Candle making cost starts at around $50 for a starter kit. Each 8-ounce candle would cost about $6 to $7 from a kit. Most kits will make 4 to 6 medium-sized candles around 8 ounces each, and have a small variety of fragrance oils. A candle-making kit should come with a melting or pouring pitcher that can be used for a long time. The wax, wicks, fragrance, and containers will have to be replenished as you want to make candles.
How you purchase your supplies makes a huge difference in your bottom line (profit). Hobbies seem to start as a money vacuum. Take the time to plan out your craft so you make money from the start.
How much does it cost to make a candle?
The average cost to make an 8-ounce candle is about $2.50 each. This is based on the average candle maker who buys candle wax by the case. Like most hobbies, there is an initial investment to get started, but making a quality candle yourself is always cheaper. If you love candles, this is a hobby for you.
Candle Making Cost Comparison and Pricing
Candle Making Cost vs Wholesale vs Retail
|Candle||Cost||Wholesale (x2)||Retail (x4)|
|10- ounce Jar||$3.00||$6.00||$12.00|
|12- ounce Jar||$3.50||$7.00||$14.00|
|1 x 6-Inch Pillar||$1.00||$2.00||$4.00|
|1 x 12-Inch Pillar||$2.00||$4.00||$8.00|
|2 x 4-Inch Pillar||$2.00||$4.00||$8.00|
|2 x 8-Inch Pillar||$4.00||$8.00||$16.00|
Is Candle making a profitable business?
Scale this craft and candle making can be a profitable business (read more). I sold candles at craft fairs to earn enough to pay for my hobby. If you look at the table above, there is enough profit in candles to earn a good living. At any level, success can be very challenging if you try to skip the experience and practice at each level. You can start wherever you want.
There are some things that you can do to bring down how much candle making costs but be prepared to invest in initial equipment. Decide what level of candle making you are interested in. Below is an outline of how much candle making costs at each level. I have 5.
- Personal candle maker- makes occasional candles for themselves (candle making cost about $50 to start)
- Hobbyist candle maker – makes several candles for themselves, family, friends (candle making cost about $100 to start)
- Chandelier – the Artist, makes candles to sell to the public at weekend markets or fairs (candle making cost about $250 to start)
- Candle Making Business- makes candles as a side income, full-time income either online or brick and mortar (candle making cost about $1000+ to start) *Retail will cost way different to start than online and vary too much to describe here
- Candle Manufacturer – Wholesale or white label (candle making cost $10,000+ to start)
How much does it cost to make 100 candles?
Making 100 candles costs about $150. This takes into consideration you are already set up to make candles. I can make about 110 8-ounce candles from 1 case (50 pounds) of soy wax. This is buying fragrance and vessels (candle jars) in bulk. This does not include shipping as that varies depending on your location. I am fortunate to have a local supplier that I can pick up.
Can I sell candles as a hobby?
You can sell candles as a hobby. You do not need a license to sell candles specifically. Unless you open a retail space as a business, you can sell personally from home. I didn’t make candles every day. I made them when I had the time or as I had an event scheduled.
There are several key factors that you must look at for each level. Making candles for yourself can be accomplished with most heat-safe vessels in either glass or tin and are readily available. In my first year as a candle maker, the supply for my vessels dried up and I had to scramble to find a substitute. The same thing happened with my labels.
Is making your own candles worth it?
Making your own candles is worth it! They are always cheaper and better because you are in control of the ingredients.
I spent my first year stressing over my supply chain. If you need to make 200 candles a week make sure you can obtain the supplies needed to do so. Altering your candle making plan with substitutions can cost more. Worse, your quality could suffer.
Eventually, you will need to replenish the ingredients that came with your kit. The biggest candle making cost is fragrance oil. I buy larger quantities at a time (this is called buying in bulk) and my average cost per fragrance oil is $1.34 per ounce.
For a quality 8-ounce soy candle, you need just under 1 ounce. Designer fragrances could easily cost double that. I buy candle making fragrance oils by the pound. Fragrance oils can also be purchased by the gallon or by drum (55 gallons).
