Is Candle Making an Expensive Hobby?

Upcycling and DIY is here to stay in our culture, so it’s no question that people are interested in picking up new and useful hobbies like candle making. But with all the steps you need to take to gather up the items you need to make your first candle, is it an expensive hobby?

Is candle making an expensive hobby?

No, candle making is not an expensive hobby, and can save money in the long run. Large retailers like Yankee Candle sell their signature candles for about $30. Purchasing your own supplies can cost around $50 for your first set, which means you can make your own comparable candle for about $15.

As you look at starting your hobby, what supplies do you need, and how much do each of those items cost? What are the benefits to making your own candles? Read on to find out more.

How much does it cost to make a single candle?

Before you start your hobby, it’s important to know how much a single candle could cost you. If you’re making a standard, simple 20-ounce container candle that has both fragrance and dye in it, it could cost between $10 and $60 to make at the highest and lowest ends of the spectrum. Most candles average out to cost around $15 without counting the cost for your equipment.

But what equipment do you need to do start your hobby?

1. Wax

Is Candle Making an Expensive Hobby?

This is your most important decision to make, and can make or break your bank, depending on what you choose. Because there are many options, you need to know what those options are and how they affect your budget before deciding.

Beeswax is the oldest candle wax type and one of the most popular choices for homemade candles. That being said, it is also one of the most expensive. It comes in many different forms, has a natural scent, and is a firmer wax, so if you wish to mix it with others, you can. Purchasing enough wax for a 20-ounce candle will cost between $11 and $40, depending on where you get it from.

Paraffin is going to be your other most popular choice for candles, but it is completely different from beeswax in terms of creation. While beeswax is a natural and environmentally friendly option, paraffin is created through the crude oil refinement process, making it decidedly not environmentally friendly. But if your budget is in question, paraffin will be your best choice, as it is significantly less expensive than beeswax at somewhere between $4 and $12 for enough wax to make a 20-ounce candle.

There are other options for you when it comes to wax, like gel wax, soy wax, or palm wax, but paraffin and beeswax are the easiest to find and purchase.

2. Wicks

Wicks are the next most important part of your candle—without it, you can’t burn your candle wax. While there are many types of wicks that you can explore as you develop your hobby, the most inexpensive wick style is the zinc core wick with an attached metal clip. You can purchase rolls of wick and add your own clip as well. These work best with all types of candle wax, so it’s a perfect way to start your candle making journey.

For a single wick, you can purchase them for somewhere between 6 cents and 66 cents each. Most wicks come in packs of multiples.

What are the best wicks to use in candle making?

3. Containers

You’ll need somewhere to put your candles, so containers are the best way to do that. You can reuse old containers after they have been cleaned out, but if you need to purchase your own, you can get them for anywhere between $2 to $8 each. If you intend on making a lot of candles, you do have the option of buying candle jars in bulk.

4. Fragrances

Is Candle Making an Expensive Hobby?

If you’re looking for the place where you can spend the most money, it will be in the category of fragrances. There are two routes you can take with your candle fragrances—using essential oils or using oils made specifically for candles. You will need about 0.5 ounces of fragrance per pound of wax, so if you intend on making a lot of candles, know that before you make your purchases.

Your fragrance oils made specifically for candles are going to be your more inexpensive option. Those usually range between $2 and $8 for about one fluid ounce, meaning you can use it for two pounds of candle wax. When you start to branch out into essential oils, you could be spending up to $50 on a bottle, turning a relatively inexpensive item into something extremely expensive per candle.

5. Dyes

This is the best place to cut costs if you find yourself spending too much money on your new hobby. Dyes are not necessary in your candle, although they can be fun and add interest to your creations. That being said, make sure you purchase dyes that are made for candle making—food dyes will not mix into your candle wax.

You can purchase sets of dye for your candles from a number of different places, but most of them will cost about $3 to $5 per color, depending on what you choose.

6. Candle Making Equipment

Depending on what you use, you may not have to purchase any new equipment at all. As long as you have a stove or hot plate, a glass bowl or pan you’re willing to use for candle wax, and a way to mix your items, you can create your own candles with things already in your household.

Is it cheaper to buy or to make your own candles?

While the initial investment may be around $50 or more, depending on what you purchase, it breaks down to about $15 for a 20-ounce candle. If you’re looking at a large retailer like Yankee Candle, 22-ounce candles sell for around $30, so it is cheaper to make your own.

It may feel like you are spending more money up front, and you are—but the benefits include spending 50 to 75 percent less on your candles at the end.

What are the benefits to making your own candles?

Besides the price, starting a new hobby is relaxing and fun. Making your own candles also means you have something at the end to show off what you’ve learned, and you can enjoy it for as many burn hours as your candle will last. It is also a relatively easy hobby to pick up, as long as you have the proper supplies. It is also a hobby that can turn into a gift—people love handmade gifts, especially ones tailored to the scents and colors they like.

In the long run, the cost of your candles is really what you put into it. Like your waxes or fragrances, you have options to pick from with a wide range of prices. If you decide you want to do this as a business, you will have other costs too, like business licenses, a website, and shipping—but if you intend for it to remain a hobby, it is inexpensive and can yield amazing results!

Related Questions

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Is it safe to make candles at home?
If you take all the necessary precautions, it is safe to make candles at home. Monitor your candle wax as it melts so it does not get too hot—use a thermometer if necessary to monitor the temperature of your wax. Make sure you keep your work area clean with wax paper or newspaper under where you intend to make your candles for easy clean up.

Should I buy a candle making starter kit or purchase everything separately?
When starting out in candle making, it is up to you how you want to purchase your items. Purchasing a starter kit is easy but may not always be cost effective, while buying everything separately could take time, and if you’re buying online, you could have shipping costs.

Can I use any fragrance oil for my candles?
Only use fragrance oils meant for candles or essential oils. Using a fragrance oil like a perfume means it will not burn properly, as it is not made from the right materials to burn. If you are interested in making a candle smell like an existing perfume, find out what scents go into that perfume and use essential oils or fragrance oils to create a duplicate.

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