Review of Candle Making Basics, an Excellent Craft Book for Beginners

Candle Making Basics  by Eric Ebeling, Published by Stackpole Books

Candle Making Basics by Eric Ebeling, Published by Stackpole Books

Have you ever admired the gorgeous scented candles displayed in shops, or online at websites like Etsy and Instagram? Have you ever yearned to understand how, exactly, candles are made? Would you be interested in learning how to make your own candles to give as gifts to your inner circle or keep for yourself?

Or perhaps you’ve already attempted to make your own candles, but they turned out so badly that you got discouraged with the craft. Maybe the candles you made wouldn’t burn, and you don’t understand where you went wrong. Or maybe they turned out too soft or too hard to remove from the mold you used, leaving you frustrated and confused about how to fix the problem.

If any of these scenarios describes your situation, there’s a book you’re really going to want to add to your library ASAP. It’s called Candle Making Basics: All the Skills and Tools You Need to Get Started. Whether you’re a complete beginner at candle-making or you need some help with fixing mistakes you’re making when crafting your own candles, I think you’re going to be really excited about this book. I can’t wait to share the details about it with you!

What You Need to Know About This Craft Book:

Authors: Eric Ebeling; Revised by Sandy Allison

Publisher: Stackpole Books

Copyright Date: 2018

ISBN 13: 978-0811718363

ISBN 10: 0811718360

Book Formats:

This book is available in the following format(s):

Number of Pages: 184

Skill Level: Beginner – You could be a total beginner at candle-making, and enjoy success with it — because this book gives you all the information you need to succeed. The projects included in this book are all intended to be as easy and beginner-friendly as possible.

Craft Projects Included in This Book:

The craft projects included in this book are all easy, basic candles; the book doesn’t include any soap making instructions or other types of crafts. Here are the types of candles you learn how to make:

  • Basic Container Candle + Variations
  • Basic Molded Candle + Variations
  • Basic Dipped Candle + Variations
  • Basic Rolled Beeswax Candle + Variations

You also get extensive information about mixing and using candle scents – so this book will empower you to make scented candles, too.

Additional Topics Covered in This Book

  • Candle Making Materials and Equipment
  • Proper Work Environment for Making Candles
  • Candle Safety

Step-By-Step Photography

I have four favorite craft photographers. One of the four is Alan Wycheck, who took the majority of the photos in this book. If you were to ask me to name Alan’s area of expertise, I would have to say that it’s step-by-step photo tutorials for craft and DIY projects. Alan has a way of watching an artisan work and then using photography to capture exactly the essential moments and movements that would matter to a crafter who is trying to reproduce a craft project. In my experience, it’s rare for him to leave out anything crucial in a step-by-step photo sequence.

You wouldn’t necessarily understand what a rare and amazing skill this is unless you’ve read a significant number of mediocre craft books (I have) — or unless you’ve been an artist who wants to create step-by-step tutorials, and you’ve worked with photographer after photographer after photographer who just couldn’t get them quite right (yep, that’s also been an issue for me in the past, until I started working with my husband — who is one of my four favorite craft photographers mentioned above).

Anyway, when I see Alan’s name credited as the photographer in any craft book, it gives me confidence that the book is likely to be a good one, even before I hold the book in my hands. Alan has a knack for presenting craft projects in their best possible light, showing you all the nuances you’d need to actually reproduce the project for yourself.

And he’s definitely accomplished that when showing you how to make the candles here in this book. I think you will be quite pleased with that aspect of Candle Making Basics.

Photo Gallery of Handmade Candles

This book includes a photo gallery of artisan-made candles that are more complex than the basic designs you’ll learn how to do using these instructions. The accompanying text points out some of the ways you could vary each type of basic candle to get more distinctive results. There are no instructions given for the projects included in the gallery, but you’re likely to find them highly inspiring.


In the back of the book is a helpful resources section that directs you to other resources you can use if you want more in-depth information. There are some other recommended books on candles and soap making plus a list of internet resources with more candle making ideas, tips and suggestions.

The Best Things About This Book

There are many things to appreciate about this book. One of the things I like most about this book is its intuitive format. The instructions for each project progress logically and clearly from start to finish. At the end, the author presents some more complex variations you could try. He also includes tips, photos and instructions for how to succeed with making the variations.

If you work from this book, the odds are excellent that you’ll be able to create usable candles, even if you are a total beginner to the craft.

Another one of the things I love most about Candle Making Basics is the emphasis on helping you learn to understand and avoid the things that can go wrong with candle making. Not only do you learn about what to do – you also learn about what not to do – and also why you shouldn’t do that particular thing.

I’m especially grateful for the straightforward way the why not? explanations are expressed in the book. These warnings about what not to do, plus the possible consequences, are briefly but clearly indicated in red text – and they’re included in the logical spot in the instructions where you’d be likely to need them most.

This can help you avoid pitfalls like cracking your wax or squirting hot liquid wax in your eyes.

I also LOVE the simplicity and beauty of the projects you learn to make from this book. You won’t find any weird or overly complicated projects in this book – just simple, basic, appealing candles. There’s nothing faddish about these projects – so I predict this book will remain useful for many decades into the future.

Helpful, concise shopping lists are included for each candle.


If you want to learn how to make candles, I see this book as being an excellent investment. I’m delighted to recommend Candle Making Basics to other crafters.

Where to Buy Candle Making Basics:

More Excellent Craft Instructions Published by Stackpole Books

Stackpole Books, the publisher of Candle Making Basics, has several specialties – one of which is illustrated craft books. My opinion: The team at Stackpole does a truly outstanding job of creating high-quality craft manuals that teach you interesting, worthwhile skills – and at the same time, they give you projects that are worth the investments of both time and materials you need to make if you hope to complete the projects. The following are a few other Stackpole Books titles I can highly recommend to you:

Delicate Crochet Book by Sharon Hernes Silverman, Published by Stackpole Books

Delicate Crochet Book by Sharon Hernes Silverman, Published by Stackpole Books

Delicate Crochet by Sharon Silverman — I’m particularly excited to recommend this book to you, because I contributed 2 of the projects in it. One of them is a pair of ruffled fingerless gloves, and the other is a beaded necklace. These are 2 of the most interesting craft projects I’ve ever designed.

The book is a compilation of projects by a whole bunch of experienced crochet pattern designers – plus this book also features Alan Wycheck’s excellent step-by-step technique photography.

Sharon Hernes Silverman is one of crochet’s rock stars, and she designed several of the projects in the book – including that spectacular Berrywine wrap you see on the book’s front cover. Some of the other projects in the book include 2 stunning tops by Kristin Omdahl, an exquisite lace skirt by Vicky Chan, and a gorgeous lace cardigan by Robyn Chachula. Click here to find a project list plus photos and more info about the book.

Knockout Knit Hats and Hoods by Diane Serviss — If you want to knit a hat, this pattern book should definitely be on your radar. The book includes a mix of hat patterns ranging from classic berets and tams to trendy slouchy beanies to fanciful pixie hoods.

Crochet Cowls by Sharon Silverman — If you want to crochet one or more cowls, this book will supply you with a selection of 15 excellent cowl patterns you can use. This book also features Alan Wycheck’s helpful step-by-step technique photography covering many of the techniques and special stitches you might not yet be familiar with.

Click here to find more of our suggestions for the best craft books.

More Craft Resources:

Posted By: Amy Solovay

This page was last updated on 7-10-2023.