Candle Making Supplies List for Beginners (2023 Update)

Armatage Candle Company
Candle Making Supplies List for Beginners (2023 Update)

Does making candles at home feel overwhelming?  From the hundreds of wicks, waxes, and containers… where should you start?

If you’re looking for a clean, quick way to dip your toes into making candles at home, you’ve found the right place!  In this post, we’ll cover basic candle supplies you’ll need, what they do, and a few equipment options for different budget levels.

You can learn candle making with as little as a kitchen counter, $20, and a good attitude if you’re scrappy. 

Check out our Equipment List for recommended equipment and supplies.

Let’s get started!

An overview of basic candle making supplies

Supplies are the items in the candle.  Before going nuts and buying everything off the shelf, take time to understand the basics.  It’ll save you money and stress if you’re just getting started.


Every candle requires wax.  We melt it down, add a bunch of stuff, then pour it into a container or mold around a wick. 

The most popular waxes, and easiest to find, are paraffin and soy wax.  Each comes with their own unique traits, but both are great choices for your first candle.  You can even blend them together to combine their strengths.

double boiler step 1

If you’re interested in making candles that don’t fit into a container (commonly referred to as “pillar” candles), you’ll want a sturdy wax.  Choose paraffin, beeswax or palm wax.


Finding the right wick for your candle seems easy in theory, but ends up being the trickiest part of the whole process.

Wicks are classified in two ways: type and size.

The type of wick refers to how it’s manufactured.  There are many varieties of wick, each with different traits that make them better for some wax types, and worse for others.  Some candle makers may refer to “type” as “series”.

Some example types include CD, ECO, wooden, LX, and HTP.

Wick type depends on the wax you’re using.

Within each type of wick, there are different sizes.  Just like coffee, you can order a wick type in a small or large size.  Manufacturers and suppliers indicate the size of wick with a number, usually.

Within the ECO type, you’ll find sizes that range from ECO .75 (small) up to ECO 16 (very large).  

Wick size is based on the diameter of the candle you’re making.

You’ll also need some way to stick the wick to the container.  Suppliers usually sell “wick stickers” that work extremely well, but you could also use hot glue or high-temperature resistant glue, although glue strength will vary and you may need to search for a while to find one that doesn’t come undone.

Fragrance or essential oils

Fun fact: fragrance oil is the most expensive component in a candle.

Most candles are scented candles.  They don’t have to be, but one of the joys of making candles is infusing fragrance that reflects your personal taste.  

Measure out one ounce of fragrance oil into a small glass or disposable cup

When you’re starting out, it’s easier to select a fragrance oil specifically designed for use in candles.  You can use essential oils, but many aren’t equipped to perform in candles.  It’s not that they’re impossible, but they’re more expensive and require a tiny bit of luck with wax and wick selection to get right.

Candles are usually 5%-10% fragrance oil.  Wax is heated up to a certain temperature before fragrance oil is added and blended in the mix.  There are a few formulas to understand how much you need, but if you want to skip the math, use 1 oz of fragrance oil for every 16 oz of wax in your batch.


You can use any type of heat-resistant container for your candles, such as glass jars, tins, or ceramic containers.

If you want to make candles without a container, you’ll need a mold.  These are usually sold in the same places as containers.


Adding dye to your candles can create a more vibrant color. Dye chips or liquid dyes can be added to the melted wax.

Everything you need is usually available at a local craft store.  Places like Hobby Lobby or Michaels usually have a dedicated area for candle making supplies, even if they’re pretty generic.  The best location to buy supplies is a dedicated candle supply center if you’re lucky enough to have one nearby (search Google and make a few calls to verify).

Not interested in a trip to the store?  Prefer to operate remotely?  Buy your supplies from any number of online retailers.  A few standbys include:

An overview of candle making equipment

Equipment refers to the tools you use to actually create the candle.  Here’s an overview of some of the basics most candle makers have in their workshop.

Fire extinguisher

This should go without saying, but if you’re creating and burning flammable items and using a heat source to do it, you need a fire extinguisher.

Safety first!

Double boiler

A double boiler is something you build, not buy.

One of the simplest ways to make candles is to boil water in a large pot, place a pot in the water, and melt your wax inside it.

Most people have everything they need to assemble a double boiler.  One of the easiest ways is to boil water in a large pot and melt down wax in a 4-cup measuring glass.  The double boiler gives you tremendous control over your heat and limits the potential for damaging the wax.


A thermometer is used to monitor the temperature of the wax. It’s important to heat the wax to the correct temperature for optimal burning and fragrance throw.

infrared thermometer on table next to a glass thermometer

Managing heat is one of the essential skills of candle making.

There are two main options for thermometers: IR thermometers and glass thermometers.  They’re equally valid, but make sure you only use one throughout the entire process in case they’re not calibrated equally.

Stirring utensil

You can use a wooden or silicone spatula to stir the wax and fragrance oil.

If you’re really scrappy, you can stir with a glass thermometer.  Two for one!

Clothespins or wick bars

When your wax is melted and mixed with fragrance and color, the next step is to pour it into your vessels (a container or mold in this case).

what is the alex method

Clothespins or wick bars hold the wick in the center of your candle after you pour wax.  They aren’t required, but you’ll have to get awfully creative to keep your wick centered without them!

