Smell that? It’s the magic of candle-making. This compact guide will teach you everything you need to know about how to make candles so you can get started right away.
If you want to start an online business, you’re probably no stranger to the fact that the first thing you need to decide is what you’re going to sell—and that’s no easy feat.
In fact, deciding on a business idea requires some time and careful consideration. Ideally, you want to look for a business model that allows you to get started with little to no upfront investment, because that way you’ll be able to switch gears if things don’t necessarily pan out.
On top of that, you’ll also be focused on product development, since you’ll be either searching for products that are either easy to make or that can be sourced in a cost-efficient manner.
Yes, it’s definitely a lot to handle. But here’s an idea: how about candle making?
Candles are relatively easy and cheap to make, not to mention you can craft the whole thing without having to commit to a big candle atelier. Then, once your homemade candles are ready, you can sell them online with your very own ecommerce store.
Sounds good, right? Or, might I say… Smells good, doesn’t it? So keep on reading to find out more about how to make candles and sell them online.
🕯️ If you’re interested in other business ideas, we can help you out, too! Check out the recommended reads below:
Candle-making 101: What you need to get started
To make candles at home, you’ll need to have a couple of materials and ingredients at hand.
The basic ingredients you need to make homemade candles can be summed up in a three-letter acronym: WWC. Not to be confused with WWE, though―we’re making candles, we’re not wrestling!
Wax, which will be the base for your candle and the ingredient you’ll be using in larger quantities. There are plenty of candle wax options out there, like beeswax, soy wax and paraffin wax, and you can buy them in the form of wax flakes or powder.
Wick, because a candle isn’t really a candle without a wick, right? And, without a wick, that nice smell of your scented candles won’t propagate nicely.
Container or, if you prefer, mold. Candle containers are the actual molds into which you’ll pour the wax and the extra ingredients of your candle to let it cool down and settle into its final form.
Extra special tip on how to make candles 🔥
When you start selling candles, remember that you’ll be selling the candle inside the candle mold that you poured the hot wax into.
In other words: You’re not selling just a candle, but the whole visual presentation that comes with a candle. And the candle container is especially important in this equation. You can achieve a nice result with glass candle jars and mason jars, too.
Candle making tools
You can’t melt wax in the microwave, right? So here are the tools you need to make candles at home:
A pot to help you reach the ideal boiling point with the melted wax. Try to look for more robust pots, so you can use more advanced techniques like a double boiler later on. You’ll also use the pot to add the extra “flair” ingredients listed below.
A spatula to swirl the melting wax and manipulate the super-hot mass you’re creating.
A thermometer to make sure you’ll stop the boiling at the correct temperature.
Extra special tip on how to make candles 🔥
You should also consider using wick centering devices, because the wicker can sometimes twist and twirl when you start to pour wax into the candle mold. To make sure the wick stays in place, you can use wooden sticks, chopsticks or even a clothespin, like P.F. Candle Co.:
Ingredients to add some flair
Essential oils, to create scented candles with natural aromas.
Fragrance oils, if you’re more inclined towards scented candles that are a little less expensive to make and you want to sell aromas like “Vanilla & Honey”.
Color dye to mix in together with the soy wax and create a colorful―and delightful― end product.
Luna Bun’s candles, for instance, are made out of soy wax and are super colorful and sweet.
Quick and easy recipe to make candles at home
Now that we’ve got the materials and ingredients sorted out, it’s time to check out just how to make candles. The process might vary slightly depending on the type of wax you’re using or the color you wish to achieve, but the overall recipe is the following:
- Add the candle wax to the pot. As we mentioned before, you can use beeswax, soy wax or paraffin wax. You don’t really have to worry about its initial form, either; you can use wax flakes, wax shavings or even whole pieces of wax in bulk.
- Once the wax melts completely, add in the essential oils, fragrance oils or dye.
- Select the candle jars or containers you’ll be using and position the wick. To secure it in place, add a small drop of the melted wax on the bottom of the wicker’s base and then attach the whole thing inside the container.
- Pour the wax into the candle containers of your choosing and wait for it to settle.
- Once the wax hardens and the whole container is cooled down, add the finishing touches and put the candle inside its packaging.
Extra special tip on how to make candles 🔥
If you’re big on sustainability and you’re already envisioning some really nice green marketing ideas, our recommendation is to go with soy wax for your candle-making process.
Not only are soy candles organic, but they’re also free of toxins and pollutant elements, which is great for the planet and for people with allergies and/or pets in the house.
How to make candles: 3 product ideas
Okay, so now you already have the basic candle-making recipe and you’re all set to make candles at home.
