How To Make Wax Tarts

Wax tarts, or also known as wax melts, are cubes of candle wax loaded with strong fragrances. These pieces of wax have no candle wicks and don't require a flame to activate their aromas. Instead, they are placed on hot electric plates, called wax warmers. After taking a couple minutes to heat up, these warmers melt the wax into a liquid and fill the room with whatever scent is implanted into the wax.

They have grown in popularity immensely in recent years for a variety of reasons. They are cheap, can be used anywhere and are much safer. Simply plug your warmer into a wall, load the wax on the plate, and then watch it melt away. These tarts can be found in many places and are cheap for how long they can last.

But, wouldn't it be great and fun if you could make wax melts yourself? Lucky for you, this process is actually very easy and there are several ways you can make these custom tarts. Anyone can follow these steps and make great melts, and by doing so you could be making some that are better than ones you could buy in a store. You can customize them to whatever shape, color or scent is perfect for you. So, if you want to do a fun art project, create a great product you will constantly use, and all while saving money at the same time, then this article is definitely for you.

What are Wax Tarts?

Shown above is what they most commonly look like when you buy them in stores. One package is called a bar and they come in as many scents as there are for candles. Nearly all major candle brands, like Yankee Candle, manufacture these wax melts. They are cut into squares and usually come in a 6-pack and they are all connected. You can simply break off one of them and place it on your wax melter. One small square can be expected to last you 8-10 hours give-or-take the manufacturer. So, you are looking at anywhere from about 48-60 hours per bar.

This is really good when you take into the price compared with a candle. A basic but decent quality candle may last your twice as long as a wax melt bar, but it will cost you around $30 at least, where a wax melt will be no more than $5. This is a huge difference as you can see, and the price difference can easily be even greater depending on the products. With wax melts, you do have to spend a little bit of extra money up front with buying a war warmer. But you could get a high-quality one for around 20 and if should last you years. That is definitely sustainable.

Besides just the bar format, another style that you may commonly see them in is shown above. These claim to have a fragrance of up to 8 hours and only cost $2 at the most. Although those are the most common shapes for these tarts, the possibilities are really endless. This is especially cool if you are making your own wax tarts, which I will explain how to easily do so in a minute. As long as you have a mold, you can make the wax whatever shape you want, which just adds to the creative process.


With all of these great benefits, I've talked about with wax melts, you may be wondering why people haven't completed ditched candles yet and switched exclusively to using these tarts. While I am a huge fan of wax tarts as I use them all the time, there are a couple of negatives to them. This is like any product, so I am in no way trying to delegitimize their effectiveness, I only want to point out features so you can decide if they are right for you or not. 

The first factor you have to think about when using these is that you will be using electricity, as opposed to the naturally burning with a flame. This isn't a huge cost as it may add a couple bucks to your electric bill, but nonetheless something to consider.

One annoying part about wax tarts is that it can sometimes be hard to judge whether they are done or not. This can lead to you prematurely throwing away wax, thinking that it is used up, or keeping it too long and not getting much fragrance. A candle is much easier to tell, as it burns down and you can see so visually. My advice on the wax tarts is to just dump out the liquid wax if you melt it and there is no scent. Then, replace it with another tart.

Finally, the scent is not as strong as a candle's and has a different aroma to it. If you are familiar with candles, you will definitely smell a difference. This isn't due to it being different wax or scents, it just has to do with the burning process. Some people actually prefer the wax melter smell better, it is really just a personal preference. 

I hope I didn't deter you from using or making wax melts, I just wanted you to be informed. I still like these products very much. Now I will get into how to make them yourself.

How to Make Them

If you have a wax melter already and want to make some great tarts yourself, read these steps. There is one main way to do this process which is the easiest and most popular. I'll outline that and with one with a slight variation.

Make Them Out of an Old Candle

I'm going to start out this process with a smart way to get everything out of your candles.You ever get to that point with a candle where the wick is essentially burned down but there is still some wax left in it? This can be very annoying and normally people just throw out the candle. You know that here at Chicago Candle Factory we are all about recycling and reusing, and this process is perfect for this. You will essentially be making wax melts out of the leftover wax in a candle. You could also do this with any candle even if you haven't started it. If you love the fragrance of a specific candle and want to make wax tarts out of it, read these steps. 

  1. Start by microwaving the candle just to soften it up. Note that many times there is a metal base in the candle, so it isn't very safe to microwave that. Microwave for 10-15 seconds, then cut out and remove the wick and any metal from it.
  2. Next, melt the wax in whatever process you want. Lucky for you, we already have an article on how to do that several ways here
  3. Once the wax is all melted, pour the wax into a mold for whatever shape you want them to be in. If you want the most basic and common one, check this out here. But by all means, you can use whatever one you want. As I already mentioned, the best part of making them yourself is that you can customize them to your liking. 
  4. Lastly, you wait. Let them harden, which should take about an hour. Once you find them to be solid, pop them out and you can start to use them right away.

Traditional Way

Now, the traditional way that most people do this isn't much different from the above methods, expect that you obviously buy your own wax and then melt it. The only other steps that I would add is that you can either buy pre-scented wax, or fragrance oil, which you can add right after you melt it. You can also add any color dye during that process if you want them to be a specific color. Finally, as we always do here, we recommend you always use soy wax for whatever candle project you are doing this ensures you will be using the highest quality and cleanest.


Wax melts or tarts are a perfect alternative to candles for freshening up any room. There are a variety of different kinds of wax melters with different designs and features and the melts themselves come in just as many fragrances as candles. They are safer than candles and provide a more consistent burn throughout them.

Although these wax melts are relatively inexpensive and can be found in abundance in most places, they are still fun and very easy to make. You can do this if you want to recycle some old recycled wax in a candle or if you find a scent you just really want tarts made out of. Whatever the case is, this article provided you with great methods and everything you need to know to ensure that this project turns out to be a success. I hope that you try one of the processes and have a great time doing it!

Have any other great tips on how to make wax melts? Leave a comment below sharing your experience with us!

Dustin Holta
Dustin Holta


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