How to Make Toothpick Candles


Saturday was Morgan’s 15th birthday. Or she said it was. I think she had her math mixed up. She’s 5. Can’t possibly be older. Cousin Sheryl and I took her to Charleston to eat at a restaurant (food that someone else cooked! the novelty of it all….), go shopping, and see a movie. She wanted to see the new Ashton Kutcher movie. I explained to her that whether she was 5 OR 15, she wasn’t seeing THAT movie.

Later, on our last stop at a Target, I remembered that I didn’t have any birthday candles. And it was a little late to make some since it was already actually her birthday. (See how to make tiny tapers for birthday candles here.) I told her to pick out some birthday candles. She picked out these candles.

They cost $3 per 8-count package

Never take a teenager shopping with you.

Since it was her day to be spoiled, I bought them. And promptly went home and deconstructed them! Making all sorts of toothpick candles couldn’t be easier. They are nothing more than candle wax cut-outs poked onto a toothpick with a bit of wick popped on top. (You don’t need a wick all the way through–these are brief-use candles.)

If you’ve never made candles before, see How to Make Container Candles for basic information about candle wax and safety guidelines. For even more info, see So You Want to Make Candles–Basic Supplies to Get Started. Also see Recycling Candles to repurpose candle wax from candles that are burned down too low to light anymore.

Find all my posts on candle crafts here.

For this usage, I found higher melting point paraffin wax such as pillar or taper wax worked best. Don’t use soy wax–it sets up too soft.

To make toothpick candles, you will need:

toothpicks (plain are best, but all I had on hand were colored)
candle wax
dye and scent (optional)
glitter (optional)
fine flat braid candle wicking

Melt the candle wax. Pour a small amount of wax into something shallow like a pie pan. (The wax won’t stick to a glass pie dish.) Don’t pour too thick of a layer or the center will be too soft when the outside is ready for cutting.

Note how thin these candles are.

Your homemade candles should be just as thin.

Sprinkle glitter on top if using. Cut out shapes before the wax completely sets so that itโ€™s still soft enough to cut easily.

Making the shapes is similar to the process of making chunk candles only you’re going to use molds to cut them. You can use small cookie cutters, or what I used here for the stars came from a set of pie pastry decorative cutters.

Once the wax is set to the point where you can make the cut-outs, work quickly. Cut the shapes, making sure to press the cutter through all the way to the bottom of the pan.

Loosen the wax along the sides of the pan and it will come right out, leaving the cut-outs behind.

Poke each one onto a toothpick before the wax hardens too much. Don’t poke the toothpick in very far or it will crack the wax.

These candles aren’t meant to burn long, so all you need to do is attach a bit of wicking on top. Dip the end of a piece of wicking into the melted wax in the wax pot. Place it on top of the candle, just a tad to the side of the tip of the star. Using a stainless steel spoon, dribble a bit more wax over it and use your fingers to mold the wick onto the candle.

As the store-bought package indicates, these candles won’t burn long, just a couple minutes. They’re easy to make, far cheaper than the ones at the store, and make cute cake or cupcake toppers. With cookie cutters in various shapes, you can make them for any occasion. Red, white, and blue stars on a July 4th cake. Hearts for Valentine’s Day. And so on! I also made some hearts and cut out a 1 and a 5 for Morgan’s birthday.

To place the wick on top of a flat surface, like this 5, it’s the same process, just press the wick down on top and attach it with wax.

This is a fun project. Kids could help pick and cut out the shapes for their own birthday cakes. Make somebody’s birthday–or any day–special with homemade toothpick candles!

We were late getting back from the city on Saturday and Morgan decided to wait to have her cake on Sunday evening. (Actually, it wasn’t a cake. She wanted a big double pan of these brownies.)

I hadn’t had time to put wicks on all the homemade candles, so she had a mix of homemade and store-bought toothpick candles that she chose herself.

Happy birthday!

Note: These candles DO NOT burn long! Make sure everything is ready when you light them.


  1. Liesl says:

    Those candles are so cool, Morgan is lucky to have you make candles for her and a double pan of Brownies instead of a boring old cake,how cool can you get!

  2. Nona says:

    WOW you are amazing! Great job I just may make them in the summer.

  3. skippymom says:

    Neat! I can’t believe Morgan is only 15 – so lovely – hope she had a great day. ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. Rose H says:

    Sending birthday wishes from ‘over the pond’ Morgan! I’m sure you had a great day by the look of the photos 8)
    Those toothpick candles look great ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. northcountrygirl says:

    HAPPY BIRTHDAY, MORGAN!!! The candles are really cute. :sun:

  6. leah says:

    love the candles! Souns like a great birthday for morgan.

  7. Diane says:

    Cute candles. I like the homemade ones better than the bought one.

    Happy Birthday Morgan!!!!

  8. susan says:

    I love this idea! yesterday was one of by granddaughters birthday, so it’s too late for her(this Year) but in May we have 4 birthdays so I will be making these ahead. thanks for the cute idea.

  9. Carmen at Old House Kitchen says:

    Such a great idea! 15 — wow! My oldest is 13 and I just know I’ll blink and he’ll be 15. Where has the time gone?! Seems like he was born just yesterday. Can’t we keep them little forever? Hope she had a great day!

  10. 4jsMOM says:

    Happy 15th Birthday, Morgan. Making memories–that’s the best part of the whole birthday. Our family does graham cracker pie instead of cake. Nice to hear that we are not the only ones who enjoy something else special for our birthday.

