Basic Candle Making Instructions

How to get started making candles today

Candles hanging in shop, San Miguel de Allende, Mexico
Danita Delimont / Getty Images

Candles and candle making have been a part of people's lives since the dawn of time. From the earliest rush lights, to candles made from tallow or spermaceti, to modern paraffin candles, most people have grown up with candles around them - as decoration and as emergency lighting when the power goes out.

Today, we don't need candles for daily illumination, but there is nothing like candles to bring warmth and light to a room.

If you experimented with candle making in grade school making dipped candles or sand candles you also know the joy in knowing that you made it yourself.

It's fairly easy to get started making your own candles. You just need a few simple ingredients, some basic tools and equipment (that you probably have in your kitchen or garage, and some basic knowledge of the procedure.

Although there are many different types of candles, they basically all contain 2 or 3 components - some wax and a wick - and some sort of container.  To make your own candles, you'll need:

  1. An understanding of Basic Candle Safety (both the making and the use of them.)
  2. A heat source like a hot plate or electric stove to melt the wax
  3. A "double boiler" set up - a large, low pot for boiling water, with an old coffee can set inside it to melt the wax, will do just fine - or a more formal candle wax melting pot
  4. Some wax appropriate for the type of candle you want to make
  1. A wick appropriate for that wax
  2. A mold or container to hold the melted wax
  3. Fragrance or color for the candle, if desired
  4. A match to light it when it's done

That's essentially all it takes. Of course, from there you can choose from various types of candles. and you'll need to choose the appropriate wax and wick for your project.

Personalize your candle even further by choosing a fragrance or essential oil to scent your candle.

As you can see, the variations of candles you can make are only limited by your imagination and your willingness to experiment.

To get you started, here are some great basic projects:


  • many more candle making projects to try.
  • To also help you get going, be sure to check out my Candle Making Videos

    You'll see lots of instructions and how-tos online that will show you how easy it is to make candles. It's easy to make average candles...but with careful attention to your ingredients - the balance of wax, wick, fragrance and container - and a lot of testing - you'll find it easy to make great candles that you'll be proud to display, burn, sell or give as gifts!