Making candles doesn’t have to be a complicated process if you know what to expect. What materials make the easiest candle, and what should you avoid? What kind of fragrances or dyes should you use when you’re just starting out?
Easiest candles to make. Which candles should you make first?
1: Easiest Style: Container Candles
2: Easiest Wax: Beeswax or Paraffin Wax
3: Easiest Wicks: Zinc Core Wicks
4: Easiest Fragrances: Essential Oils
5: Easiest Dyes: Solid Dye Blocks
To start making your candles, first you need to understand your components. Each component can affect the ease of making your first candles, so the more you know about each item, the better!
First is your wax. Because each type is so vastly different, it’s important to understand the features of each possible type before deciding which to try first.
Beeswax is one of the most popular on the hobby market. But expect to shell out some cash for this product, as it is the most expensive type of wax. It is also one of the oldest types, as it has been used for thousands of years to make candles. For our use, it is now sold in pre-rolled sheets or slabs for melting down. Beeswax has a very light, natural scent when you use it.
Gel wax is transparent and allows for very creative candles where you can place decorative items inside the wax as it hardens. This wax is very soft, so if you’re making pillar candles, you may need to mix it with something else.
Palm or soy wax are both natural based wax like beeswax and can be mixed with other types of wax. Palm wax can be very soft, and when it hardens, creates a feathering effect. Soy wax, on the other hand, may need more colorant added due to the existing color of the wax.
Paraffin wax is your most commonly used wax and is created through the crude oil refinement process. It is not a natural wax, so if you’re environmentally conscious, this may not be the best wax for you.
Secondly, your wicks—because your candle won’t burn without it. You need to make sure you have the best wick for your type of wax and style of candle. You should look for the right sized wick for your candle; along with checking to make sure it works with whatever type of fragrance you use. Wood wicks work very well with natural waxes, and zinc core wicks are the most popular and most used. Paper core wicks burn very hot and should only be used in larger container candles. You’re looking for a wick that burns consistently throughout the entire candle and creates the most even melting pool possible.
Third, your containers should be made to hold candles. While that seems like a no-brainer, making sure that they’re glass or metal; and big enough to hold a proper candle is key to your process. Also make sure there are no holes for the wax to leak through. And your candle should be of a material where you can adhere the wick clip to the bottom to make pouring your wax that much easier.
Next on the list is fragrances and dyes. There are dozens of options for you to use for both, but the main options for dyes are liquid or solid dyes, and fragrances are either artificial scents made for candle making or essential oils.
So, knowing your options, what makes the easiest candle? Read on to find out which choices are best for your first foray into making candles.
Easiest Style: Container Candles
If you’re just starting out, container candles are the easiest style of candles to make. You don’t have to worry about filling out a mold for a pillar candle, nor would you have to learn how to dip a candle; for most container candles. All you have to do is set the wick and pour your hot wax before letting it harden. For the easiest type of container candle, consider a votive candle—these are very small candles that can be used in centerpieces for events and contain very little wax to pour.
Easiest Wax: Beeswax or Paraffin Wax
This choice comes down to two types of wax, as one is easier to use and one is more environmentally conscious. Because container candles are the easiest style of candle to make, you can use any type of wax to create it. That being said, some are easier than others to work with.
If you are looking for the easiest, most inexpensive type of wax for your first batches of candles, paraffin wax is going to provide the easiest foray into wax pouring. The most commonly used on the market; it has a high melt temperature and can be found in most hobby stores. The type of wax is firm enough to be used in all types of candle shapes and molds, making it work very well in a container candle.
If you’re more environmentally conscious and want to stay away from wax made through the crude oil refinement process, then consider using beeswax. Again, this type of wax has been used throughout history, making it a tried-and-true type to use for your candles. Because of the light scent, know that before you add fragrance that the beeswax
Easiest Wicks: Zinc Core Wicks
There are many options on the market, including fabric wicks or wood wicks, but going with the traditional zinc core wick is going to be easiest to understand and control. They will work best with most types of wax and fragrances, and burn consistently. You can shift to different options when you learn how to work with other types of wax that work with other types of wicks.
Easiest Fragrances: Essential Oils
While it may not be the most cost-effective option, if you’re looking to start making candles, essential oils can be used in candles safely. You can easily mix several fragrances and styles to create a more complex scent, and they are easy to find online.
Easiest Dyes: Solid Dye Blocks
If you’ve ever tried cooking or baking with liquid food dyes, you know that it can get everywhere—and not always where it belongs. This can be the same for liquid dyes when you’re making your candles. It’s already very easy to get messy with hot wax and fragrances, so using solid dye blocks is best for those just starting out. You can cut off pieces of the solid dye, but be careful using a knife during this part of the process.
If you want to make your first candle even easier, cut out the dye portion altogether. It’s not necessary for the candle to burn properly, and you can add in this step later when you’ve learned how to make candles better.
Things to Avoid
- Mixing wax before you know how each type works. While mixing wax types can yield some unique results, if you’re just starting out, you should avoid this altogether.
- Using molds or dips before you’ve perfected the container candle making process. If you don’t know how to make a container candle, you shouldn’t be trying to dip or use a mold. They add extra steps to the process and if you don’t know how to control the wax, it’ll be much harder to make these types of candles.
- Using any fragrances that aren’t specifically for candles. You can use essential oils for candles and non-toxic fragrances meant for candles, but do not use anything else. Using perfume as a fragrance will not work, as it is not designed to burn and could create a fire hazard with your homemade candles.
While the best types of beginner candles have several options, sticking with a traditional paraffin or beeswax candle with a zinc core wick in a medium sized container is going to give you the best results on your first try. When you learn how to pour that type of candle, you can start to branch out with some of the other types of waxes, wicks, and containers.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do I make a candle at home?
Before you attempt to make a candle, you should gather all your ingredients. Next, protect your workspace with newspaper. Decide what type of candle you want to make before you start, including picking your fragrances. Place the wick in the container and heat up your wax, then add the colorant (if desired) and fragrance. After mixing thoroughly, transfer the wax into the final container and let cool.
What type of mold is best for candle making?
Because it varies from type to type, the best kind of mold depends on the wax you’re using. Aluminum molds, polyurethane molds, and polycarbonate molds are the best for most types of wax.
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.