Thursday, December 6, 2012

Making Beeswax Candles

One of the things we made to give as Christmas gifts this year was beeswax candles. What a fun (though, I will admit, messy) project! We did both dipped and jar candles... the dipped ones came out a bit lumpy and odd, so we'll keep those for our own use... but the jar ones came out lovely! They smell so nice when they burn... light, natural and clean.

This was our first attempt at beeswax candle making, so we learned a few things about what works and what doesn't. One thing that I will change next time is the type of wick we used. I had read that hemp cord makes a nice wick, but I found it difficult to work with. It took a bit of effort to straighten it out and get it ready to dip, and it was hard to keep it straight. Next time, I will purchase ready-to-use candle wicks at the craft store, I think. Another thing we learned is that it's very important to cover EVERYTHING that is potentially in the path of the wax with newspaper. We did a pretty good job with this, but there were a few spots here and there where we had to clean up wax drips. Here is a little overview in photos of our adventure!

Beeswax, shredded up and ready to melt. This was the hardest part, grating the beeswax, because you need a lot of it. Next time, I may use beeswax pastilles instead of a block.

Ladybug stirring the wax, after we microwaved it to melt it. 

Noodle and Ladybug, dipping wicks into the wax. We poured the melted wax into a quart jar, and set the jar in hot water to keep it liquidy while we dipped. We did have to re-melt it a couple of times.

Our lumpy dipped candles, in progress. We used a pole balanced on chair backs to
hang them on., with newspaper underneath to catch the drips.

When we didn't have enough wax left for dipping, we poured the rest into little votive holders with a wick in the middle. This was much easier than the dipped candles, and they came out much nicer. The hardest part was keeping the wick straight while the wax hardened. 

Next post, I will share one of our other holiday crafts... making wreaths!

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