One way to control the candle making cost is to plan your projects. Purchasing your ingredients in larger quantities is cheaper per candle and where you will see the savings. Buying small quantities will end up costing the same as a candle you could purchase.
“Treat it like a hobby and it will cost you like a hobby” ~ unknown
Before we go any further, another key factor is the shipping or freight cost. I am lucky to have a candle making supply store locally and can pick up my order. Shipping for heavy items like fragrance oils or candle wax can get expensive. My cost does not include shipping. Choosing your supplier is very important. You may have multiple suppliers for this reason.
Make sure you factor in shipping in the cost. If you can drive and pick up the order it may be worth planning for it. Shipping is not free. Someone has to pay for it either in the price or as an add-on. Shipping is part of the candle making cost both in purchasing products and selling candles.
Another way to control some of the costs is to standardize your product. Some candle makers offer wax melt tarts as well as candles using two different wax types. Let’s look at a way to make the candle making cost more efficient.
As an example, a tart wax such as GB 416 also makes a good container candle. If you typically buy 20 pounds of GB 464 to make container candles and 20 pounds of GB 416 to make clamshell tart wax melts, buying a 45-pound case of GB 416 would be cheaper without sacrificing quality. A GB 464 is not a tart wax and does not do well outside of a container. It is too soft. Using the 416 and eliminating the 464 would be more economical.
The second biggest cost is the container. This varies widely and is dependent on your choice. I have bought a case of jelly jars at my local grocery store for $10 making the container $.83 each. Sometimes in the fall, they are on sale at buy one case and get the second case half off. Another avenue is the local Dollar Tree. The downside is that these are not reliable sources and may not always have the containers you are looking for. When building a brand, consistency is important. If that is not what you are looking for then it does not matter.
Larger candle making suppliers can offer discounts when you purchase larger volumes and you may be able to save on shipping by making the pick up yourself.
The candle making cost can be grouped into 2 areas. One group is the equipment and the other is the replenishable or ingredients.
How Much Does Candle Making Equipment Cost?
Level 1: Double boiler method (most kits are this) – $70 or less
- Stove or hot plate – should be electric. Under $20
- Water pot – under $10
- Melting & pouring metal pitcher – under $15 (Must have a good spout to pour – eBay or Amazon)
- Silicone or plastic spoon – $1 (Dollar Tree)
- Wick centering sticks – $5 ( I use wooden popsicle sticks with a hole drilled in the middle)
- Scale – under $15 (everything is measured by weight)
- Thermometer – under $5
Level 2: Weekend Candle Craft Seller
The cost is the same as level one except that you need more of the pots, spoons, and centering devices. This you can add over time and accumulate as you learn. You will need a pouring pot for each fragrance you make at one time. Otherwise, you will have to weigh for the cooling and clean-up to make the next batch. That could be a pain.
Level 3: Weekend Candle Crafter with Online Store
At this point, you have probably collected a half dozen melting pots and are outgrowing your setup. At this level you should be looking at the time it takes you to make candles. Labor plays a big part in your profit. You will only make as much money as you can make candles and this will become your cap for your income.
The first rule for a craft show is that you can only make as much money as you have merchandise to sell.
*If you want to sell $500 in candles every weekend to earn a $250 profit and you sell your candles for $10 each, you need to sell 50 candles. It has been my experience that only about 1 in 10 persons that visit my table buy and shoppers are looking for a variety. If it is not on your table, you cannot sell it. The same is true for an online store.
At this level, I upgraded to a 22-quart roaster and dipped my wax out into my pitcher. You can also buy a presto pot with a spout. Melting larger batches of wax will be the only way to keep up and keep your sanity. They can cost $60 to $80.
As your business grows so should you. Take the earnings and reinvest. You may want to buy bigger melting equipment and more pitchers. At this stage, you should be looking at more professional-style equipment. To use this type of candle making gear will also require dedicated space as most professional or commercial equipment is not portable.
