Did you know that you can make your own candle wicks with things you already have at home? In this tutorial I show you how to make DIY candle wicks with cotton string!
All you need for DIY candle wicks is cotton string! You can treat homemade candle wicks with oil or salt but even plain cotton string works perfectly as candle wick. Cotton string candle wicks burn for a long time with a steady flame that doesn’t soot.
By the way, you can use DIY candle wicks for homemade candles and DIY oil lamps.
3 Ways How To Make DIY Candle Wicks With Cotton String
- 100% cotton string
- optional: vegetable oil or salt
What Material Should I Use For DIY Candle Wicks?
Use only string or yarn made of 100% cotton. I try to use string that is as natural as possible, i.e. unbleached and not dyed.
Instead of cotton, you can use other natural fibers as well such as linen, hemp or jute. However, don’t use wool because wool is naturally fire-retardant.
But cotton wicks are the most traditional wicks for tallow and wax candles: Cotton wicks have been used since the Middle Ages.
Candle Wick Thickness
Use thinner wicks for smaller candles and thicker wicks for larger candles. If the cotton string is too thin, crochet or braid together three cotton strings.
Plain Cotton String Candle Wicks
I tried three different ways to make DIY candle wicks. For the first one I used just plain cotton string.
Oil-Soaked Candle Wicks
Instead of plain cotton string, you can soak cotton wicks in vegetable oil or leftover cooking grease. It only takes a couple of minutes until the wick is soaked with oil. By the way, there’s no need to heat up the oil.
Salt-Treated Candle Wicks
Put the cotton wicks into a pot, cover with water and add 1 tbsp salt. Bring to a boil. Then remove the salt-treated candle wicks. And let the homemade candle wicks dry overnight. Salt stiffens candle wicks.
How To Make Candles With DIY Candle Wicks
1. Melt Wax
You can use empty toilet paper rolls as DIY candle molds – they work perfectly!
Related: 3 Ways To Make DIY Candle Molds
Melt candle wax or old candle wax scraps over a water bath. I used leftover Christmas tree candles.
2. Center Wicks
While the wax hardens, it’s usually necessary to stabilize the DIY wicks. In the photo above, you can see how stiff the salt made the wick – I used one of the DIY salt-treated wicks to support the wick on the right.
3. Remove Molds
After the wax is set, remove the toilet roll candle molds.
4. Trim Wicks
Trim the candle wicks with scissors if necessary.
DIY Candle Wicks – Burn Test
All three DIY candle wicks work – note the yellowish flame color of the salt-treated wick. My favorite DIY candle wicks are the plain cotton string and the oil-soaked wick. Both are easy to make and burn with a bright, steady flame.
As you can see, the salt-treated wick is more difficult to light. And salt-treated wicks soot in an oil lamp – a plain cotton string works much better.
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