Homemade candles are becoming more popular as people look for more customized products. The process seems a bit easy as you only need to collect a few ingredients here and there, perform a short process, and you are ready to go. But how cheap is this option compared to buying candles from the shop?
It is cheaper to make your candles if you need bulk. If you need just a few pieces, the cost might be way higher; you’d rather buy from the shop. This runs down to the equipment, apparatus, and ingredients you will have to invest in for the entire process.
This article walks you through what it takes to make your candles. In the end, you will understand whether it is cheap to make your own or buy from the shop.
How Much Does It Cost to Make Your Own Candles?
Store-bought candles cost between $1.99 and $35 or even more. Now, if you want to have anything cheaper, the price must be below this. However, achieving this is not that easy. You will realize that the price looks viable until you begin to factor in labor costs and the startup equipment you will need.
What Do You Need To Make Your Own Candle?
You will need a few supplies and equipment. While you will have a few in your home, you will have to shop for a large part of them. The price will vary depending on the item and the number you need.
Wax is a common figure in any candle. You will need to choose between three types for your homemade product.
This is the traditional and most popular wax used in making candles. It is a cheap option and very flexible as you can easily add scents and colors of your choice.
However, paraffin waxes are a bit unfriendly to the environment. Paraffin produces harmful toxins; they won’t make a worthy option for your candle. Paraffin wax goes for about $2 to $10 per lb.
Soy wax is one of the newest options in the market but is already a popular ingredient. It features soybean oil and may work well with other waxes. Soy wax costs about $2 to $10 per lb.
Beeswax is the oldest candle ingredient dating back to ancient Egypt. It is an entirely natural product, requiring no fragrances. The wax is natural, authentic and won’t accommodate any artificial additions. It, not the best option if you are looking for a cheap homemade candle as it costs more than $10 per lb.
Getting the right type of wick for a DIY candle can be a bit expensive. Cotton works just fine, providing the cheapest option. Commercially available wicks are pretty expensive, especially when buying just enough to make a few candles. If you intend to make a few candles, you might end up buying more than you can use.
Your main concern with wicks should be the size, precisely the width. Larger candles need bigger wicks. The length does not matter in this case, as you will cut it off according to the height of your candle. Just determine the size and amount of wicks you will need; there is nothing as annoying as not having enough wicks for your project. For a typical project, you will spend about $12 on wicks.
Your color is just a piece of burning wax without fragrance. It might look beautiful with the dyes, but it won’t provide that pleasing aroma. So may ignore them if you are on a tight budget and only looking for a beautiful source of light.
There are tons of fragrances you can pick from, from apple and maple bourbon of clove to whiskey scents, depending on what pleases you. Essential oils also do a great job of providing the right aroma.
The price of a fragrance you buy may vary greatly depending on quality, type, and the amount you need. We recommend that you use about 1oz for each pound of wax you use. You can be creative with the fragrances and manipulate how your candle smells. The estimated price of fragrance oil for our typical project is about $25.
As much as you want cheap, you may want to add your favorite color to the candle. It brings out the creativity in you and beautifies the end product. High-quality colors do not come cheap; you may want to go for the cheap option. For this project, we estimate that you may need to spend about $22 on dye.
You will need a few pieces of equipment to mix and mold your product. You may also have to use your household items for this. You will need a saucepan, spatula, string, measuring jugs, and a double boiler for a successful project.
You will also need time and labor for the project, so if you may want to factor all these in the cost of your project. Depending on your experience and skills, making a candle may consume a good amount of your time considerably.
Is Making Candles Cheaper Than Buying Them?
The project is very viable if you want to take advantage of economies of scale, producing in bulk. Otherwise, it wouldn’t be a cheaper option than buying ready-made pieces from the shop.
If you predict that you may need many candles, making yours is a very viable project and will save you a lot of money—it is like the industrial manufacturing process. The initial startup cost involving the equipment and necessary material pushes the price up. If you are making several pieces, you will spread this cost, and the price per unit will come down.
What Is the Cheapest Way to Make Candles?
There are thousands of methods you can use to make your own candles. Some of them require a lot of investment, while some do not. Below is a simple candle-making step-by-step process that will save you money.
