Online Class: Candle Making 101

Whether a seasoned artisan or a budding enthusiast, this course offers something for everyone interested in learning the craft of candle making.

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  • 15
  • 35
    Exams &
  • 4,097
    have taken this course
  • 14
    average time
  • 1.4

Course Description

"The Radiant Journey: Crafting Candles from Passion to Profession"

The gentle flicker of a candle's flame whispers tales from epochs gone by, illuminating the rich tapestry of human history. Candles have been our trusty companions through time, from ancient clay lamps to the ornate candelabras of palatial mansions, and now, to the scented luxuries that adorn modern homes. Step into this luminescent world and uncover the art and science of candle making, a craft as enchanting as the dance of a candle's flame.

Course Highlights:

🕯️ Chronicles of the Flame: Begin by tracing the footsteps of our ancestors. Uncover the evolution of candle making, understanding its historical significance and its transformation into today's cherished craft.

🕯️ Wax Wonders: Dive deep into the heart of candle creation—the wax. Discover the distinctive properties of paraffin, soy, beeswax, and more. Each wax type offers unique possibilities, and mastering them is your key to crafting perfection.

🕯️ Design & Aesthetics: Beyond the traditional, explore contemporary candle designs. From the ethereal beauty of ice candles to the elegance of votives, you'll be equipped to create stunning pieces that evoke awe and admiration.

🕯️ The Symphony of Scents: Perfume the air with your creations. Delve into the aromatic world of essential oils and fragrances. Craft candles that don’t just light up rooms but also stir emotions and memories.

🕯️ The Business Blueprint: A flame not just of passion but also of ambition burns within many. For those keen on turning their craft into commerce, we offer insights into market analysis, business strategy, and brand-building. Learn how to identify your unique selling proposition and position yourself in the bustling marketplace.

🕯️ Nurturing Your Candle Community: Engage with a global community of candle makers. Share, learn, and grow together. Whether you're troubleshooting a challenging design or seeking inspiration for your next creation, this supportive community will be your guiding light.

🕯️ Resource Repository: Your journey doesn't end when the course does. We equip you with an extensive list of suppliers, forums, and platforms, ensuring you have all you need to continue your radiant voyage in candle crafting.

Enrolling in this course is more than just learning a skill; it's about embracing a legacy, understanding the beauty of transient flames, and crafting pieces that touch souls. Whether you wish to rekindle an old hobby, spark a new passion, or ignite a business venture, this course is your beacon.

Join us on this luminous journey. As you mold wax and wick, you're not just making candles; you're weaving stories, crafting memories, and lighting up dreams. Let's illuminate the world with your creations, one candle at a time. Embrace the glow!


Course Motivation

The History of Candle Making

The history of candle making is intertwined with the history of humankind itself. For thousands of years we have been engaged in the process of containing fire for light, warmth, cooking, and religious ceremonies. Candles are an important part of this heritage and to a certain extent still are today. Understanding the basics of this history helps us to appreciate more fully the true meaning of the power of a candle. 

This lesson will take you on the fascinating journey of the history of candle making. You will learn about:

  • The First Candles.

  • Candles in the Middle Ages.

  • Candle Making in America.


The First Candles 

No one knows exactly when or where the first candle was made and used. However, evidence of the earliest candles, called rush dips or rushlights, have been found in ancient archeological digs throughout the world. Interestingly, the very first candles were not unlike some of today's ones that are more fashionable. Naturally formed hollows in stones were filled with animal fat, called tallow, and rush or other plant material was placed inside to soak up the fat. This then, was lit to form sustainable light, a candle. 

Over time, vegetable oils were used instead of tallow. Olive oil especially was popular in warmer European climates. A sign of the high value these early societies placed on candles is that certain early rush dips were made out of valuable stones such as quartz and lapis lazuli. 

Rushes, a pithy fibrous plant, were used effectively to form torch like candles. Their outer layers were peeled off and the inner, absorbent fiber was soaked in animal fat. This made them easy to light and to carry, allowing a portable form of illumination for hunting, foraging, or visiting nearby villages, whether for warring or peaceful purposes. Rushlights evolved over time into more advanced versions of this same basic layout. 

