thermometer. The best pour temperature ranges from about 110 to 140 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Once the wax has reached a suitable pour temperature, add a 1/2 ounce of fragrance oil and a 1/2 ounce of coloring. Stir to fully incorporate.
- Pour wax into a clean, dry heat-safe container.
- Quickly insert a tabbed wick (either pre-waxed or wooden) into the center.
- Allow candle to cool for several hours, then trim the wick. (Approximately 1 inch is suitable for most container candles.)
How Much Do Homemade Candles Cost to Make?
As with most DIY projects, there's always an upfront cost. To get started, you'll likely need a few supplies you don't already have on hand. To make candles, expect your initial investment for tools and materials to be about $50. But remember: The pour pot and the candy thermometer are items you'll use over an over again, and they account for more than half of that expense.
Once you have the necessary tools, expect to spend about $5 per candle for wicks, stirring sticks, fragrance, and dye. The greatest variable in the cost is the type of container you use, but recycled jars or reclaimed items, like tea cups, are very affordable solutions.