How to make a tea cup candle, step by step instructions…..from Vintage Tea Sets

I reveal how to make one of these.......

I promise you, as soon as you’ve made one of these beautiful soy tea cup candles you won’t ever buy one as they are just too easy to make (within 5 mins you’ll have it poured and cooling), your house will turn into a mini production unit guaranteed.  I’ve been making these for over a year and a half now and my house is full of them, I’ve sold them very successfully in craft fairs and online as they make such a fabulous presents (think Mothers Day, Birthdays and Christmas) and they also make wonderful additions to table centre pieces or dotted around a venue to add some ambience for a vintage tea party or mad hatter tea party .  I use soy wax because its eco-friendly, water soluble and burns at lower temperatures so as not to damage the vintage china.  You can purchase or hire these through my vintage china hire website vintage tea sets but they are so fun to make, give them a go!

You do need to buy a few things, not much.  I’ve put together a shopping list for you but for a sound investment of £20 you can have enough tea cup candles for plenty of presents and also fill your house/event with them.  They go a long way and burn for over 32 hours.  Websites are charging between £12-20 per tea cup candle, you can make many many more for that, you just need to go to some car boot sales and charity shops and buy some tea cups.

Here are my step by step instructions.

What you need

What you need:-  All the waxes, wicks and scent items are available from this website 4candles

Eco Soya Wax

Wedo Eco Wick

Metal tab for the wick

Scent (optional)

2 wooden skewers and some gaffa tape (I love gaffa!)


2 saucepans, one small and one large and flat (Make a bain-marie)

Vintage Tea Cup

Step 1 – First you measure the wax out.  The wax comes in flakes and I fill the volume of my vintage cup up with flakes one and a half times.

Measure the wax flakes

2 – Add to the small saucepan (don’t worry eco wax is water soluble and washes out with some washing up liquid).  Place the small pan in the larger pan filled halfway with water and over a medium to low heat gently melt the wax.

Melt the wax in a bain-marie

Add a scent if you like

3. Prepare your teacup.  Cut a length of wick and pull it through the metal tab (all for sale on the website I gave you earlier).  You can buy special metal pins to hold the wicks in place so it remains centered.  Being a resourceful so and so though I just used some wooden skewers and taped them closely together as seen below and that works just fine.  Now all you need do is pour the wax.

Now all you need do is pour the wax

4.  Now pour gently…….

And pour......

5.  Over half an hour the wax will harden, do not move your tea cup candle during this stage.

Slowly the wax will harden

6.  Finally, trim the wick and light!!!!

And light! How easy was that!!!!

I hope you enjoyed that little tutorial. More to come…….


Filed under Tutorial, Vintage China Hire

52 responses to “How to make a tea cup candle, step by step instructions…..from Vintage Tea Sets

  1. These are great, you can also melt the wax inside an empty clean tin (like a bean or soup tin) if you don’t have two pots that fit together easily and you can use a bit of grated crayon to play around with colouring the candles cheaply if you like. Chloe and I have filled our fair share of seashells when we bring them home from the beach:)

    • Thanks Leanne, that’s a great idea and the crayons for colouring. I’ve used dyes I’ve purchased on not liked them at all, found they can look ‘frosty’ on top.

  2. The crayons work really well, though very little goes a long way if you use strong coloured crayons, like if you use a tiny bit of really dakr purple you get a soft lavender shade.

  3. Beautiful! Enjoyed seeing how it’s made. Jo

  4. Jennifer

    Thanks for this. I have started the tea cup collection which I can see will be quite addictive. Charity shops better value than ebay from what I can see. But I cannot bring myself to buy old teasets and use the teacups only ! Sad aren’t I. Off to buy wax, fragrance and wicks tomorrow.

    • I keep them on their saucers dotted around the house and you can always reuse the cups after for a steaming hot cuppa, soy wax is water soluble so a quick rinse in warm soapy water and you’re away. so no need to worry! 😀

  5. misskatamari

    these are so pretty, i must have a go making some. Im sure i read a post somewhere that said this works well with sundae glasses too? i was wondering if you’d tried this and if so have any photos of them?

    I think they’d look lovely as a wedding centrepiece and have been busy scouring charity shops and ebay for lovely sundae glasses.

    is it easy to add fragrance to the candles? what is best to use? essential oils? or are there special fragrances you can buy? lol, sorry for all the questions, ive never attempted candle making before and these are just so lovely!

