Starting your own business doesn’t need to be complicated, especially when you’re creating your own candle business. What do you need to get started? What kind of supplies will you need to create your items? Where are the best places to purchase those items?
Candle Making: What You Need To Get Started
- Containers and Molds
- Fragrance and Dyes
While you have so many items to choose from, it doesn’t have to be complicated. Read on to find out more about what you need and where you can get it, along with some tips about pricing for each type of candle making supply.
Containers and Molds
Before you even begin, you will need to decide on how you’re going to create your candle. If you are creating your candles to sell, you will have to follow the standards created by the ASTM International. These standards are made specifically for candle making businesses and include checking for your container’s strength and durability. There are also standards for transparent and non-transparent glass, so be sure to follow these standards as you shop for containers for your candles. Standalone candles, on the other hand, can be made in molds. You can easily reuse containers like glass jars from old candles just by cleaning out the old wax, or you can purchase them online. Most single 20-ounce containers range between $1 and $8 on wholesaler websites.
Without a wick, your candle won’t burn, so you will need a decent supply. Make sure you pick something that works with the wax type that you decide to use, and they should also be the right size. Certain wicks work differently with certain types of fragrance and dyes as well. Decide on your wax type, and then you can decide on your wick.
Because of this, wood wicks are usually better for natural waxes, while other wicks like zinc core work best with other types. Paper cores, on the other hand, burn very hot and can only be used with larger container candles.
Choosing the right wick means finding a wick that burns consistently and does not produce soot or smoke. Regardless of the type you choose, make sure you adhere it to the bottom of your container, so it does not slip. Many wicks come with candle safe adhesives, or you can use a touch of glue to adhere it to the bottom.
Wicks usually cost between 6 and 66 cents each, and that will include a metal clip that you can adhere to the bottom of your candle container.
The most important part of your candle, you will need the best type of wax that works with your wick and your fragrances. There are many options to choose from, so make sure you take that into account while deciding what you want your supply to consist of.
Beeswax is a very popular wax to use for candles because it is natural. It is the oldest form of wax and can be purchased in several shapes, like pre-rolled sheets or slabs. One thing to note is that beeswax has a light natural scent which can come through when you burn your candles. Beeswax is firm but can be expensive.
On the other end of the spectrum is paraffin wax. Created out of the crude oil refinement process, it is decidedly not a natural wax, which can send discerning candle purchasers running; if you don’t mind working with a synthetic wax that is cost effective, paraffin will work for you.
A more natural wax would be soy wax or palm wax. These natural oil waxes are the answer to the high price of beeswax and the environmental unfriendliness of paraffin and can be mixed with other waxes to increase their firmness.
When it comes to deciding which is best, it all comes down to what you want out of your candle. Firmer waxes work best in pillar candles, while softer waxes need a container. Some waxes come with scents, and others are less environmentally friendly. Decide which is best for you before you spend the money. Beeswax can range between $11 and $40 online, while paraffin sells for $4 to $12 per 20-ounce candle.
Fragrance and Dyes
Without fragrances, your candle is simply just an open flame. You have options when it comes to fragrance oils—you can go the more natural route with essential oils, or you can purchase fragrance oils created specifically for candles. For many candle waxes, you should err towards one ounce of oil per pound of candle wax, but it can vary depending on the wax type.
Purchasing oils can get expensive, so consider this as you shop. Fragrance oils usually cost between $2 and $8 per bottle, while if you’re deciding to use essential oils, you could be spending over $50 for a small bottle.
With dyes, you can use dye blocks or liquid dye. While they’re not required for your candle, you can add interest and make them more eye catching with special dye colors and styles. These dye sets usually cost about $3 to $5 per color, depending on where you shop.
If you’re creating your candles to sell, you’re going to need labels for your candles. You can create these labels online and print them yourself—just understand that there are standards in place set by the ASTM International. These standards include placing your contact information and the type of wax used. The fragrance of the candle, the weight, your ingredients, and a fire safety warning.
When it comes to purchasing and creating labels, this can be as simple as buying sticky labels from your local office supply store and printing them at home. Just make sure they have the proper information included on them, and you will be compliant within the standards.
The last few supplies you will need include candle making equipment. This usually depends on your personal preference and what you already have around your home. You will need a way to heat your wax, and usually that includes a double boiler. (A double boiler can easily be created by boiling water in a saucepan and placing a safe bowl, like a glass bowl, over top to melt your wax.)
From there, you will need measuring cups or spoons to measure out your fragrances and dyes, and then to mix those into your hot wax. Having a scale or thermometer may also help in this situation to make sure all your candles are uniform in their creation. Don’t forget to lay down newspaper or even wax paper to protect your workspace, and you will need clothespins to hold your wicks in place as it cools. Having utility scissors to cut your wicks is also important. Keep these equipment pieces separate from your other cooking equipment, as wax is notoriously hard to clean and can ruin your equipment.
When it comes to getting your supplies for your business, you don’t have to break the bank. Understanding what you need—and, effectively, what you don’t need—is the first step in making sure your business is a success and can make a profit. When you’re shopping, don’t be afraid to shop around—places like Amazon, CandleMart, and CandleWic have great prices on supplies, but smaller companies like Lone Star Candle Supply, Kalamazoo Candle Company, and Wellington Fragrance Company may be able to give you a more personalized experience with additional, helpful information as you start your business. Get the best bang for your buck when you shop—that way, you can make the highest profit off of your new candle making business.
Frequently Asked Questions
What standards do I have to follow if I sell my candles?
Set up by the ASTM International, all containers have to meet certain standards for glass construction. You should also be labelling your candles with detailed instructions, along with a warning and fire safety guidelines.
Should I buy a starter kit to make candles?
A starter kit can be a great way to get all the supplies you need to start your candle making business but be sure to consider the pricing. If you are only starting it out as a hobby, the kit may be your best bet, but if you want to turn it into a business, buying bulk and pricing out your supplies to the lowest supplier will be most cost effective.
How much money does it take to create a single candle?
When you’re creating a standard 20-ounce candle with fragrance and dye, depending on the cost of your supplies, it can cost between $10 and $60. This cost usually depends on the type of wax you use, whether you use dye, and the cost of the fragrance oil that you use. If you’re looking to reduce the cost of your candle, consider using synthetic fragrance dyes instead of essential oils. This estimate does not factor in the cost of equipment.
Looking to start your own candle making business, check out my startup documents here
Please note that the contents of this blog are for informational and entertainment purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice. Any action taken based on the information provided in this blog is solely at your own risk. Additionally, all images used in this blog are generated under the CC0 license of Creative Commons, which means they are free to use for any purpose without attribution.
Meet Shawn Chun: Entrepreneur and Candle Business Fan.
I’m a happy individual who happens to be an entrepreneur. I have owned several types of businesses in my life from a coffee shop to an import and export business to an online review business plus a few more and now I create online candle business resources for those interested in starting new ventures. It’s demanding work but I love it. I do it for those passionate about their business and their goals. That’s why when I meet a candle business owner at a craft fair, farmers market, retail location or anywhere else I see myself. I know how hard the struggle is to obtain and retain clients, finding good employees all while trying to stay competitive. That’s why I created Candle Business Boss: I want to help candle business owners like you build a thriving business that brings you endless joy and supports your ideal lifestyle.