Candle tips and tricks, wick trimming

Candle Class: Our best tips and tricks

While there’s no wrong scent to burn — we see you B&B cucumber melon circa ‘99 — there is a right and a wrong way to burn, and make, a candle. We’ve put together some of our favorite tips and tricks to get the best, longest burn out of your candle.

Let’s start with making since that’s such an important part of the Siblings' candle experience.  

Choosing a vessel

This is one of the most fun parts of making a Siblings candle, in our humble opinion. It’s your chance to be creative and make something that feels unique and custom-designed for your interior style. The options are almost endless from quirky ceramics to beautiful glass vessels — we love vintage cut glass, or something made from recycled materials  to antique enamel, or simply reusing a vessel you love from another candle brand. We won’t tell, promise ;). Keep in mind, there are a few things to consider when choosing a vessel.

Vessel diameter

Our wicks are designed for vessels approximately 3 inches in diameter. This is one of the most important factors in the burn quality of your candle. If your vessel is much wider than 3 inches, it will likely start to tunnel (when the edges of the wax don’t melt) if using only one wick. We recommend making a multi-wick candle for vessels over 3.5 inches in diameter, or vessels that are oddly shaped. We sell extra wicks in the shop for exactly this purpose. If you’re in a pinch and need an extra wick holder too, a simple chopstick can work well. Pro-tip, save your wick holders from past orders.

Vessel durability

You’ll want to select a vessel that is durable, and can withstand heat well. When dealing with glass, the thickness of the walls of the vessel have a big impact on whether it can hold a candle or not. Would you feel comfortable pouring a hot cup of coffee in it? If not, it’s probably not suitable for a candle. Sturdy, sealed metal  like an old tea tin  can be a great option. Just remember a metal vessel may become hot to the touch when there’s melted wax in it.

These are a few key things to think about when selecting your vessel. Have fun, be creative, and be safe! If you don’t have anything handy, our Forever Vessels in Brass and Ceramic are made to last and sit nicely in any style home.

Lighting your candle

Seems straightforward, but how you light your candle can impact the burn quality.

Wick trimming

You’ve probably heard that you should be trimming your candle wicks…but why? Because it’s the best way to create a smoke free burn and prevent soot from forming around the rim of your vessel. Candle wicks should be trimmed to ¼” above the wax before each burn. A wick that’s lit when it’s too long or has that sooty ‘mushroom’ on top of it, will make a flame too big, creating smoke and soot. Dirty air aside, a big flame will also burn your candle down faster, reducing your overall hours of enjoyment. So do yourself a favor and pick up a wick trimmer to start burning better.

Burn time

Did you know wax has a memory? It remembers the first shape it takes, and like muscle memory, likes to make that same form over and over again. This is why the first burn is so crucial to the life and quality of your candle. On the first burn, make sure the wax melts all the way to the edge of your vessel. This can take a long time depending on the size of your vessel  usually about 1 hour per inch in diameter. Our pro-tip, if you’re lighting your candle for the first time, do so when you know you’re going to be home and attentive so you can let it burn as long as it needs to get that nice even top. Already have a candle with tunneling on top? It’s not a total loss. Simply scrape off the excess wax around the edges and next time you light it, let the entire top melt.

Wick centering

While the best time to get your wick properly centered is when you pour your candle. It is possible to adjust it if you need to after the candle has been made. Let your candle burn for a bit so the top of the wax is melted and transparent. If you see that the wick is leaning to one side or the other, and the candle isn’t burning evenly, use a knife or chopstick to reach down into the wax and nudge the wick back into the center. Make sure to extinguish the flame before doing any fiddling with the wick.

One way to avoid this situation is by not letting your candle burn too long. When a candle is left burning too long, too much of the wax becomes liquified and the wick can start to float to one side or another. We recommend burning no more than 3-4 hours at once, depending on the diameter of your vessel. 

Candle decorating tricks

We believe home is made in the details. Candles are a small product that can have a big impact on a space. And of course, we’re all for using them to decorate and add atmosphere throughout the home. Here are some of our go-to ways to spread good scents and good vibes.

Power in pairs

We love a good duo. A couple different candles sitting together on a coffee table or in the kitchen can be nice not only visually, but can offer a unique aromatherapy experience as well. Choose two scents that compliment each other, like something woody or earthy, with a floral forward fragrance to create a feeling like you’re in nature. We recommend pairing No 04 with No 08 or No 09 with No 02.

Candle trays

There’s no such thing as too many candles. But sometimes when you have a lot of them on display, it can start to feel a bit busy. Reign them in and create a more minimal, orderly aesthetic by placing your favorites together on a candle tray. Light one at a time, or a couple. Guests can have fun doing a little scent sampling too.


That’s a word, isn’t it? A few candles can take a table setting from basic to beautiful very easily. Play with different heights, like candle sticks in holders, together with tea lights and candles in various vessels. Mix in some greenery, soft linens and your favorite dishware and you’ve got yourself a dinner party. Just remember, scent free may be the way to go when food is involved. 

Simple and subtle

Sometimes less is more. A well placed candle in the bathroom, bedroom or home office can make a space feel considered and more welcoming. Bonus points if you match the perfect scent to the room. We love a citrusy scent — like No 07 or No 10 — in the office to keep up the energy levels. Soft florals in the bedroom to create calming vibes are always a good choice. You can’t go wrong with No 05 or No 03. A woody scent in the bathroom brings the outdoors in and can help open up what is often an enclosed space  No 04 is lovely. 


Tips and tricks takeaways

  • Choose a vessel that’s durable and has the right diameter – around 3 inches for a single wick candle.
  • Make a multi-wick candle for wider vessels to prevent tunneling.
  • Always trim your wick to ¼” before each lighting for the cleanest, most efficient burn.
  • Let your candle burn until the entire top surface is melted to the edge, especially on the first burn.
  • Get creative decorating with candles by pairing complementary scents, arranging a collection of candles on trays and in candlescapes.
  • Never underestimate the power of a candle to change a space.

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