But that’s just part of the process, right? Now you need to get some ideas to actually sell your very own candles.
With that in mind, here are three product ideas to consider after you nail down the candle-making process.
1. Transform candle containers into useful items
Candle containers are part and parcel of any recipe for how to make candles at home: You’ll be pouring the melted wax inside them and, in most cases, you’ll sell your candles together with that container.
With that in mind, it might be worth working with containers that can have an afterlife when the candle is all burned out. This will increase the overall value you’re offering customers and it can also help to expand your business to specific target audiences.
You can take a page from Koselig Candle Co., a brand that sells candles inside a glass mold which can later be used as a whisky glass. They even advertise this reusable feature of the container in the product’s description.
🕯️ Wondering how you can write product descriptions that will boost your sales? We can help.
2. Sell a candle kit or set
If you’re interested in working mainly with accentuated essential oils for your candles, then a good product idea is to ditch the glass container.
What you can do instead is sell your candles in small sets that accompany a ceramic candle wax burner―like Tribal Unicorn Candle Bar does on their online store. This is a great way to offer a product that’s a bit more on the expensive side, and it also helps you showcase different candles all at once.
🕯️ This product idea also works extremely well with fragrance oils, so give it a try!
3. Work with novelty candles
Another product idea you can consider for your candle-making process is specializing first and foremost in novelty candles.
TikTok is filled to the brim with content that shows artisanal candles resembling coffee drinks and mouth-watering pastries, but bear in mind that “novelty” isn’t necessarily the same thing as niched items.
Instead, you can do something along the lines of Citrus Cane, which offers some really nice and eye-catching candles―like these giant ones:
How to sell candles online
Attracting customers isn’t as easy as it might seem, which is why a lot of entrepreneurs and online stores struggle with making their first sales and end up resorting to strategies that help them boost store traffic.
There’s absolutely nothing wrong with that: In fact, we’re big supporters of working with multiple strategies to bring customers to your store. After all, without customers there aren’t any sales, right?
And to make that happen, we highly recommend taking your candles to social media―and giving your product pages some special care. So let’s check out four ideas on how to increase sales for your candle store.
1. Make your own candles really pop, visually
We all know what a candle looks like, but this doesn’t mean that you can just do away with personalized and custom-made photos. In fact, it’s because we all know what a candle looks like that you have to really make sure to enhance the photos of your products.
It’s all about creating a nice atmosphere for your products: You should help customers picture themselves lighting the wick and smelling the aromas of your candle in the comfort of their own homes.
Prosperity Candle’s product images are visually appealing, and the “Add to Cart” button right at the top is also a great incentive to get people to buy. Also worth noting are their product descriptions, which are divided into three clickable tabs: Description, Product Details and Impact. Each has specific info that guides the visitor along and helps them make the purchasing decision.
2. Meme-fy your candle-making on TikTok
Candles are a hit among specific young audiences, so social media channels like TikTok can be a big help if you’re planning to make candles at home to tap into that market.
The great thing about making video content on TikTok is that you can diversify your posts and amplify your reach.
Just take a look at P.F. Candle Co’s profile, which posts a lot of engaging content. You can find funny candle memes, like this one:
But you’ll also be privy to their candle-making process, since they’re regularly putting out content that shows their staff developing new scents or making new candles:
🕯️ Want to build your very own TikTok strategy? We can help!
- TikTok Ads Manager: A Guide to Advertising on TikTok
- How to Get More Followers on TikTok
- What is TikTok for Business?
3. Make candles with a mission
If you’re a big believer in giving back to your community, you can also create a candle store that is committed to a specific mission.
Frères Banchiaux, for instance, is an online store run by three brothers that donate 10% of their profits to homeless shelters in the U.S. Their product pages all state that their products are recycled and 100% made on national grounds, which is great for boosting the local economy.
4. Showcase your homemade candles on Pinterest
Did you know you can make candles at home and make money on Pinterest selling those candles, too? Yep: Pinterest is a huge selling tool for brands that work with highly artisanal products, and you should definitely consider establishing a strong presence over there.
One of the most important things to notice about Pinterest is that, unlike TikTok, it doesn’t require video content―so you can instead create visual but static content like gift guides, candle-making recipes, home decor ideas, candle care tips and a lot more.
Sounds interesting, right? Take a look at Prosperity Candle’s Pinterest page:
Enjoy the art of candle making
Now that the “how to make candles” part is all taken care of and you already know everything you need to know about how to make candles at home, it’s time to start trying out your own recipes and test some product ideas.
Remember to start small, take your time and really get accustomed to the candle-making process. After that, decide on the product idea you’d like to develop and then slowly start building your overall content marketing strategy to sell online.