How to Make Beeswax Candles

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Beeswax is an excellent choice for making traditional candles. Learning how to make beeswax candles is fun and easy. There are several different methods of candle making to try- suitable for the beginner or experienced crafter. Along the way, you will learn some expert tips to help ensure success with your projects.

Various types of beeswax candles that anyone can make image.

Creating hand made candles is one of the earliest known uses for beeswax. While some techniques are the same today as years ago – there are some new methods to try as well.

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.

A major benefit is avoiding those dangerous chemicals that may be lurking in that pretty store candle. Just because it smells nice, doesn’t mean that inhaling the fumes is good for you.

When you make your own candles or beeswax melts, you control the quality and purity of the ingredients. This means a more non-toxic product for your home.

Unleash your creativity and try several different methods of candle-making until you find your favorite.

Why is Beeswax a Good Choice?

Why use beeswax – what is the big deal. Actually, there are several benefits of using this natural wax.

Made by honey bees, it is a renewal resource. Excess wax can be harvested from the hive without harming the bees.

Some of the benefits of beeswax candles includes:

  • long burn time
  • little dripping
  • clean burning
  • and more

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Buying Beeswax for Candle Making

You can purchase wax from a local beekeeper, your local craft store or even buy wax online. It is a good idea to buy a little more than you expect to use. It never spoils- so no reason to not have some on hand.

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We have all seen those lovely white candles in the store. 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. 

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.

Color does not signify the quality of the beeswax-  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.

Preparing the Wax

If you buy wax from local beekeepers, you will need to clean or render raw beeswax. All raw wax contains bits of propolis, honey, dirt etc.

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.

Don’t skip this step. Clean wax is a requirement for nice burning beeswax candles. Otherwise the wick will clog and you will be disappointed. Commercially prepared wax should already be clean.

Many different shapes of beeswax candles made using molds image.

Ways to Melt Beeswax

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

  • 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. 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.  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).

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 do, 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.

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. The size required is different than that of other types of candles. If you do not choose the correct wick size for beeswax, 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

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.

Rolled beeswax christmas tree candles image

Rolled Beeswax Candles

Elegant candles can be made from rolled sheets of beeswax. They are a favorite of decorators because they look so elegant 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 (not lit of course!)

Molded Beeswax Candles

The easiest way to create long burning beeswax candles is to use molds. Because it is solid throughout, it has a much longer burn time.

Today, some of the best candle molds are made of silicone. They are more expensive but they are easier to use. And, a quality silicone mold will last for hundreds of pours.

“Poured” or molded candles require more wax than rolled ones. But, there is an almost unlimited variety of shapes and styles to use.

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 idea a try.

One idea is to use empty eggs shells 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 Pillar Candles

Making pillar candles with beeswax can be a bit tricky. Honestly, it is my least favorite method. It can be very difficult to select the proper wick size.

This is due to the high burning temperature of beeswax. The easiest and most fool proof way to create a beeswax pillar candle is to use a custom mold from a supply. And, always use the recommended wick size.

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 beeswax candles. They are very challenging.

Your first few batches will be a bit bumpy and natural looking. Don’t expect them to look like polished tapers from the store. This is a true art form.

Container Beeswax Candles

Create a unique look with glass jars (canning or mason jars) or other heat resistant glass to hold your candle. My beeswax candle recipe that blends beeswax and coconut oil 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.

And, a neat idea that promotes recycling is to gather old china 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 can cause a problem with small glass holders – they may become overheated.

In order to lower the melting temperature, crafters may blend in another oil or wax. 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.

Safety Precautions

Any item that makes use of an open flame requires some thought to safety. Always follow the proper safety rules to avoid burns and fire.

Never leave burning candles unattended. And, during your creative process of making your beeswax candles – take care to avoid fire by overheating wax or other materials.

FAQs

Can you make candles with 100% pure beeswax?

Yes, pure beeswax candles are some of the oldest types of candles in existence.

How many candles can I make with one pound of beeswax?

The number of candles you can make with a pound of beeswax depends on candle size (weight). With 1 pound – 16oz net weight of wax – you could make 4 small 4oz candles or 1 big 16oz candle.

Why are beeswax candles so expensive?

It requires a fair amount of time and effort for tiny bees to produce wax. Therefore beeswax is rather expensive to produce.

Final Thoughts

Making your own natural candles can be a lot of fun and there are many different ways to try! Rolled, dipped or containers, the possibilities are endless.

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

And, if you really need to avoid the flame but want to enjoy fragrance – try these scented bees wax melts, beautiful herbal wax sachets or soy wax tarts.

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

This post may contain affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.

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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. 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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