Candle making processes first developed independently early in several civilizations. The Chinese used candles as far back as 300 BC. Egyptians also, used wicked candles. In fact, a bronze candleholder was discovered in the mysterious and cursed tomb of King Tutankhamen. Many other cultures used wicked candles too, including the early Chinese who utilized rolled rice paper for their wicks. Both the Chinese and the Japanese used wax derived from insects and seeds molded into rice paper tubes. 

Perhaps it is due to their warmth and convenience, or maybe to the miracle of light that they emit, but candles have been used in religious ceremonies for thousands of years. Hanukkah, one of the most important Jewish holidays and also known as the Festival of Lights, entails lighting candles each day in a special nine-candle holder. Both the New and Old Testaments in the Bible have references to candles.

Candles in the Middle Ages

With the Middle Ages came important changes in the making of candles. Previously, due to the fact animal fat from sheep, cow, or pigs was used, candles gave off a pungent, unpleasant smell. Pork fat was the worst and relegated to the poorest people while sheep fat, although still foul smelling and giving off a black smoke, was considered the highest quality and therefore the most valuable. 

In the Middle Ages making candles with beeswax instead of the stinky tallow came into practice. This was an enormous improvement on candle quality in that they not only burned cleaner but also had a sweet aroma rather than that of burning animal fat. Because beeswax was more expensive than tallow and less easy to come by, its use was relegated to the Church and wealthy families.

Over time, a canon in the Roman Catholic Church laid into law that the church's candles had to be at least 51 percent beeswax for some ceremonies and up to 100 percent beeswax for others. Any wax not made from bees had to be from a vegetable source. This increased the price and value of beeswax and turned the Catholic Church into the largest buyer of beeswax candles in the world. 

During this time candle making became a guild craft in both England and France. Candle makers, known as chandlers, would travel from town to town making candles for households from either tallow or beeswax. Beginning in the 15th century, candle lanterns lit the streets of cities and villages in Europe and England at night. Town criers, who previously called out the hour of night and if it was safe or not to venture out, now also had the duty of lighting and taking care of the street candle lanterns. 

Candle Making in America 

The first candles in America were probably made by Native Americans who burned oily fish on sticks for a source of light. (Imagine the smell and be thankful for today's fragranced candles!) They also understood how to extract wax from various berries and eventually taught this technique to the first Colonial settlers who then developed a broad and diverse range of candles.
During the whaling boom in the 19th century, wax was made from the oil of the sperm whale, called spermaceti. This wax formed an efficient and pleasant smelling candle. In fact, because the flame did not melt the wax when it burned they became the first dripless candles! However, oil from whales was expensive and therefore only available to the wealthy. 

In the early 19th century, two discoveries were made which changed the face of candle making forever. First, a French chemist named Michel Eugene Chevreul discovered a substance derived from animal fat called stearin. This ingredient produced hard and quality candles never before seen. The second occurrence was the development of paraffin wax from petroleum. When added with stearin, this combination created the strong, long lasting candles that we still use today. 

Much of candle making in America today takes place on an enormous commercial basis. The hub of this industry is in Syracuse, New York. Companies here produce thousands of different kinds of candles and use ingredients from all over the world. Many smaller, boutique, candle making enterprises exist throughout America too.  

It is important to remember that before the use of electricity became common in the early 20th century, everyone for household lighting used candles. In fact, when a power outage comes along we still rely on candles. Beginning in 1860, the term candlepower referred to the standardized measurement of light intensity from any source. The term candle power has now been replaced by candela, but the origin of the term remains obvious.

