Beeswax candles have become increasingly popular, with sales growth of over 30% annually. Consumers are seeking all-natural alternatives to paraffin-based candles, driven by growing health consciousness and demand for non-toxic products. The handmade and hobbyist market has also rediscovered DIY candlemaking’s lost art.
And what better medium to craft beautiful, eco-friendly candles than pure, natural beeswax? Golden beeswax candles have an allure that brightens any space with their honey-like scent and radiant glow. Beyond aesthetics, beeswax candle offers practical functionality as well:
- Purifies and freshens indoor air.
- Burns longer and cleaner than paraffin wax
- It can be used repeatedly as a fire starter.
- Available in a range of decorative shapes and sizes
This comprehensive beginner’s guide will walk through everything required for crafting gorgeous beeswax candles at home from start to finish. Read on to learn insider tips from selecting wicks to troubleshooting frosting issues. Or jump ahead using the table of contents below:
Use standard precautions for handling hot wax to avoid burns. Ensure the work area has good ventilation when pouring. Add botanicals and essential oils sparingly. Check for allergies before gifting candles containing new ingredients. Tie back long hair, and wear protective gloves/eyewear. Keep flammable materials away from drying candles. When trying unique shapes or add-ins, perform an initial short test burn to ensure proper performance before lighting for extended durations.
The author claims no medical or professional expertise. Content is informational only and not intended as health advice. Consult your doctor with any bee allergy or medical condition questions.
So, let’s explore why homemade beeswax candles deserve a spot in any wellness-conscious home.
Why Beeswax Candles Are Healthier than Paraffin
Paraffin wax comes from petroleum oil refining containing known carcinogens. Studies link paraffin candle fumes to increased asthma, allergies, and other health issues. Beeswax, however, has been used medicinally for centuries with natural disinfectant and air-cleansing properties.
Burning a beeswax candle releases negative ions that help neutralize dust, pollen, mold, and bacteria floating in the air. With regular use, beeswax candles can significantly freshen indoor air quality.
Other advantages of beeswax candles:
- Non-toxic: No lead or other nasties released into your living space
- Longer burn time: Beeswax is dense, while paraffin melts quickly
- Reusable: Leftover wax works great as a fire starter
- Biodegradable: Environmentally sound choice
- Pleasant natural scent: Warm, sweet honey aroma
- Made locally: Support small apiaries and businesses
So, by handcrafting your beeswax candles, you’ll reap the calming glow of an all-natural product steeped in history – minus the worry over unpronounceable chemicals or the sooty mess of paraffin.
Beeswax Candle-Making Supplies & Tools
While basic beeswax candle making primarily requires beeswax and wick, incorporating some specialty ingredients and equipment will level up your homemade candle game.
Here’s an overview of supplies you’ll need, plus my top picks:
Key Tools & Equipment
- Beeswax – filtered vs. raw bricks, pellets
- Wicks – a variety of materials, sizes
- Thermometer – digital probe for accuracy
- Double boiler – for indirect heating
- Pour pitcher – avoid spills
- Candle molds/jars – pillars, tapers, votives
- Essential oils – for fragrance
- Plant dyes – color variety
I recommend sourcing high-quality beeswax from reputable local apiaries if possible. Supporting small beekeepers helps the greater food system and ensures your wax is fresh.
Pro Tip: Head to a big box store like Walmart or a craft supply shop for wallet-friendly molds and vessels to hold finished candles. Thrift stores are another goldmine for eclectic glasses or teacups begging for a beeswax makeover!
Now, let’s get hands-on with transforming beeswax into gorgeous DIY candles step-by-step.
How to Make Beeswax Candles – Complete Step-by-Step
While beeswax candlemaking does require some special equipment and techniques compared to other candle varieties, the basic process is quite straightforward.
Here are the key steps from start to finish:
Step 1 – Prepare the Work Area & Assemble Tools
Make space on a sturdy, protected surface where spilled wax won’t damage anything. Lay out all materials and tools before starting:
- Beeswax chunks/pellets
- Pre-tabbed wicks sized for your candle mold
- Double boiler filled with water (not touching the bottom)
- Mold(s) anchored on the work surface.
- Essential oils, dyes (optional)
- Digital thermometer
- Pour pitcher, spoon/chopstick
- Paper towels, silicone mat
Step 2 – Melt Beeswax
Beeswax melts around 147°F or 64°C, far lower than paraffin wax. Always melt indirectly using a double boiler instead of direct stove heat. This prevents the burning or overheating of the wax.
