Is Candle Making an Expensive Hobby?

is candle making an expensive hobby

Candles have long been employed to be a guiding light long before gas lamps and modern electricity replaced them. However, that never seemed to have diminished their popularity of being useful. Candle making is certainly an easy skill to master and has beneficial applications that make them ideal in anyone’s home. The question is, how affordable is it to get started in candle making. Let’s take a look. Is candle making an expensive hobby?

Candle making is not an expensive hobby. If you have a microwave-safe bowl and a thermometer then that is all you need to get started. However, if you choose to purchase a candle-making kit, prices start at around $30 for a small kit on Amazon. These kits include wax, fragrance oil, wicks, and containers.

The cost of candle making is tied to what type of candles you want to make and what kind of containers you want to put them in. Some people make candles in craft beer cans and soup cans.

That’s what most people miss about the simplicity of candle making. While the type of wax that you use does have an immediate impact on your production cost, there are cost-effective solutions. Not every candle is going to be expensive to produce, but the equipment and supplies must be considered too.

What are the costs of getting started?

Material costs

The first thing you want to learn about is which wax you want to use since there are many kinds out there. They will all cost differently and where you buy it from affects the price and shipping cost. If you can find local sources that sell the raw material in bulk, this is cheaper. Don’t ever buy from a candle making supplier since they mark-up the cost to earn their profit. Instead, it’s better to search the internet for raw wax suppliers that sell to the public.

One hint about getting better pricing on raw material is to have a reseller license. This allows you to buy materials without paying resale tax on them. If not, you can also find companies that sell bulk wax at wholesale prices. This is wax that is sold in bulk and is cheaper than commercially operated candle suppliers. Suppliers like this not only sell wax in bulk but also sell jars, candle supplies, and lids. A good example is of this found here:

Packaging costs

Candle labels are a different story since you need to use paper that is glued onto a jar. There are lots of paper stock materials you can use but easily the cheapest and most organic is butcher paper. This gives homemade candles an earthy look that’s also very green-friendly. You can go to your local butcher shop and buy a roll from them very easily. Or ask them where they buy their paper.

You can then ask for a diameter that fits into your laser printer at home and print your own labels. There are several free label maker programs you can download from the internet.

Essential oils

Most people will simply turn to essential oils for giving their candle a certain scent, but there is a hidden danger behind them. These are oils that are made from the cold-pressed method of extracting a scent. These oils can be highly flammable and will often give off a different scent when burned. A better and safer solution is to use fragrance oils that are phthalate and paraben-free since these give a distinct smell that is more accurate when burned.

You can Google for fragrance oils to find a supplier that sells them locally or within your city or state. You don’t want to make people sick by using essential oils even though they smell nice in your wax. They just don’t burn the same way in the end.

Shipping costs

How will you send or ship your candles is a big question that you might have to figure out before you start. The best advice is to contact a shipping company that has the best shipping prices. Use a trusted carrier that gives you options for shipping if you have to send it to someone outside your state. Just as you would expect, you’ll also need to pack the candles so they won’t break or get damaged.

Big carriers such as UPS are good but also check the US Postal Service. They have introduced bulk shipping services that are just as speedy as UPS, They also provide you shipping insurance if your candles do get damaged.

Business costs

Now we’re talking about the nitty-gritty of getting it all started for making candles. To be honest, it can cost you as little as $200 or up to $500 for enough materials to get started. Depending on where you buy your materials will further add to these costs. As far as a general start-up cost that’s realistic you can figure as little as $150 if you search for recommendations I add here.

Don’t forget that you’ll need to buy melting equipment and other assorted candle making items.

What equipment do I need to buy?

A good wax melting pot is essential and there is no excuse for doing it on the cheap. Double boilers are fine but you have to remember that water vapor can get into your wax. It’s a fast and cheap method but not so great for popping candles that are loaded with water vapor.

A better solution is to find a crockpot that allows an inner pot to be added. Buy one that has a digital thermometer to control the temperature.

Then use a handheld digital thermometer probe to see how warm your wax is getting. Crockpots are better controlled for heat and are much safer at warming wax.

You can also choose to buy fishing lure plastic injectors that suck up just enough wax to deposit into each jar you pour. These can be found at any fishing shop supplier in your home state.

Why You Should Start Making Candles

With all of the innovative ideas that you can put together, you can earn a pretty good living by selling candles. The trick is to find your market which isn’t so easy to find. Word of mouth works best these days and this also works to your advantage using social media. You can also make a website that doesn’t cost much to set-up. It might be easier to sell your candles through eBay as one-of-a-kind items.

But when it comes to satisfaction in working with your hands, there’s nothing like it that compares. Yet of all the benefits that go with candle making, you should make a few from each batch so you can test the candle yourself to see how well it works. This way you can control any problems that might come up. You can also try different oils to see what smells work best and which candle wax burns better.

As you improve your skills, the quality of your candle helps sell your vision of what it can do for your customers. And that’s what creates a bigger customer base in return.

Frequently Asked Questions

How expensive is candle making?

Candle making is not very expensive and is a better value than buying them. You can expect an initial investment of approximately $50 to produce between 8 and 12 candles depending on what type of candle making setup you decide to go with.

Is it cheaper to buy or make candles?

It is cheaper to make candles than it is to buy them. Even when purchasing candle making supplies in small batches and making small batches of candles, it is often much cheaper to make candles than to buy them. You can save as much as 50%-75% by making your own candles.

Is Candle Making worth it?

Candle making is worth it both financially and creatively. You can expect to spend 70% less making your own candles vs what you would spend buying candles from someone else. In addition, making your own candles gives you creative expression to design, dye and uses the fragrances you love.


Like any home-based business or hobby, your startup cost is always going to a key consideration. Choosing the right equipment and which items work best for you can help manage more cost-effective ways to make candles.

Let’s just say that starting a venture in to a candle making hobby isn’t going to break you financially. But always remember that these materials and equipment are an investment.

It also starts with a clear idea of what kinds of candles you intend on making. What is the final product going to look like and how is it packaged. These are all clearly expenses that can be managed with a little instruction first. But before you get ideas of going full-on Henry Ford in making an assembly line of candles, there’s something you should know.

Learn about who your niche market is going to be and tap into that with an original & honest marketing plan.

Even if you aren’t going to be selling them to others, they make fine gifts and decorative accents for your home. But make no mistake, once people see what makes your candles different, they’ll want to have one too.

Candle making has always been a handcrafted skill that holds value through symbolism. And your passion put into candle making will also sell that idea to others without much thought.

Carl Adamson

Hi, I'm Carl Adamson, one of the founders here at Candleers. A few years ago I got really into the art and craft of candle making, initially with soy wax container candles. My friends started asking me to make candles for them and pretty soon it turned into a nice side-business. I started this website as a way to document what I've learned over the past few years and hopefully help others in the process. I still love candle making but I'm learning that what I enjoy even more is the business side of things - and for this reason I've started consulting others on how to start and grow their own candle-making businesses and side-hustles.

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