Last update on 12/01/2022
Making candles can be a fun and relaxing hobby for everyone. However, expenses like locks can add up. If you're like me, you've probably looked at candle wicks and wondered how difficult they are to make. The answer is: It can be very easy to make your own locks.
Read on to learn how to make candle wicks with our easy tutorial and tips. Be sure to read this article in its entirety before you begin!
What is the candle wick made of?
Before delving into how to make a candle wick, you should know whatcommercial candle wicksThey are intended to inform you of your options.
Most wicks are made of cotton. You can find round wicks thatneeds to be trimmedor flat braided wicks that coil up as they burn so you don't have to worry about trimming.
Wicks that are stored in candles in containers like tealights or votives need an anchor at the bottom to keep them from floating on top of the liquid wax.floating candlesYou will also need a seal at the bottom of the wick and an anchor as the wick can absorb water and stop burning.
You can also find wooden wicks and those made from any fiber like hemp. You can even use leftover cotton shirts or shoelaces without the plastic ends.
How many wicks per candle?
You can only use one of your wicks for any candle less than 3.5 inches in diameter. Once it reaches 4 inches in diameter, add one wick per inch. A 4 inch candle has 2 wicks. one 5 inch candle needed 3. Save this for each size candle you want to make with your homemade wicks.
Thicker wicks burn longer and can melt a larger puddle of wax. It's okay to add more if you want to make sure the candle melts evenly. Well, maybe make sure they don't get together to make a big llama.
Why shorten candle wicks?
The main reason for trimming candle wicks is longer burn time and less soot. A wick that is too long cannot pull the wax all the way to the tip and therefore the wick starts to burn instead of the fuel.
Beproduces sootand a less clear flame. If you want a clean jar after the candle burns down, make sure the wick stays trimmed to 1/8 inch. We recommend reading our guidehow to clean candle jars.
Supplies are needed
Now it's time for our supplies. For the first guide you will need the following:
- Hot water
- Cotton cord as butcher twine
- measuring cup and spoon
- Mix stirrer
- Beeswax: pure or synthetic
This will give you a candle that burns well. You can use any pure cotton thread you like, but you should braid or knit it so that it's fairly thick. A thicker wick burns hotter.
Technically, all you need is wax to make a wick. However, the salt and borax wick burns better.
For a wooden wick you will need:
- wooden stick
- Oil like olive oil
- A way to attach them to the bottom of candle jars
One thing to keep in mind is that any wood you like can be used. You can usually find balsa sticks at craft stores, but wooden popsicle sticks work just as well.
For the oil, use almost any cooking oil you like. Olive oil gets mentioned a lot, but coconut or whatever you have on hand will work as long as it's liquid or melted. Avoid using butter or lard, as they can spoil and smell bad.
You'll also need a way to tap the wicks down to the bottom of the mold. There are clips for wood wicks that you can reuse or just stick on with hot glue. The tutorial I will link to uses hot glue. If you want to sell the candles, I advise you to use the appropriate clips.
How to make a cotton wick for candles
Credit to Environ Molds on YouTube
Step 1. Measure and trim your strands
Use the ruler and scissors to cut the threads. if you know thatsize of a shapeyou will want to use a few inches more than the shape.
If you're using a jar, leave at least 1 inch over the top so you can protect your wicks. If you don't have candle molds, you can make your own.with our tutorial.
Pro tip: Roll up the line as you measure it. Then cut the loops so you can make several threads at once.
Step 2. Measure your water and make your solution
Measure out 1½ cups of hot water or 355 ml. Add 2 tablespoons salt and 4 tablespoons borax powder. Mix until dissolved with your stir sticks.
Pro tip: Keep borax out of the reach of pets and children. May be toxic if swallowed.
Step 3. Dip the cut strands.
Place the wicks in the borax solution. Let this soak for 24 hours.
Step 4. Remove the strands and give them a quick rinse
After removing the wicks you will notice a slight crystal coating. This is normal, give your strands a quick rinse with clean water to get rid of these crystals.
Pro Tip: You may be tempted to skip this step. You shouldn't, as crystals don't burn.
Step 5. Dry the locks
Lay out your strands to dry. You can use a plastic hanger or paper towels to dry your hair. Leave them for 48 hours.
