How to Choose Candle Colors: Basic DIY Candle Recipe

If you want to make your own colored candles for personal use or gift to your friends and family, or even sell on Zazzle, eTsy, ebay, or Amazon to make some money, you would want to know how to choose a color for your candles. This article might help you. We have also shared a couple of colored candle recipes to help you start making colored candles

Generally speaking, there are two major options available for making colored candles.


Candle dyes are dry powder or liquid-based color. The candles get a translucent color because of dyes. By using dyes, you can easily control the color shades in candles. Some of the benefits of using dyes are: highly combustible, do not clog the wick, have a minimal effect on the burning performance.


Pigments create a solid wall of color. Pigments do not dissolve, therefore, are not susceptible to fading just like the dyes. One of the drawbacks of using pigments as coloring agents for the candle is it clogs the wick and does not let the candle burn well. Due to this disadvantage, pigments are not the ideal coloring agent for the candles if you want to get solid color candles. However, it can be used to coat the candles from outside.

Candle Dyes               

Since candles are used to set up the ambience, boost mood, and create aroma when burned, candles are made with various colors and shades. Candles are available in the common ivory shade to the rich jewel tones, metallic color or chromatic layers.

Today, fragrance is the most important factor in the candle business and the color is the second important factor that determines the candle sales. Consumers choose candles based on the fragrance and color they like. The choice for color is based on the psychology of the consumer. Generally speaking, the consumers associate the fragrance of the candle with the color of the candle.

The beauty of candle lies in the design and color. Therefore, you should be very careful about choosing the right color and shade for your candles. The color and shade of your candle is affected by the type of coloring agent and the amount of coloring agent you have used. How well the color will produce is also determined by the type of candle wax you are using as well as fragrance oils you have used.

There are two main options for making colored candles: Dyes and Pigments. While making colored candles, you will be using dyes and pigments in different ways because these coloring agents create different color effects. Dyes are basically used to color the entire candle where as pigments are used to add color to the candle surface.

Pigments and dyes, both are safe. No health hazards have been discovered so far.

Types of Candle Dyes

There are four different types of dyes available for the candle makers.  Your choice of dye should depend on the money you want to spend and the number of candles you want to make. The four candle dyes are dye blocks, powder dyes, liquid dyes, and dye chips.

Candle Dye Blocks: Blocks are the cheapest colorants for candles. Generally speaking, you can color 5-pound candle wax with one dye block.

Powdered Candle Dye: If you want to use powdered candle dye, you have few color options to choose. Powder candle dye is highly concentrated and very useful while coloring many candles.

Liquid Candle Dye: Liquid candle dye can get messy if not handled properly. You have to use a dropper and use 4-8 drops for each pound of wax.  You can color 125 pounds of wax by 30 ml liquid candle dye.

Candle Dye Chips: You get the precise color if you use candle dye chips. The recommended use of candle dye chips is one chip per pound of wax. If you are making small quantity candles, chips are very useful.

Basic DIY Candle Recipes

If you have understood what kind of colors you can use in your candle and what types of color you can use, here is an easy to follow color candle recipe.

Marble Container Candles

Marble container candles are the candles that are made with a single color or multi-color in a glass container. These are called marble container candles because the candle looks similar to marble with different layers of colors. Whether you use one color or multi colors, the color/s will appear in layers

Things you need:

Glass container






Glue the wick to the bottom of the glass container. Use cored wick for the better result. 

Melt wax and pour into the container. If you want to create a scented candle, you can add fragrance to the melting wax.

Let the candle cool down. When the wax hardens, poke a few holes to the bottom of the container.

Add colorant to each hole. You can use any type of dye, however, using liquid dyes is easy. You can use one color as well as multiple colors.

Heat the surface of the candle with a heating gun. Heat the surface of the container as well.

The heat will mix the color and the colors will swirl inside, thus creating the layers of colors.   

Let the candle cool. You have your marble container candle.

How To Get Rid of Sinkholes in Candles

If you are new to candle making, you might have encountered a couple of problems. One common problem while making candles is sinkholes. Sinkholes are the crater-like openings around the wick.  Whether you are making container candles, pillar candles, or any kind of candles, sinkholes are very common.

Sinkholes appear in various sizes and depths and have adverse effects on your candles. Sinkholes occur during the cooling process. When you melt wax, it expands, and when it cools down it shrinks. Sinkholes appear when the wax is shrinking during the cooling process.  

This problem can be easily addressed. Let your candles take time to settle and cool down. Do not place your candles in the fridge and let the candle cool down in warm temperature.

When you see sinkholes being formed while pouring, you can fix this by re-pouring wax. Temperature is the key to candle making. You have to not only check the wax temperature but also the temperature of your workstation. The recommended room temperature is around 70 degrees F.

Make sure your candle cool downs normally. Using preheated mold or container can also solve sinkholes problem.

You should add dyes and fragrance only after the wax melts properly. When you are doing second poring, make sure there is at least 2 hours gap. You can also avoid sinkholes by pouring slowing. If you hurry, sinkholes will appear.

Certain types of waxes are more prone to sinkholes. Therefore, you have to choose candle wax wisely.

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