Making Tea Light Candles

Tea light candles are easy to make and very versatile. If you'd like to have a go at making your own, then here's how to do it.


  • Tea light cups - either foil or polycarbonate
  • Wax - paraffin, container, soy, rapeseed
  • Wicks - Either pre-assembled tabbed wick or wick and sustainers
  • Colour - Optional
  • Fragrance - Optional


  • Wax Melter
  • Thermometer
  • Pouring jug
  • Stirring stick
  • Bonding wax - optional
  • Cocktail stick(s)


  1. Place your wax in a melter pop in the thermometer and start to welt your wax.
  2. Whilst the wax is melting, if you haven't bought pre-assembled wick tabs, you'll need to prepare your tabbed assemblies and pre-wax them in the melted wax pool when you have one.

Wicking - Method 1
some people prefer to set their wick assemblies into the tea light cups before pouring.  if you choose this method, place a small piece of bonding wax on the bottom of the wick assembly and position it centrally in the cup. The wick is pre-waxed, so it should stand up nice and straight.

NB:  The draw-back with this method is the heat from the pouring wax often melts the wax around your wick and the wicks then droop to one side.  If this happens, just prop them up in a central position with cocktail sticks.

Wicking - Method 2

With this method you add the wick assembly just as the poured wax starts to skin.  The metal tab on the assembly is quite cool and solidifies the wax in the base as it touches, keeping it nicely anchored as the wax cools.


NB: The draw-back with this method is getting the assembly central in one attempt, otherwise you will spoil the finished surface of your tea light. No bonding wax is needed with this method, the tabbed assembly will stick to the bottom by itself.

  1. Lay out your tea light cups on a large piece of kitchen towel or newspaper to protect the work surface from spills.
  2. Once your wax has reached it's pouring temperature add any colour or fragrance you want.  make sure you stir well to ensure even distribution.
  3. Remove the melted wax from the water bath and pop in your jug for a few minutes - just to warm it and make it easier to pour.
  4. Pour your wax into your pouring jug and you're ready to fill your tea light cups.
  5. If you used method 1 for wicking, then pour the wax into the cups gently, making sure you don't dislodge the central wick tab. 
  6. Make sure your wick is standing uptight and central.  Prop it up with cocktail sticks if necessary.
  7. If you used method 2 for wicking, then pour your hot wax into the cups and allow to cool for a few minutes.  Watch them like a hawk, and as they just start to skin, slide in the wick assembly, making sure it's in a central position.  This method shouldn't require any propping up of the wicks.
  8. Leave the wax to set.  If you chose to use straight paraffin wax, you will probably need to top-up as the wax shrinks with cooling. if you chose container wax, you will only need the one pour.

If your candles need topping up,  then place the jug with left-over wax back into hot water to re-melt. Use a cocktail stick to pierce 3 holes around the wick, this will make sure the 2 pourings adhere to each other. When the topping-up wax has melted, pour into the tea light cups to fill the shrinkage well and just cover the entire surface to give you a smooth finish.

Leave the tea lights to finish cooling completely.
Try to leave them at least 24 hours before burning them

Before lighting your candles, trim the wick back to approx 5mm to give a clean burn.

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