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Making Candle Wicks?

Last post Wed, Feb 9 2011 1:05 AM by Maggie Trudeau. 3 replies.
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  • Sun, Feb 6 2011 6:27 PM

    Making Candle Wicks?

    Hello Thrifty Crafters!

    I want to re-use the wax nubbins from my burned candles, but wicking at the craft store costs more than candles at the thrift store.  I read online somewhere that I could make my own wicks with cotton string and  borax or something.  

    Has anyone done this?  Does it work?

    How do I know how thick of a wick I need to make?




  • Sun, Feb 6 2011 7:10 PM In reply to

    • howdah
    • Top 500 Contributor
    • Joined on Sat, Apr 28 2007
    • Posts 56

    Re: Making Candle Wicks?

    I made my own wicks in the 60s when we did not have many craft stores or the internet to find things like this. It was quite easy. I don't remember the amount of borax, but you just dissolve it in water and soak string in it for several hours, then dry the string. You would need to make sure the string is 100% cotton or you might get some noxious fumes when burning the candles. The string is a bit on the stiff side after it is dried, and the biggest problem I had was getting it to dry smooth. I had a scrap piece of 1" x 4" about 15" long and hammered a small brad into one end. I tied the string (hint, make a slip knot in each end before soaking, it is easier) and wrapped it around the board the long way. The end did not always reach the brad, so I used a thumb tack to hold the other end in place. The thicker the string you use the faster it will burn.

  • Sun, Feb 6 2011 7:40 PM In reply to

    Re: Making Candle Wicks?

    the recipe I have used is:

    2 Tablespoons Borax

    2 Tablespoons table salt

    1 cup warm water.

    soak your wicks 24 hours, then let dry. 


    I also have found if you remelt your candle stubs to re-use, strain the wax.  I do this by draping an old dryer sheet (used and gleaned from the laundry-mat garbage cans) over my molds and pouring the melted wax over this. (scraps of thread bare cotton tee-shirts also work well too) I then save the "straining" and use that for starting campfires come summer.  For molds I re-use paper frozen juice concentrate cans, washed out, dried and I poke a hole in the bottom to put my wick in.  Knot the wick on the outside of the can, and  I tie it to a broken stick on top.  The cans are re-used as many times as possible, then recycled as more fire starter.


    I have an old dedicated coffee pot for melting wax, and a pan with a small rack in it that i put water in.  This gives me a homemade water bath type of melter.  rusted jar rings work great for the rack.  Both of these were found in "free" boxes at yard sales.

  • Wed, Feb 9 2011 1:05 AM In reply to

    Re: Making Candle Wicks?


    Thanks Howdah and Mtviolet! I've got borax, salt, candle nubbins, threadbare t-shirts and old boards lying around as well as various things that could be used as molds.  I'll give it a shot this weekend. 
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