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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.

Making Candles from Beeswax

Various types of beeswax candles that anyone can make image.

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?

Grated beeswax  for beeswax candles or crafts image.

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.

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 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?

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Many different shapes of beeswax candles made using molds image.

Ways to Melt Beeswax Include:

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

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.

Adding Scent

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!

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 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.
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.
5 from 2 votes

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. You can even use pencils to hold it.
    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. Gently stir.
    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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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.

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. 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. 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.

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.

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16 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. Beekeeper Charlotte says:

    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. Beekeeper Charlotte says:

    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. Beekeeper Charlotte says:

    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. Beekeeper Charlotte says:

    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. Beekeeper Charlotte says:

    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. Charlotte Anderson says:

    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. Charlotte Anderson says:

    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.

  15. I’m pouring beeswax tapers in silicone molds and the newest beeswax I ‘m using is resulting in small bubbles trapped within the candle. Should I bee pouring hotter or solder to avoid those interior bubbles?

  16. Charlotte Anderson says:

    My thought is that you may be pouring too fast. When I melt wax for tapers, I only melt it just enough to be liquid and then pour slowly but consistently until the mold if full. It would not hurt to gently tap the side of the mold a couple of times to help bubbles rise – before the top skims over.

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