  11. joycee says:

    These are too cool! I hadn’t seen these, so cute. Happy Birthday Morgan!

  12. Dana says:

    AWESOME!!!! I can’t wait to make some for my 3 kiddos!!!

    Thanks so much!!!

    Happy Birthday to Morgan!!


  13. CindyP says:

    Happy Birthday, Morgan! So glad you 3 ladies had such a great day!

    Deconstruct the candles … LOL! I can’t get over how easy and simple those. Thank you for the idea….birthday cakes will be even more customized now ๐Ÿ™‚

  14. ladychef says:

    Happy Birthday to Morgan!! My youngest daughter turned 16 in Nov., but when she turned 15, she also didn’t want a birthday “cake”. She requested a big bowl of jello. It was pretty hilarious lighting the candles on that jiggling bowl! Kids…sigh.

  15. Jane says:

    :snoopy: Happy Birthday Morgan! :snoopy:

  16. holstein woman says:

    15….just right age for….NO. HAPPY BIRTHDAY. No workie on Birthdays. Hope you had a BLAST! :whip: :shroom:

  17. windspiritwhimsies says:

    Hope your birthday was a blast and may this year be the bestest ever! Happy Birthday Morgan! :fairy:

  18. texwisgirl says:

    Congrats, Miss Morgan! Stay young for just a tad bit longer (for your mom’s sake), okay?!

  19. Mary says:

    15 already, Wow! Happy Birthday,Morgan. The candles are really special. I’m definitely making some of these up to have on hand. I may try it for Valentine’s day. Thanks for the great idea.

  20. brookdale says:

    Happy birthday, Morgan! Did you blow out all the candles with one blow? Love your brownie cake!
    My granddaughter always wanted a chocolate graham cracker pie for her b-day when she was a teenager.

  21. Ramona says:

    Yours are just as nice as those store bought ones. Cheaper too….

  22. Phyllis says:


  23. lavenderblue says:

    Happy Birthday, Morgan! My oldest will be 18 in February. 18! That can’t be right. I still have all his Thomas the Tank engine trains in the closet in case he wants to play with them when he gets home from pre-school. *sigh*

    Anyway, both my kids will love these one their cakes. Although they are just as apt to ask for brownies, also. OMG, do you know what I just realized? My daughter, our baby, will also be 15. Oh,no! It can’t be, she is so much younger than Morgan.

    So far, however, we are blessed will the fact that Meg has no interest whatsoever in Ashton Kutcher. She’s more of a Team Jacob kind of girl, yet.

  24. Window On The Prairie says:

    I’ve never made candles before. Thanks for sharing this idea. Neato! Will give it a try. Oh, and Happy Belated B-Day Morgan!
    Suzanne ๐Ÿ™‚

  25. Shirley T says:

    Happy Birthday Morgan. I love the toothpick candle idea. They are so cute and diffirent.

  26. Joy says:

    Happy birthday, Morgan! :heart:

    Awesome candles, mom! :shimmy: (…and you are a good mom for not letting her go to *that* movie…*shudder*)

  27. Leah's Mom says:

    Wow! I really like these. Thanks!!! :shimmy:

  28. Carmen C. says:

    How awesome and easy that sounds, I love them!!!! Thanks for sharing directions for them:)

  29. Karo says:

    My daughter turned fifteen in May. Sigh. Fifteen sounds so much older than fourteen. Soon she’ll be sixteen. SIXTEEN! Driving age!

    I guess you and I can take comfort in the fact that we have sweet and loveable teen girls instead of grumpy, hostile ones like some people end up with (eg. my mother). I did use to worry about that!

    Happy birthday, Morgan!

  30. Brenda H. says:

    Those candles are the cutest idea! My daughters birthday is Monday the 31st I will have to go to hobby lobby to see what I can find to make these. She will be 8. It seems I just had her last year. I blinked and now she’ll be 8. No more blinking!

  31. Grammie Earth says:

    Suzanne, it looks like your candles burn brighter than the store bought version. Not that I am surprised, anything made with love is better!



  32. Marianne G says:

    Happy Birthday, Morgan!

    So what movie did you go see?

  33. Darlene in North Ga says:

    Happy belated birthday to you Morgan.

  34. Bev in CA says:

    Thank you Suzanne, you did it again. Another wonderful idea! Things are costing so much more and this is a plus. The candles are so cute. Can’t wait to make some. Special “HAPPY BIRTHDAY” wishes Morgan!

  35. mother of a ROCKSTAR says:

    HAPPY BIRTHDAY MORGAN!!!! I hope you got everything you wanted for your birthday. Thanks for sharing your birthday with us and for your Mom’s candles.

  36. lizzie says:

    Happy 15th Birthday Morgan!!!!! Hope you had a wonderful day!!! :fairy:

  37. farmershae says:

    Happy Birthday Morgan!! :sun:

  38. rain says:

    Happy Birthday Morgan!! :snoopy: may all your dreams and wishes come true and you always keep the magic! :sheep: Rain ๐Ÿ™‚

  39. KentuckyFarmGirl says:

    I bow to you oh wonderful creative woman LOL! These are great and I can’t wait to make some of them! I’ve just started my candle making adventure so I am looking for new and fun things to try!

  40. Mia says:

    Amazing! These candles are so cute.
    Thank you for the grate idea!

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