Do the holidays bring out the craft – DIY part of your personality? If so, here is a unique handmade gift idea, these beeswax Christmas tree candles look so involved but are ridiculously easy to make. They are made with rolled sheets of colorful beeswax that come in a wide variety of colors. And, they smell delightful! Learn how to make your own for gifting or decorating.
Many people enjoy candles – even if they don’t actually burn them – candles are still a thing of beauty. And, if you are a beeswax enthusiast – you are in luck, because making beeswax candles is quite easy.
Crafting with Sheets of Rolled Beeswax
Beekeepers are familiar with flat sheets of beeswax that have a design imprinted on the side. These sheets of “wax foundation” go in wooden frames that sit inside a beehive. The honey bees use the sheets of wax as a “starting point” to build their honeycomb.
Crafters can purchase bright colored sheets of beeswax to do many things – including making rolled beeswax candles that are so simple – yet elegant.
In this guide we are going to learn how to cut these craft beeswax sheets in a way that gives us a striped beeswax Christmas tree candle or ornament.
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The only equipment required for this project is a ruler and a pair of scissors – or exacto knife. For supplies you need:
- sheets of colored beeswax (red, green, white or natural)
- wick 1/0 or 2/0
Beeswax Craft Sheets
Beeswax craft sheets are usually about 8 1/2” wide and 16 ” long. They come in an array of beautiful colors and are a bit thicker than regular wax foundation used by beekeepers.
If you are a beekeeper with natural wax sheets (no wire) it is okay to use what you have. The shape and sweet smell will be there – they just will not be colored. And, you just need to be a bit more careful as it is usually thinner than crafting wax.
To create a striped rolled Christmas tree candle you will need 2 craft sheets of beeswax. One of each color desired.
This can be the traditional colors of red, white or green but it is fine to use other stylish colors to match your décor.
Use the Proper Size Candle Wick
These beeswax Christmas tree candles can be used as a candle or an ornament. (Of course, it goes without saying that I would not hang them on a tree while lit. That’s a fire hazard we don’t need.)
If you assume that someone might actually want to burn the candle, you must give some thought to wick size. Beeswax candles require a different wick size than others.
One of the benefits of beeswax candles is their clean burning properties. This is because beeswax burns hotter. For this small project, wick size is not as crucial.
However, the wrong wick size can result in uneven burning and dripping – things a good beeswax candle does not normally do.
Choose cotton candle wicking that is a size 1/0 or 2/0/ – be sure the/0 is on there as a wick size 2 is not the same as 2/0. Wick is not very expensive. It is a good idea to keep some on hand for other beeswax projects.
1. Begin with two sheets of wax – one laid on top of the other. The color doesn’t matter yet – we are just preparing the wax. The average sheet width is 8 1/2″ and we want to cut them in half lengthwise. Measure up 4 1/4″ on each short end (that’s half of your width) and cut – you should now have 4 pieces of beeswax.
2. Place 2 sheets of the cut wax on the table (one of each color) – again with the long side of the rectangle running left to right. Align the sheets so that they are stacked on top of each other.
Using your ruler, measure up ½ inch from the bottom of the rectangle on your left side – and ½” down from the top right corner. This line will create a diagonal line that you will cut along and create 4 triangles.
3. Place one of the triangles on the table. The 3 ½” side is closest to you with the taper pointing away. Lay the other color of wax on top of the first sheet.
Adjust the 2nd color of wax so that the longest edge is about ¼” up from the edge of the bottom sheet. You should see a small strip of the color peeking out. The right angle of the triangle will be on your left side.
4. Cut a piece of wick about 6″ long – Place the wick along the short end of the triangle – left to right. On the right angle corner (this will be the bottom of the candle) the wick should be flush. The remainder of the wick can hang out the top. Slowly roll up the sheets – encasing the wick. A little gentle heat with a hair dryer if needed.
These candles can be used as small inexpensive homemade gifts made from beeswax or even ornaments on the tree. This is not a messy project but take care as small bits of wax can sometimes fall on the floor. Getting bits of wax off the floor can be a pain.
The final appearance of your beeswax Christmas tree shaped candles will vary just a bit depending on how tightly you roll up the wax.
But, no worries – they are special handmade items and not supposed to look like one of thousands from a factory floor.
Beeswax becomes brittle when it is cold. Work in a warm but not hot room. And, you can gently warm the wax sheets a bit with a heat gun or hair dryer if needed. Don’t overdo it or your wax will melt!
Use and Storage
These small tree-shaped candles make a special addition to any holiday décor. They can be used as tree ornaments, place settings, or party favors. What a lovely inexpensive gift to send home with someone.
Beeswax melts about about 147°F. Keep them away from heat sources and store them in a room temperature location. Don’t put them up in the attic during Summer!
Looking for more easy ideas? What about some homemade beeswax fire starters made with beeswax and pinecones? A perfect fit for someone who has an outdoor fire pit or loves to go camping.
This year is a great year to add some traditional beeswax crafts to your holiday. If you want to work with melted wax, try these blackened beeswax ornaments. They are beautiful but do require a bit more effort.
For the easiest poured wax candle – this DIY beeswax candle recipe is a quick idea – just be sure to choose the right wick size for your jar.
Working with wax is a lot of fun but it’s not for everyone. If you love bees try this non-wax bee craft – comical bee gnome – a perfect idea for adults and older children.
And, don’t be shy about buying some commercial bee-themed Christmas ornaments either. They offer nostalgic designs and bright pops of color.
Christmas Tree Candles /Ornament Tutorial
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- heat gun (or hairdryer)
- Place the 2 sheets of beeswax on a table or sturdy surface. (You are going to cut the wax sheet so be sure to protect your table or surface counter).Lay the wax sheets – one atop the other – it does not matter which color is on top. I was using regular 1 sheet of regular foundation that was slightly larger – so I trimmed off the excess.
- With the sheets of beeswax laying in front of you (long side going left to right), measure 4 ¼” from end to end.Your goal is to cut the sheets in half lengthwise and end up with a long rectangle. Make the cut.You now have 4 pieces of beeswax – 2 of each color. Lay 2 of them aside for later – we only need 2 (1 or each color) to create our candle.
- Place the 2 sheets of wax on the table – again with the long side of the rectangle running left to right. Align the sheets so that they are stacked on top of each other. Using your ruler, measure up ½ inch from the bottom of the rectangle on your left side – and ½” down from the top right corner.This line will create a diagonal line that you will cut along and create 4 triangles (2 of each color).
- Cut the wick for your beeswax Christmas tree candle – about 6” – you can always trim it later if you plan to burn it. You need 1 piece of wick for each candle you plan to make – and 2 of the beeswax triangles.
- Place one of the triangles on the table. The 3 ½” side is closest to you with the taper pointing away.Lay the other color of wax on top of the first sheet. Adjust the 2nd color of wax so that the longest edge is about ¼” up from the edge of the bottom sheet. The right angle of the triangle will be on your left side.
- Put the wick along the short end of the triangle – left to right. On the right angle corner (this will be the bottom of the candle) the wick should be flush. The remainder of the wick can hang out the top.
- Gently warm the wax with your hair dryer on a low setting for a few seconds – to not overheat the wax.Take a ruler and use it to evenly fold up a small section of wax to enclose the wick. With your fingers – firmly enclose the wick in wax material.
- Using 2 hands, firmly roll up the candle. Try to keep the bottom edges aligned properly with the same amount of overlay.Once the sheet is completely rolled up – hold the candle in your hands and let your body heat seal the edges.