How to make scented candles in a teacup: a step-by-step tutorial

These easy scented candles in a teacup make great gifts (especially vintage ones from the thrift store)!
Here’s a full step-by-step tutorial.

I wanted to learn how to make scented candles in a teacup to give as Christmas gifts.  I thought the process would be quite complicated, but it turned out to be very simple (honestly, even young children could help with sticking the wicks, stirring and even pouring the wax as long as they are closely supervised) and I do think this ‘recipe’ is very forgiving!  I will definitely be making them again and tailoring the scents to my friends and family.  I think they make a lovely gift, especially when you consider that a good quality natural scented candle can cost £20-£30 each!

scented candle in a teacup 600

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You will need the following to make scented candles in a teacup:

  • 4 vintage teacups (I found loads of these at our local Oxfam).  It doesn’t matter if the cups and saucers are mismatched either – they still look cute at the end!
  • a cooking thermometer (it needs to be able to measure up to 300F/150C – I used a jam one)
  • a double boiler. I don’t have a double-boiler, so I balanced a small metal bowl – with a spout for pouring the wax – on top of a metal ring (cookie-cutter) inside a large saucepan on the stove, then added boiling water to the large saucepan and adjusted the heat on the stove to keep the water bubbling, but not boiling over.  If the water runs low, you can top it up using a pre-boiled kettle (the large saucepan must not run dry).
  • a little blue-tac or 4x glue dots
  • approx 500g eco soya candle-making wax flakes for containers
  • pre-waxed wicks for candle-making (I used 80mm length and cut them down a little once the candle had set)
  • 2-3ml natural fragrance oil (make sure you do not use alcohol or water-based fragrance).  I chose jasmine, but you could choose any scent you wanted and you could also combine 2 or 3 scents together.  Next time I might try jasmine and rose essential oil

COST: under £15
AGE: 3+ (with help)
TIME: about an hour to make, then overnight to allow them to set properly

How to make scented candles in a teacup:

Check how much soy wax you need to melt (the easiest way to do this is to measure it out using the tea cups that you will be using as moulds: 2x teacups full of wax flakes = 1 finished teacup candle).  I found that 500g wax flakes, once melted, filled 4x standard size teacups.

Spread out some newspaper on your work surface and put your empty teacups on top.  Stick the wicks to the bottom of the teacups using the blue tac or glue dots and use a pencil/skewer or two to hold the wicks upright.

Place your wax in your double-boiler (or makeshift double-boiler – see above!) and let it melt.  Never leave the melting wax unattended.  Once the melted wax reaches 175F (80C), you can add your fragrance.  Take it off the heat and stir gently for a few minutes to make sure the scent is mixed in evenly.

Once the wax has cooled to 135F (57C), carefully pour the wax into your teacups and re-centre the wicks if necessary (I am cack-handed and managed to knock them all on the wonk during the pouring!)

Leave to set overnight, then either light and enjoy them yourself, or wrap them up to give to your lucky friends!
PRO-TIP: Apparently if you add a final layer of melted wax to the surface of the set candle, it will give you a smooth, crack-free finish.

So now you know how to make scented candles in a teacup.  Will you have a try and let me know how you get on?
By the way, if you fancy trying something different, why not have a go at Crafts on Sea’s beeswax teacup candles?


Pssst…  Making this for a new mum?  Why not make this gorgeous new baby footprint card too?


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28 thoughts on “How to make scented candles in a teacup: a step-by-step tutorial

  • July 12, 2013 at 9:04 am

    Oooh, your blog is pretty awesome!

    • July 12, 2013 at 10:36 am

      Why thank you very much MisterPodge – I did have a lot of help… 😉

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  • July 13, 2013 at 2:38 pm

    Well done for finding such pretty cups in a charity shop. I check my local ones regularly and have never found anything. I think they get snapped up the moment they arrive

  • July 20, 2013 at 12:53 am

    I’ve always adored candles in teacups! Such a cute idea for a gift, especially for a tea group.

  • July 24, 2013 at 1:44 am

    I did tea cup candles as gifts this past Christmas and everyone LOVED them! I know your friends and family will be so happy to receive these too. The tea cups you used are beautiful!

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  • September 30, 2013 at 2:38 am

    just got done making 3 coffee. thank you there so pretty. got my tea cup at the good will

  • September 30, 2013 at 8:44 am

    Well done Lori – upcycling at its best! Are you on Twitter? I’d love to see a photo of your teacup candles…

  • November 24, 2013 at 11:35 am

    My daughter and I made some but the soya wax has come away from the edges of the cups any suggestions as to what we did wrong.

    • November 24, 2013 at 10:57 pm

      Hello Joanne and thank you for commenting. Apparently the wax can start to come away from the sides of the container if it cools too quickly. Did you leave it to dry in a very cool place (basement/garage for example)? It can help to warm your container before you pour the wax, so maybe try that next time, as well as allowing them to cool somewhere warmer..?

      You could try to fix the edges of your candles by warming the cup with a hairdryer and possibly doing a second pour…

      Let me know if that helps at all and good luck!

  • February 1, 2014 at 7:14 pm

    Where do you buy the wax flakes & wick stuff from ?

    • February 3, 2014 at 2:11 pm

      Hello Susan, I found them on Amazon (just search for ‘soya candle-making wax flakes for containers’ and ‘pre-waxed wicks’).

      Let me know if you find them. If not I can send you some links via email (I just don’t like to advertise for any one company here, as this is not a sponsored post).

      Thanks for visiting and commenting 🙂

  • February 4, 2014 at 7:14 pm

    Thank you for the info. I am on my way to start those candles. Can’t wait!

  • February 14, 2014 at 1:40 pm

    These just look so fab I will have to try them! On a cup hunt now – will let you know how I get on. Super blog x

    • February 15, 2014 at 8:03 pm

      Thank you Lyn! Hope you find some cute cups and saucers x

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  • October 14, 2014 at 4:23 pm

    Thanks for a useful site, I had fun learning this new craft.
    One tip to add is that I used a straw (with a snip in the middle) which holds the wick well. However, I struggled to keep the wick central, any suggestions?
    Also, a 2nd pour still resulted in a cracked surface, any idea why this occurred?
    Thirdly, I popped a pearl bead in the surface as the wax was cooling, this looks effective and adds a little something.

    • October 14, 2014 at 9:52 pm

      Ooh, that’s a good idea with the straw Debs! My wicks seemed to stay central with just a pencil/skewer, so I’m afraid I can’t offer any better solution, other than perhaps using masking tape to fix the top of the wick to the straw and the straw to the edge of the teacup..?

      That is a shame about your second pour still giving a cracked surface. Sometimes this can mean that the candle has cooled too quickly. Maybe try letting them cool in a warmer room, or stand in a shallow tray of warm water to cool more slowly next time?

      I love the idea of a pearl bead in the surface – very glam and great for a candle that is going to be a special gift!
      Thanks for commenting – your feedback is really helpful 😀

  • October 29, 2014 at 3:17 am

    So love to find such amazingly useful info on all the things I can’t wait to try. Can you tell me though how you poured the melted wax into the teacups. Its the one step that sites don’t share and it seems like it could be the most difficult and messy?

    • November 4, 2014 at 9:25 pm

      Hi Jan, actually that bit was relatively easy! I have a set of stainless steel bowls with lips for pouring and I just used one of those. I guess you could pour the melted wax into a jug and from there into the teacups, but it would mean twice the washing up… 😉

  • February 13, 2023 at 9:24 pm

    Could tell me what size and type of wick you used for the cups.


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