Hand Dipped Beeswax Candles DIY
If the idea of being more self-sufficient appeals to you, consider making your own hand dipped beeswax candles. Not only is this a fun crafty thing to do, beeswax candles are great to use at home or give as gift. Candle making is one of the most popular beeswax uses and has been for many years.
History of Making Beeswax Tapers
Beeswax is a natural wax that is produced by honey bees. Worker bees consume honey and extrude wax from special glands on their body.
Wax production requires a lot of hard work by the colony. Beeswax is a valuable hive commodity.
And, it can be used for many other things in and around the home.
While we often associate hand dipped candles with “the good old days”, most pioneers would not be using them for every day.
These bright, clean burning candles would be used for special occasions.
Making your own dipped beeswax candles is a fun and educational activity. Once you have finished the project, you will have a better understanding of the time required to keep a homestead going.
Candle Dipping Equipment for DIY
First, you need to acquire enough beeswax for the job. Dipped beeswax candles require a larger supply of wax than other types.
When making beeswax candles with molds, you only need the amount wax needed to fill the mold.
Hand dipped candles require a vat of hot beeswax. Most of the wax can be used later for other types of wax projects.
However, you must have a larger quantity for dipped candles.
For your dipping vat, you can use any metal container. Candle pouring pots are available for purchase but a tall clean can will work well too.
A large green bean can works well. The larger dipping vat you choose – the more beeswax you will need. Try to select something that is tall and not very large in diameter.
Melting Beeswax Safely
When melting beeswax for handmade dipped beeswax candles, it is always safest to use the double boiler method.
This is a pot of water that has a smaller container holding wax inside. It is safer because it allows an even distribution of heat.
Beeswax is flammable. Use proper safety techniques to avoid over heating the beeswax. Use pot holders when handling hot wax containers. Be safe.
How to Prepare Wicks for Dipped Candles
I like to use a regular 2/0 cotton braided wick for beeswax tapers. It is easiest to make two candles at a time.
The wicks can be draped across a few fingers during dipping to keep the wicks apart. Or, you can use a popsicle/craft stick with 2 holes to hold the wicks apart.
A metal nut tied to the end of the wick will aid in keeping the wick straight as you make your candles.
Dipping the Candles
A candy thermometer is your friend when making dipped beeswax candles. Over heating beeswax can cause it to darken.
If the wax is not hot enough, your candles will be lumpy and bumpy. A thermometer helps you keep the wax in the proper temperature zone.
Heat the beeswax in your dipping vat to 160. As wax accumulates on your wick, the level of wax in the vat will drop.
It is good to have extra hot wax in another container. This will allows you to add warm wax to the dipping vat as needed.
Once your wick is prepared and the wax is at the correct temperature, you are ready to proceed.
Dip the wicks into the hot wax 3 times. A quick dip – remove, dip – remove, dip- remove. Then, set it aside to cool for a couple of minutes.
Repeat the process until your candles are as thick as you want them to be. This takes time and patience.
Once the dipping process is done, use scissors to cut off the base of each candle. The excess beeswax encasing the nut can be re used.
For a smoother base, you may dip the candles once more after cutting off the excess wick/wax/nut.
Making dipped candles is an art. Do not fret if your candles do not look perfect.
I am sure pioneer candle makers did not have perfect machine smooth tapers.
Enjoy the process of creating with beeswax and making a useful product for your home.
Now that you have all this extra beeswax left over – try creating some other beeswax crafts such as :