DIY Fun Beeswax Christmas Ornaments
Have you ever made things with beeswax? If not, you are in for a treat. I really love working with beeswax. You can do so many cool things with this special product made by bees. People use raw beeswax for many purposes around the home. Lotions, potions, lip balm, soap – you will find hundreds of handmade items with beeswax as a ingredient. But, one of the easiest things you can do this time of year is making beeswax Christmas Ornaments using cookie molds!
This is a fun activity for young and old alike. It’s a great project to do as a family and involves few materials. With a few safety precautions, this is something that children can enjoy with supervision. Making beeswax Christmas ornaments with cookie molds can be finished in one afternoon. They are ready to hang on the tree after cooling for a few hours.
A Nod to History
Using beeswax for Christmas decorations is not a new trend. Beeswax Christmas ornaments were an old world tradition. It is believed that German bakers were the first to use tin cookie molds for beeswax ornaments. Now you can have a piece of history on your tree.
A mold – I use Brown Bag Molds® – but other clay cookie molds will work
Mold release (preferred) or vegetable oil
Container to melt the wax
Melting Beeswax for Your Beeswax Ornament
Beeswax is a wonderful substance to work with because of its low melting point. It melts at a temperature of about 147° F. We want to get the wax just hot enough to melt. It will discolor and turn dark if over heated. The flash point of beeswax is 400° F . We do not want a fire so proceed with caution – not fear!
I am not a big fan of heating beeswax in a microwave. However, if you choose to do so: use a glass container and heat at short intervals at low power. This will take a while. Do not leave unattended.
The safest way to melt beeswax is with the double boiler method. You have 2 pots. The larger pot holds water. A smaller pot (containing the beeswax) sits inside the pot with water. This process allows the wax to heat evenly and is considered a safer method.
Let’s Make Our Beeswax Christmas Ornament
Choose your clay cookie mold
I like to use Brown Bag Cookie molds. They are becoming harder to find but I love the tradition. Pampered Chef and a few other companies also make clay molds. The brand doesn’t matter as long as you choose a nice heavy duty mold. You may also find these mold in thrift stores, on Ebay and sometimes Amazon.
This Santa clay mold is one of my favorites. It has a nice deep cavity that will yield a thick sturdy ornament. Just in case, anyone happens to drop the ornament on the floor. (Oohh, who would do that? Thankfully, it survived.)
You want your mold to be sitting level on the table or counter where you are working. If it is not level, you will not be able to fill the mold full of wax without making a mess.
Prepare Your Clay Mold
It is important to use some type of mold release. This is especially true when you are using cookie molds with a lot of detail. Your beeswax ornament will pop out of the mold much easier when you use mold release.
If you do not want to use a spray, some people report good results using vegetable oil. The oil can be lightly brushed inside the mold and aids in wax release.
Should You Warm or Cool the Clay Mold?
You can use a clay mold that has been pre-warmed. A warm mold requires a little more time for the beeswax ornament to cool. But, I think the end results are better. Some people choose to use a cool mold. It is personal preference.
How will we get our mold warm?
There are 2 easy ways to warm your mold. (Do not wet your clay mold – we want it to be dry.) Wrap the mold in a warm towel for a while before use. Or, the easiest way for me, is to plan on pouring the ornament twice.
The first time I create my beeswax ornament, the wax will curl more as it pulls away from the clay. My second pour is always better. So, I spray mold release on the mold. Pour my beeswax into the mold and wait for it to set (cool) enough to cleanly pop it out of the mold. Now, I pour a second time for my finished ornament complete with hanger.
Prepare Your Hanger
You can use any type of hanger for your beeswax Christmas Ornament. Wire, cord or ribbons are just a few possibilities for hanger material. Choose your material and cut to a suitable length.
Pour Melted Wax Into the Mold
Pour melted beeswax into your prepared clay mold. You do not have to work fast but you want to pour the wax consistently. Don’t have a lot of stops and starts. Continue until the mold is full and almost to the point of running over. If you do have some run-over don’t worry, you can trim any excess off later.
The melted beeswax will start to cool and set right away. You will not this first along the edges of the mold. Then the surface will skim over. Let’s place our hanger quickly before the wax cools too much.
Insert Your Ornament Hanger
Bend the hanger into a U shape. Insert both ends into the melted wax. If the hanger material starts to float to the surface, use a toothpick or similar object to gently press the hanger back into the way. In a few seconds, you can let go and it should stay in place.
Cover & Cool Your Wax Ornament Mold
As the surface (back side) of your beeswax ornament cools, the wax surface will become wavy. Honestly, the slower the wax cools – the better it looks to me. My work room is cool this time of year. My clay mold is sitting on a towel. Once I have finished pouring and inserting the hanger, I cover the mold with a cardboard box and place a towel over all. My project is left to slowly cool for a couple of hours.
Be Patient With Your Ornament Project
When you are making beeswax Christmas ornaments with clay cookie molds, things progress fairly quickly. I can easily make 2 ornaments from the same mold in 1 day. But do not get into big of a hurry. If you try to remove the wax before it has cooled, it may stick to the mold. This can become very messy. You will have the best results if you allow the wax to harden slowly – give it time.
Your Christmas Ornament is Ready – You Did it!
Congratulations! You did it. Or rather, you can do it. It’s time to polish your ornament with a soft cloth and hang it on the tree.
Making beeswax Christmas ornaments is a lot of fun. If you make a mistake, remelt the wax and try again. You can add a drop or two of your favorite essential oil to the melted wax for fragrance. But, I prefer the sweet honey smell of pure beeswax for my ornaments.
Now, get out there and make something wonderful with beeswax.
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