When it comes to packaging candles, we step into a world of possibilities, inspirations and magical crafts that can make our creation standing out. Packing a candle is part of the candle making process, whether you are a hobbyist candle maker and your final goal is to gift candles as Christmas presents or whether candle making is your side or main hustle. Let’s find out what is required to package a candle safely, cost-effectively and with style to create a unique experience for the customer or friend.
In general, most fragile types of candles (taper, pillar, and floating candles) have to be wrapped individually, first in wax paper then in a few layers of bubble wrap. Moreover, to prevent candles to move within the container, it’s necessary to fill it with foam, wood wool or packing peanuts.
It’s not a difficult task you will see, but a precise one. We want to empower the unpackaging experience of the customer without providing a bad surprise due to damage created by poor packaging.
In the sections below, we have extensively written a guide to package candles with style and to boost both your brand and your customer experience.
The Art of Packaging Candles
Homemade candle making comes with some side practices that aren’t so intrinsically bond to playing with wax, wicks and essential oils but are instead related to boxes, cards, tissues, foam and ribbons.
Packaging candles is an art for itself and can easily become a competitive advantage how you choose to package your candles not only for the obvious aesthetic outcome but maybe it could be cost-effective or empower the customer experience.
In a previous post, we showed how we allocate to packaging costs 10% of the customer-facing price for our candles. But imagine if you could come up with a “smarter” way to package your candles or even better create candles that are easier to package, and eventually reduce that 10% threshold: that would mean more margin or more affordable pricing for your customers – it’s a win-win situation!
The table below shows the most common candles that you can create from the comfort of your home, and along with packaging resources, you would be able to create exciting branded outcomes to sell or gift.
|Type of Candles||Packaging Resources||Branding Ideas|
|Taper Candles||wax paper, bubble wrap, box, fillers||colourful sheets|
|Pillar Candles||wax paper, bubble wrap, box, fillers||branded box & colourful fillers|
|Container Candles||box & fillers||branded labels & box|
Before approaching packaging is worth considering the type of candles you are going to create, and depending on that, you will need an appropriate amount of packaging resources to use to wrap them.
Packaging Taper & Pillar Candles
Taper and pillar candles are by far the most fragile candles you can create. They don’t have much external protection, except a slight ticker layer of wax – this makes it tricky to ship them or carry them around and makes them also very likely to break or crack if poorly packaged.
For the best packaging of these fragile candles, follow these steps for each candle:
- Wrap the candle in a layer of wax paper to protect it from dust and debris.
- Wrap the candle in a generous layer of bubble wrap to protect it from minor collisions.
- Put the wrapped candle in a cardboard box.
- Use foam, wood wool or packing peanuts to block the candle in the box by filling all the empty space around it.
Packaging Container Candles
The most common candles containers are glassware, metal & tin, and ceramic ones. The easiest to package are metal & tin containers, far more resistant than the others.
For packaging metal and tin candles, it is sufficient to put them in a box with some filler (foam, wood wool or packing peanuts) all around them to avoid them from moving into the box.
For ceramic and glass jars and bowls, instead, we would need several layers of bubble wrap. Here, again, we would wrap them individually and put them in a box with the usual fillers all around them.
5 Tips to Package a Candle with Style
We do our packaging of mainly container candles. We have come up with a priority checklist and process to make the packaging fun and smooth task.
Here below some tips to spice up a bit the packaging process and make it a bit more personal.
1. Constant Packaging Material Collection
Keep in mind packaging, constantly! What does it mean? We receive plenty of packages and small boxes with online shopping, Amazon and so on, and those deliveries come with material that we can recycle and reuse. For example, fillers such as foam and packing peanuts are something that you can easily collect every time you find them in a box.
This simple mindset shift will help you to reduce the costs of buying packaging material and will let you notice how others packaged the goods you purchased.
In this specific moment, when you are unpacking a box that is just arrived, you are the customer, and you can easily understand how the experience of the goods you bought start from that simple box.
We found plenty of inspirations from some packaging that we received. For example, some Neo-Banks send their cards within slick sliding boxes with few words and colours, genius!
