How To Make Candle Wicks? Comprehensive Guide

Helen Skeates
Helen Skeates
15 min read

Sales of almost $3 billion a year show you’re not alone. Candles can be a profitable side business, a thoughtful holiday gift, or just a relaxing way to unwind.

Make candles at home for yourself or as a gift for your loved ones, it doesn’t matter. All you need is soy wax, essential oil blends, candle molds (or glass jars), bowls, saucepans, and a stovetop. Ideally, you should make your candles in the kitchen, but a portable stovetop also works for studios and kitchenettes.

Aspiring candlemakers and self-care junkies alike can learn how to create candles from the comfort of their own homes. Soy wax, essential oil mixes, candle molds (or glass jars), bowls, saucepans, and a burner are all you need to make these candles. In a perfect world, you’d manufacture your candles in the kitchen, but if that’s not an option, a portable stovetop will do the trick.

Creating your own wicks will be a breeze because you already make your own candles. Here’s a fast and easy guide to the many types of candle wicks.

What Are Candle Wicks?

What the heck are wicks for?

There are many different ways to make wicks. Wicks can be manufactured from old T-shirt scraps, but they can also be made from braided, coated cotton strings.

Wood Wicks - All Australian Candle Making

Think of a candle wick as a miniature gasoline pump.. The wax in the candle melts as soon as the wick is lit. The flame is fueled by the melted wax that is drawn up by the wick.

However, if the wick is surrounded by too much liquid wax, the flame will be extinguished. To avoid smothering the flame, you need the appropriate wick length and enough room around the wick.

Finding the ideal wick for your candle wax and design can take some time. Look at the various candlewicks in more detail.

How to Make Candle Wicks

To get the finest results, stick with twine made entirely of cotton. A solution of water, salt, and boric acid strengthens the wick and aids in its ability to burn for a longer period of time. However, you can use this solution to manufacture the wicks for your candles, but they’ll burn more quickly and may cause the wax to melt unevenly.

Different Types of Candle Wicks

Remember that braided wicks are more durable than twisted wicks, and should be used whenever possible.

Braid your wick in the style of a friendship bracelet after mounting your cotton threads on a board. Pull and tighten the braid until it is secure. To save time, you can simply purchase pre-braided cotton string.

Flat wicks are the most common type of wick. Three cotton strings are carefully braided together to create flat wicks. Also known as “self-trimming,” they curl and break off as they burn.

Square wicks, like flat wicks, break away in the same way, except these wicks are thicker. This sort of beeswax candle is preferred by candlemakers. Beeswax clogs more frequently than soy wax.

Use a cored wick for producing votive or devotional candles instead of plain ones. Cotton and metals like tin or zinc make up these wicks. Although they’re designed to stand on their own, making them at home is more difficult.

Keep things simple if you’re producing nautical-themed candles for your home. Make your own candles with soy wax in glass jars and flat wicks.

Making Your Own DIY Candle Wick

Quality cotton string, scissors, wax, and tweezers all you need for your DIY wick. Tweezers can be substituted with pliers in the same way.

Cut the cord first. For your flame, you’ll need a quarter-inch of string, so take your measurements now.

Melt your wax and then dip your string into it to soak up the waxy flavoring. Allow your wicks to cool down on a counter or drying rack. You’ll have your own candlewick once it’s dry.

