Yes, Making Your Own Beeswax Candles is Easy
Even for those of us who may feel “craft challenged”, candle making is a doable skill. Beeswax candle making is an activity that anyone can master. It is a practical skill dating back hundreds of years and we still love to do it today. With some simple supplies and safety precautions, beeswax candle making is easy to accomplish.
How to Make Beeswax Candles From Raw Beeswax
Yes, you can make your own beeswax candles. They will become a treasured item in your home and make great gifts too! All types of candles are popular. You can purchase candles made from a variety of materials. But, beeswax is the “Cadillac” of candles.
Beeswax candles are one of the most popular types of candles available. They are known for their long burn time, bright light and little drip. Some folks even call them honey candles! I enjoy the fact that pure beeswax candles smell great even when they are not lit!
Rolled Beeswax Candles
One method of beeswax candle making is to create candles made from rolled sheets of beeswax. Often purchased in a beeswax candle kit – you receive sheets of beeswax and the appropriate sized wick.
A sheet of beeswax is wrapped tightly around the wick producing beautiful wax candles. This is a fun activity that makes a great gift. The elegant candles are a favorite of decorators but they will burn up rather quickly.
The most popular method of making beeswax candles is by using molds. This will give you a solid long burning candle.
Gathering Your Materials
Making candles will be more fun if you prepare and gather your materials before beginning. It is frustrating to start a project “especially one that involves melting wax” and discover you are missing a needed item.
Locating a source for good clean beeswax, deciding on your choice of molds (if you use them) and understanding how to properly melt beeswax are all important parts of this activity.
Candle making is a great activity to do with a friend or family members. Not only are you using a raw product to create something useful, you are also keeping history alive.
People have been making candles from beeswax for thousands of years. There are many online resources too!
Are Beeswax Candles Safe?
Of course, care must be taken with any type of candle to prevent fire or burns. But natural beeswax burns very clean with no added pollutants in the air. Most of the candles that you might buy in a store contain noxious chemicals that you do not want to be breathing in.
Yes, they might smell like apple pie but what chemical was used to make that scent. In fact, some people learn how to make beeswax candles in an effort to clean the air in their home.
How Do Beeswax Candles Clean 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?
Where Do You Get Beeswax for Your Candles?
The first step in learning how to make beeswax candles is acquiring raw beeswax. Your local craft store may have beeswax for sale. However, be aware that commercially prepared wax has been ultra filtered and probably bleached.
You may find a small scale beekeeper with extra wax to sell. I sell small quantities in my Etsy store from time to time. Beeswax is not cheap- so beware of prices that may be too low to believe.
You want to buy pure beeswax only. It is not uncommon for some companies to sell beeswax blends. No problem with that, as long as, you know what you are buying.
If you buy commercial beeswax, it is already cleaned of any debris. If you buy raw beeswax from a beekeeper, you will need to clean or process the wax to remove any dirt or trash.
This is the least expensive way to obtain beeswax for your candles but you will have to do more work. Dirty wax will not burn well.
Just make sure to read the label carefully to ensure that you are getting 100% pure beeswax. You can order beeswax online from many sources and some of them are beekeepers.
Beeswax Blend Candles
A beeswax candle burns clean and hot. Some crafters like to blend another oil with the beeswax to lower the melting temperature just a bit. Of course you don’t want your candle to be too soft or it will burn away quickly.
This will produce a smoother burning candle that is nice for small containers. Most of the people that I know just want to sure 100% beeswax and thankfully we dont need a recipe for that.
Which Color of Beeswax Do You Need?
When beeswax is first made by the bees it is white. Very quickly the wax absorbs pigments from the nectar, pollen and propolis stored in the comb. Also, the constant motion of thousands of little feet affect the comb color.
The color of harvested beeswax will vary from light (almost white) to dark. Shades of yellow are the most common color of natural wax.
Large companies bleach beeswax to provide a beautiful white product. This is especially true for the cosmetic industry. Bleached wax is used in beeswax candle making too.
If you prefer a more natural look, choose wax in a shade of yellow. I use pure natural beeswax that is not bleached. Color does not signify the quality of the beeswax- but it does affect the price you will pay.
