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How to Make Blackened Beeswax Christmas Ornaments
Long before we were able to buy colorful glass balls to decorate our trees. Beeswax was used to create natural tree ornaments. Now you can make your own tradition blackened beeswax Christmas ornaments to use for the holidays and keep for years to come. Just another one of many amazing uses for beeswax.
History of Beeswax Ornaments for Decorating
The tradition of using beeswax for ornament making seems to have originated in Germany. German bakers were the first known to use tin cookie molds to create beeswax decorations. In colonial America this tradition continued.
Because beeswax is easy to melt and mold, other types of forms were used to create beeswax projects. Stoneware cookie molds were a favorite and they are still used today.
Making Blackened Beeswax Ornaments
In addition to the normal lovely appearance of beeswax, many crafters enjoy using paints, wax colorants and scents to make unique creations.
If you want a truly black wax project, using an artificial wax colorant is the most reliable method but it will not be a traditional folk-art craft.
Although, there are several ways to create blackened beeswax the most common is with ground cinnamon.
These directions will teach you how to create our own blackened beeswax ornaments using cinnamon and no other wax colorants.
Honestly, mine are more brown than black because of the type of cinnamon I choose to use. However, the process is exactly the same.
Beeswax Ornament Molds
Using clay cookie molds (such as the Brown Bag Molds – or similar) is one of the easiest ways to create beeswax Christmas ornaments.
Any size mold will work well and those with a deeper depth are easier to work with and will produce a sturdier ornament. You do need a mold not a cookie stamp.
Many crafter love using the old Brown Bag Cookie molds – as I am in this project. I found mine on Ebay.
Prepare your clay cookie molds (Brown Bag or other). They should be clean with no bits of dirt, dust, or debris inside the molds.
Melt beeswax using the double boiler method. You do not want the wax to be extremely hot – just heat it enough to turn the wax liquid.
- 3 clay or stoneware cookie molds (not cookie stamps)
- 8 ounces (net weight) of beeswax
- jute twine for hangers (3 pieces -6" long)
- mold release (or cooking spray)
- double boiler to melt wax
- small level
- Melt beeswax using the double boiler method. You do not want the wax to be extremely hot –just heat it enough to turn the wax liquid.
- Prepare your clay cookie molds (Brown Bag or other). They should be clean with no bits of dirt, dust, or debris inside the molds.
Generously spray each mold with a coating of mold release or cooking spray. This helps remove the finished ornament from the mold.
- Use a level to ensure that your molds are setting on a level surface. Use small craft sticks, etc to make sure the mold is level both ways. This helps prevent wax from pouring over the side while filling.
- Cut the jute twine (or whatever your hanger choice material) into 6” lengths. They can be any length but 6” inches works well for me.
- Slowly fill the cookie mold with melted wax, do not overfill. Only fill one ornament at a time.
As the wax cools in the mold, you will notice the wax pulling away from the edges. Once the
wax is completely set but still warm – remove the ornament from the mold and throw it back in the melting pot.
Seriously, this was a practice run. Now check that the mold is clean with no wax residue – spray again with mold release .
Why throw away the first ornament? This practice run warms the clay mold and
makes the second ornaments look better with less marring. (But you don’t have to
do a test run if you don’t want to.)
- For our second try, again slowly fill the mold with melted beeswax. Once the mold is full of
wax you are ready to add a hanger.
Take a hanger cord and push both ends down into the hot wax. Use a craft stick if necessary and hold the hanger under for just a few seconds.
- Within the next 15 – 20 minutes, the second pouring should cool enough to remove from the mold.
While the beeswax ornament is still warm – rub ground cinnamon on the beeswax surface on both sides. This gives the beeswax ornament a grubby, folk-art look.
*Some types of cinnamon are darker than others. I used Ceylon cinnamon because that’s what I
had on hand. If you chose a darker cinnamon, your ornaments will take on a more blackened appearance.
** Safety Alert - Beeswax is flammable if overheated. Also melt wax with constant supervision and take all precautions to prevent fire or burns.
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How to Use Beeswax Ornaments Without a Tree
Well not everyone has a tree to hang ornaments on but that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy them. Here are some ideas of how to use them even if you do not put up a tree.
- Use as part of a centerpiece for the table
- They can be used in lieu of regular place cards
- Special additions to a holiday wreath
- String a garland of ornaments across a window
Final Tips on Making Blackened Beeswax Ornaments
This is a great folk art craft to recreated natural decorations for your home. I prefer the natural color and scent of fresh beeswax. However, you can add any fragrance approved for candle use to your beeswax Christmas ornament.