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How to Put a Wick in a Candle

Learn how to put a wick in a candle without using wick stickers.

How to put a wick in a candle with no special tools

I love making candles–see my DIY beeswax and coconut oil candles tutorial! Making them is actually pretty easy. But setting the wicks is a different story and is by far the most frustrating part.

After lots of candle-making trial and error, I’m going to show you how I set candle wicks using stuff from around the house. Because, although I love making candles, I just do it for myself. So I don’t really want to amass a bunch of extra supplies that spend most of their time collecting dust in my craft drawer.

No extra candle-making supplies necessary for this approach! Just a hodgepodge of different things I found in my kitchen junk drawer—things that you probably have around, too.

small beeswax candle with wick

Supplies I used…

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  • Wicks (I have this kind)
  • Pen or pencil
  • Clothes pins or medium-sized binder clips
  • Tape
  • Paper towel
  • Melted wax for your candle

Like making candles or want to try your hand at other candle recipes? Check out my roundup of DIY scented candle recipes you can make at home.

And here’s how to put a wick in a candle!

(Do not use any appliances or work with new materials without proper training, precautions, and supervision from a professional. Make sure you research fire safety and take all necessary precautions before working with beeswax. Read my full terms of use here.)

Step 1: Cut and prep the sicks

The first step is to cut the wicks. I cut my wicks 3-4 inches longer than I’d like the finished product to be. That’s because I use the extra length to help stabilize the wicks to make them stand up when I am I use the extra length to stabilize the wicks and get them to stand up.

Remember, you can always trim a bit more off of your finished candle wick, but you can’t add more! If you’re unsure of the length you should use, an an inch or two on.

long candle wick and beeswax bad

Step 2: Dip wicks into melted wax

The next thing I did was dip the cut wick into the melted wax mixture I was using for my candle. But I dipped only about 75% into the wax mixture and used a paper towel to straight out the wax-covered area. The wax will dry quickly and straighten the wick completely, forced it to stand up straight while you pour the wax.

(I have a paper towel handy.) I dip each wick into the melted wax so that the wax covers about 75% of the wick. The  I use my fingers to gently smooth out the wax from the wick’s top to its bottom. As the wax hardens, the wick should become perfectly straight.

Step 3: Anchor the wicks

To anchor the wicks and prep them for wax pouring, I wrapped my wicks around a pen enough times so that, when the pen is resting on top of the candle container, the bottom of the wicks barely touch the bottom of the container.

Sometimes the wicks just stay in place on their own (second and third pics below). If they don’t stay in place on their own, you can anchor them in place using something like a clothes pin or medium-sized binder clip (first pic below). You can also secure the pen with tape if you need to.

how to make candle sicks stand up
how to make candle sicks stand up
how to make candle sicks stand up

Step 4: Pour the first layer of wax

Then I pour about a 1/2-1 inch of melted wax mixture into the candle container and let solidify for 10-15 minutes. This is a DIY wick holder approach because as the wax solidifies, it will hold the wicks in place. I don’t like to pour the wax in all at once because it will cause the wicks to curl up due to the heat.

setting the wicks in a candle
setting the wicks in a candle

Step 5: Let wax solidify and trim wicks

I leave the wick-holding apparatus in place as I pour the rest of the wax in. I typically like doing this in a few different pours, letting the wax solidify a bit between each pour. Then, when I’m done and the candle wax has set, I clip the wicks. Wait 24 hours before burning the candle. Enjoy!

collage with a picture of beeswax bars and a finished beeswax candle

How to Put a Wick in a Candle

how to set candle wicks

Learn how to put a wick in a candle! Sure, you can use sick stickers to anchor your wicks, but what if you just want to make a few candles and don't want to buy wick stickers? Here's how I set my wicks.


  • Wicks
  • Pen or pencil
  • Paper towel
  • Melted wax for your candle
  • You might need: Clothes pins or binder clips and tape


  1. Cut wick to your desired length; make sure to add 3-4 inches.
  2. Dip the wick into wax and straighten it out using a paper towel; this will help encourage the wick to stand up.
  3. Wrap the wicks around a pen enough times so that, when the pen is resting on top of the container, the wicks barely touch the container's bottom.
  4. Pour 1/2-1 inch of wax into the container and let solidify; make sure it's enough to cover the bottom of the wicks to anchor them.
  5. Continue pouring the wax in a few batches, letting it solidify for a few minutes between each pour. Trim wicks when you're done.


You may need to secure with wick and pen with clothespins, binder clips, and tape if necessary.

Upcycling old containers? Check out my tips for cleaning old wax out of candle holders, my upcycled candle jar planter, and my upcycled candle jar cat treat container!

Pin my tutorial about how to put a wick in a candle!

collage that says how I set DIY wicks with pictures of the process

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  1. RC says:

    This is just what I needed. I have some wicks with metal bases, but they are long and I didn’t want the remaining wick to be wasted.

  2. Marcia Kendall says:

    I am going to try securing wick with pen, etc or similar. So patients is what I need now. Thanks for the info!! Will let you know how it goes😊

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