Introduction: How to Make a Candle Wick

Picture of How to Make a Candle Wick

Did you know that you can make a candle wick out of household items? In this Instructable I will demonstrate how to make a candle wick out of common household supplies. 

Step 1: Supplys

Picture of Supplys

-cotton string

Step 2: Melting the Wax

Picture of Melting the Wax

First, cut the string to size. Then, melt the wax and soak the string in it. Finally, take out the string with the pliers and let the wick cool off.

Step 3: Finshed

Picture of Finshed

Once the string has cooled off, you can put it to use in a candle.


AnArChYZ (author)2017-08-15

Lighter went out... was still too drunk to be wandering around public... So i came across this article trying to make a candle so i didn't have to get up and light a marlboro off the stove... The string i had wasn't cotton... like mylar or some petroleum based string i bought to run trot lines when fishing... that did not work as a candle wick... so i seen a napkin lying there and a spool of sewing thread... rolled up the napkin tight, but i left like a 1/8th inch thickness to it. Wrapped that in sewing thread. it did turn my white candle wax black. but i was able to secure my homemade wick at the bottom of the candle i was using... the wick was too thin and it burned the center down out of the candle... after i attached my wick, i melted some wax i cut off the candle cylinder i was working with until everything was level. trimmed my homemade wick and yeah it works. it don't smell the best... but it did light a marlboro. and it didn't burn up fast like the thin wick that came with the candle when i bought it. Thanks for the iDIYa. got me out of a pinch.

JoelN44 (author)AnArChYZ2017-10-22

Wait- How did you light the your new candle wick?

queer1 (author)2017-06-19

I've been making all kinds of candles from leftover candle wax anc crayons for years. My problem has always been making my own wicks. So far the best materials I found to make my wicks with was been hemp twine however depending on how well you soak the twine it can end up burning too hot resulting in the wick ending up drowning. Recently I found another solution which I like a lot. I had a lot of canvas scraps from a sewing project so I cut it into long very thin strips and followed my usual soaking process. They work really well especially if the wax I soak them in is paraffin wax regardless of what kind of wax the candle I use it in is.

GinaR47 (author)2017-02-23

Tudah Rbah (thank you very much). The real Name of the Creator is Yah (short version); Yahuah (modern version); Hayah (ancient version that I use, since I do not use the changes added by mankind). Halaluyah means highest praise to Yah. Do the 7 appointed times as written of in Leviticus 23 (but no more animal sacrifices).

Loopylou17 (author)2017-02-14

hi there

Does anyone know how to purchase the right thickness candle wax...for the different size candles?

DIYfinder2004 (author)2016-10-25

Does anyone have any tips for senting candles? All I have is pepermint and I don't know how that would smell with crayons.

MarieW67 (author)DIYfinder20042017-01-14

Anything oild based I use Wilton treatology. They smell amazing my favorite sent is warm cinnamon graham

SandyP58 (author)DIYfinder20042016-10-31

essential oils...either bought or homemead...can be made with herb of your choice steeped in extra virgin olive oil (preferably extra virgin) for three days then strain thru pantyhose or cheesecloth and there is your essential oil! add to your wax when it is melted right before you set your candles...scented! enjoy!

DIYfinder2004 (author)SandyP582016-11-06

Thanks for the tips

If I were you I would, take any of your essential oils. Or you can melt your fruit smell or something like in pot. This is what I did I used strawberries. First I put the strawberries in a pot then I had them sizzling for about 2 minutes then I put the wax in and mixed it in. Put it in the glass cup or whatever you are using to for the candle. I took some mod modge painted it on the sides of the cup and put up sprinkles in the bottom and put my hand over the top the cup and shook the cup around till there was so ankles over all of the sides of the cup. And let it dry first though. Hopefully this will answer your question

MatthildurBG (author)2017-01-11

What kind of WAX do you use? I have never done this.

candlemaker1981 made it! (author)2015-08-19

These are the candles I made now this is my first time doing this so please be kind :)

those actually look pretty cool man right on!!!!!

Those look great. Thank you for the pictures can you use the candle more to than once

@StephanieC95, I second that; they look great!

@candlemaker1981: I love the color as well. With some cinnamon leaf oil, they'd be great for fall/winter. Hm, it makes me want to attempt to make some! Thanks for sharing your pictures ☺

I think that these look great! I am really wanting make some candles..just for fun (at least at first..hopefully I get good enough to make them as gift)...but if mine look like this on MY first try...they will Birthday presents for sure!!! :D You have given me confidence! Thank you! :)

Sinclaire-Genesis (author)2016-12-31

I dont know if it burns yet... Lol. I just read everyone else's trials &errors. I used the lid off of a Yankee Candle , the base for my wick from a tealight, and borrowef the wire from a bread tye idea. Sented my candle with one of those oil perfumes that u roll on. And i'm waiting on it to harden. So wish me luck! I really hope it burns!.

captpsmith (author)2016-12-22

I thought that is what you had to do - so thanks for confirming this!

ADS_BEGONE (author)2016-12-15

How long should you soak the string?

PinkSwanny (author)2015-12-17

I don't have any wax. Any tips on what I can do?

awesomeashkan (author)PinkSwanny2016-09-03

U can use crayons.

Melt them in a sauce pan and Presto!!!!