Supplies Needed

  • Cotton thread that has not been colored
  • Scissors
  • A pair of tongs (or anything you can use to pull the wicks out of the warm wax)
  • Candle wicks can be dried by hanging them from clothespins
  • Needle nose pliers in a small package
  • Wick tabs sufficient for the amount of wicks you intend to create (optional)
  • An itty bitty bowl
  • Salt in the amount of 2 teaspoons
  • A teaspoon of boric acid powder (available at many pharmacies and hardware stores)
  • Warm water to the point of evaporation.
  • a two-burner stove
  • You can make candles with any sort of wax (beeswax, soy, paraffin)


  1. Make a decision on the thickness and length of the wick you’ll require. For little candles, a single wick is sufficient, but for medium-sized candles, a braided wick of three strands of twine is required. Two or three braided wicks may be needed for larger candles to provide an uniform burn.
  2. Single-wick candles should have a twine wick that is three inches longer than the candle’s height. Three equal strands of twine that are roughly four inches longer than the candle’s height should be cut for braiding a wick. Once the candle is constructed, you can cut the wick to the proper length, but this way you won’t have a wick that’s too short.
  3. Salt and boric acid powder should be dissolved in warm water. Soak the twine for at least eight hours or as long as 24 hours in the solution.
  4. Leave it to dry completely before removing the string (this can take up to 48 hours). The wicks should be hung or draped so that they can dry more quickly. During the drying process, white crystals will form on the wicks. These are harmless, but you can gently brush them off if you choose.
  5. In a double boiler, melt part of the wax you’ve selected. Wax leftovers can be remelted for future wick creations; just make sure you have enough to cover your strings/braid.
  6. The twine should be coated by soaking it for about a minute before using. Keep in mind that because the twine doesn’t actually “absorb” the wax, you don’t need to soak it for as long. Instead of using tongs, you can simply dip the string into the wax many times, then hang it to dry.
  7. Pull each strand of twine from the wax with tongs to prevent burning your fingers, then let it drip to remove any extra wax before hanging it to cool. You can carefully straighten the wick as the wax cools and before it hardens so that it is perfectly straight when the wax is hardened.
  8. Allow the wax to cool and harden before using it.
  9. Using needle nose pliers, squeeze the wick tab into the bottom of the wick by threading it through the center opening.
  10. In a cool, dry area, keep the finished wicks.

Mixing the solution and soaking your wicks are shown in this video. To make drying her wicks easier, the video’s producer uses paper clips.

How to Make Candles | Martha Stewart

Candle Wick Tips

Manufacturing your own wicks, like making candles, may necessitate some trial and error before you find a wick that works well with your candles. When making your own wicks, remember these tips.

  • There is no need to let the wick dry completely after the first dip into the heated wax while producing dipped candles (step six above). Follow the directions up to the fourth step. Afterwards, you can dip the wicks in the same way you would with store-bought wicks, using either plain or colored wax or scented wax.
  • Single-strand wicks can be used in a variety of candle types, including tea lights, votives, taper candles, and even tall, thin pillar candles. Braid three or four strands of twine together before soaking for wider or larger candles. The wick should be thicker on a larger candle.
  • Candles with a large surface area should have multiple braided wicks, especially if they are very wide. Make sure the wicks are evenly distributed around the candle by spreading them apart.
  • If you don’t want to use boric acid in the solution, you can substitute Borax powder for it. The only difference is that when employing Borax, the flame may take on a faint blue tinge.

Basic Candle Storing Tips

The Importance of Fire Safety

The first step is to understand how to properly store candles. Between 2014 and 2018, the National Fire Protection Association found that 7,600 home fires were started by candles in the United States. Even when not lighted, candles pose a fire hazard and should be kept out of reach of curious youngsters and pets. If you don’t want to risk it, don’t store candles in cardboard boxes or anything combustible!

Store Candles at Room Temperature

A candle’s purpose is to burn out. Avoid melting them if you can’t use them. In other words, keep your candles at room temperature when not in use. In the absence of this, they may soften, bend, or even melt together. As opposed to tapered or pillar candles, jar candles remain intact, which is a benefit over other types of candles.

Similarly, avoid letting your candles get too cold. Due to the natural wood or fiber material used in wicks (ours are made of 100% organic cotton), they might be destroyed by freezing.

Keep Away from Sunlight

There is more to sunshine than simply melting candles. As a side effect, the candle’s gorgeous hue, as well as its unique scent, will fade significantly faster. So keep your candles out of direct sunlight in a pantry or bathroom cupboard. To put it another way: If you have a gloomy room, your candle will last longer.