Candle making setups for every budget

So where do you start?  You have a few options.

Shipping will vary, and will alter the prices.  It’s unrealistic to provide an actual number, so your (literal) mileage may vary!  Stock not guaranteed, unfortunately.

Simple: Candle Making Kit ($45 – $100)

There are plenty of kits on the market if you want to explore – these two are well-rated but come in at different price points.

Lone Star Candle Supply ($92.50)

  • 10-lbs NatureWax C-3 soy wax
  • 24 jars
  • 2 fragrance oils (4 oz each), 2 color blocks
  • Wick bars, glue dots, & 100 wicks (ECO series)
  • Pour pot & thermometer

Candles & Supplies ($44.99)

  • 3-lbs GW 444 soy wax
  • 8 jars
  • 5 fragrances
  • 8 wick bars, wick stick tape, & 8 wicks

*Does not include pour pot or thermometer

Scrappy: “The MacGyver” ($15 – $50)

Not committed to buying a kit?  “The MacGyver” option explores using things around the house where possible to save on costs.  Scrappy, yet effective!

Equipment ($0 – $5)

Pro Tip: Get around the house or from a secondhand store

  • 4-cup measuring glass (holds wax)
  • Pot large enough to fit the measuring glass (holds water)
  • Kitchen scale that can measure grams or ounces
  • Meat thermometer – can be cleaned with rubbing alcohol (temperatures)
  • Coffee stir sticks, popsicle sticks, or old spatula (stirs wax blend)
  • Stovetop (okay, don’t go buy one – just use the one you have!)
  • Hot glue gun (for sticking the wick to the container)
  • Dixie cups/disposable cups (for holding fragrance oil)

Supplies ($5 – $40)

Pro Tip: Buy from a local craft store

  • 1 to 3 lb of any soy wax
  • Fragrance oil made for candles (make sure it’s for candles)
  • Expensive alternative: essential oils (harder to make them smell good though!)
  • At least 4 candle wicks with metal tab connected
  • Candle dye (or no dye, if you want to stay really lean)
  • 4 glass mason jars (grocery store canning section is a good place)
  • Clothespins (to hold the wicks in place)

Mid-Range: “The Bootstrap” ($25 – $70)

This option leaves you with more proper looking equipment without breaking the bank.  You’ll have a good set of supplies for following the course then experimenting or even making extras for giving as gifts or selling.  Assumes you’ll use the double boiler method.

Pro Tip: Keep shipping low and buy from only one or two companies

Equipment ($0 – $20)

  • 4-lb aluminum pour pot
  • Glass thermometer
  • Kitchen scale that can measure grams or ounces
  • Coffee stir sticks, popsicle sticks, or old spatula (stirs wax blend)
  • Dixie cups/disposable cups (for holding fragrance oil)

Supplies ($20 – $50)

  • 5-lb NatureWax C-3 or GW 464 (or GW 444) soy wax
  • 4 glass jars (~ 8 fl oz capacity).  Mason jars welcome!
  • Alternative: aluminum tins
  • 4 oz fragrance oil
  • Candle dye (or no dye, if you want to stay really lean)
  • ECO wick series variety pack and/or CD wick series variety pack (4 total needed)
  • Wick stickers (or glue, hot glue)
  • Clothespins or wick bars

Deluxe: “The Pro” ($100+)

Spare no expenses.  You’ll be able to crank candles out, iterate, test, and perfect.

Equipment ($50+)

  • 4-lb aluminum pour pot(s)
  • Glass thermometer or Infrared thermometer
  • Hot plate or Presto Pot
  • Alternatives: stove top or deep fryer (use with caution)
  • Kitchen scale that can measure grams or ounces
  • Coffee stir sticks, popsicle sticks, or old spatula (stirs wax blend)
  • Dixie cups/disposable cups/glass beakers (for holding fragrance oil)
  • Heat gun (discussed, but not used in course demonstration)
  • Pipettes (disposable or reusable – for transferring small amounts of wax/oil)

Supplies ($20 – $50)

  • 5-lb NatureWax C-3 or GW 464 (or GW 444) soy wax
  • 4 glass jars (~ 8 fl oz capacity).  Mason jars welcome!
  • Alternative: aluminum tins
  • 4 oz fragrance oil
  • Candle dye (or no dye, if you want to stay really lean)
  • ECO wick series variety pack and/or CD wick series variety pack (4 total needed)
  • Wick stickers (or glue, hot glue)
  • Clothespins or wick bars

Just start!

Candle making is a fun and rewarding hobby that anyone can do from the comfort of their own home.

With the right supplies and a little patience, you can create beautiful and fragrant candles that you can enjoy or gift to others. Don’t let the initial cost of supplies discourage you from trying something new. Start small, build up your supplies gradually, and have fun with it!

If you’re interested in making soy wax container candles and want to accelerate your understanding, check out Soy Wax Candle Making Fundamentals.

The post Candle Making Supplies List for Beginners (2023 Update) appeared first on Armatage Candle Company.

* This article was originally published here

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