Were you aware that you can create your candles, as well as candle wicks, with things lying around your house? Yes! You can now use wood, yarn, borax, and butcher’s twine for your homemade candle wick projects.
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Wicking a candle is a very important part of making one, but also believed to be the most difficult task of them all. You can pick out the best quality dye, fragrance, and wax, but your entire project could get messed up if you choose the wrong type of wick.
So, here is a complete guide on candlewicks and the easiest ways to make them at home.
What can be used as a candle wick?
You can use a wide range of household products to make candle wicks at home. These include paper towels, newspapers, and even cotton fabric strips from your oldest t-shirt. On the other hand, you can use conventional items to make your wicks, such as borax, cotton, butcher’s twine, and wood. But know that a candle wick specially made for candles is not the same as using a string. Not that you cannot use a string, but it depends on what it’s made of. For more info on what you can use a candle wick, check out this article.
Different types of candle wicks
There are different ways to categorize the many types of candle wicks you can make or buy. Continue reading to find out more about the three primary categories.
- Cored wicks
These knitted or braided wicks surround a core made of cotton, tin, zinc, or even paper.
- Flat wicks
Same as cored wicks, flat wicks are knitted or flat-braided. They are usually formed by combining three layers of a self-trimming material, specifical fiber.
- Square wicks
Square wicks are also the self-trimming kind and bear close similarities to flat wicks. They are commonly used alongside beeswax to make taper candles.
These three main categories further consist of a couple of different types of wicks.
- Zinc core wicks
Zinc core wicks are commonly used to make different kinds of candles, such as votives, gel candles, molded candles, and tea lights. Wicks made out of a zinc core combined with a cotton braid keep the wick upright and rigid as the flame burns. Moreover, wicks of this material burn cooler, which makes them just right for soy wax, paraffin wax, or a blend of the two.
- Paper core wicks
Paper core wicks are also used in various kinds of candles, like tea lights, votives, and molded ones. When you combine paper inner core with a cotton braid, you will have a rigid burning wick. Much like zinc core wicks, these too burn cooler and will go well with soy and paraffin wax.
- Eco candle wicks
As the name indicates, these wicks are primarily used with natural waxes. However, that does not mean that they cannot be used to make all kinds of candles, such as tea lights, votives, molded ones, and those placed in containers, reaching a height of 7 inches.
Eco wicks are made out of the cotton braid, which is combined with paper, and are typically flat. They are engineered in a way to allow the wick to trim itself as it burns and give you a soot-free experience. They perform the best when paired with candles made out of soy wax.
- Borax wicks
Borax is a chemical compound famous for being used in candle wicks to stiffen them. It is a colorless, light, and soft solid substance, which is paired with both soy and paraffin wax candles to burn hot.
- Wooden wicks
The candles made out of wooden wicks should not have any add-ins or decorations to prevent the risk of a fire. They are made up of unoiled or unwaxed thin, wooden slabs. When you burn a wooden wick, you will hear a cozy and crackling burning sound, which is perfect to set your heart at ease.
Various blends of wax are used alongside wooden wicks, such as beeswax.
Can you use spaghetti as a wick?
If you are looking for a clean and affordable wick option, spaghetti might be what you’re looking for. It is also a way for you to be creative when doing projects at home.
Can I use a toothpick as a candle wick?
If you want to use toothpicks to make your candle wick, then you need a candle, as well as pliers to help you along. Simply put, yes, you can use toothpicks to light your very own candle. Using this material allows the flame to burn efficiently and brighter while the wax will melt onto the toothpick itself.
What do you need to make candle wicks?
In order to make your candle wick, you will need several materials, depending on the type of wick you are aiming for. For example, a cotton wick requires natural fibers, scissors, and salt. A borax wick, on the other hand, requires borax, salt, and water. Below, we’ll go through the process on how to make one.
How do you make a homemade candle wick? (4 easy ways)
The four easiest ways to make your candlewick at home are mentioned below.
- Wooden candlewick.
- Candlewick with yarn.
- Candlewick with borax.
- Candlewick with butcher’s twine.
How to make wooden candle wicks?
We’ll start with the wooden candlewick.
- Cut the wood sticks
Take a pair of scissors to reduce the length of the wood you are using. It should only be around an inch longer than the jar or container you will place your candle in. However, if you are unsure about the height of the container, feel free to cut the wood down to somewhere around six inches.
- Soak the wood
Once you have trimmed the wood, pour some olive oil into a dish and place the wood in there. Remember, your trimmed wood should be completely soaked to allow it to burn evenly and quickly. Let it stay in the dish for a minimum of 20 minutes.
- Wipe the excess olive oil
When you take the wood sticks out of the dish, you will need to use some clean and absorbent paper towels to get rid of the excess olive oil on them. But do not try to rub the wood dry. Instead, place the sticks on the paper towels and let them sit for a while.
- Attack the stick to a wick
Use pliers to open up a tab of the metal wick and push the wooden wick inside. Let it go as far as it will to ensure a stronghold.
- Use the prepared wick
Voila! Your wick is ready to be used in your candle. Wooden wicks smell of wood and make crackling sounds while they burn. Hmm, cozy.
How to make a candle wick with borax?
The following steps will teach you how to make candle wicks using borax.
- Heat water
The first thing to do in this process is to take water, exactly 250 ml, and then heat it in a kettle or a small saucepan, whichever one you prefer. Let the water simmer but do not let it boil completely.
- Mix the borax and salt
Next, transfer the heated water to a bowl or a jar and add in 15 ml of salt and 45 ml of borax. Stir the mixture well to ensure that both the ingredients dissolve. This is to make sure that your candle is able to burn for a longer period of time and give off a brighter flame.
