Beeswax Candle DIY

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This year Jim and I decided to make beeswax candles for our families for Christmas … after purchasing 5 pounds of beeswax, 50 wicks and 25 vintage tins, we knew there was no turning back.

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This past Sunday we prepped the kitchen, cracked open a few beers and got to work – Here’s how we did it.

Supplies: (click item for source)

Everything else we used can probably be found in your house.  Beeswax is difficult to clean from surfaces once it cools – Keep this in mind when selecting containers and tools to use during the candle-making process!

Process Photos:

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Directions:

  1. Break the beeswax block into small pieces.  We used a box grater to create fine shavings and a dull knife to break off larger chunks.
  2. Melt the beeswax in a double boiler.  This part takes time – Be patient and do not allow the wax temperature to exceed 185*F.  We placed a Pyrex measuring container containing the beeswax in a pot of gently boiling water and checked the temperature periodically with a thermometer.
  3. While waiting for the wax to melt, prepare your candle tins.  Place your pre-tabbed wicks in the center of each tin, stand them up straight and wrap the top of the wick around a pencil to keep it vertical while the candle cools.
  4. Carefully pour the melted beeswax into each tin.
  5. Allow candles to completely cool overnight.
  6. Trim each wick to about half an inch before burning.

Light your candles and enjoy!

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I am really happy with how these turned out – The candles burn strong and clean and the beeswax gives off a subtly sweet scent.

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I can’t wait to wrap and gift the rest of these to our families for Christmas this year … or maybe we’ll just keep them for ourselves! ;)

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38 comments

    • We spent a bit on materials because we made candles for our entire family – You can click on the source links in the Supplies section to get an idea how much it would cost you.

  1. Can I add essential oils for aroma or is it better left with the beeswax smell? I love the idea of using canning jars, I have some I picked up at a garage sale this summer and they will be perfect for this project! Tanks for the inspiration :)

    • Absolutely! I didn’t include it here but we made a few candles scented with balsam oil – To scent candles with oil you can add 8-10 drops per 2 cups of melted wax. Add the oil and stir to combine just before pouring wax into candle. We are currently burning one of our balsam candles and it smells great!

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  3. Awesome info! We hope to add a hive or two to our little farm in the next year or so. :) In addition to the essential oils, have you ever added any botanicals – flower petals, herbs, etc.? I wonder if they’d add interest and scent or just look weird?

    • Hmm – Never thought of this! I don’t know that adding floowers and herbs would add to the scent much – But I bet they would look pretty! I would probably add something like rosemary :)

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    • The tutorial I was following for this didn’t specifically say why – But my guess is that increasing the temperature too much would chemically denature the wax and prevent it from solidifying back into a hard beeswax candle.

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  9. I just made 4 beeswax candles, but while I was pouring the wax, three bees payed a visit to my window screen, trying to come inside. It was serial seeing 3 bees trying to get to the wax. I’m glad for the window screens. On another note, I noticed my wax did not dry smoothly in the large mason jars I used. I found cracks in the wax. I used a thermometer too. The temp was 175. I also used small mason jars and the wax in the small jars dried smoothly.

    • That’s crazy about the bees! One of our larger mason jar candles cracked while cooling – Still burns just fine as a candle (but doesn’t look as pretty, I know). Fortunately we made the mason jar candles for our own use, so we didn’t mind a few imperfections. I think developing cracks occurs when the wax cools too quickly – At least I have read this in other beeswax candle DIY posts.

  10. I have a good friend who is a beekeeper who has made beeswax candles. She said that the pre-tabbed wicks contain lead that will release into the air while the wick is burning! If you are going to the trouble of making your own healthy candles, it would be better to get metal-free wicks in my opinion. Just a thought.

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  12. Years ago I made candles and I’m looking forward to making a few beeswax candles now:-) My question to you is: did any of the glass mason jars break from the heat when being burned?

    • None of the mason jars we used broke and I didn’t treat them in any special manner beforehand. I just had them out on the counter at room temperature while I poured carefully :)


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