5 Things to Avoid When Making Candles from Scratch

clothes pin holding a wick during the candle-making process
  • 2-1,000
  • Intermediate
  • 0-300

Making candles can be a fun and relaxing craft if you know what you’re doing. If you are just starting, there are a few things you can do wrong, which will make candle making completely unsuccessful for you. Fortunately, we have some tips for avoiding these mistakes.

1. Measure

When it comes to making candles from scratch, make sure you measure. You should not just think you know how much wax you need to make your candle. Actually know how much you need and measure it accordingly. To determine how much wax you will need, take the mold you will be using and fill it with water.

After you fill the mold with water pour it into a large measuring cup. You can measure the wax by knowing you need three ounces of wax for every 3.5 ounces of water. This rule will work with any size mold.

2. Protect Your Work Area

Cleaning wax that has dried on the floor is not the easiest thing to do. You want to make sure you have covered the floor with newspaper to avoid getting wax on your floor or carpet. If you are working over a table, make sure you protect that with paper, as well.

3. Do Not Forget the Mold Release


The last thing you want to do when making candles is to scrape your candle out of the bottom of the mold. This can be avoided with a candle-mold release. If you do not have a mold release, then spray Pam or another non-stick cooking spray into the mold cup. This will ensure your candle will slide out and be the shape you want it to be.

4. Scent Selection

You must make sure the fragrance you want to use is actually going to work in a candle. You cannot use just any fragrance, because it might not be compatible with the wax. If you douse the wax with your favorite perfume, then it will not smell the way you want it to. You must get compatible fragrances. Scented oils are perfect for beginners making candles. They are easy to measure, and carry the scent well.

5. Easy on the Smell

white candle wrapped in ribbon

Do not add too much scent. You may smell the candle while you are making it and think it does not smell strong enough. Your first instinct is going to be to add more of the scent. Do not do this. Your nose can play tricks on you. Once the candle is completely made, the scent will be stronger. Less is more when you are just starting in candle making.

Candle making from scratch can be rewarding and can be a great gift for someone or for yourself. Just remember to keep these "what not to do tips" in mind. Have fun making your candles.