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Making Beeswax Candles at Home
Learning how to make beeswax candles is fun and easy. There are many different styles of candles that can be made with beeswax. 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 beeswax candles, you are using beeswax in one of the most traditional ways.
Why make candles at home when you can buy them in the store? Well, there are several reasons for making your own beeswax candles.
A major benefit is avoiding those dangerous chemicals that may be lurking in that pretty store candle.
Besides, making beeswax candles is fun. Handmade candles are special. They will become a treasured item in your home and make great gifts too!
Is Beeswax Good for Making Candles?
Beeswax is a great natural wax for candle making. Produced by honey bees, beeswax candles 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. This helps make beeswax candles one of the most popular types of candles available!
Where to Buy Beeswax for Candles
Making candles will be more fun if you prepare and gather all needed materials before beginning.
Finding and possibly cleaning your beeswax is the first step. Also, it is a good idea to buy a little more wax that you expect to use.
This avoids not having enough to finish your project. Because beeswax color can vary a bit – it is best to have enough of the exact same shade.
Color of Beeswax Best for Candles?
Large companies bleach beeswax to provide a 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 beeswax- but it does affect the price you will pay.
If you do not like the color of dark wax, candle wax coloring pigments are available. They provide a fun way to make use of your off-color wax.
Cleaning Beeswax for Making Candles
You can use comb to make your own candles. Perhaps you are a beekeeper with extra wax and want to find a good use for the left over honeycomb.
If you buy wax from a beekeeper, you will need to clean the raw beeswax or render it to remove any dirt or trash. Commercially prepared wax has already been cleaned.
If you are a beekeeper with a continuous supply of wax or plan to make several projects-a wax melter is handy. You can make your own solar wax melter for just a few bucks.
Complete the process of cleaning your wax before you proceed to melting wax for candle pouring. These two things should be done at different times to avoid contamination of the clean beeswax.
Melting Beeswax for Candles
At What Temperature Does Beeswax Melt?
Getting your beeswax into liquid form for pouring into molds is easy. It melts at a relatively low temperature of 147 degrees F. The secret to melting beeswax is patience.
Using a Double Boiler to For Candle Making
While some people use a microwave to melt beeswax, I do not recommend it. Melting beeswax in a microwave can be dangerous resulting in injury or damage to your appliance.
The safest way to melt beeswax is by the use of a double boiler. A double boiler consists of 2 metal pans.
The larger pan holds water – a smaller pan nests inside holding the wax.
As the water heats below, it will melt the wax in the smaller pot. This is the most gentle and safe way to work with wax. However, it is slow so plan ahead.
Safety is an important part of the beeswax candle making process. For heavens sake don’t spill it, a fight with your significant other may be the result.
Melting Beeswax in a Crockpot
The use of a slow-cooker or crock pot is favored by some crafters for beeswax candle making. This process takes longer to melt the wax. However, it is less dangerous as the temperature builds up slowly.
Time required to melt your wax will depend on how much wax have and the ambient temperature of the room.
Once you use something to process beeswax, it becomes the beeswax pot. Looking for a used crock-pot at a thrift store may be worthwhile or you can purchase a low cost one online.
Using An Electric Beeswax Melter
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!!
Using the heated Presto Pot allows you to melt and pour wax. But, there is a great risk of fire when used improperly.
As with any wax process, this requires constant supervision! Do not leave it unattended.
Choosing Wicks for Beeswax Candles
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.
When making beeswax candles, improper wick size will result in a candle that won’t burn.
Most Common Wick Sizes for Beeswax Candles
These sizes are based on the diameter of your finished candle – how wide across they are.
- size 4/0 – is for a candle with a diameter less than 1″
- size 2/0 – is for candles 1″ – 3″ in diameter
- size #6 – is for candles larger than 3″ in diameter
If you do not choose the correct wick size for your beeswax candle making, you will have trouble.
Different Methods of Making Candles from Beeswax
One of the best things about working with beeswax is the versatility. Candles can be created in many different forms and styles using beeswax and a little wick.
Beeswax 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.
Making Rolled Beeswax Candles
These elegant candles are made from rolled sheets of beeswax. 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 beeswax foundation without wires can also be used for candles.
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!
Choosing Beeswax Candle Molds
The easiest way to create long burning beeswax candles is to use molds. This type of beeswax candle is solid throughout and this creates the longer burn time.
Using Silicone Molds for Beeswax Candles
This is the most popular way to create candles because it is virtually foolproof. There are many types and shapes of candle molds to try. This carved egg mold is very popular.
“Poured” or molded candles require more wax than rolled ones. But, this gives you a solid, long burning candle.
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.
How to Wick the Mold for Beeswax Candles
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.
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.
Steps for Using Beeswax Candle Molds
- clean your wax – or buy ready to use clean beeswax
- choose your wick size based on the diameter of the candle
- prepare your mold – if using one
- melt your beeswax
- pour into melted wax into mold and let cool
With your melted beeswax in a pouring pot or large Styrofoam cup, fill your prepared mold. Fill the mold to the top.
Once the wax has solidified and cooled, gently pull away the mold sides. Remove the finished candle from the mold. Success!
Your beeswax candle making project is complete. If you made a mistake, no worries. You can melt your beeswax and try again.
How to Use Natural Molds for Beeswax Candles
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 beeswax. Viola… you have a beautiful Egg Shaped Beeswax Candle.
For those of you who love collecting seashells, her is yet another neat candle mold idea. These DIY Beeswax Seashell Candle tealights are so much fun to make!
Making Beeswax Pillar Candles
Making beeswax 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 beeswax pillar candle is to use a custom mold for a bee supply. Always use the size wick that is recommended.
Beeswax requires a different wick size than other types of wax. If you fail your use the proper sized wick – designated for beeswax – your candle project will be a flop.
You can use glass canning jars or other heat resistant glass. You can even get extra creative and make beeswax candles with dried flowers for decoration.
Similar to a pillar candle in many ways, you can use containers such as small clay pots. These Beeswax Citronella Candle Pots are darling for any outdoor event.
DIY Hand Dipped Beeswax Candles
For a truly traditional candle making experience, you may want to try your hand at making dipped candles from beeswax.
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 and a wonderful way to create with beeswax. It takes some patience but you really can make hand dipped beeswax candles for yourself.
Using a Beeswax Blend for Candle Making
Normally, a beeswax candle burns clean and hot. In order to lower the melting temperature, some crafters like to blend another oil with the beeswax.
Consider experimenting with a mix of 50% beeswax 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?
Final Tips on Making Beeswax Candles
Beeswax is flammable and will catch fire when heated to the flash point.(400°) . Don’t let your beekeeping candle making project become a disaster.
Have dedicated pots for melting wax. While beeswax is a pleasant natural product, it can be difficult to remove from pots, pans and spoons.
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!