    • They look wonderful in sundae dishes, I’m afraid I don’t have any pics although I have sold lots. I also got some bead wire and threaded pearls and vintage brooches to the stems of the sundae glasses to pretty them up. You can buy scents from the candle shop I recommended and its so easy to do, just pour some in when the wax has melted BUT if you’re doing them for table centerpieces I wouldn’t add scent as it doesn’t go well with people eating food.

      Go on have a go, they’re soooo easy honestly and you can make tonnes. I’ve filled tureens, gravy boats, sugar bowls, glass vases……

      Just make sure you get the correct wicks to fit the items you’re filling.

  6. Emily

    Please help, I love your step by step guide line, I’m
    trying to make some tea cup candles for my wedding.

    I’ve been on the 4candle website to order the ingredients you recommend but I’m soo confused which wax to buy, please help!

  7. Bless ya! It is a minefield for sure. Try this link and purchase one of the eco-soya waxes, either one will do. And pop back and share your creations!

  8. Tara

    Hi! Thanks for this tutorial – extremely helpful and timely. Going to go ahead and make some for my wedding too and I just wondered what size wick and meta tab / sustainer you use please?
    Thanks again

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  11. Susan

    Hello! Completely inspired by your website and am now having a tea party themed wedding! Have been madly collecting china for candles and am having teapots in the centre of my tables to hold flowers…. should be fun!

    I have read with interest the entries above but just wanted to double check something before I start with the candles. I note that you say soya wax can be washed away, but wondered if there is a special type as I don’t want to ruin all of these pretty wee cups. I followed the link above to suppliers of soya wax, but I see there are three types (CB-XceL, CB Advanced Soy, CB135) and it would be good to know what you use/prefer as I want to ensure that I get stuff that will come out of the cups – can you offer any advice?

    Thanks for sharing all of this info – really appreciate it!

    • Susan

      Hi there,

      This was soooooo easy!

      The specifics of what I used:

      Wedo Wick (ECO2)
      20mm Sustainers
      Ecosoya CB-XceL
      Wick Pin (Silver)

      The candle burned for 10 hours and was still going strong but I wanted to check the wax washed away before ordering a full supply – it washed away no worries!

      I’m away to stock up on wax so that I can get busy!

  12. I would love to feature this on my tea lovers’ roundup in September. Would you let me know whether I would be allowed to use a photo from the post to do that? I would of course link back!

    Ms Muffin @
    ulli-xox [at]web[dot]de

  13. Carolyn

    Hi there

    Susan pointed me here as I’ve been scouring my local charity shops and car boot sale for china for her wedding and am now inspired to make my own, now she’s stocked up! You make it sound easy so I’ve ordered soy wax and a thickish wick but how necessary are the metal thingies?

    Also another website said something about a second pour to make the top level as the wax contracts – is this true for soy wax?

    • Hi Carolyn

      I’ve not found any need for a second pour, in fact there have been a few instances when I’ve done that (I ran out of wax and melted some more) and the top layer cracked so I’d avoid it.

      I think the metal tabs are useful they anchor the wick and also stop it burning straight onto the china, they’re only pence as well.


  14. I wanted to put up the feature post … but all your photos have gone … (And so has mine which I just had linked to yours)
    Will the photos be back soon?

    Ms Muffin

  15. jayne

    Help, Ive just made 3 teacup candles and they have dried with cracking around the edge of the cup and all have a perfect circle crack about 1″ diameter around the wick….. Any suggestions would be great,

    • I’ve had this happen to me a couple of times…..the only thing I thought it might be was I had the back door open and that made the air temperature colder than usual, hasn’t happened since I kept that door shut! Anyone else got any ideas what may cause it?

  16. Jayne

    Thanks for the advice I have lit one to check it out and it is just burning in the middle in the area where the crack is. Lots of wax left around the edge.

