How To Make Tealights


Making tealights won't take long, and you can add your own fragrance. Here's how. By Kirstie Allsopp

'In Kirstie's Homemade Christmas, I visited Parable, where owner Nigel Parker makes the most amazing candles, using moulds taken from century-old wallpaper printing rollers. I can't promise you'll be able to replicate Parable's gorgeous designs at home, but these matching tealight candles are really easy to make – all you need is a silicone cupcake tray and some container wicks.'

  • Wax (paraffin wax beads, or old candles, and beeswax or other hardener)
  • Silicone cupcake tray
  • Container wicks
  • Dye discs or liquid candle dye (optional)
  • A double boiler

These are available from craft shops - or you can improvise with an old saucepan, pyrex jug, or even a sturdy can, in a pot of water


Easy! But be careful of the hot wax and definitely don't overheat it.


A silicone cupcake tray will cost under a fiver, and the wicks will be no more than a couple of pounds. A candle making kits, with all the ingredients you need, should cost less than £20.


About an hour to make, then a day to cool.

Melt The Wax

Step One: Melt The Wax

Whatever type of candle you’re making, the first job is to melt the wax. To get a tough shiny finish to your candle you want to add some hardener. You can buy this along with the wax - or you can get candle making kits which come with all the ingredients you need.

Warm your wax to around 85 degrees Celsius. Because wax has a flash point it’s advisable to heat it in a double boiler and always keep checking the temperature.

Add The Colour

Step Two: Add The Colour

The colour comes next and I’m going for a Christmassy red. You can add any colour you want.

Fill The Moulds

Step Three: Fill The Moulds

Next comes the pour - and you need to be careful not to get any water droplets from the steam into the wax because this would put out the flame.

Add The Wicks

Step Four: Add The Wicks

Once you’ve filled your cupcake moulds, wait for the wax to go thick like soup before adding your container wicks.

Let Them Cool Off

Step Five: Let Them Cool Off And Top Up If Necessary

After around 10 minutes you have to take a knife to them to release any trapped air.

The candles will now be left for 24 hours. As they cool they will contract and need topping up with fresh wax.

Smooth Out The Tops

Step Six: Smooth Out The Tops

When they're ready, use a hairdryer to lightly warm up the wax and smooth out the tops of the tea-lights. As Nigel explained, that's how the professionals do it...

Then you can pop them out of their little jackets, ready for the party!

Light Them Up

Step Seven: Light Them Up

I wanted to create a magical winter wonderland in my kitchen for my Christmas party and my flickering handmade candles set the scene perfectly. But of course, these are so easy to do, you can make any colour for any occasion.


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