Can You Save Money Making Your Own Candles?


Making your own candles is a great way to save money. Not only do you get to choose the materials, but you can also customize the scent of your candles however you like. All you need is wax, a heat source, and some essential or fragrance oils to give your candles a personalized scent.

There is a 50% difference in the cost of store-bought and homemade pillar candles. Votives and tealights prices fall slightly below the average or within the range of store-bought candles. This is because large manufacturers will gain economies of scale through large production runs of these items, meaning they can still make a profit while keeping pricing low.

This blog article will explore how much it costs to make your candles and how this compares to store-bought alternatives.

What materials will you need?

Wax

You can purchase affordable wax online or at a local craft store. The type of wax you choose will affect the price, but most types will run you less than $30 per pound. The price will also be heavily impacted by the wax you choose, so it is crucial to understand the different types on the market. You can check out our articles that deep dive into Soy, Paraffin, Beeswax, Coconut, Rapeseed, and Palm wax.

Fragrance or Essential Oils

You’ll need some scent for your candles, and you have a few options here. You can use essential oils, typically more expensive than fragrance oils. You can find essential oils at a health food store or online, usually costing less than $10 per ounce. Fragrance oils are cheaper, costing less than $5 per ounce, and can be found at most craft stores or online at websites such as candle science.

Wicks

You’ll need wicks for your candles, which can be bought in bulk online for under $10 for 100 wicks or more. The price of wicks will be impacted by the type of wick, including the length, thickness, and core.

Container

The container you use for your candles is up to you. You can use mason jars, teacups, wine glasses, or anything that can hold hot wax and has a wide mouth for easy pouring. If you don’t have anything on hand, you can purchase mason jars at a local grocery store for under $5 each.

Colouring

Adding colour to your candles is optional but can add to the overall look of the candle. If you are looking to cut costs on your favourite pass time, however, you don’t need to colour your candles, especially if they are made of beeswax. You can purchase candle dye online or at a local craft store for under one dollar, which will colour two 8 oz candles.

What is the cost of each item you require?

Below are the prices of each item you need to make your own candles at home. We have included price ranges and how this is impacted by the total quantity bought.

SuppliesUnit Price ($)Total Bulk Price ($)QuantityHow much do you need per candle?
Containers0.75 – 2.388.95 – 28.6112 cases1 case per candle
Fragrance Oils2.922.921 oz3% – 10% total candle weight
Dyes0.960.961 Block– 1 block per 2 pounds of soy
– 1 block per 4 pounds of paraffin
Wax2.65 – 9.4126.46 – 47.071 – 10 lb3.6 oz to 21oz +
Wicks0.06 – 0.096.12 – 8.921001 per candle
Wick Stickers0.056.121201 per wick

The cost of making your own candles is $5 per candle when purchasing enough materials for 12 8oz candles, which is a fraction of the price of store-bought candles. The more materials you buy in bulk, the unit price will continue to fall.

Now that we’ve gone over the materials you’ll need and the item costs, let’s look at how much it costs to make a few of the most popular candle types.

How much does it cost to make a tealight candle?

If you’re looking for an affordable project, tealight candles are a great option. These candles may have a quicker burn time, but your wax will create many rather than several. Tealights can also be used as a heating element for wax melters, which is another excellent method to get fragrance into your home. For this project, you’ll need the following:

  • 6 pounds of wax (soy, paraffin, beeswax, or a blend)
  • 6 oz of essential oil or fragrance oil (this will depend on the fragrance load of your wax)
  • A wick holder
  • 160 tealight container
  • Two Hundred wicks

The total cost for this project will be under $75, and you’ll have enough materials to make approximately 160 tealight candles.

  • 6 lbs of wax = 2.80 x 6 = $16.80
  • 6 oz of fragrance oil = 2.92 x 6 =$17.52
  • 200 wicks (minimum order) = $12.24
  • 200 glue dots (minimum order) = 0.05 x 100 = $10
  • 160 containers = 0.10 x 160 = $16

Candle Making Supplies for 160 candles = $72.56

This works out to a unit price of $0.46 for tealight candles.

How much does it cost to make a pillar candle?

Pillar candles are a bit more labour-intensive than tealights, but the results are well worth it. For this project, you’ll need the following:

  • 6 pounds of wax (soy, paraffin, beeswax, or a blend)
  • 6 oz of essential oil or fragrance oil (this will depend on the fragrance load of your wax)
  • A wick holder
  • A pillar candle mould
  • One hundred wicks

The total cost for this project will be just over $60, and you’ll have enough materials to make approximately 12 x 8oz pillar candles.

  • 6 lbs of wax = 2.80 x 6 = $16.80
  • 6 oz of fragrance oil = 2.92 x 6 =$17.52
  • 100 wicks (minimum order) = $6.12
  • 100 glue dots (minimum order) = 0.05 x 100 = $5
  • 2 moulds = $9
  • 6 dye blocks = 0.96 x 6 = $5.76

Candle Making Supplies for 12 candles = $60.20

This works out to a price of $5 for each pillar candle.

How much does it cost to make a votive candle?

Votive candles are a great option if you’re looking for a project between tealights and pillars in terms of difficulty. For this project, you’ll need the following:

  • 6 pounds of wax (soy, paraffin, beeswax, or a blend)
  • 6 oz of essential oil or fragrance oil (this will depend on the fragrance load of your wax)
  • A wick holder
  • A votive candle mould
  • Fifteen wicks

The total cost for this project will be just over $60, and you’ll have enough materials to make approximately 16 votive candles.

  • 6 lbs of wax = 2.80 x 6 = $16.80
  • 6 oz of fragrance oil = 2.92 x 6 =$17.52
  • 100 wicks (minimum order) = $6.12
  • 100 glue dots (minimum order) = 0.05 x 100 = $5
  • 2 moulds of 6 = 0.75 x 100 = $9
  • 6 dye blocks = 0.96 x 6 = $5.76

Candle Making Supplies for 55 votives = $60.20

This works out to a price of $1.09 for each votive.

Now that we’ve gone over the cost of materials and some popular candle types let’s explore how much store-bought candles cost.

Is it cheaper to make your candles?

Tealight Candles

If you’re looking to buy tealight candles, you can expect to pay between $5 and $15 for a package of 24. This works out to be between $0.20 and $0.60 per candle. It will cost you about $0.46 to make your own, so it comes in the middle of this range.

Pillar Candles

If you’re looking to buy pillar candles, you can expect to pay between $10 and $30 for a pair. This works out to be between $5 and $15 per candle. It will cost you $5 if you buy the supplies for 12 candles, meaning you will save 50% on the average cost of a pillar candle.

Votive Candles

If you’re looking to buy votive candles, you can expect to pay between $5 and $20 for a package of 12. This works out to be between $0.42 and $1.67 per candle. Your unit cost will be $1.09 if you purchase the materials for 55 votives. This means that you fall in the middle of the range of store-bought candles. Of course, the more materials you buy, the cheaper your unit price will be.

The Bottom Line

As you can see, there is a significant difference in the cost of store-bought and homemade pillar candles. Votives and tealights prices fall slightly below the average or within the range of store-bought candles. This is because large manufacturers will gain economies of scale through large production runs of these items, meaning they can still make a profit while keeping pricing low.

Final Thoughts

Making your candles is a great way to save money. Not only can you buy the materials for a fraction of the price of store-bought candles, but it’s also a fun project to do with friends or family. All you need is wax, a heat source, and some essential or fragrance oils to give your candles a personalized scent. Try making your candles today and see how much you can save!

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