When you’re thinking about where to get candle making supplies, you probably start out thinking about the craft store down the street, or maybe you’re even lucky enough to have a candle supply store nearby.
The next option you look for is online. “Candle making supplies” in Google gets you a list of wholesalers, so you shop around looking for the best price.
There are a few places you’re probably not looking, though, and you could be saving a lot of money. Here are some places I’ve looked and have been pleasantly surprised at what I found.
The other day I was talking to a friend with whom I work on web projects, and I casually mentioned the candle hobby Kathy and I are into. I discovered that he had also made candles in the past but got out of it. He still had a bunch of supplies, though. So for $30 I bought 24 containers, dozens of wicks in various sizes, burning instruction stickers, several 2oz vials of dyes and scents, a bottle cutter (the containers are beer bottles), and about 3 lbs of gel wax.
With these supplies, I can make probably $50 or more worth of candles. They’ll likely be the first items in the OCM Store!
So ask around. You never know who might have been into candle making in the past and has some supplies laying around that you can get for cheap or even free.
The very first set of candle supplies I had the chance to get were posted on Craigslist in the “freebies” section. My dad had an alert on his phone for free anything, and he forwarded me a listing for free candle making supplies including wax, containers, wicks, scents, and dyes.
Unfortunately I was too late in asking for it, but it did get me to install a Craigslist app on my phone and set an alert for candle supplies. I haven’t seen much lately, but it costs me nothing to keep the alert out there.
As much of an ebay junkie as I am, I’m surprised it took me so long to think about going there for candlemaking supplies.
When someone’s getting out of the hobby, they often just throw their extra supplies on ebay. Just now I found 10 lbs of gel wax, most of it brand new, for $25. They easily go for $15 a pound if you buy them in a store. You can bet I snatched that up.
I have also seen homemade kits for sale, complete with wax, scents, dyes, and wicks. They’re a better quality than you’d buy in the store and generally cheaper (or the same price but with more stuff).
If you haven’t heard about Freecycle, you’ve been missing a great place to get things you need for free. It’s a national organization with local groups in most cities. Basically it’s a mailing list where people give away items they don’t want to throw away but don’t want to keep.
The idea is to list offers primarily, but once you list a few you can feel free to post a “want” (check the etiquette of the group you become a part of). Put a request out there for candle supplies and see what happens. I’m about to do that myself!
I’m sure there are more places to find some inexpensive supplies. Places like flea markets and estate/garage sales might be really solid places to scout as well.
The point is you don’t have to buy things new, especially if you’re just starting out and limited on funds. Kathy and I are trying to do this without incurring debt and staying within our pretty strict budget. If you start by being thrifty, eventually you’ll be making a profit that you can invest into more supplies.
Let’s hear it: where have *you* found really great supplies that we might not have expected?
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