Level 4: Candle Business
This requires a completely different setup and business plan. At this level, you will need commercial equipment for wax melters and pouring tables. You would be ordering fragrance in drums that need pumps. You would need material handling equipment such as pallet jacks. You would be ordering wax by the pallet.
This would be an advanced setup with a much larger investment. It would not be a level of manufacturing that you could manage on your own. You would need employees and a space to work.
Candle Making Ingredients
This is important to go through in detail as it is perpetually the cost to make candles. It is also where most variables are. It is important to do your homework and put some research into this area. If you make a few candles and have fun doing it then no big deal. If you don’t plan this out and want to make money, it could go very wrong very fast.
How many fragrances should I start with in candle making?
If you are making for yourself pick 1 at a time that you like. If you are selling at a craft fair pick 1 from each category below. To launch a candle business pick about 2 fragrances from each category. Keep track of what you sell and tailor your production to what is popular in your area. I will list my big sellers to give you a start.
Fragrance categories (scents have top notes, middle notes, and bottom notes)
Floral – Lavender, Dragon’s Blood, Plumeria
Fruity – Lemongrass, Cherry, Apple
Sweet – Oatmeal Milk & Honey, Fudge Nut Brownie, French Vanilla
Seasonal – Pumpkin Spice, Cinnamon, Christmas Fir
Designer – Love Spell Type, Black Ice Type, Amber Type
Candle Making Supplies
You need to track everything it takes to make your candles to get a true cost of goods. This is an extra group depending on how you make candles. It is hard to define how much per candle you will spend. These items should be tracked in your expenses under misc. This includes:
- Hot glue sticks
- Hot glue tool
- Paper towels
- Silicone Spoons
- Paper Cups
- Measuring cups
- Packaging (shipping)
I would like to give you some tips to determine the candle making cost. This can be confusing at first so I hope this helps. You must shop around to get the best price for your style. The products you use must be safe. It is much cheaper to learn your options now than return the product later. Develop a plan that you can work toward ahead of time and save yourself some frustration. Do not sacrifice quality over cost.
Candle making supplies are heavy and shipping can get expensive. Shop as local as you can.
Shop from Candle Supply Stores, not craft stores.
Buy in the largest quantity you can use and afford without consuming resources.
Document what you use and where you get it (keep records).
How Much Money Do You Make Selling Candles?
Selling candles can be a great way to make money even as a side business. This is one of the most asks questions. People are curious about candle making because it is a craft that everyone can relate to.
The profit margin for candles is between 25% and 50%. The average cost for an 8-ounce candle can run just under $3 and they can be sold for around $10 to $15 each. Selling at weekend craft shows at about 100 candles each week can earn you somewhere around $1000 a month. This is just a baseline. However, this is a craft that can be tailored to your lifestyle with very little initial investment and overhead as a start-up business.
Every candle business owner should break down the cost and make sure the profit is in line for growth. I do this every year to check my pricing to make sure I am earning money. Here is an example of how much I make selling candles.
This profit margin variation is relative to the market. As a rule, the formula is to price your candle 2 times the cost for wholesale and 3 times the cost for retail. Selling a candle at a flea market may be worth $8. However, that same candle could be sold in a boutique for $15. Like real estate, location matters.
How much money do you make selling candles at flea markets?
This is usually the cheapest table rental or weekend rental. Pricing for this venue is often low as people expect to get a basement bargain. Most people think of this as a yard sale and often will not pay good prices. I have sold at an indoor flea market for years and kept my candle making cost low. I do not make much profit selling here. I must make up for it in volume.
The bonus at a flea market is the traffic and exposure to crowd support the volume. I do not make as much money per candle, but I sell a lot of candles. This is where I can make about $1500 a month consistently.
We will call these “$5 candles”.
How much money do you make selling candles at craft and vendor shows?
The table rental for this venue is a little more and the locations you will do a show will move around. Doing weekend shows can add to the cost of travel. I always stayed local. This is a little harder for me to manage and I usually make about an extra $500 around Christmas time with a couple of shows. I do pick up a couple of customers. This helps to drive sales to my booth at the flea market.
