how to make your first candle

How to Make a Candle Step By Step

If you’re new to making candles, the process can feel daunting. Candle making is both an art and a science. However, you don’t need to become an expert before you’re ready to pour your first candle.

Sometimes the best way to learn is simply to get your hands on some candle making supplies and start experimenting. Keep reading to learn everything you need to know about candle making step by step!

Basic Candle Making Steps

If you don't have materials yet, make sure to check out our list of supplies to get. You might already have some of the equipment at home, but you'll want to make sure you have the basics before starting.

You may also want to review the types of candles. Candle making directions will vary depending on the type of candle you want to make. For this tutorial, we're covering container candles.

The process of making a container candle involves these basic steps:

  1. Prepare your container with a wick.
  2. Weigh your ingredients.
  3. Melt the wax.
  4. Add the fragrance oil.
  5. Pour the melted wax into the container.
  6. Let the candle cure.

We’ll go over all these steps in detail so you can make a candle with confidence.

Detailed Candle Making Guide

For this tutorial, we will explain how to make a candle in a Libbey Status Jar, which is one of the most popular jars. If you use a different type of container or wax, you may need to adjust the type and size of wick you choose. Remember you can refer to our candle wicking guide to choose an appropriate wick based on your container and wax.

This tutorial teaches you how to make one candle. Adjust the amount of ingredients accordingly to make a larger batch.

For this tutorial, you will need the following supplies & ingredients:

* Note: This is a coconut wax blend. If using Soy Wax or a different kind of wax, follow the instructions for melting/heating your wax. Soy wax should only be heated to 185 degrees F, while coconut blends need to be heated over 200 degrees F.

** Note: Numerous types/sizes of wicks would be suitable for this project. See our Candle Wick Chart for more wicking suggestions. Keep in mind the fragrance you use may affect how your wick performs.

Video Tutorial

Ready to get started? Watch this quick video to help you make your first candle! Each step is explained in more detail in the written tutorial below.

Here are all the steps for making your first candle:

Part 1: Preparing Your Container

  1. Make sure the jar is free from any dust and residue. If needed, clean your candle container with soap and water, then let it dry completely.
  2. Once the jar is dry, open your roll of glue dots and grab an Ultra Core 2.000 wick. Stick the wick tab onto one of the dots. Peel the glue dot off the sheet by pulling on the wick tab (not the wick itself).
  3. Optional: Use a heat gun to briefly warm the inside of the container. This can help the glue dot adhere if the container is cold/you’re working in a cold room.
  4. Center the wick tab in the bottom of your container and press down on the tab to make the glue adhere.
  5. Grab your bow tie wick bar. Slide the wick into the notch on the wick centering bar, positioning the bar so that the grooves fit into the container. The wick bar should hold the wick snugly so that the wick is straight and doesn’t sag.

Part 2: Weighing Your Ingredients

  1. Set your scale on a flat surface. Place a plate or other container on the scale to keep it clean while weighing your wax (optional).
  2. Turn on the scale and tare it to zero. Set the measurement unit to ounces.
  3. Place a 3 oz measuring beaker on the scale and tare it to zero.
  4. Weigh out 1 oz of fragrance oil in the beaker. Carefully set the fragrance aside for later. Note: This is a 10% fragrance load, which is a good amount to start with. You can go up to 12% for a stronger scent.
  5. Use a straight edge cutting tool to slice off a few pieces of your EC-26 wax.
  6. Weigh out 10 oz of wax on the scale. Set aside for later.

Part 3: Melting Your Wax

  1. If using a metal pouring pitcher to melt your wax, place the 10 oz of wax into the pitcher. Next, fill a medium sauce pan about half full with water. Place the metal pouring pitcher into the water bath to create a double boiler. Begin warming the pan using a hot plate or stove top on high heat.
  2. If using a wax melting pot instead, simply add the wax to the melt pot and turn it on. If your melting pot has options for different temperatures, set the dial to 200 degrees F.
  3. Use your whisk or spatula to stir the wax as it melts. Have your thermometer ready to check the temperature of the wax.

Part 4: Adding Fragrance

When the wax reaches 200 degrees F, add the 1 oz of fragrance that you weighed earlier. Stir for about 30 seconds.

Note: The wax used in this tutorial is a coconut wax blend, which needs to get to 200 degrees F before adding fragrance. You should not heat soy above 185 degrees F.

Part 5: Pouring Your Candle

  1. Turn off the stove/melt pot to allow the wax to start cooling down. We will be letting the wax cool to approximately 150 degrees F before pouring the candle. You can remove the pan from the heat and place it on a potholder/trivet. Stirring the wax will help it cool faster.
  2. If you are using a wax melting pot, transfer the melted wax into a metal pouring pitcher at this time. This will make it easier to pour into your candle container.
  3. While waiting for the wax to cool, place your candle container on a flat surface. Make sure the wick bar is keeping the wick centered.
  4. Optional: You may use the heat gun to pre-warm your candle container. If you are in a cold room, you may find that this helps with glass adhesion. However, it is not always necessary. This wax has excellent glass adhesion already.
  5. Once the wax has cooled to approximately 150 degrees F, pour the wax into the container. If you pour too hot, it may cause the glue dot to detach, or it may cause the wax coating to melt off the wick – causing it to sag.

Part 6: Finishing & Curing Your Candle

  1. After pouring, let the candle cool completely. This can take a few hours depending on your room temperature.
  2. Once the candle has cooled, you may remove the wick bar and trim the wick to ¼ inch with your wick trimming scissors.
  3. If needed, briefly point a heat gun at the surface of the wax to smooth out any imperfections.
  4. Last but not least, remember to attach a candle warning label if you are giving your candle to anyone else to burn.

Although you might be excited to burn it right away, we recommend letting the candle cure for about 2 weeks before you light it. Curing a candle is as simple as letting it sit there undisturbed. Although the wax may appear hard once it cools, it actually continues to harden over time. If you begin burning the candle when the wax is too soft, the wick may not perform in the way it should (e.g. it may burn too hot).

Curing a candle also allows the fragrance oil molecules to spread out more evenly in the wax as it hardens. This improves its scent throw – giving you a stronger smelling candle!

NorthWood is not responsible for any projects you make with our supplies or tutorials. If you plan on selling candles you make with our tutorials, please test your final result to ensure it burns as expected. Many factors can affect how your candle burns, including the fragrance used. Because of these factors, we can't guarantee the recommended wick will burn perfectly in all situations.

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