Monday, August 8, 2011

Pouring Your Own Beeswax Candles

I'm totally into making candles right now, it is so simple and fulfilling!  I love the idea that I am creating something from basic, natural materials that will bring light and warmth into our home.  Pure beeswax candles are quite expensive, so if that is what you are used to buying then you will probably save significantly by making them yourself.  The raw materials, however, are not cheap.  So, if you've been buying cheap candles made from synthetic materials then you might be spending more to make your own beeswax candles, but perhaps it will inspire you to know how beautiful, clean-burning, and sweet-smelling beeswax is.

Beeswax is a beautiful, natural material for candle-making it has it's own unique honey-like scent and color.  You can buy natural (yellow) beeswax or white beeswax.  The white beeswax may say that it is "bleached" but don't let this put you off.  The process for bleaching beeswax simply involves exposing thin sheets of wax to air, moisture, and sunlight.  I find it easiest to melt and use for candles and beauty products when bought in the pastille form.

You can mix white and yellow beeswax to achieve different shades of yellow or cream.  You can also add pure essential oils to lightly scent your candles, naturally.

Here's what you will need:

Beeswax Pastilles
Double Boiler
100% Cotton Wicks (Square braided are designed for beeswax candles, it's extra easy if you buy wicks that are already waxed and in holders)
Glass jar or container
Essential Oils (optional)

Fill a pot with a few inches of water and fit your double boiler into it.  Place over medium heat.  Add your beeswax pastilles.  If I need 1/2 cup of liquid to fill the container I want my candle in, then I find I need about 1 cup of pastilles in order to fill the container once melted.  Now sit at your kitchen table and read a book or magazine and be patient while your wax melts.

Once melted you can add essential oils if so desired.  Pour a little wax into your container.  Place your wick in your container with the metal tab resting on the bottom of the container and allow the wax to set enough to hold your wick in place.  Wrap excess wicking around a pencil and lay the pencil across the top of your container to make sure your wick stays centered.

Pour the rest of your wax into your container to fill it to about 1/2 or 1/4 inch from the top.

Now just let your candle harden/cool/cure on your counter and then clip your wick and you're all set!  If you want to turn your candle into a gift print up a pretty little tag and tie it with a bit of twine or hemp.

Sources for beeswax, wicks, essential oils, and containers:

If you're ready for more of a challenge I'll be posting again soon about making hand-dipped beeswax candles.

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