Monday, March 23, 2015

making beeswax candles

A few weeks ago, I posted this photo of my homemade beeswax candle project on Instagram. I got a few questions about this project and decided to do a short blog post to answer them!

The first thing to know about making beeswax candles is that it is very very easy. You don't need a lot of supplies or time or practice to succeed on your first try. That being said, over the past few months I've learned a few tricks that have made the whole process a little bit easier, and that's what I want to share with you today.
I'll just go through each step of the process of going from wax to candle (as pictured above) and share my thoughts as we go. Here goes:

First you're going to want to melt you're wax down on your stove top. You can buy beeswax in blocks or small pellets (pictured above). I prefer to use the pellets because they melt faster, but it really doesn't make that much of a difference. I've found that the best way to melt the beeswax is by placing it in a small bowl, and then putting that bowl into a pot of water on the stove- like melting chocolate! There are several reasons why this has worked best for me. I find it's easier to pour the beeswax into the jars while holding a small bowl rather than a large pot. But I also don't have an old pot that I don't use for cooking to melt my beeswax in.

It will take several minutes for your wax to melt down. While this is happening, you can prepare your wicks for pouring. Obviously you could pour your wax into almost any mold or container. I've most commonly used old glass jars, though I've also tried tea cups and small tins as well. The possibilities are endless! 
So. Once you've chosen your mold, you're going to need to fasten your wick. You can buy wicks at many craft stores, and they often come with a small metal disk at the bottom (just as a side note- don't buy tea light wicks, unless you're really making tea lights. I used them for jar candles and they were so small the wax just burned down in the centre. Sad.) Make sure to fasten your wick properly and securely to the bottom of your jar. This will insure that it stays in the center when you pour the wax over it, which will then make sure your candle burns down evenly. You're also going to want to use a wick that's quite a bit longer than your jar, so you can fasten it to a pencil/skewer/stick at the top and keep it from disappearing into the wax. 

Once you've secured the wick at the top and bottom it's time to pour your wax into your mold. This is quite self explanitory but I've got just a few tips that I've found make the experience a little more smooth and successful. First- clean up as you go. This is obvious, but dried wax is a pain to clean up. Wipe down your oven and countertops with paper towels to remove any dripped wax left over from pouring before it's completely dried. Don't worry to much if you drip on the side of your jar. You can wipe the wax away with a paper towel before it's dried completely. 
Also- If making candles in larger jars, I've found the best thing to do is to pour in layers. The first few times I tried making candles, I was really frustrated that the dried wax was leaving a crater in the center of my candles, surrounding the wick. I found the best way to fix this is to pour in several batches- you can pour in about three quarters of the wax first and then, once that's dried, top it up with the rest. This works really well toward eliminating the problem. If you're using a shorter jar or cup, this most likely won't be a problem. 

Also, just as a side note, don't be afraid to recycle beeswax from old candles that have burned down. You can put jars with old candles into the oven at a low temperature for a few minutes to let the wax soften and then melt it up again to make a new candle. I recommend removing the old burned wick before melting down completely to avoid bits of it floating in your melted wax. 

Of course there are other great uses for beeswax- I tried making lip balm and hand cream a few weeks ago. It turned out pretty good, but I'm not entirely happy with the recipe yet. I'm hoping to tweak it a bit and then maybe share it here on the blog at some point. I've also heard of people using it to make an alternative to plastic wrap by applying it to cotton- may have to give this a try at some point. If you have any other ideas for uses for beeswax I'd love to hear them! Or if you've tried making candles (or something else) using beeswax, I'd love to hear your thoughts on the process and any tips or tricks you've learned along the way.

This process is so simple but with such lovely and useful results- really the perfect project! 


  1. I got a whole book of crafts and recipes for beeswax and honey for christmas, and I've been waiting to try making candles! Yours looks so pretty here.

    1. thank you! oh, that book sounds delightful. it really is a worthwhile project, I hope you have fun with it!

    2. thank you! oh, that book sounds delightful. it really is a worthwhile project, I hope you have fun with it!

  2. I love beeswax candles and yours are so pretty! I make them much the same way, using little glasses and whatever I have on hand. I keep a jar of old beeswax from burned out candles in my storeroom with the hopes of someday melting all that down and making new candles.