U R Done

LeassaK (author)PinkSwanny2016-07-07

Melt down an old candle

Desishrt (author)PinkSwanny2016-02-14

You can use melted crayons

lucasparker (author)PinkSwanny2016-01-14

You can recycle bacon grease into candles. Strain your used grease (while warm in liquid form) through a paper towel placed in a rice strainer into a pan. Add some wax (you can use the remnants of used candles, ideally unscented to retrain the bacon smell) and heat on low stirring gently until the bacon grease and was combines. Pour this mixture into a recycled container (pickle jar, can, or any metal/glass container) and then insert your wick. Lay a pencil or chopstick across the opening of the container and tie the wick to it. This will keep the wick straight while the wax/grease solidifies. Once it's solid untie the wick (carefully without pulling it out of the candle) and cut it to an ideal length. The wicks described in this instructable would work great in this application.

HannahA12 (author)PinkSwanny2015-12-21

just buy a candle and use the left over wax from it

LeyLey45 (author)2016-06-03

Thanks for sharing your idea. The crayon idea is a good one too. I will let you know how mine turns out. Thank you again

russellk16 (author)2016-04-26

Can you use hemp?

catsrlife234 (author)2015-12-12

I tried to do this project and even used the thin wire but as soon as I lit it it burnt out in less than 2 seconds! Any tips on what i might be doing wrong? Also how long should I let it sit in and out of the wax?

RomanN10 (author)catsrlife2342015-12-22

I think all wicks will burn out quickly without a candle to put them in. Try putting the wick in a candle first, so the wick can have some wax to burn up.

candlemaker1981 (author)2015-08-19

This was by far the most confusing way to explain how to make waxes wick I didn't see where you would have to use wire I didn't so I have a fast burning wick that's useless this was a simple way to make wick but never knew that the main ingredient to a good strong slow burning wick is by using a certain wire that makes it burn longer I mean I messed up cause I have no wire nor did I use any but the main thing is I learned how to make candles homemade and that is because of this website so thank you now that I know what to do I guess better luck next time! :)

JamesM16 (author)2014-12-16

100% cotton yarn is good too.

candlemaker1981 (author)JamesM162015-08-19

That's not true Idipped my yarn in wax and let it dry as soon as i lit it the flame quickly burnt it down and went out it will not light up again I poured all that wax into some old jars that had candle that burnt down to empty and also used a candle holder which was my decorative piece and put the waxed wick in now it's useless it was a cotton yarn I used

Oh I see, you have to braid the yarn around some wire thin wire right?

kiaya.moroney (author)2015-03-21

Can i use normal string or is it not the same??

AnnaS2 (author)2015-01-06

*Supplies :)

Cool! I'm going to do this sometime!

LillianaA (author)2014-12-07

How would you do the wire in it? I didnt really understand...

Bret16 (author)2014-11-16

Will any glass container do or does it have to be special hardened glass ?

sgfidlin (author)Bret162014-11-16

Any glass should work fine

MeganT1 (author)2014-09-25

This works amazingly! Thanks!

WildWhippetWoman (author)2014-06-23

Can you braid the twine? It would be easier to braid the wick around wire (if you are using wire). Also I've seen just your regular 3 strand braid and a square braid type of wick.. Anyone know how to square braid? How many strands? Also, if you are braiding at all, does anyone know how much longer to cut the strings so after braiding, it'll be close to the size you want? Thanks! Wild Whippet Woman BTW LOVE THIS SITE!!!!

ironsmiter (author)2013-08-26

if you want to be super wick master, a thin piece of wire run in the cotton thread before waxing, wil give it that stiffness you've come to expect from commercial wicks

Frugal Girl (author)ironsmiter2013-11-16

Hi, do you have an instructable on that? I made wick today- about a meter in length. It's quite rigid but always interested in other ideas.

ironsmiter (author)Frugal Girl2013-11-26

No ible on that... but it is so super simple, you will probably laugh.

Take a piece of florist wire(or any other thin, stiff wire), slightly sharpen one end, and skewer the cotton wick onto it.

3 foot long wick? that is probably a little beyond what i would call a wick. Unless you are making a candle to power a lighthouse!
If it is not for a candle.... although you CAN make it yourself, you are probably better off ordering it from someplace like

Frugal Girl (author)ironsmiter2013-11-26

The long wick is chopped into 1 inch lengths and used in either spent tea light wick holders or a homemade wick holder.

I like the idea of the sharpened wire, thank you!

ironsmiter (author)Frugal Girl2013-12-01
If you didn't want to reuse the tealight base.
I've added a quick 3 image Paperclip wick. In the final image, you can see the very tip of the metal sticking out of the yarn.

Metal twist ties(like off of a bag of bagels) work even better. the wire is much thinner, but still plenty stiff. An added bonus for tea lights is, the metal conducts the heat, melting the wax better.

Frugal Girl (author)ironsmiter2013-12-01

Yes, I like this- similar to what I do- in my instructables. A friend has just devised another floating wick using a tea light cup (minus the tea light) as a boat- he has two versions- one is you make a hole in the base- pushing a sharp pointed tool through from the bottom without turning the tea light cup over- doing it this way means that after you insert your wick you can use your fingers or pliers to crimp the hole closed. The other one he does is still using the tea light holder as a boat but he attaches the springs from clothes pegs to the edges, he has maybe two or three then he can burn three wicks.
All the photos are on my group- you're most welcome to join and share your ideas

Frugal Girl (author)2013-11-16

I did my first instructable today- it was also on making wick, a longer length. Iy might interest you :)

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