DIY Beeswax Christmas Ornaments

Pinterest Hidden Image

If the warm nostalgia of holiday traditions hold a special place in your heart, this project is for you. Most of us have a special Christmas ornament that we remember hanging on the tree. Some of these creations can last for years with proper care. Make a new tradition for your family with these DIY Beeswax Christmas ornaments. The process for making them is “old as time”. But it still works wonderfully.

Handmade Christmas tree ornament made from beeswax using a clay cookie mold image.

Why use beeswax? A natural wax made by bees, beeswax uses number in the thousands in and around our homes. It is a special substance, not just because of its origin but because of the role it has played in human lives over thousands of years.

Wax Christmas Ornaments

Using beeswax for Christmas decorations is not a new trend. Wax ornaments were an old world tradition. Used for many types of decorating, they could be found on or off a Christmas tree.

Beeswax became popular in ornament making due to being so easy to work with. Also, it was something that most farms either had on hand or could easily acquire.

Traditional Beeswax Ornament Molds

One popular method of creating wax Christmas ornaments was the use of cookie molds. They were often made of tin or clay.

It is believed that German bakers were the first to use tin cookie molds for beeswax ornaments. I feel sorry for those fellows trying to get wax out of a tin mold without release spray. But, they did it.

Clay molds were also used and I am sure they were easier to work with. Today, the tradition continues with many crafter using clay molds for beeswax creations.

Vintage Brown Bag molds are a favorite but any brand works well. In fact, anything that can stand up to the temperature of melted wax (170°F) has probably become a wax mold at some time in history. Now you can have a piece of history on your tree.

Materials

Only a few items are needed to complete your project.

  • beeswax
  • clay cookie mold – I use Brown Bag Molds – others will work
  • mold release or vegetable oil
  • material to use for ornament hanger

Beeswax

It only takes a small amount of beeswax to make a Christmas ornament. How much? Well, it depends on the size of your mold. Better to have a little extra than not enough. You can save any leftovers and use it to make other small beeswax gifts.

It doesn’t matter if you use raw wax, bars or beeswax pellets. The color of beeswax doesn’t really matter either but be aware that without added colorant – your ornament will be the color of the wax.

Do choose clean wax. If you use raw material from your hives or a local beekeeper, be sure to clean the beeswax before using it for craft projects.

Clay Molds

This project is made using Brown Bag Molds. They are becoming harder to find but I love the tradition. Pampered Chef and a few other companies also make clay molds.

Choose carefully, you want a mold that is deeper enough to create a sturdy wax piece without a lot of shallow, small pieces around the edges.

Mold Release

I use mold release because it feels less greasy than regular oil. However, either one will help get the wax out of your mold at the right time.

Hanger Material

For the ornament hanger, you have several choices. Jute or similar cord is a popular choice because of the traditional look. However, a small piece of wire works too. This is your choice.

Four step instructions for making beeswax ornaments using cookie molds.

Instructions

1. Melt your beeswax in a small double boiler (or similar). While it is melting, spray the cookie mold with mold release. We also want the mold to be warm if possible.

2. Lay mold on flat level surface. When enough wax is melted, fill the mold. Try to avoid over-filling. Leave the casting to cool enough that you see the edges pulling away from the mold and the surface is completely skimmed over.

Now dump it out. You can use the wax for another pouring. This process was just to make sure the interior of the mold was warm. You can skip this step – but do so at your own peril.

3. While the mold is still warm. Fill with melted beeswax again. Let it cool for just a minute. Before the surface cools enough to skim over. Insert a folded piece of cord to serve as a hanger. You may need to hold the cord under the wax surface with a toothpick or similar for a few seconds.

4. Let the beeswax ornament cool completely. Then it should come out of the mold easily. Ready to clean and use.

Expert Tips

Use a warm mold. Consider pre-warming your cookie mold before pouring the wax. 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. Let the heat transfer from the towel to the clay. Or, the easiest way for me is to plan on pouring the ornament twice.

The first time I pour my beeswax ornament, the wax will curl as it cools. The edges pull away from the clay mold. My second pour is always better.

Cool slowly. Beeswax naturally contracts as it cools. Your DIY beeswax Christmas ornament will be much nicer if your beeswax cools slowly.

