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How to Make Beeswax Candles

Learning how to make beeswax candles is fun and easy. There are many different styles of candles that can be made with this natural wax from bees. For most of them, if you mess up-you can easily try again. Consider trying several methods to find the one that you like best. By making your own candles, you are using participating in a traditional craft.

Various types of beeswax candles that anyone can make image.

Make Candles from Raw Beeswax

Why make candles at home when you can buy them in the store? Well, there are several reasons for making your own.

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A major benefit is avoiding those dangerous chemicals that may be lurking in that pretty store candle. Besides, making your own candles is fun and they make great gifts too! 

Why Choose Beeswax for Candles?

This natural wax is a renewal resource. Excess wax can be harvested from the hive without killing the bees. Beeswax is one of the most popular types of candles with good reason.

They are known for having a long burn time with very little dripping. They are also known to be clean burning with little soot or smoke.

Where to Buy Beeswax

Making candles will be more fun if you prepare and gather all needed materials before beginning. Also, it is a good idea to buy a little more wax that you expect to use.

Because wax color can vary a bit – it is best to have enough of the exact same shade. This is especially true if you are making pairs where you need each one to look the same. Your local craft store may have some or you can buy beeswax online.

Best Wax Color for Candles

We have all seen those lovely white candles. Large companies bleach beeswax to provide this beautiful white product. 

However, natural wax occurs in various shades of yellow to gold. If you prefer a more natural look, choose wax in a shade of yellow.  Color does not signify the quality of the wax-  but it does affect the price you will pay.

If you do not like the color of dark or yellow wax, candle wax coloring pigments are available. They provide a fun way to make use of your off-color wax.

Grated beeswax  for beeswax candles or crafts image.

Cleaning Beeswax

All raw wax may contain left over bits of propolis, honey, dirt etc. Having clean wax for candles is very important. Otherwise the wick may not burn well – don’t skip the cleaning step. 

If you buy wax from a beekeeper, you will need to clean or render it to remove any dirt or trash. Commercially prepared wax has already been cleaned.

Hobby beekeepers with a continuous supply of wax or those planning to make several projects might consider making a small wax melter. You can make your own solar wax melter for just a few bucks.

At What Temperature Does Beeswax Melt?

The highest pouring temperature will depend a bit on the type of mold you use. Some candle molds can withstand higher temperatures than others. But, why get your wax hotter than it has to be?

Beeswax melts at a relatively low temperature of 147° F. The secret to safe melting is patience – go slow and steady.

While some people use a microwave, I do not recommend it. This can be dangerous resulting in injury or damage to your appliance.

Many different shapes of beeswax candles made using molds image.

Ways to Melt Wax Include:

  • using a double boiler
  • melting in a crockpot
  • using an electric wax melter

The double boiler method is the safest option. Melting in a crockpot works well but is a slow process. And, of course, you want a pot that is dedicated to wax crafting.

Another method of melting beeswax is the use of a special melting pot made from a fryer with a spout.  This item can be ordered online or you can buy the components and make your own.

Though used by many, this pot was not designed for wax melting, use at your own risk. And with any wax process, provide constant supervision!  Do not leave it unattended.

Beeswax is flammable and will catch fire when heated to the flash point.(400°F) . Don’t let your beekeeping candle making project become a disaster. 

Candle Wick Selection

Wick choice is an important factor in making candles and especially beeswax candles.  I recommend all cotton braided wick. 

Do not buy the ones with a zinc core.  All cotton wicks burn cleaner and do not release caustic substances into the area. Improper wick size will result in a candle that won’t burn.

Most Common Wick Sizes

The wick size is based on the diameter of your finished candle – how wide across they are. If you do not choose the correct wick size, you will have trouble.

  • 4/0 – is for a candle with a diameter less than 1″
  • 2/0 – is for candles 1″ – 3″ in diameter
  • #6 – is for candles larger than 3″ in diameter
Various types of beeswax candles that anyone can make image.