Candles and candle making have been part of our lives for many thousands of years. Still today, making and using candles creates associations of comfort, warmth, and the coziness of a home.
  • Completely Online
  • Self-Paced
  • Printable Lessons
  • Full HD Video  
  • 6 Months to Complete
  • 24/7 Availability
  • Start Anytime
  • PC & Mac Compatible
  • Android & iOS Friendly
  • Accredited CEUs
Universal Class is an IACET Accredited Provider

Course Lessons

Average Lesson Rating:
4.6 / 5 Stars (Average Rating)
"Extraordinarily Helpful"
(1,613 votes)

Lesson 1. The History of Candle Making

Understanding the basics of this history helps us to appreciate more fully the true meaning of the power of a candle. 39 Total Points
  • Lesson 1 Video
  • Lesson discussions: Candle Making; Reasons for Taking this Course
  • Complete Assignment: An Introduction
  • Complete: Lesson 1 Assignment
  • Assessment: Lesson 1 Exam

Lesson 2. Equipment

Making candles does not have to be expensive and complex, but there are specific pieces of equipment that you need to get started. Additional lesson topics: Getting Started 135 Total Points
  • Lesson 2 Video
  • Complete: Lesson 2 Assignment
  • Complete Assignment: Yankee Candle Factory
  • Assessment: Lesson 2 Exam

Lesson 3. Safety and Your Wax Workplace

The process of making candles can be dangerous and certain precautions need to be taken to ensure a safe and harmless experience. Additional lesson topics: Candle Making Safety; Candle Making Safety Tips 35 Total Points
  • Lesson 3 Video
  • Complete: Lesson 3 Assignment
  • Assessment: Lesson 3 Exam

Lesson 4. Wax, Wicks, and Additives

It is important to understand the choices you have and which wax works best with which candle you plan on making. Additional lesson topics: Beeswax; Guide to Waxes 33 Total Points
  • Lesson 4 Video
  • Complete: Lesson 4 Assignment
  • Assessment: Lesson 4 Exam

Lesson 5. Step by Step Candle Making

In this lesson you will learn a nine step process for making a molded candle. Additional lesson topics: Candle Making Basics; How to Make Container Candles 35 Total Points
  • Lesson 5 Video
  • Complete: Lesson 5 Assignment
  • Assessment: Lesson 5 Exam

Lesson 6. Handmade Rolled and Taper Candles

Now that you have the basic molded candle down pat, it is time to move on to creative variations in your candle making repertoire. Additional lesson topics: How to Make Taper Candles 35 Total Points
  • Lesson 6 Video
  • Complete: Lesson 6 Assignment
  • Assessment: Lesson 6 Exam

Lesson 7. Color and Fragrance

It is time to take your craft to the next level by adding color and scent. Additional lesson topics: Scented Candles; Single Colored Candles 35 Total Points
  • Lesson 7 Video
  • Complete: Lesson 7 Assignment
  • Assessment: Lesson 7 Exam

Lesson 8. Overdipping, Cutouts, and Cracked Candles

Cutouts and cracked candles are two examples of exciting new variations. By utilizing these new tools you will add a professional and artistic look to your craft. Additional lesson topics: Cutout Window Candle Making Project; Over Dipping Instructions 35 Total Points
  • Lesson 8 Video
  • Complete: Lesson 8 Assignment
  • Assessment: Lesson 8 Exam

Lesson 9. Container Candles and Gel Wax Variations

In this lesson you will learn how to make candles out of most anything that can hold wax. Additional lesson topics: Basic Container Candles 35 Total Points
  • Lesson 9 Video
  • Lesson discussions: Containers
  • Complete: Lesson 9 Assignment
  • Assessment: Lesson 9 Exam

Lesson 10. Floating, Mottled, Ice, and Chunk Candles

The variations are endless and the candles just get more and more amazing. Additional lesson topics: Making Floating Candles 35 Total Points
  • Lesson 10 Video
  • Complete: Lesson 10 Assignment
  • Assessment: Lesson 10 Exam

Lesson 11. Multiwick, Glow-through, and Votive Candles

In this final lesson on specific types of candle variations you will learn a new set of advanced techniques for making spectacular candles. Additional lesson topics: Making Glow-Through Candles; Multi-Wick Candles 35 Total Points
  • Lesson 11 Video
  • Complete: Lesson 11 Assignment
  • Assessment: Lesson 11 Exam

