For many families, homemade beeswax Christmas ornaments are a holiday tradition. 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 DIY Beeswax Christmas ornaments.
How to Make Beeswax Christmas Ornaments with Cookie Molds
Beeswax is a natural wax that is made by worker honey bees. It is used by the bee colony to construct the combs inside the hive.
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Bees are not the only ones that enjoy using beeswax. We use wax in many commercial applications and for creating crafts at home. Hundreds of handmade items include beeswax as a ingredient.
A common product on many homesteads and farms, beeswax become popular in ornament making due to being so easy to work with.
Beeswax Ornaments Have Traditional Flair
One of the easiest traditional beeswax crafts is casting ornaments. And various things around the household have been used as molds.
In fact, anything that can stand up to the temperature of melted wax has probably become a wax mold at some time in 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.
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.
Casting ornaments 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.
Materials needed for Beeswax Ornaments
- clay cookie mold – I use Brown Bag Molds – others will work
- mold release or vegetable oil
- container to hold melted wax
- material to use for ornament hanger
Time needed: 1 hour.
Steps for casting a Christmas ornament using beeswax and a clay mold
- Melting beeswax
Beeswax is a wonderful substance to work with because of its 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Removed cooled ornament
After several hours, remove beeswax ornament from mold. If it sticks, place it in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
Beeswax Ornament Casting Tips
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.
This Santa clay mold is one of my favorites. It has a nice deep cavity that will yield a thick sturdy ornament.
Warming the Mold
Beeswax naturally contracts as it cools. Your beeswax Christmas ornament will be much nicer if your beeswax cools slowly.
Consider pre-warming your cookie mold before pouring the wax. A warm mold requires a little more time for the beeswax ornament to cool.
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.
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.
Be Patient With Your Ornament Project
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.
Final Thoughts on Making Beeswax Christmas Ornaments
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.
Now if you want to add a bit of a folk art look to your project, be sure to read about making Blackened Beeswax Christmas Ornaments.