The bigger the show, the more money you will make. The cost of the table rental is usually more as well. For this location, people expect to pay more and have an appreciation for the craft. I also tried to target holiday shopping in the 4th quarter and neighborhoods that had a higher average household income.
We will call these $8 – $15+ candles.
How much money do you make selling candles in salons or boutiques?
This is a more luxury candle and can yield a high-profit margin of around 50%. There is a broader margin based on foot traffic and the average customer spend. Chain salons may have a higher profit margin than a craft show and similar traffic but will not hit the high end that specialty boutiques will bring.
Some dress shops in the mall will allow “pop-up” stores for you to display your candles throughout the year if you ask. This would allow you to take advantage of their traffic and customer base to advertise and potentially sell.
This accounts for about $150 -$200 a year in my sales around springtime. This is harder for me to manage and the traffic is slower. This also must be monitored.
The strategy for this would be to research the customer demographic that would purchase your candle and match that consumer to the retail environment. You would need to pair up with the retail buyer and try to find a placement. Becoming your own salesperson is another skill to learn.
This can be a great avenue especially if you can acquire an account that has multiple locations. Sometimes a salon owner may have 3 locations. These are also good downtown spots.
Some boutiques offer this in different agreements so take that into consideration. There could be a space rental that you must take care of, a resale agreement, or a commission agreement. Sometimes it is a combination. These do not always go well financially for me and it must be a very good setup to win me over!
We will call these $15 – $35+ candles
How much money do you make selling candles wholesale?
This is a great way to break into the industry and make consistent sales. This strategy can be viewed more in the direction of making a salary or a business that has an annual earning. Usually, this is contract-based and the supply is continuous. You can start small and scale this to a six-figure income.
Wholesale was hard for me to maintain and work full time. This avenue requires a full-time commitment and assistance from a partner or employee. Earning less profit from one candle must be offset by selling many candles. The glory is this business model is designed to sell many.
Knowing that I will make a $3 profit per candle on 250 candles (wholesale order) is a different feeling than making $8 per candle on 250 candles that I am not sure when they will sell.
This type of account is a little harder to find. Every year there used to be a wholesale show in Atlanta and a beauty supply show in Mount Pleasant. Networking at shows can pay off with bigger profits. Meeting the right people is crucial.
How much money do you make selling candles as a white label?
This is a unique strategy and you can make a lot of money. This is a little different than wholesale in that you are manufacturing on behalf of a product label. You make a product and someone else puts their name on it. Depending on the agreement, it can be your product, or you can manufacture their product.
Either way, the profit margin is like wholesale. You charge based on what service you perform. If you provide candles that are bare, and they label, you could make $2 per candle. If you label, you can charge, etc.
Most of the time I see this as raw material or bare products. These would be unlabeled candles shipped to a customer for them to label and package to the end customer. They would also be marketing and selling to the end-user. You would be the manufacturing entity. This is a larger scale.
An example of this would be the Yankee candle. They are also Wood Wick which is also the Chesapeake Bay. The Chesapeake Bay is the white label for Avon. It is ALL manufactured by the same company.
The difference may be the blend or recipe. The labeling could be different. The marketing is different. It is possible to make variations of product lines and sell them under different names. Not that I would want to as an artisan, but you could reduce the fragrance and sell a “lower-end” candle made for a dollar store and still make the same amount of money.
Alternatively, larger candles can yield bigger profits as the cost of the container (as an example) may be the same but the perception of a larger candle price could be more. Making 25% on an 8-ounce candle could be a 35% margin on a 16-ounce candle simply because it is bigger.
Collectively, all the venues above can be scaled to earn money on the side at around $1000 a month. It can also grow to earn six figures working full time. A candle-making business is profitable and flexible to fit many lifestyles.
To make more money selling candles you must do 1 of 4 things:
- Reduce the cost to manufacture
- sell more candles
- increase the cost (value) of the candle
- increase the amount per sale
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