How to Make Havdalah Candles

Two weeks ago, Betsy and one of the Beth El students were learning about havdalah and its blessings, so we decided to make havdalah candles.

At-home Service for  Havdalah

After several epic failures involving a toaster oven, hot wax and cigarette lighters, we were finally able to make several four-braid and four-twist havdallah candles.  To save other people from having to repeat our finger pains and mistakes, we decided to publish a simple how-to guide.

How to Make Havdalah Candles without Burning Down Your Kitchen

  • Assemble all materials:
    • a box of chanukah candles (including extras in case you make mistakes)
    • a source of boiling water
    • a disposable bowl
    • paper towels
    • matches or a lighter
    • a disposable fork
  • Boil water.
  • Select three or four candles of complementary colors and place them in the bowl.  Three is a more manageable number for braiding, but you can twist with two, three or four candles. Decide whether to braid or twist.
  • Pour boiling water on top of the candles and allow to sit for 30-60 seconds.
  • When the candles appear soft and flexible, use the fork to remove them from the water.
  • If you twist, begin at the bottom.  If you braid, use your favorite challah-baking method.  Now the chanukah candles are very fragile and may fall apart.  They may have trouble sticking together. This can be remedied by following the next step.
  • Take another candle of the same color as one of the candles in your new havdallah candle.  Light this non-melted candle and allow the wax to drip between the candles in order to ensure that the candles stay together.  You may need to repeat this step several times, as the candles have an annoying tendency to come apart.

  • Let the candles cool and dry on the paper towel.  Do not touch them for at least ten minutes.
  • This will make a kosher havdalah candle with multiple wicks.