Pro Tip: Don't use metal hangers as metal can leave rust spots on your wicks.
Step 6. Cover the locks with wax.
The next step is to harden the wicks so they stay in the candle shape. It also helps them burn better. You needmelt your soy waxand pour them onto a plate with your wicks to cover them. Let this first layer dry, then pour in more wax and let it dry again. You can repeat this for stiffer strands if you like.
Pro Tip: Beeswax is best when making natural beeswax or candles due to its low melting point. You can also use the same wax you use to make your candles. Just make sure the melting point is the same or lower than that of the candle wax.
Is this! Use your candle wicks like you would any pre-made wick you can buy at the store. Just make sure to cut them into your finished candles.
How to quickly make a wooden wick
Thanks to Lily Rose on YouTube.
Step 1. Choose your wooden wick
Choose a wooden stick that you like. Cheap and easy to find ice cream sticks. Many craft stores sell pieces of balsa wood that are easy to cut to size. Any wood that is safe to burn is fair game for making a wick.
Just make sure it's very thin so it burns easier. You can now trim your sticks if you know what container or shape you are going to use. If not, just trim as needed.
Pro Tip: If soUse a longer container, a longer sliver of wood can be used as a wick. Some store-bought wooden wick candles do this instead of using multiple wicks.
Step 2. Choose your oil
Choose a good oil to use. Olive works very well, or coconut. Just make sure the oil is liquid so it penetrates the wood.
Pro tip: You can use any oil. A fragrance oil can be added to the fragrance you put on the candle. In theory, you could also use bacon grease for a bacon smell.(Video) DIY Crackle Woodwick Candles with Popsicle Sticks | Gift Idea / Decor!
Step 3. Dip your wood
Place the wooden sticks in a shallow bowl and pour the oil over them. Make sure they are completely covered with oil. Leave this on for at least an hour.
Pro Tip: Soaking wood longer will give better results.
Step 4. Remove excess oil
Remove strands and pat dry with a paper towel to remove excess oil. You can also place them on paper towels to air dry.
Pro tip: Your curls should feel a little greasy, but they shouldn't leave any oil on your hands after handling.
Your locks are now ready to use! You can now trim them so that they are slightly longer than the top of the wax. I would wait until you've emptied the candle as you don't want to risk losing the wick in the wax.
You need to attach these wicks to the bottom of the candle as they will try to float. You can use wick clamps for wood wicks. The tutorial here just used hot glue to attach them to the pots.
Learn more about wood wicks here:https://thewaxcandles.com/how-to-make-wood-wick-candlesYoungRich 100 PCS Wood Candle Wicks Length: 13*1.3cm (5.1*0.5in) / Weight: 7.13oz Premium Wood 100% Cotton 1.5mm Read more
I hope you enjoyed this tutorial. I personally love not spending money on wicks that could be used for wax. If you found it useful, please share this tutorial with your friends.
If you have any thoughts on the article or helpful tips, please comment below. Thank you for reading!
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How do you make a 2 wick candle? ›
To double wick: divide the diameter of the candle in half and choose a wick size that is appropriate for each half. For example; Half of a 4" diameter candle is 2". Using our Wick Guide, select your wax, then select the 2 - 2.5" diameter and you'll see the recommendations.What is the best homemade candle wick? ›
All you need for DIY candle wicks is cotton string! You can treat homemade candle wicks with oil or salt but even plain cotton string works perfectly as candle wick. Cotton string candle wicks burn for a long time with a steady flame that doesn't soot.Can I use twine as a candle wick? ›
You can use a single strand of cotton yarn or twine, but most candle wicks are made with strands that are braided together to make a more substantial wick that will burn better. If you would like to combine multiple strands, plaiting three strands together is an easy option…Why do candles have 2 wicks? ›
Having multiple wicks helps distribute heat more evenly across larger candles, which leads to a cleaner, more efficient burn with less wastage.Do 2 wick candles burn faster? ›
While multi-wick candles often burn faster than single-wick candles, you still need to give it time for the whole top layer of wax to melt before blowing it out. This could take a few hours, depending on the size of the candle.What can I use instead of a wick? ›
For homemade wicks, you can use tightly rolled-up newspapers, twisted toilet paper or paper towels, cardboard, twine, 100% cotton string or embroidery floss, cotton balls, toothpicks, popsicle sticks, or any cotton fabric like strips from an old t-shirt or strings from an old cotton mop.Can you use spaghetti as a wick? ›
All you have to do is use a match or lighter to light the end of the spaghetti and then use it like you would a long match to light the wick of your candle, and then toss the pasta. Now your candle is lit, your fingers are in good shape, and you still have close to a whole box of pasta left!What material makes a good wick? ›
Most high-quality wicks are made from braided, plaited or knitted fibers to encourage a slow and consistent burn. In general, twisted wicks are of lower quality than braided or knitted wicks. They burn much faster because their loose construction allows more fuel to quickly reach the flame.Can I use a popsicle stick as a candle wick? ›
Wicks (popsicle sticks and olive oil or paperclips and cotton thread are cheap alternatives to prepared wicks)Can you use a cotton ball as a candle wick? ›
How To Make Candle Wicks From Cotton Balls? You can make thin cotton strings out of cotton balls. Soak them in melted wax, and the candle wicks will be ready to use.
