How to Make Wood Wicks for Candles

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Wooden wicks are easy to light, are known for their natural burning quality, versatility with different types of wax and the crackling campfire glow they emit when lit. Best of all, they're not difficult to make and can save you money in the craft store -- that's more money for wax and other supplies.

Make your own wood wicks instead of purchasing them.
Make your own wood wicks instead of purchasing them. (Image: Image by Tim & Mary Vidra)

Things You'll Need

For Wicks: Balsa wood sticks, 1/4 by 1/16 by 32 inches Scissors Olive oil Flat dish Paper towel Wood wick tabs

Tip: Both hard and soft woods can be used to make wood wicks. Balsa wood sticks are long, lightweight wooden craft sticks that can be found at most hobby stores. They are budget-friendly and come in several different sizes, which can all be made into wood wicks using this method.

For Candles: Glass jars Wax adhesive Paraffin, soy or beeswax Spouted glass or metal container Heat-safe gloves, pot holder or oven mitt Large bowl * Tongs

Step : Cut the Balsa Wood

To make these wood wicks, snip the balsa wood stick to your desired wick size. If making the wicks for a specific candle project, cut the wood about 1 inch above your glass candle jar.

Use scissors or a wick trimmer to cut the wood to size.
Use scissors or a wick trimmer to cut the wood to size. (Image: Image by Tim & Mary Vidra)

Step 1: Soak and Coat the Wood

Soak the wood pieces in olive oil for 20 minutes, then remove them and wipe clean with a paper towel. The olive oil coats and soaks into the wood, which will help supplement the burning quality when the candle is lit.

Soak in clean olive oil for cleaner burning.
Soak in clean olive oil for cleaner burning. (Image: Image by Tim & Mary Vidra)

Step 2: Place Wood in Wick Tabs

Push the oil-treated wood pieces into wick tabs, and they’re ready for use in your next candle-making project.

Wick tabs and clips can be found at most craft stores or online.
Wick tabs and clips can be found at most craft stores or online. (Image: Image by Tim & Mary Vidra)

Step 3: Adhere Tabs to Bottom of the Jars

Using wax adhesive, press the wick tab onto the bottom center of the glass jar. The adhesive will help keep the wick centered after the wax is poured.

Tip: Mason jars, jelly jars and baby food jars all make recyclable options for candle-making.

Center the wick in the jar.
Center the wick in the jar. (Image: Image by Tim & Mary Vidra)

Step 4: Cut Wax for Melting

Cut blocks of wax into pieces, placing into a spouted glass or metal container. Keeping food safety in mind, use a container specifically for candle-making or craft projects; a heat-resistant glass liquid measuring cup works well, so long as it isn't a part of your kitchen tools.

Wax melts quicker when cut into smaller pieces.
Wax melts quicker when cut into smaller pieces. (Image: Image by Tim & Mary Vidra)

Step 5: Heat and Melt Wax

Heat the wax over a medium-high heat source, such as on a hot plate or in a double boiler, until completely melted to a clear liquid. Do not to touch the hot glass. Add a few drops of your favorite candle fragrance oil at this stage, if you like.

Use a hot plate or double boiler to heat up the wax.
Use a hot plate or double boiler to heat up the wax. (Image: Image by Tim & Mary Vidra)

Step 6: Warm the Jars

Warm the glass jars just prior to pouring in the liquid wax; doing so will help prevent jump lines in the finished candle. To warm them, cover them in a sink or bowl with hot water and remove with tongs when ready to pour wax. Dry their insides completely before putting wax in them.

Step 7: Pour Wax Into Jars

Wearing heat-safe gloves, a hot pad or oven mitt, slowly pour the hot liquid wax into the center of the jar, coating the wooden wick and filling the jar to the base of the rim. Allow the wax to completely cool and harden.

Warming the jars beforehand will help prevent jump lines in the finished candle.
Warming the jars beforehand will help prevent jump lines in the finished candle. (Image: Image by Tim & Mary Vidra)

Step 8: Trim Wicks

When cool, trim the wooden wick to 1/3 inch above the wax, and they’re ready for use.

Tip: Trimming the wicks too close to the wax will make the candle difficult to light.

Don't trim too close to the wax.
Don't trim too close to the wax. (Image: Image by Tim & Mary Vidra)

Step 9: Light Candle

Light the wooden wicks. Always keep a burning candle within sight, and use caution when handling the glass containers after a candle has been burning.

Candles make good gifting options and can be made ahead of time to keep on hand for any last-minute gift needs.

Listen for the slight crackle these wooden wicks will emit when burning.
Listen for the slight crackle these wooden wicks will emit when burning. (Image: Image by Tim & Mary Vidra)

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