Make a Beeswax Candle Tutorial

Charlotte Anderson @ Carolina Honeybees, LLC
Step by step directions to make beeswax candles using a mold. The important steps of of wax cleaning and wick selection apply to all methods of candle making.
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Tools

Supplies
  

  • 1 pound beeswax amt depends on the mold choice
  • 1 foot cotton candle wick size depends on mold size – 2/0 common
  • 1 can mold release spray (optional)
  • 2 pieces rubber bands
  • 1 piece popsicle/craft sticks

Instructions
 

  • Clean your wax or you will have problems later.
    Candles require clean beeswax in order to burn properly. Either buy clean wax ready to use or clean your raw wax
    Blocks of clean raw beeswax suitable for candle making image.
  • Wick choice. After choosing the proper wick size for beeswax, it is time to wick the mold.
    Thread the wick through the bottom hole in your mold and pull it up through the larger opening at the top.  This is where you will pour your wax.
    Be sure to pull extra wick so you can secure the end with a Popsicle stick and rubber band or wick tab.
    Silicone mold wicked to make a beeswax candle image.
  • Most silicone molds have a split down the side to make it easier to remove the finished candle.
    Use at least 2 strong rubber bands to secure your mold together.
    Be sure to pull extra wick so you can secure the end with a Popsicle stick and rubber band or wick tab.
    Rubber bands are used to hold the split molds together. Once the candle is set, you can remove the bands and remove your candle.
    I use mold release spray – even with my silicone molds. It just makes things easier. Spray the inside of your mold with mold release.
    Spraying mold release into a silicone beeswax candle mold image.
  • Safely melt your beeswax. Melt your wax using a safe method of your choice.
    Do not overheat, we want the wax to only become warm enough to liquify.
    Melting beeswax bars in double boiler image.
  • Pour into mold. With your melted beeswax in a pouring pot or large Styrofoam cup, fill your prepared mold. 
    Fill the mold to the top. Leave to cool.
    Pouring melted wax into molds to make beeswax candles image.
  • Remove candle from mold. Once the wax has solidified and cooled, remove any rubber bands and gently pull away the mold sides. 
    Do not pull on the wick – unless you are working with a taper or mold that requires it. Remove the finished candle from the mold. Success! 
    Removing finished beeswax candle from silicone mold image.
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Your candle making project is almost complete.  You want to trim the wick to about 1/4″ before using your creation. If you made a mistake, no worries.  You can re-melt your wax and try again.

Various Methods of Making Candles from Beeswax

One of the best things about working with this natural wax is the versatility. Candles can be created in many different forms and styles.

Candle Making Kits are Convenient

Using a beeswax candle making kit is a great way to get off to a fast start on your project. Prices for these candle making kits varies depending on the amount of material included.

The biggest advantage of using kits is that you will have all of the materials together in one purchase. This ensures that you can complete your project without having to reorder more materials.

However, you are restricted to the colors etc included in the box and the end product may cost a bit more.

Rolled Beeswax Candles

Elegant candles can be made from rolled sheets of wax. They are a favorite of decorators and come in many different colors.

Making these DIY- Rolled Beeswax Candles using sheets is so simple – even the kids can help. Regular wax foundation without wires can be used. However, the wax craft sheets intended for candle making are a bit thicker and roll up easily.

And…. if you want to create some special handmade holiday traditions, these Rolled Beeswax Christmas trees are just too cute. They can be very easy inexpensive gifts and you can even hang them on the tree!

Rolled beeswax christmas tree candles image

Use Candle Molds

The easiest way to create long burning beeswax candles is to use molds. This type of candle is solid throughout and this creates the longer burn time.

In recent times, some of the best beeswax candle molds are silicone . These molds are more expensive but they are easier to use. A quality silicone mold will last for hundreds of pours.

“Poured” or molded candles require more wax than rolled ones. But, this gives you a solid, long burning candle.

A decorative natural wax egg candle made from a mold image.

How to Use Natural Molds

Wait a minute, you want to make candles but don’t have any molds? Consider giving this unique candle craft a try.

Empty eggs shells are used as a mold. Add a bit of wick and pour in some melted wax. Viola… you have a beautiful Egg Shaped Beeswax Candle.

For those of you who love collecting seashells, here is yet another neat candle mold idea. These DIY Beeswax Seashell Candle tealights are so much fun to make!

Making Beeswax Pillar Candles

Making pillar candles can be a bit tricky. This is due to the high burning temperature of beeswax in relation to proper wick size.

The easiest and most fool proof way to create a pillar candle is to use a custom mold for a bee supply. Always use the size wick that is recommended. If you fail your use the proper sized wick – your candle project will be a flop.

free option for a crafting with beeswax book

Natural Hand Dipped Beeswax Candles

For a truly traditional candle making experience, you may want to try your hand at making dipped candles from beeswax. Keep in mind that hand dipped candles are very challenging. The new candle maker must have patience.