Can I use floss as candle wick? ›
If you're into crafts, waxed dental floss makes a great wick for homemade candles. You can tie things with it. Maybe not Christmas presents, but it's perfect for when you break a shoelace or you need to tie up your pant legs for a hike or bike ride.Can you use wood as a candle wick? ›
For those unfamiliar, wood wicks have become a natural alternative to traditional candle wicks and emit a slight crackling campfire sound when lit. They're visually interesting, easy to light and are known for their natural burning quality.When should you use 2 wicks? ›
When should I use more than one wick? We usually recommend using multiple wicks in jars that are larger than 3.5 inches in diameter. Most wicks will top out at about 3-3.5 inches which makes it necessary to use multiple wicks, at least in most cases.How can I make my candles smell stronger? ›
- The candle is not burning for long enough. ...
- The candle isn't big enough for the room. ...
- The fragrance content is too low. ...
- Have two candles for larger rooms. ...
- Switch up your scents. ...
- Let the entire wax surface melt. ...
- Take care where you position your candle. ...
- Trim your wick regularly.
Be sure they are centered, spaced out about 1" apart from each other, and not too close to the side of the glass if using containers. Placing the wicks close to the sides can cause the glass to get too hot.What wicks burn the hottest? ›
Coreless, all cotton braided wicks which are designed to bend at the tip when burning, forcing the tip of the wick into the outermost portion of the flame where it burns hottest.What wick burns longest? ›
Natural materials such as beeswax, soy wax, and coconut wax all have much longer burn times than petroleum-based candles made from materials like paraffin wax.Should I light all 3 wicks? ›
#1- The most important thing you need to know for any candle made with 2, 3 or more wicks is that each wick needs to be lit, every single burn. Igniting one wick at a time will not prolong the life of the candle but rather can lead to wick drowning or uneven melt pools.How do you make a candle wick out of a shoelace? ›
- Drip a small amount of candle wax onto the end of the shoelace. Allow it to soak in a little, but don't let it harden completely.
- While still warm, mold the wax around the lace end by carefully rolling between your fingers for a smooth finish. WARNING: Keep away from naked flames!
- Make a Tealight. There won't be enough leftover wax to make a whole new candle (unless you have a lot saved up), but you might have enough for a small DIY tealight. ...
- Homemade Wax Melts. ...
- Fragrance Pouches. ...
- Seal a Letter. ...
- Wax Fire Starters.
Can you microwave candle wax? ›
Another way to melt wax is in the microwave. Some people choose this method as they can melt the wax faster than if they were using a double boiler. Pour your wax into a microwavable container.Can wax burn without a wick? ›
The wax itself can be burned without a wick, but only at an extremely high temperature, making it more likely to simply melt when exposed to flame. In a candle, the wick keeps the melted wax in the heat of the flame long enough for it to become vaporized & ignite - continuing the combustion process.Can I use a Q tip as a wick? ›
5. Candle Wick Extension. If you have a candle that has burned closely to the bottom, don't bother reaching your hand in there to light the wick. Instead, use a cotton swab and a lighter to light the candle.What is the healthiest candle wick? ›
To play it safe, look for 100 percent cotton, hemp, or wood wicks.Which wicks burn slower? ›
Braided vs Twisted wicks
High-quality wicks are made from braided, plaited or knitted fibres as it encourages a slow and consistent burn. Twisted wicks are of lower quality as they burn faster due to their loose construction which allows the fuel to quickly reach the flame.