Step One: Gather Your Ingredients and Materials
Ensure that you have everything you need before you begin the process. This will save you the hassle of moving back and forth to look for an item. For our procedure, you will need the following items;
- Soy wax
- Wax Crayons for dying the candle
- Wicks and wicks dots
- Measuring jugs
- Fragrance oil
- Jars and
- A double boiler
- Chopsticks or skewers
- Glass Container
Step Two: Set Up the Container
Lay your wick’s dot against the bottom of the container to set up the wick. Use a chopstick to hold up your wicks. You would want to tape the wick to the chopstick to hold it in place. The number of containers you set up in this stage will depend on the number of candles you will need. You can always repeat this process if you need more candles than the number of your containers.
Step Three: Measure the Wax
It is necessary to measure the wax to prevent any wastages. Measure the right amount of candle wax flakes for each of your containers. In this step, the rule of thumb is that it takes twice the amount of wax flakes to fill a candle-making container.
Step Four: Melt the Measure Wax
The best way to boil the wax is by setting up the double boiler system. Fill your saucepan with water to the halfway mark, then place the measured wax in a glass container and put it on the source pan. Ensure that the water level is low enough not to splash on the wax flakes as it boils.
Also, turn your stove or source of heat to medium-high and occasionally stir the flakes with a metal spoon. It is essential that you check the temperature of your wax with a thermometer as it goes up; you require it to get to 180 degrees Fahrenheit.
Step Five: Add Color to the Wax
Adding color to your candle is an optional step. Typically, the end product without adding color has a naturally milky white appearance. If you want to customize the look, use a crayon or color block.
We recommend that you use 1/8-inch of crayon for every 16-ounces of wax flakes if you want a soft pastel appearance. You can always add more color for a more saturated look but ensure that you add a bit at a time. Try to melt your color together with the flakes for a uniform look.
Step Six: Add Essential Oil
Remove the completely melted wax from the stove and add a few drops of essential oils. For this step, the rule of thumb is that you add ten drops of essential oil per 16 ounces of wax to make a moderately scented product. You can use less or more depending on the strength of the aroma you need.
Try to be creative with the scents, mixing them to get what works for you. Give your mixture an excellent stir to mix it well. We recommend that you avoid adding the essential oil while the wax is still over the stove. The extreme temperature can evaporate the scent.
Step Seven: Cool the Wax
After adding the dye and the essential oil, allow your wax to cool down to around 120 degrees Fahrenheit. At this temperature, the wax will still be in liquid form but a bit easier to handle.
Step Eight: Pour the Wax into the Containers
Put your containers in a safe location where you will not need to move them, at least for a few hours. Carefully pour the melted wax into the containers. While doing this, ensure that you have the wick right at the center of the container.
Step Nine: Trim the Wick
Give your product about 3 to four hours to cool and solidify. It would help if you allowed it to do this at room temperature to prevent it from cracking. Then trim the wick to leave about ¼ inch above the wax level and save the excess wick for the next project.
How to Make Candles Look Expensive?
Some people will argue that a candle is a candle. But, if you have used these items for a while, you understand that they are more than just a source of light. With experience and a little keen eye, you can always distinguish between cheap and expensive, luxurious candles. So what makes the difference?
Choose the Best Quality Wax
Candle wax comes in various qualities and forms. Just like you can tell a fine, expensive piece of cloth from the fabric, candle wax also works similarly. There is a huge difference between a basic and premier wax based on their quality.
You can also make your candle look expensive by expertly blending different waxes to make a perfect ingredient. One great blend consists of the highest quality soy wax and vegetable waxes.
Pick the Best Wick
The quality of a wick is essential when you want your candle to look luxurious. A top-quality cotton wick will guarantee a uniform burn throughout your candle’s lifespan. It also gives it a clean burn, minimizing the production of black soot or bad odor.
You must also invest in the best tools to maintain the quality you want from the wick. For example, keeping your wick at a perfect length ensures that you get the best burn. But this is only with a good wick trimmer.
Pick the Best Fragrance
If there is anything that tells more about you, then it is your choice of fragrance. That is why signature perfumes sell at higher prices. Choose a fragrance that provides some source of inspiration. It could be a fine piece of art or distant memory. Let the scent from your candle portray a luxurious part of you.
There are several DIY methods that you can use to make your own candles at home. If you are looking for the cheapest options, you might need to be more considerate of the materials you use. The ingredients matter, but you can still get the best results with some quality craftsmanship. We believe that you now have what it takes to make quality candles at home on a tight budget.