Handmade rolled beeswax candles look so elegant and expensive. However, they are actually very easy to make. This is a great beeswax project that can involve everyone in the family. In fact, creating candles is one of the most popular ways to use beeswax. This project is perfect for decoration – but you can really use them too. Let’s learn how to make rolled beeswax candles.
Hand Rolled Beeswax Candles
This type of beeswax candle is made by rolling sheets of wax around a wick of the proper size. You can use them as candles but they do not burn as long as a solid poured candle.
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This is due to the fact that they don’t have as much wax to burn. But, they are very decorative and often made for their style and beauty more so than function.
There are many ways to make candles with beeswax. That is one reason it is such a fun material to work with.
Decorated with ribbon, lace, burlap etc, they are often used as stand alone gifts. And, they make a nice addition to any gift basket.
Beeswax Sheets for Rolling Candles
What kind of beeswax sheets must you buy to make them? Actually you have several choices when choosing sheets of beeswax.
You can purchase special beeswax sheets intended for making hand rolled candles. The process will go smoother if you use them because they are a bit thicker than other beeswax sheets.
Also, they come in so many pretty colors that it is easy to match your home décor or that of the someone special you plan to give them too.
However, even beeswax foundation intended for use in the hive will work if you choose the ones without wire. I have made them with some of my unwired foundation on many occasions and they look very nice.
This simple project will go smoother if you assemble the needed tools and materials prior to starting. But, isn’t that true for any type of craft?
- beeswax sheets
- small cotton wick
If the candles are only for decoration, wick size is not important. However, if you ever plan to burn them, a small 1/0 wick is essential.
These few materials are all that is needed. Grab some scissors and a hair dryer or heat gun (on low only) is optional – you are ready to begin.
Rolling Beeswax Sheet Candles
1. Is your wax is warm, this step may not be necessary. However, even the thicker sheets of beeswax made specifically for candles will crack if cool. Be very careful – it will also melt. Just a little blast of warm air is enough.
2. To make the common rolled taper candles, beeswax craft sheets are normally cut in two. This allow you to make 2 tapers from each sheet. Use scissors (and a ruler if you wish) to cut the sheet into 2 pieces.
3. Now place your length of wick along one side. You need 1 1/2″ sticking out the top and a little over the bottom. Use a firm hand to make one tight roll of wax that encases the wick in the sheet.
4. Once the wick is seated, firmly – but gently roll up the remainder of the beeswax sheet. Once your are finished, hold it in your hand for a minute. The warmth will help seal the seam. If you are having problems with the seam, another light blast from the hair dryer will help.
Compared with many crafts ideas, this is not a messy project. However, if you are working with kids or messy adults – consider spreading a drop cloth under the table.
Tiny bits of beeswax will end up on the floor. They can be easily swept up if no one steps on them first. After they are stepped on, you may have a stick floor for a while.
Instructions for Making Rolled Beeswax Candles
- hair dryer/heat gun
- Prepare Beeswax Craft Sheet: Choose the beeswax sheet you want to use for your first candle. Wax sheets available in a rolled candle making kit or purchased for making rolled candles- will be approximately 8″ by 16″.This large sheet is commonly cut in half to allow 2 candles to be made from each sheet of beeswax. Using a ruler will help you to make a straight cut.
- Gently Warm the Beeswax Sheet:How warm is it in your crafting area? In cold temperatures, beeswax sheets can be brittle and difficult to cut without breaking.If your beeswax is not warm, a quick blast with a hairdryer will make it more pliable. You only need a couple of seconds.Just a really quick blast !! We don’t want to melt the wax. If the sheets are stored in a warm location, the hair dryer will not be necessary. Don’t heat your beeswax sheet if it is pliable and easy to work with.
- Prepare Your Candle Wick:Cut a piece of candle wick that is about 1 – 1 1/2″ wider than your wax sheet.Align it flush on one end (this will be the candle bottom) and protruding on the other end. This will be the part you light when the candle is finished.
- Rolling Up the Beeswax Candle Sheet:This type of candle should be rolled up firmly but not so tight as to crush the wax. The exception is starting the wick – be gentle but firm.For this step, fold about 1/8″ of wax over the wick and press firmly. This will tightly encase the wick in the sheet of wax. Pay special attention to getting an even roll started.
- Sealing the Seam:Once the complete beeswax sheet is wrapped up, there will be a loose seam. Hold the candle gently in your hand.The warmth from your hand should soften the loose seam and adhere it to the candle.If the weather is cool and you have trouble, another quick blast from the hair dryer will seal that seam.
Rolled Beeswax Candles in Different Sizes
You can make more than just tapers with beeswax sheets. Cut the sheet in various widths to make votives, short pillars and more.
There is no limit to the variations – let your imagination run wild and create a special one-of-a-kind candle. As for scent, you could add a few drop of candle fragrance or essential oil to the inside if you wish – most people opt for the natural beeswax scent that is already present.
Can You Use Regular Beeswax Foundation Sheets?
Beekeepers often ask if they can use regular beeswax foundation to make rolled beeswax candles. The answer is yes.
But keep in mind that the beeswax sheets intended for the hive may not be of the same thickness as craft sheets. It may be a bit more difficult to properly roll the sheets.
Using sheets of different colors and special cutting techniques, you can even make your own Christmas tree shaped candles.
Decorating and Storing Your Beeswax Candles
Decorate your rolled beeswax candles in any way that you wish. A natural piece of jute twine holds them together for display or as a gift pack.
Store them in a cool dark place until you are ready to use them. They make great gifts but can be damaged easily. Pack them with care.
You can also make beeswax candles with molds. Poured beeswax candles are more expensive to make but have a longer burn time.
Making hand dipped beeswax candles involves a bit more effort but it is something to consider if you want to take the next step in working with beeswax.