This helps prevent wrinkles on the back. If the room is a bit cool, place a small cardboard box over your casting as it cools to hold in a bit of heat.

Wise mold choices. This Santa clay mold is one of my favorites. It has a nice deep cavity that will yield a thick sturdy ornament. My Christmas tree mold is a pain because it is really to thin to be sturdy.

Aa brown bag cookie mold used for beeswax ornaments image.

Be patient. When you are making beeswax Christmas ornaments with clay cookie molds, things progress fairly quickly. You can easily make 2 ornaments from the same mold in 1 day. But do not get into 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.

Storing Handmade Wax Ornaments

Congratulations! You did it. Or rather, you can do it. Once the wax is completely cooled, it’s time to polish it with a soft cloth and hang it on the tree.

Beeswax melts at a temperature of about 147°F but it will bend at lower temperatures. After Christmas, wrap your ornaments in white tissue paper and store in a box in the closet – not in your attic!

Making beeswax Christmas ornaments is a lot of fun. If you make a mistake, remelt the wax and try again. No pressure or fear or total failure.

More Ideas

Now if you want to add even more of a folk art look to your project, be sure to read about making Blackened Beeswax Christmas Ornaments. It gives them a unique look but can be a bit tricky

Special projects such as these beeswax luminaries add a special touch to any occasion. You will be amazed at how easy they are to make.

Crafting with beeswax is so much fun! Enjoy making rolled candles with beeswax that are so elegant. Or, take a walk on the wild side with these cute Christmas tree candles made from the same kind of sheets.

A Final Word

One of the easiest traditional beeswax crafts is casting ornaments. Use your imagination can to explore many things around the household to serve as molds to keep this tradition alive.

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.

And honestly, there is no harm in buying some flashy bee-themed Christmas ornaments either. They offer color and flash that is hard to make in natural items.

Handmade Christmas tree ornament made from beeswax using a clay cookie mold image.

Beeswax Christmas Ornament Tutorial

Charlotte Anderson @ Carolina Honeybees, LLC
Use clay cookie molds and melted beeswax to create these traditional wax Christmas ornaments. An easy project to complete in one afternoon.
5 from 1 vote

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

Read my Disclosure.

Tools

Supplies
 

  • 1/2 pound beeswax (or enough for number of ornaments)
  • 12 inches jute twine for hangers (twine, ribbon or wire)
  • 1 can Mold Release Spray

Instructions
 

  • Melting Beeswax:
    Beeswax has a low melting point 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. This process allows the wax to heat evenly and is considered a safer method. 
    Melting bees wax for christmas ornament in double boiler image.
  • Prepare Your Mold:
    Place the mold on a table or counter. Don’t forget to protect the counter surface against spills.
    You want the mold to sit level. If it is not level, you will not be able to fill the mold full of wax without making a mess.
    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.
    If you do not want to use a spray, some people report good results using vegetable oil. Lightly brush the inside of the mold. Just a thin coat is enough.
    Clay cookie mold sprayed with mold release for wax christmas ornament image.
  • Prepare Ornament 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. You want enough length to push some down into the wax and still have enough to hang.
    Ornament mold with hanger material image.
  • Pour Melted Wax in 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 notice 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.
    Clay mold with melted beeswax image.
  • Insert 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 wax.
    In a few seconds, you can let go and it should stay in place.
    Illustration of insert hanger material into hot beeswax image.
  • Cover and Cool
    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.
    Covered beeswax ornament in mold image.
  • Remove Cooled Ornament
    After several hours, remove beeswax ornament from mold. If it sticks, place it in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
    Santa ornament made from beeswax image.

Notes

** Take care when melting beeswax and do so safely.  Do not over heat.
Learn more about bees and using products from the hive!Join me on Pinterest – @carolinahoneyb

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

2 Comments

  1. My first ornament was ok but when I repeated the process the entire thing stuck inside the mold. How the heck to clean other than HOT water.

  2. Charlotte Anderson says:

    Did you spray the mold with mold release? And leave it in until it was pretty well set? Sometimes, I find that I need to use more spray than others. I don’t know if it is due to the difference in the wax, temperature or what. The best way to clean stuck wax out of the mold is to use a hot water bath and let the melted beeswax float up. You can use a hair dryer to melt and allow the wax to drip off but be careful to avoid burning yourself.