By focusing the attention on packing, or the opposite, unpacking, you are going to notice how many boxes are so bad and how receiving cracked/broken items destroys the customer experience, right Maisons du Monde?! 🙁
2. Divide & Conquer
We made our beautiful candles, and we have to wrap them and place them in boxes to ship them to friends and customers. Before we start inefficiently, we should sort them out and divide the steps.
We use our living room bigger table:
- on a side, we place all the batch of candle we want to ship,
- in the middle, we prepare all the wrappers (wax sheets & bubble wrap) with transparent tape and scissor and a strip of stickers,
- on the other side the boxes and close by a basket full of fillers (wood wool and peanuts).
When we have all sorted out, we proceed from one side to the other with this rhythm:
- We add the stickers to our container candles with our logo and label of the scents we used
- We wrap them up in bubble wrap only if we have glass jars or terracotta pots
- We place them in the boxes, and in the same step, we take a handful of fillers and position them properly to make sure the candle won’t move.
- We close the boxes, and at the very bottom, we put some initials to remember which candle is where
3. A Personal Touch
The personal touch in candle making is a must, in every step, from the container, the essential oils you select or the composition of the candle wax itself. The packaging is another place where you can add your personal touch and make your brand resonate with the customer.
You could add a small note to each box, or instead of using standard fillers like foam or wood wool, you could be using perfumed potpourri instead.
The sky is the limit; well, maybe the box is the limit in this case! To come up with your personal touch, focus on what would be a nice “awww” moment that you would love to experience yourself.
4. Stickers for the Win
Stickers and adhesive labels will resolve many small issues and are extremely inexpensive to make. You can buy them online or even print them yourself.
With container candles, you can stick stickers for safety use and regulation simply at the bottom of the container, and you can use minimal labels to name the candle or to display its scent.
There are some stickers now that are also easily removable, a real lifesaver for not firm-hands!
5. An Essence of Your Choice
Imagine opening a box, and even before you touch the candle, you suddenly smell a light yet enjoyable fragrance.
It is as simple as it sounds (and smells). We love to sparkle on the box fillers between the candles and the box with some drops of essential oils, the same we used for that wrapped candle.
Our friends were blown away by such a simple thing, so we decided to do it for every candle package – to boost for a second or so the customer experience.
Candle Packaging: a Formula to Manage your Budget
We usually allocate 10% of the client-facing candle price to determine the budget we have for the packaging material of a specific batch of candles.
Our production is small: we usually create 50 to 100 “quite big” (200g/7.2oz) candles, and the client-facing price is around 20£ (28.30$). The 10% is 2£ (2.83$) this means that our usual budget for packaging varies from 100£ (141.50$) to 200£ (283$).
Having such a big cut per batch helps us to buy in stock, and we reuse them for other batches without running out of material. We also collect and keep a lot of fillers from our purchases, and we reused them in our packages if decent, of course!
Usually, we always end up spending way less than the allocated 10% and ends up having more margin when we sell our candles. The 10% it’s a good indication for the initial investments for early-stage candle makers that start without many materials.
Having an allocated budget for each batch lets you control your investment and understand when you can break even when you sell your candles.
If you are interested in knowing more about these financial tricks, percentages and numbers, you may like [this post with a detailed guide on the profitability of candle making as a side hustle](https://selkietraveller.com/is-candle-making-a-profitable-side-hustle-complete-guide/).
Literally, Wrap it Up and Make your Brand Stand Out
Packaging is part of your branding, it’s the very first touchpoint that customers have with your product, and their experience starts with its unpacking.
Focus on transforming your packaging into a brand business card. You can play with colourful boxes or minimal design driven by your brand vision.
You could use scented fillers to spark curiosity into your customers, or a pleasant handwritten card to thank them and make them bond to you.
Packaging is the medium in which you create a connection with your customers, and what we want, as candle makers, is to strengthen this connection and make these customers returning customers boost our retention metric.
Each candle could have a flavour, a shade, a special treat or a surprise. Find your special touch that would boost your brand. For example, we love to spend time scrolling Pinterest’s feed and see what people worldwide ideate!
Uniqueness lets your brand stand out, but it’s so important to look around you and be inspired, pick ideas like cherries and make them yours, without copying them but with your touch and sensibility.
It’s the beauty of candle making, creates from raw material soothing experiences that let you communicate and connect with others from different cultures and backgrounds!
Check out our Pinterest board about candle making packaging below to get some inspiration!