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.
Making Candles from 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 Beeswax for Candles?
This natural wax is a renewal resource. Excess wax can be harvested from the hive without killing the bees. So, it 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. Some sources claim they even help clean the air?
Where to Buy Beeswax
Making candles will be more fun if you prepare and gather all needed materials and ingredients before beginning. Also, it is a good idea to buy a little more wax that you expect to use. Sometimes the project takes more than we expect. It never spoils so no reason to not have some on hand.
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 wax online.
Best Wax Color
We have all seen those lovely white candles. Large companies use bleach to provide this beautiful white beeswax product.
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.
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 local beekeepers, 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?
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.
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?
Ways to Melt Beeswax Include:
- using a double boiler
- melting in a crockpot
- using an electric wax melter
The double boiler method is the safest option to melt beeswax. With the heat on medium, slowly turn your wax into liquid form. And, of course, you want a pot that is dedicated to wax crafting. Melting in a crockpot works well but is a slow process.
Another method of melting wax 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. As 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 candle making project become a disaster.
We are including microwave in this list because I know many people use the microwave to melt small quantities of wax. I do not recommend it. If you choose to do so, heat in small bursts and stay right with it.
Raw beeswax has a clean natural smell that many crafters prefer. However, if you want to add scent to your candles it is easy to do. Purchased candle fragrance oils or regular essential oils can be added.
The process is similar to these scented wax tarts. Essential oils are also used in these herbal wax sachets.
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 or toxins into the room. Improper wick size will result in a candle that won’t burn.
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
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.
Methods of Making Homemade Beeswax Candles
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 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. If you are a beekeeper, 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 Beeswax Christmas trees are just too cute. They are very easy inexpensive gifts and you can even hang them on the tree!
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 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.
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 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 from a bee supply. Always use the size wick that is recommended. If you fail to use the proper sized wick – your candle project will be a flop.
Natural Hand Dipped Beeswax Candles
For a truly traditional candle making experience, you may want to try your hand at making dipped candles. 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.
Glass Jars and Small Candle Containers
You can do many creative projects with wax. Create a unique look with glass jars (canning or mason jars) or other heat resistant glass to hold your candle. This tutorial for a DIY beeswax candle in a jar is super easy.
Tins of various sizes work too. 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 Citronella Candle Pots. They are darling for any outdoor event.
A wonderful idea that promotes recycling is to gather old cups from the local thrift stores and repurpose them into tea cup candles.
Using a Wax Blend
Beeswax burns cleaner and hotter than some types of wax. This is one of the main benefits of beeswax candles. But, this can cause a problem with some small glass candle holders – they may become overheated.
In order to lower the melting temperature, crafters may 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. Soy wax is another possibility to combine.
Are Beeswax Candles Safe?
Natural beeswax burns very clean with no added pollutants or carcinogens 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? Either way, natural wax is a good alternative to paraffin candles and produce better indoor air quality.
Making DIY beeswax candles can be a lot of fun and there are many different ways to try! Rolled, dipped, poured or molded – the possibilities are endless. And, if you really need to avoid the flame but want to enjoy fragrance – try these scented beeswax melts.
Make a Beeswax Candle Tutorial
- silicone candle mold – your choice
- wax pouring pot
- 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
- 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
- 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. You can even use pencils to hold it.
- 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.
- 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. Gently stir.
- 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.
- 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!