  17. Nell

    Thanks for the tutorial – really useful. Just wondering how much wax to order, I’m only planning on making a few cups so don’t want to end up with tons of left over beads. Do you have any idea how much wax one small teacup contains? Thanks so much. Nell

  18. Jo Lawrence

    Thank you so much for your instructions and website info. I have been collecting teacups and pretty glass dishes to make these but couldn’t find anything easy to help. Then I spotted you!!! I have just made three candles for christmas presents this morning and they look just gorgeous. Can’t wait to make some more
    Many thanks and Happy Christmas

  19. Katie

    Hello, can I use this picture for my GCSEs on upcycling please? email me 🙂

  20. Hannah

    Hi Clara,
    Really want to make some of these this weekend as I have been collecting vintage china for a long time now – my friends are going to love these! I just wondered what size wick to buy? It’s confusing that they come in so many times, I read on another website that if you don’t get the right sized wick in a soy candle it won’t burn the entire candle. Also, do you need to know the temp of the wax before you pour it in?
    Sorry about all the questions!
    Hannah xxx

  21. Ann Morgan Taylor

    Thank you so much for your instructions. I go antiquing every week and have several great orphan porcelain tea cups. I am going to epoxy the tea cup to the saucer before I make the candle, and I needed instructions to finish my project. I can hardly wait to set started.

  22. Kat

    Utterly fantastic walkthrough, thank you so much!

  23. Dee Murray

    Hi Clara, thank you for very clear and precise instructions. I’ve just made six of these in some teacups and am delighted with the results. I used rapeseed wax and scented them with bergamot oil. I’ll try the soy wax next time.

    Pity I can’t smell if they work as I have a cold. Can’t wait to see if they smell or not. And see how long they burn for.

    Thanks again.

    Dee Murray

    PS Your wedding looks amazing.

  24. Lizzie


    I would like to make some tea cup candles and your method looks easy but I am just not sure exactly what to buy and what quantities? Any help would be appreciated.



  25. Melinda Slaughter

    I just made 8 beautiful tea cup candles for Christmas gifts. I am going to wrap them in pretty homemade bags with some homemade spiced tea mix, cookies, and chocolates. It took me less than an hour and clean up was a breeze. I found the tea cups and saucers at a thrift store. Thank you for this wonderful idea. I am hooked!

  26. David

    Although I do shop at 4candles i have found a complete candle Kit (excluding the saubpans and teacup) very cheap at and it has everything in there you need. and you can get it in paraffin, rapeseed or soya. Great value i thought.

  27. Such a wonderful idea! We are going to feature Tea Cup Candles at our Village Craft Cafe in Borough Green, Kent. Thanks, Clara!

  28. Julie Trott

    Hi, Can you tell me what mm size you use for the Wedo Eco wick and metal tabs?
    Not sure which size to order.
    Many thanks

  29. Maisie

    Hi! love this site. I am wondering though, if i were to melt the wax in a saucepan, will this ruin the sauce pan and make unusable for cooking with? Will I have to to spend ages scraping off the wax when its dried? Thanks!

  30. Eve

    Hi,i have been making these as a hobby but sold loads as gifts and get orders as well!i was thinking of going to craft fairs or getting a market stall,would I need some kind of insurance to sell to the public? Advice needed,many thanks

  31. Alicia

    Hi, I have seen a few people ask about the wick size, but I cannot see the reply. Can you advise what is best size for tea cups? I too would also like to use other items as the suggestion about tureens sounds so good. Should I use a bigger wick or perhaps make it into a three wick candle!? Looking forward to hearing from you.

  32. Celia

    I’ve given this a go just now, im waiting for them to set! Alls gone well so far, can’t wait to see the results!
    If you go to antiques centres they usually have thousands of tea cups for really cheap, i got 63 vintage cups and saucers and about 35 vintage plates of varying sizes for £90!

  33. Hello everyone I would just like to introduce you to we make organic, soy vintage inspired teacup candles. I saw your post and found the comment with using the crayons as dye was absolutely great and I never thought of it but I will try in soon. Thanks again

  34. Helen Evans

    Hi am raring to go & have assembled all my “ingredients” but am unsure how much Escentscia to use per cup ?

  35. amanda31

    I take Guides and would love to make these with the girls, can you melt the wax in a microwave, 10 seconds at a time?

  36. Sue

    Love your page I purchased a candle in a cup paid fair bit, then thought make my own I have a large collection of cups and saucers, cant wait to make some for christmas and to give as chrissie presents. Thank you enjoyed reading everones comments 🙂

  37. paula

    Thanks for this. I made a couple this evening. Really pretty. I bought some fragrance oil from you but wasn’t quite sure how much to put in. I could actually smell it better before I lit the candle.

  38. These look great and it sounds very easy and fun.. must try!!

  39. Pingback: Upcycling Ideas | Balsam Hill Artificial Christmas Trees Blog

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