At this point the melt pool of a well-wicked candle will have achieved the desired diameter and should be approximately ½” (1.3 cm) deep. If the wick is mushrooming, the candle is sooting, or the melt pool is substantially deeper than ½” (1.3 cm), the wick is most likely too large. 6.Can you put real candy canes in candles? ›
Today I'm going to show you how to make these cute Candy Cane Candles using peppermint essential oil, soy wax, and real candy canes. These homemade candles make the best handmade gifts and they are perfect for the Holiday Season!Why does salt make candles burn longer? ›
After you've burned a candle for long enough to where a small pool of wax is forming, sprinkle a few pinches of table salt directly into the wax and use a toothpick to distribute it evenly. The sodium chloride compounds slow the melting and dripping processes, meaning you can burn that candle a lot longer than before.Can you put a wick in a wax melt? ›
And it's super easy. Just pour the used and melted wax melt straight into the empty tea-light. pop the candle wick into the wax until it touches the bottom. No need the glue the wicks down first.How can I light a candle without a wick? ›
A dry spaghetti noodle or q-tip easily turns into a long wick when touched to a hot surface. You can also use heaters, ovens, and toaster ovens for this method. After your makeshift wick is lit, you can then use it to light all the other candles you have.
How do you make a toilet paper candle wick? ›
Just cut a stick of butter in half, quarter a square of toilet paper, twist a quarter of the paper towel to make a wick, and use a toothpick to make room for the wick inside the butter. When you're done, you have a candle that'll actually burn for hours.Can you use a pipe cleaner as a candle wick? ›
Using tweezers, the pipe cleaner wicks are ready to dip in the melted paraffin wax. Dipping the pipe cleaner wick in the melted paraffin. The newly coated wick is taken out and set on aluminum foil to harden. This shows the completed moveable wicks after four coats of paraffin.How long should you burn a 2 wick candle? ›
For instance, your first burn should be three-four hours at a minimum to develop a top melted layer for the candle. After forming that top layer, you can burn the candle for shorter periods without worrying about the wax being uneven or leaving behind excessive residue.How far apart should double wick be? ›
Be sure they are centered, spaced out about 1" apart from each other, and not too close to the side of the glass if using containers. Placing the wicks close to the sides can cause the glass to get too hot.Can you tie two wicks together? ›
It's super simple, just place the two wicks together (face to face) and put them into one wick clip. Yep, it's that simple.How do you get rid of tunneling in candles? ›
You can fix a tunneled candle by wrapping a piece of aluminum foil around the edges and simply letting it burn. Make sure the foil hangs over the built-up wax areas, but leave an opening in the center so the wick can still burn properly. After a couple of hours, the wax should melt and even out the surface.How do you stop one wick candle from tunneling? ›
To prevent tunneling, all you need to do is burn your candle long enough each time so that the entire top surface of wax is melted. This is especially important the first time you burn your candle!What happens if wick is too thick for candle? ›
For example, when the candle wick is too thick, it draws in too much wax and causes the flame to burn hotter and higher than it's supposed to.Is it OK to burn a candle all day? ›
In general, it is recommended that candles do not burn for longer than four hours and cool for at least two hours before relighting.Do candles last longer if you trim the wick? ›
Trimming wicks on a regular basis helps reduce the amount of residue candles produce while burning. Trimming candle wicks helps candles last longer as well. Longer wicks tend to burn at a faster rate, which means they're used up more quickly.
What happens if wick is too thin? ›
Wick too thin
The flame melts more wax than the wick can burn. The wax pool fills with liquid wax and ultimately overflows or leaks.
You can use wick clips for this method or get the help of candlewick adhesives or glue stickers. They are usually heat-proof and work really well. Connecting two candle wicks also largely depends on their respective sizes.What can be used as a wick? ›
For homemade wicks, you can use tightly rolled-up newspapers, twisted toilet paper or paper towels, cardboard, twine, 100% cotton string or embroidery floss, cotton balls, toothpicks, popsicle sticks, or any cotton fabric like strips from an old t-shirt or strings from an old cotton mop.