Lesson 12. Troubleshooting and Caretaking

Despite the fact that making candles is an easy and immensely rewarding craft, sometimes problems occur that you just do not know how to solve. Additional lesson topics: Recycling Wax Scraps; Troubleshooting Guide 135 Total Points
  • Lesson 12 Video
  • Complete: Lesson 12 Assignment
  • Complete Assignment: Making a New Candle
  • Assessment: Lesson 12 Exam

Lesson 13. Candle Making for Profit

With relatively low overhead and a huge potential customer base, candle making for profit does not need to be just a dream. Additional lesson topics: Candle Making Business; Candle Making DIY 35 Total Points
  • Lesson 13 Video
  • Lesson discussions: Candle Making Business
  • Complete: Lesson 13 Assignment
  • Assessment: Lesson 13 Exam

Lesson 14. Planning, Pricing, and Forming Your Business

In this lesson, you will learn the next steps in launching your candle making business. Additional lesson topics: Candle Making Businesses; Selling and Marketing Candles 135 Total Points
  • Lesson 14 Video
  • Complete: Lesson 14 Assignment
  • Complete Assignment: New Things
  • Assessment: Lesson 14 Exam

Lesson 15. Marketing Ideas and Candle Making Resources

In this final lesson on candle making you will learn ideas for marketing your creations and how to get them in front of as many buyers as possible. Additional lesson topics: How to Market; Marketing Candles in Untraditional Markets 105 Total Points
  • Lesson 15 Video
  • Lesson discussions: Your Opinion Matters: Course Rating; Program Evaluation Follow-up Survey (End of Course); Course Comments
  • Complete: Lesson 15 Assignment
  • Assessment: Lesson 15 Exam
  • Assessment: The Final Exam
Total Course Points

Learning Outcomes

By successfully completing this course, students will be able to:
  • Summarize the history of candle making.
  • Identify equipment needed for candle making.
  • Summarize safety and your wax workplace.
  • Summarize wax, wicks, and additives.
  • Demonstrate step by step candle making.
  • Demonstrate handmade rolled and taper candles.
  • Recognize color and fragrance in the candle making process.
  • Identify over dipping, cutouts, and cracked candles and what to do.
  • Demonstrate creating container candles and gel wax variations.
  • Demonstrate creating floating, mottled, ice, and chunk candles.
  • Demonstrate creating multiwick, glow-through, and votive candles.
  • Summarize candle making for profit.
  • Demonstrate mastery of lesson content at levels of 70% or higher.

Additional Course Information

Online CEU Certificate
  • Document Your Lifelong Learning Achievements
  • Earn an Official Certificate Documenting Course Hours and CEUs
  • Verify Your Certificate with a Unique Serial Number Online
  • View and Share Your Certificate Online or Download/Print as PDF
  • Display Your Certificate on Your Resume and Promote Your Achievements Using Social Media
Document Your CEUs on Your Resume
Course Title: Candle Making 101
Course Number: 8900297
Lessons Rating: 4.6 / 5 Stars (1,613 votes)
Languages: English - United States, Canada and other English speaking countries
Availability: This course is online and available in all 50 states including: California, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Texas.
Last Updated: December 2023
Course Type: Self-Paced, Online Class
CEU Value: 1.4 IACET CEUs (Continuing Education Units)
CE Accreditation: Universal Class, Inc. has been accredited as an Authorized Provider by the International Association for Continuing Education and Training (IACET).
Grading Policy: Earn a final grade of 70% or higher to receive an online/downloadable CEU Certification documenting CEUs earned.
Assessment Method: Lesson assignments and review exams
Instructor: Nancy Fillip
Syllabus: View Syllabus
Course Fee: $120.00 U.S. dollars

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Student Testimonials

  • "I loved taking this course. I learned a great deal. The assignments made me try things I may not have otherwise. The notes and videos were informative and helpful. The additional resources were also helpful. I really like the format of the class site. The report card page was great to track my progress. It took me a bit to warm up to the discussion page of the platform but once I did a few posts I enjoyed sharing. I also apricated the instructor's feedback and encouragement. It can be hard to take an online class and feeling connected so I really liked that feature." -- Cara D.
  • "Thank you very great course." -- Brenda H.
  • "I love that the instructor was very quick with the grading...everything is easily explained." -- Francia P.