How to Make
Beeswax Candles

3 Beeswax CandlesBeeswax makes a wonderful candle. People have always valued its lovely appearance, light scent and clean burning characteristics. The only real drawback has been its expense. If you can afford it, here’s how to make beeswax candles.

 

There are basically three methods. One uses sheet of beeswax and the other to use melted beeswax. We’ll consider all three.

How to Make Beeswax Candles Using the Cold Rolled Method

Although firmer than soy candle wax, beeswax is still a fairly soft wax. In a thin sheet, it remains pliable at room temperature. This fact allows for some very simple candle making. Since there’s no hot, melted wax involved, this is a good craft project for children. Imagine how much fun they can have making candles to decorate the family’s holiday table or as gifts for Mom, Dad or their grandparents.

This method uses sheets of beeswax intended specifically to make candles in this fashion. The sheets are typically 10 to 12" x 14 to 16 inches in size.

They’re available in different colors, but my usual preference with beeswax is undyed – I just like the natural color. Obviously this is a personal preference.

Other than the beeswax sheets all you need to make a candle is a wick. To make a candle, use a sheet of wax as wide as you want the candle to be tall. Lay it on a clean, flat surface with the “width” edge toward you.

Cut the wick about 2 inches longer that the candle will be tall. Place it along the edge of the wax closest to you and gently press it into the wax.

Now, slowly roll the sheet up around the wick. Go slowly and try to avoid trapping any air between the layers.

You can use the whole sheet, or trim the excess when the candle is as thick as you would like it. If you want a thicker candle, simply roll on another sheet.

When you finish rolling the candle, gently press the edge of the sheet of wax to seal the seam. Pick one end to be the bottom. Trim direct flush at that end and leave it about a half-inch long at the other.


Tips

  • When you're rolling the wax go slowly, especially at first. Apply gentle, even pressure along the length of the candle. It's easy to distort the candle if you try to go too quickly. After you've made several you'll develop the knack , but at first slow and easy does it.
  • As you cool the candle, also pay attention to the ends. You want to roll the candle so there is flat as possible.
  • If the bees wax seems stiff or is difficult to roll you can use a hair dryer on low setting to soften it. Don’t overdo this!

If you want to give this method a try (and I recommend that you do - it's good fun and a great introduction to candle making) here's a link where you can get a complete kit:

Beeswax Candle Making Kit

 

Making Beeswax Candles
Using Molds

Here's how to make beeswax candles using molds, which is a more traditional method.

Using a double boiler, melt the beeswax to about 170°.

You can use molds to make tapered candles or pillars. The molds need to be clean and dry. I also think it's a good idea to use a releasing spray.

Each mold will have a slightly different way of fixing the wick in the bottom. Commonly they'll be a whole and a loosely fitting screw that will hold the wick in place.

I usually prefer the natural color and scent of beeswax, but sometimes you may want to color the candles or add some fragrant oil. Color should be added as the wax is approaching the desired temperature. Follow the manufacturer's instructions. If you have any question, ere on the side of putting in too little. You can always add more, but you can't take it out.

If you want to add fragrance, remove the wax from the heat and add the essential oil just before you pour the wax into the molds. As a general rule of thumb, you shouldn't use more than 1 ounce of oil per pound of wax.

Slowly pour the wax into the prepared molds, gently tapping the outside of the mold to release any trapped air.

Allow the molds to cool slowly at normal room temperature. If you try to speed the process by putting the mold in a cool environment or your refrigerator, the candles may develop cracks.

However, if you're having trouble releasing the candles from the molds after day have hardened and cooled to room temperature it will sometimes help if you put them in the refrigerator or freezer for 10 minutes or so.

How to Make Beeswax Candles Using the Dipping Method

The dipping is one of the older forms of making candles. It requires very little equipment, but as you'll see it's a rather slow process.

As the name implies, the essence of the method is dipping the wick repeatedly in the melted beeswax. The height of the candle will therefore depend on how deep the container holding melted wax is.

To begin, melt wax in double boiler, taking care to keep it at less than 170°.

You'll dip two candles at once. To do this, cut a piece of wick twice as long as the candles will be high, plus 6 or 8 inches. Drape the midpoint of the wick over a dowel (an old piece of broomstick will do) and you're ready to begin.

Dip the wick in the melted wax, then lift it out. The first few times the wick may be a little floppy. You may want to wait a little longer than usual before dipping again to allow it to cool and stiffen more.

You'll build up the thickness of the candle by repeatedly dipping the wicks into the wax. You need to pay attention to the timing. You want to let the wax harden somewhat between dips but if you wait too long it will take seemingly forever to make a candle.

Also, you don't want to leave the candle in the wax too long or it will melt rather than pick up another layer.

With a little trial and error, you'll soon get a sense of the proper timing. And you'll also develop a respect for those householders who lit their homes entirely with candles they dipped by hand.

Once the candles have reached the thickness that you want, hang them someplace out of the way to harden completely.

When I'm dipping candles, I usually use a short dowel for the dipping process and I have a longer one that I support between two chair backs to hold the finished candles.

Although beeswax is a bit of a luxury item, I encourage you to try making your own beeswax candles. They have distinctive characteristics that I'm sure you'll love.

Keep the candles burning...


Learn to make beautiful candles at home. Check out:


Candle Making Made Easy
Home Candle Making Made Easy

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Beeswax Candle Making Kits

If you'd like to look at some complete kits to let you make beeswax candles using the sheet rolling method I described above click on the links below.

Each kit will let you make about 20 beeswax candles. Naturally this depends on the size candle you choose to make.

This is a great beginner project for anyone, and it's an especially fun family project to do with kids. Since there's no melted wax involved, it's perfectly safe.

This kit includes naturally colored sheets of beeswax:

Naturally Colored
Beeswax Candle Making Kit

naturally colored beeswax

This kit has the same high-quality beeswax in pastel colors:

 Pastel Colored
Beeswax Candle Making Kit

 pastel colored beeswax

If you like bright colors, this kit is for you:

Brightly Colored
Beeswax Candle Making Kit

brightly colored beeswax