Dwell Made Presents: DIY Wood-Based Candles

Dwell Made Presents: DIY Wood-Based Candles

By Mike Montgomery / Photos by Mike Montgomery
Learn how to make your own candles with different types of wooden bases with this comprehensive guide and video.

In this episode of Dwell Made, Mike Montgomery of Modern Builds makes his DIY candles with varying wooden bases. Walnut, visible plywood, dowels and large four-by-fours are all used to create distinct, contrasting finishes using the same basic techniques. 

Key Products: 

Candle Making Kit

Extra Wax

Candle Wicks

Circular Saw

Step 1: Gather Material

What's interesting about this project is the option to change up the materials for the base to create different looks. I had set aside scrap materials from other projects: some large walnut pieces, 3/4" pine plywood, 2" maple dowels, etc. 

Step 2: Cut Pieces to Size

This step is totally up to you. Make large candles, small candles, or anything in between. I cut the majority of my pieces on my table saw. You could also use a circular saw, miter saw, etc.

Step 3: Sand, Sand, Sand

I sanded all my pieces up to 220 grit.

Step 4: Make the Forms

I used 3/4" melamine to create a form around each of my pieces. They can be built simply using hot glue or with 1.25" wood screws.

Step 5: Form Alternative 

If you don't want to spend the time or money on melamine, I used 1/8" plywood in the same fashion as the melamine with similar results.

Step 6: Round Forms 

Round forms are even more easy to make than square forms. After cutting the dowels for the base to length, I used masking tape and copy paper to create a simple form around the dowel. Be sure to roll the base parallel to the bottom of the paper to ensure the mold is a tube rather than a cone.

Step 7: Prep Bases

To protect the wooden bases from the flame of the candle, line the inside of them with aluminum foil. Then attach the wicks with either hot glue or the included "glue dots."

Step 8: Melt Wax 

Each candle-making kit will include directions for melting wax. Different waxes require different temperatures to melt properly.

Step 9: Pour Wax 

Before filling the mold, I did a test pour to ensure there weren't any leaks. After filling the molds I let them set 24 hours to cure.

Step 10: Remove Candles 

I broke the molds apart with a chisel, then used the same candle to clean any wax from the bases.

Step 11: Finish Them Up 

To make it all full circle, I melted some extra wax and used that to coat the bases. After it dried, I buffed it out with a rag for a nice, low-gloss finish.

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