How to Make Floating Candles

By Kelly Sundstrom
Place floating candles in a bowl of water for a beautiful display.

Floating candles can add elegance and ambiance to any indoor or outdoor event. The next time you want to decorate with floating candles, make them yourself. Creating your own homemade floating candles enables you to customize them by adding in a favorite fragrance or making them a specific color.

Prepare the Molds

Select soap molds that feature the shape of the floating candle you want to create. Make sure to choose shallow soap molds large enough to create candles that will float, preferably at least 2 inches in diameter and less than 1 inch in height. Spray the inside of the soap molds lightly using either a cooking spray or a natural oil spray. Using an oil-based spray like this helps the floating candles pop out of the molds effortlessly.

Melt the Wax

Cut 2 to 3 pounds of wax into small 1-inch chunks using a sharp knife and place the wax into a large glass measuring cup. Fill a large pot with water and place the glass measuring cup inside the pot. Do not let water get into the measuring cup. If your measuring cup has a handle, hook the handle over the side of the pot. Heat on a stove over medium to high heat until the wax melts completely, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon or stick.

Customize With Scents and Color

To add color or fragrance to your floating candles, squeeze a few drops of food coloring and up to 20 drops of essential or fragrance oil into the melted wax. Stir well with a wooden spoon or stick to thoroughly combine the mixture.

Pour and Set the Wax

Place a 2-inch long weighted cotton wick into the middle of each soap mold. Since a wick this small will stand upright on its own, you will not need to clamp it into place. Only use cotton or natural fiber wicks, and never use metal core wicks, which can release toxins into the air as they burn. Ladle the melted wax into each prepared mold, pouring the wax to the top edge but not overflowing it. Allow the wax to cool completely.

Remove the Candles

After the wax has cooled, gently lift out each candle by lifting upward on the candle wick. Since you prepared the soap molds ahead of time with the oil spray, the candles should lift out with minimal effort. To use your floating candles, place them into a bowl, basin or pool of water and light the wicks.

About the Author

An award-winning journalist and national special needs spokesperson, Kelly Sundstrom has written for dozens of major brands, magazines and newspapers. With more than 20 years of experience as a professional artist and crafter, Sundstrom enjoys encouraging other to try creating a unique work of art, regardless of their ability level.