Avoid Moisture-Prone Areas

Finally, keep your candles in a dry location in your home. Keep candles in the bathroom for self-care days where you relax in the tub, but avoid placing them under the sink, where leaks can occur, as this might cause a fire. As a rule of thumb, it’s best to avoid wet basements unless you’re using the jar-style candles.

How to Store Candles from Homesick

Candles and other fragrant products, such as fresheners and reed diffusers, can last longer if they are stored properly. The following are our suggestions for extending the life of each Homesick item:

Jar and Tumbler Candles

The best way to keep jar and tumbler candles is upright. Container candles, as opposed to pillar and tapered candles, don’t melt or warp and are generally easier to take care of. The smell is preserved in the jar or container, allowing it to stay longer. In the room where you use them most, keep jar and tumbler candles that aren’t in use in a box or basket to prevent damage to the containers themselves.

Car Fresheners

Car fresheners, which aren’t made of wax or wick, should be stored in a cool, dry place. The next time you take it on a road trip, it won’t smell as good because, like candles, they can lose their scent rapidly. Instead, use a plastic baggie or other airtight container to store your car fresheners. Make sure to store car fresheners in their original box or in a different location so that their scents can be preserved. Keeping your car fresheners in a convenient location, such as the glove box or center console, will make it easier for you to get to them when you need them.

Reed Diffusers

Reed diffusers and oils should be treated like vehicle fresheners. Store the oil container upright and secure it with the cap to prevent leakage. The reeds should be stored in an airtight baggie until you’re ready to use them once more. In order to avoid mucking up the fragrance, do not use reeds in several diffusers. As a result, it is best to name or identify which reeds belong to particular oil diffusers.

Organize and Store Candles

We sincerely hope that this article has provided some guidance on how to safely store candles as well as how to maintain them. By doing so, you’ll be able to relish them for an extended period of time! Plus, you won’t have to worry about the aroma fading when you want to bring your favorites out to visit a specific location like your hometown.

Plan Ahead

Manufacturing your own candle wicks is a terrific way to have more control over the process of making your candles. In order to ensure that the wicks have enough time to dry between processes, plan ahead. Manufacture a large number of wicks in various diameters so that you can always have a supply on hand when you need to make new candles.


How do you store candles long term?

Candles should be kept out of reach of children, dogs, and anything else that could easily catch fire. Avoid using cardboard packaging whenever possible. As a general rule, candles should be stored at room temperature or lower. This is done to prevent the from melting, softening, or bending.

Can you save candles for a year?

When properly preserved, certain types of candles, such as paraffin candles, can live for decades. Soy candles, for example, should be consumed within a year or two of purchase.

What can you use to make candle wicks?

Cotton string is all you need to make your own candle wicks! You can use oil or salt to make your own candle wicks, but ordinary cotton string works just as well. Using cotton string candle wicks, you get a long-lasting burn with no soot.

How to Make Candles | Martha Stewart

Can you make your own wicks?

To manufacture your own candles, you can either buy pre-made wicks or make your own wicks. Wooden wicks or movable wicks can be made using a few simple materials, but the most common are those treated with borax before use.

Can you use spaghetti as a wick?

There’s no need to give up your favorite fragrance because your candles are burning too low to reach the wick. Light a strand of uncooked spaghetti instead of your fingers. Grandpa’s birthday cake candles will be lit thanks to this long-lasting candle!

Can I use a toothpick as a candle wick?

Is it possible to use a toothpick as a candle wick? To answer that, sure.

Can you melt old candles to make new ones?

Yes, that’s a straightforward response. A fresh candle can easily be made by melting down the remaining wax and pouring it into a new votive. Make sure that all of the waxes you use are of the same type (beeswax, paraffin, or soy).

Helen Skeates

Helen Skeates

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