- Dip the twine
Now, it is time for you to take some butcher’s twine and dip it in the solution you made for around 24 hours. The trimmed twine should be longer than the jar you are going to use to place your candle in.
- Let the drying begin
Take the butcher’s twine out of the borax solution but be sure to use tweezers to do so. Hang it somewhere and let it stay that way for around two to three days. Before you start with the next step, make sure that the twine is fully and completely dry.
- Cover the twine with wax
You can now dip your butcher’s borax twine into the melted wax and cover every inch of it. This is done to make the wick easy for you to handle and stiffer. Moreover, dipping the borax twine in wax makes it catch fire quicker.
You can dry the wax afterward and then repeat this process. The more coats of wax you add, the thicker your candle will be.
- Use the borax wick
Once you have added a number of layers of wax to the butcher’s borax twine and made sure that it is fully dry, you can go ahead and finish your candle project because your wick is now ready!
How to make a candle wick without borax?
If you do not want to use borax in your candle wicks, here is how you can make one without it.
- Trim the string
Take a piece of string of any kind of candle-friendly material and measure its length. Keeping in mind the length of the candle you want to make, keep the string around two inches long. This will help it burn steadily.
- Make a water bath
A water bath is prepared as it is the best way to melt the wax. You can do so by using a small pot or a can of metal and putting it at the center of a big saucepan. The latter should consist of a little simmered water before the smaller pot can be placed inside.
- Start soaking
Now, take the strings and coat them with some melted wax. Make sure to cover the entire string thoroughly, especially the two ends.
- Time to dry
Place a drying rack over a couple of sheets of aluminum foil. Take tweezers or pliers to move the string coated in wax and put it on the rack. Wait for at least 10 minutes to let it stiffen and harden. Once it dries, your candle wick without borax is ready to go.
How to make a candle wick with yarn?
If you want a candle wick that burns for a longer period of time and does not release soot, then you need to use high-quality yarn. If you want to know how to do that, follow the steps given below.
- Start off with cutting exactly three pieces, each should be no less than eight inches long as compared to the height of the candle jar or container.
- Put the three strings together and a single knot at the very top. Use the three strings to form a braid, which will ensure that the candle wick is firm.
- The lowest part of the now braided string will go into a candlewick tab. You can use pliers in order to pinch and secure the material in place.
- You can now use your yarn wick to light a flame!
How to make a candle wick with twine?
Continue reading to make your very own candlewick out of cotton twine.
- Begin wick preparation
Your cotton twine wick needs to be around three inches long compared to the candle’s height. If you want a braided wick, feel free to cut more than one piece of cotton twine, but all of them should be of equal length and another inch longer.
- Soak the cotton twine
Then, submerge your cotton twine into some melted wax for at least a minute. You can use tongs to ensure that you do not harm your skin, and then twine is fully covered in wax.
- Dry up the cotton twine wicks
With the same tongs that you used to submerge your cotton twine, you can separate it from the wax and position it to try. When it dries off, you can easily go ahead and finish up your homemade wick or candle project.
How to make candle wicks last longer?
If you are tired of lighting up different candles on repeat because they all burn up too fast, here are a couple of solutions for you to make sure that your candle flame continues to provide you with light and ease for a longer period of time.
- Frequently trim the candle wick
Regularly trimming your wick is strongly suggested as a candle is known to burn out quite quickly if the wick is too tall in size. After every use, make sure to cut down some of the candlewicks. This will also prevent the expulsion of soot into the air around you.
- Ensure that your candles are not in the way of any currents
Your candles should not be positioned anywhere near air conditions, fans, or sources of wind. Excess air forces the candle flame to bounce around, having an adverse effect on the candlewick. Consequently, the candlewick becomes longer, causing it to burn out faster than before.
- Let the candle burn for a minimum of 2 hours
Let your candle burn for longer periods of time, preferably sixty minutes per inch. If you keep blowing your candle out before 2 hours at the minimum, then you run the risk of the wax around the wick being uneven, resulting in what is called a candle tunnel.
A candle tunnel forces the wick to settle at the bottom and prevent the wax from burning. The life of the candle is significantly reduced in this manner.
How to make candle wicks from cotton balls?
The following steps will help you make your own candle wicks by using balls of cotton.
- Convert cotton balls into strings
Take a couple of cotton balls at a time and brush them against one another to get rid of the bristles. You will notice that the threads are getting straighter, and the cotton is extending. Keep adding more cotton balls to the mix to make one long and single wad.
- Settle on the size of the wick
You will now need to determine the length and thickness of your candlewick. While small candles can easily function with one wick, bigger candles need a braided one. You may even have to use multiple braided wicks, depending on how big your candle is. Make sure that the length of every single piece of cotton you use is larger than your candle’s height.
- Soak the cotton
Make a solution of salt, boric acid, and water to soak the cotton in. This will strengthen the candle wick and give it additional time to burn. Make sure to leave the cotton in the solution for at least 24 hours.
- Dry your wick
Once the given time has passed, take your wick out of the solution and let it dry. Your wick is now ready to be used.
How to make multi-wick candles?
The process of making a multi-wick candle is quite simple. You need to pick out several candle wicks and then place sticker tabs on them. These will position them properly inside the jar or container you use to make the candle.
Make sure that you place the wicks within an equal distance of each other, as well as the center and the container’s sides. Each wick also needs to be covered with a clothespin when the curing procedure occurs. Then, when the wax is poured in, every wick should be given at least an hour to cool down before it can be used.
With this complete guide, you can make as many candle wicks as you want, using whichever material you prefer. However, it is suggested that if you are a beginner, you start by making your candle wicks in the 4 easiest ways mentioned above. Good luck!