Your first few batches of candles will be a bit bumpy and natural looking. Don’t expect them to look like polished tapers from the store.

Candle dipping is a true art form. It takes some patience but you really can make hand dipped beeswax candles for yourself.

The opportunities are endless. You can do many create projects. Create a unique look use glass canning jars or other heat resistant glass to hold your candle. Beeswax candles made with dried flowers provide a very elegant look for home decoration.

Almost any heat resistant container can become a candle. Use small clay pots to create Beeswax Citronella Candle Pots. They are darling for any outdoor event.

Using a Wax Blend for Candle Making

Beeswax burns cleaner and hotter than some types of candle wax. This can cause a problem with some small glass candle holders – they may become overheated.

In order to lower the melting temperature, crafters blend in another oil.  Consider experimenting with a mix of 50% wax to 50% coconut oil (or palm oil). This will produce a smoother burning candle that is nice for small glass containers.

Are Beeswax Candles Safe?

Natural beeswax burns very clean with no added pollutants in the air.  In addition to not adding anything nasty to the air in your home, some people believe that burning beeswax cleans the air. 

When beeswax burns, it emits negative ions into the air. This is believed to reduce the amount of dander, dust and mold that is free floating through the air. 

Scientific studies do not agree on the exact way this works – or even if it does?  But it sure does sound good, right?

Cover your work space with newspaper or something similar to protect counter tops and floors from drips. Making your own beeswax candles can be a lot of fun and there are many different ways to try!

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14 Comments

  1. Joan LaFleur says:

    I am having trouble with wicks for my bees wax candles . They are not burning evenly? What would you suggest?

  2. I would make sure that my wick size is appropriate for the size of the candle. Beeswax burns hotter than other types and needs a larger wick. The other issue would be to be sure your wax is very clean. Impurities in beeswax will cause sputtering and uneven burn.

  3. Mary Ann Gundersen says:

    I have many old beeswax candles that I put on my Christmas tree and other decorative items. Is there a way I can clean them? They’re getting dirty. What should I use?

  4. First, I would try to polish them with soft cloth. If that doesnt work and they are 100% beeswax, you could wash the in mild soapy water.

  5. I am having trouble with my candles cracking. I am using small jam jars and a mix of beeseax and coconut oil. I cool them slowly in a warm oven but they still crack. Any suggestions?

  6. Cracking is not uncommon in poured beeswax candles unfortunately. Sounds like you do a good thing in cooling them slowly. I prefer pure beeswax (which is often too hot for glass) but I have friends who have had success with 75% Coconut Oil and 25% beeswax.

  7. Hello,

    Thank you for such an informative article.

    We are pouring beeswax into jar that is 14cm tall and 10 cm in diameter.

    I bought 2mm hemp wicks and we use 4 of them but the problem is they still drown in the wax.

    Do you have any recommendations on that?

    I havent found any larger wicks than 2mm. Very thick one like a rope is releasing too much smoke and is difficult to burn from the first time.

    Thank you!

    Kind regards,

    Anna

  8. Beeswax burns so hot that I am not sure it is the best choice for larger candles. Unless you must use pure wax, this is a time where a candle blend might be a good idea.

  9. Can you use wood wicks in beeswax candles? And you don’t recommend pouring beeswax into glass containers?

  10. I have some friends that have used wood wicks in beeswax with some success. It was trial and error to find the right size. Pouring beeswax into suitable glass containers can be ok. But , putting tealights or votives in small glass holders can be a problem.

  11. I have been using plastic molds for my tapered 100% beeswax tapered candles and they look great but they burn too quickly and drip a lot. I am using 100% organic braided cotton wicks (not pre waxed) 2mm in width and 1 mm thickness. What do I need to change? Thank you!

  12. Pure beeswax candles should not burn quickly or drip. Are you sure the wax is pure? Is so, the problem is definitely the wick. I would try another size.

  13. I am new to candle making. Is it necessary to prewax the cotton braided wicks for a beeswax container candle? I didn’t see any mention of it in your post. Thanks very much!

  14. Is it necessary? No, I have made them without doing so and it worked fine. However, doing it – does seems to increase my success rate so I always try to remember to do it.

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