Inside the hive, new wax is white but it darkens over time. If you have dark wax that you want to use, candle wax coloring pigments are available. They provide a fun way to make use of your off-color wax.
Be wary of cheap beeswax from China and other countries. We do not know what regulations, if any, they follow. Wax absorbs many chemical compounds. Purchase beeswax from your local beekeeper or a US based company.
How to Melt Beeswax
At What Temperature Does Beeswax Melt?
Most of you will have a solid block or stick of beeswax. The next step in beeswax candle making is melting your beeswax.
Getting your beeswax into a liquid form is rather easy to do. It melts at a relatively low temperature of approximately 147° Fahrenheit. The secret to melting beeswax is patience. Trying to hurry the process is dangerous and may darken your beautiful beeswax.
Using a Double Boiler to Melt Beeswax
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. 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.
Keep the temperature setting on the lowest setting possible. This type of melter can be used for beeswax with care.****
The pouring valve allows removal of hot wax with less mess and waste. Because this piece of equipment is designed to reach very high temperatures – constant supervision and maintaining wax at a low melting temp is vital. Don’t try to rush things, keep the temperature setting as low as possible.
I have used one with great success for years. But, I am constantly aware of the risks and never leave it unattended – even for a minute.
Beeswax Candle Making Requires Constant Supervision
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. Don’t rush things. Beeswax heated to high temperatures will darken and loose its pleasant aroma. Patience and safety are the keys to liquefying beeswax.
Beeswax Candle Molds
Making beeswax candles with a mold is an easy way to get started in candles. Candle molds can be used over and over. After the wick has been installed in the mold it will be ready to fill with beeswax.
The beeswax is melted and then poured into molds. After allowing the wax to cool for several hours (overnight is best) you can remove the finished candle.
Crafters have several different types of candle molds to choose from. Plastic, metal and in recent year silicone or rubber molds are available. From simple classic shapes to novelty animals, you will have many to choose from.
I only use Silicone molds and recommend them. They are a bit more expensive but candles are easy to remove and with care they will last for years.
One good idea is to team up with a friend or another beekeeper and share your molds! This gives you access to twice as many designs.
Don’t Forget to Spray Your Candle Mold
I never pour beeswax candles without a can of Mold Release on hand. You may find it locally at a craft store or you can order it online. A can lasts for a long time if you are not making candles every day.
Silicone molds don’t require release spray. But, your beeswax candle making experience will be much better if you use it. Trust me.
Choosing Your 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.
A major consideration for beeswax candles is wick size. Beeswax candles burn brighter, cleaner and hotter than other types of candles. Because of this, they require a larger wick !!
If your wick size is not correct, your candle will not burn well.
The most common recommended wick sizes are based on the diameter of the beeswax candle. Size 4/0 is for a candle with less than 1″ diameter (usually rolled sheet candles). Size 2/0 is the most common size for candles measuring 1″-3″ in diameter. And, #6 wick for candles with a diameter of 3” and up.
This guide is different from other wick guides for non-beeswax candles. If you do not choose the correct wick size for your beeswax candle making, you will have trouble.
Wicking the Mold
Thread the wick through the bottom hole in your mold and pull it up through the larger opening. 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 will also want a few extra inches left on the wick end to allow pulling the finished candle out. Rubber bands are used to hold the split molds together. Spray the inside of your mold with mold release.
Pouring the Beeswax Candle
With your melted beeswax in a pouring pot or large Styrofoam cup, fill your prepared mold. Fill the mold to the top. Leave the filled mold to cool for several hours – overnight is best.
Remove Your Finished Beeswax Candle From The Mold
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.
Fun Beeswax Candle Molds to Use
A Surprise About Beeswax Candles
Your beeswax candles may develop bloom over time. This powdery residue is part of the natural beeswax process. Just wipe it off with a soft cloth.
Learning how to make beeswax candles is a lot of fun. It is easy to do and a great project for young and old alike. It can be a family project too. And you don’t have to stop at candles, beeswax can be used for many craft projects.
I often have some Beeswax Candles ready made in my Etsy Store.
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