DIYing our decor became one of the pandemic’s greatest hits. We crafted pocket-size pillows; painted desk chairs; and, naturally, made our own face masks. And while many lockdown-inspired trends have come and gone, our love of hands-on hobbies has stayed; the proof is on TikTok. Kristen Pumphrey, cofounder of the cult-favorite P.F. Candle Co., has recently gone viral with her supereasy candle-making tricks. It could be the nostalgic appeal of arts and crafts or maybe it’s just the ASMR—either way we can’t stop watching these how-to videos. 

With more than 1.5 million views, one of Pumphrey’s most-watched clips invites followers to make a beeswax-rolled candle with her. She starts by audibly cutting through an 8-by-16-inch piece of cornflower-blue wax that will ultimately become the taper’s form. With a braided wick in place at the edge of the sheet, she pinches the waxy material along the length of the twine and begins to roll until she’s left with a cool-colored column. She smooths the edge with her fingers, and just like that a candle takes shape in under 30 seconds. 

Among the several candle-making insights within Pumphrey and P.F. cofounder Thomas Neuberger’s recent book, At Home With Fragrance, she explains that the allure of this simple yet satisfying project is due to its accessibility. “All you need are sheets of wax and wicks—no pots, molds, or fragrance to mess with,” she shares. For beeswax tapers like these, Pumphrey suggests using a square-braided wick that curls while it burns, which can reduce carbon buildup. If the wax is cold or too stiff, use a blow-dryer to gently warm it up before getting started. And to keep your creations burning longer, she advises turning them as tight as possible to eliminate air pockets. If you’re trying to start a new habit of candlelit dinners, Pumphrey says “you can roll these in the time it takes to set the table.”


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