How to Make Tallow Candles in 7 Easy Steps

You can easily make your own diy aromatherapy candles for aromatherapy, or just emergencies!

We usually order a full cow every 12-15 months, and when we do, we order “everything but the moo”. If I could figure out how to fix “moo”, I would get that as well.

several DIY tallow candles
several DIY tallow candles

The butchers are awesome enough to allow us to get all of the fat off the cow, turning into a years worth of tallow for frying, cooking, and soap making.

However, there are many other uses for tallow, especially for emergency situations.

During the storm seasons, in the Spring and in the Winter, we are likely to lose power. Not my favorite scenario, but one that I need to be prepared for. What if we lost power and didn’t have batteries in the flashlights, or we had lost them?

I got tired of buying batteries and having them go into remotes or other items, and the flashlights being used outside and left out in the rain by my kids.

I know, I know…but I had to make adjustments to reduce the stress of items being lost. I tried out some candles to see what I could do with them.

By making tallow candles, you are able to use up all the fat of the cow, the beef tallow, like our prairie dwelling ancestors did.

You can also add essential oils to the candles to make aromatherapy candles, or mosquito reducing candles. These particular homemade candles are in 1/2 pint jars. You can use old jelly jars, recycled jars, or mason jars.

The solid fat burns about 8-10 hour for each candle, making them a long lasting item in our storm preps. They are also rather romantic, as they give off a soft glow.

Making Tallow Candles Step by Step

To begin making your own scented tallow candles:

Step 1. First, render the fat down. You can use any animal fat with this, from beef tallow to deer tallow. Lard will also work to make these.

Step 2. Then, take your wicking and cut it about an inch taller than your desired candle holder.

Step 3. Wrap the wicking around a stainless steel straw or a pencil so the wick stays in the middle:

wrapping wick around metal straw
wrapping wick around metal straw

Step 4. Carefully filter the melted tallow to reduce as much sediment as possible:

filtering fat for DIY candle
filtering fat for DIY candle

Step 5. Pour the hot oil into the candle holder:

pouring oil into DIY candle container
pouring oil into DIY candle container

Step 6. As the oil begins to cool, you can add essential oils to it as desired.

You want to add the essential oils to the cooling tallow oil and stir gently to mix them in. Essential oils are highly volatile and can burn quickly or start a huge fire if they are not stirred in well.

Step 7. Allow the tallow to cool completely, and cut the wick about 1 inch above the tallow.

Scented Tallow Candles with Essential Oils

Bug off candle:

  • 25 drops lemon citronella
  • 25 drops mandarin orange oils

For a soothing aromatherapy candle

  • 25 drops of lavender
  • 25 drops of bergamot

For a memory boosting candle

  • 25 drops of rosemary
  • 25 drops of cedarwood
  • 10 drops lemon

Enjoy Your Scented Candles!

They store nicely on a shelf, and I haven’t had any melt in the summer heat just on the shelf or get moldy. If you are concerned that they may get moldy, you can store them in the fridge or freezer.

Have you ever made tallow candles before? Will you try these? Be sure to pin this for later!

tallow candles pin

23 thoughts on “How to Make Tallow Candles in 7 Easy Steps”

  1. I’ve always wondered about this…I wonder if they’d burn longer with something like beeswax added in? Quite nice!

  2. Awesome! I just rendered a bunch of deer tallow last week, and was thinking about trying candle making with it too. 🙂

  3. What a great post! I had no idea what “tallow” was, but I’ve made candles from various fats in the past! I love the way you use everything but the moo! lol

  4. I do this also – but add about 10 drops of lemon essential oil in bottom of candle jar prior to pouring in the tallow — I like the smell!

  5. Stephanie @ Naturally Mindful

    I’m so excited about farmers market season to be open soon because I’ll be able to get tallow so I can make candles, this is so cool!

  6. This is AWESOME! I always have “leftover” tallow when I make my beauty cream… totally making these next time too! I think I’ll try adding some essential oils to enhance the experience 🙂 Thanks for the great tutorial!

  7. Tried this last week . Added a few different essential oils and they seem to have held the scent just fine. Haven’t tried burning them yet they have stayed soft about as solid as crisco or lard , shouldn’t they be harder. Did I miss some step ? Thanks

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