Heat water in a double boiler, then add beeswax slowly once the water reaches a gentle simmer. Stir regularly, aiming for a final wax temp between 185°F – 200°F max before removing from heat.
Step 3 – Add Scent & Color (Optional)
Here’s your chance to get creative with essential oil infusion and natural plant-based dyes! Start with a small amount, like 5-10 drops of oil or a pinch of dye blend.
Stir thoroughly and allow it to integrate for 5 minutes before adding more. Be cautious not to exceed a 2% total ratio for oils so it doesn’t seep or discolor finished candles.
Step 4 – Prepare Wick & Pour Wax
Now comes my favorite relaxing part. While the wax cools slightly before it starts to set up or thicken, carefully pour it into molds, leaving a shallow top layer. Position centered wicks using a fork, chopstick, or wick stick tool.
Tip: Pay attention to the wax temperature here – too hot, and the wax may sink; too thick, and surface bubbles get trapped. 185°F tends to be the magic Goldilocks temperature.
Step 5 – Straighten Wicks & Allow Thorough Cooling
Gently wrap wicks around a pen or pencil to hold them perfectly vertically while the wax sets. This helps ensure clean, full candle burns.
Step 6 – Trim Wick & Enjoy Homemade Candle
Use sharp scissors to trim wick ends to 1⁄4 inch once completely hardened. Add labels or embellishments if desired, then get ready to reap the air-freshening benefits of gorgeous pure beeswax candles.
Resist the temptation to rush cooling or handling. Allow candles to fully cure and harden undisturbed for at least 48 hours before attempting to pop them from molds. Patience pays off in smooth candles free of flaws!
Handy Tips, Tricks and Troubleshooting
Like any artisanal craft, beeswax candlemaking has a learning curve. You’ll likely need trial and error to master techniques for flawless DIY candles. Here are solutions to a few of the most common issues:
Problem: Tiny surface air bubbles
Solution: Stir wax after adding dyes/oils; pour at slightly cooler temp
Issue: Mottling or wax “frosting”
Fix: Ensure wax is poured between 185°F – 200°F
Trouble: Sooting or mushrooming wick
Remedy: Trim the wick to 1⁄4 inch before every burn
See the table below for additional troubleshooting assistance:
|Pitting or Small Holes
|Shrinkage from pouring too hot
|Use tight lid on the pour pitcher
|Wax Sinking Down
|Maintain wax temp; preheat the mold
|Size wick up by 1 or 2 sizes
|Tunnels or Hollow Candle
|Cooling too rapidly after pour
|Insulate mold; pour below 200°F
|Wax Adhesion Loss
|Water droplets in wax
|Use a tight lid on the pour pitcher
|Use double boiler at proper temp
With attention and experience, you’ll be churning out picture-perfect diy beeswax candles in no time!
Inspiring Ideas to Make Candles Special
Beyond the practical magic of beeswax candles freshening your living space, experimenting with unique shapes, scents, and designs taps into creativity.
Some ideas to stir your imagination:
Blend in chamomile, rose petals, lavender, or citrus zest. Stripe or marble with different colored wax. Press dried flowers, herbs, or seashells into the wax surface. Handcarve wood, clay, or soapstone molds. Shape unusually shaped candles in eggshells or shells. Let nature inspire new candle vessels like twisted driftwood, dried seed pods, carved stone, or sand dollars. Crafting one-of-a-kind beeswax candles makes memorable gifts.
Get Creative with Shapes and Molds
Once you perfect the basics, play with different vessels to hold your beeswax masterpieces. Some ideas to try:
- Recycle glass jars, vases, and bottles
- Silicone molds for geometric shapes
- Seashells or carved wood to mold tapers
- Upcycled tins or tea cups for votives
- Handcarved clay or soapstone
- Repurposed cutlery, eggshells!
Searching thrift shops or nature walks may inspire new candle vessel ideas. The options are truly limitless.
Make Candles for Gifts
What better homemade present for family and friends than an artisanal beeswax candle? Some quick yet thoughtful packaging ideas to elevate your bee-beautiful creations:
- Print or handwrite gift tags with essential oil blends or herb ingredients.
- Tie burlap, ribbon, or raffia around jars
- Include striker matches or decorative snuffer
- Attach a poetry card or positive message.
- Present in a lined wicker basket, box, or tin
When sharing your handmade candles as gifts, be sure also to pass along any usage/safety considerations like keeping the wax pool free of debris and trimming the wick to 1⁄4 inch before each lighting.
Where To Buy Beeswax Candlemaking Supplies
As touched on earlier, I highly recommend starting with high-quality beeswax, wicks, and vessels to ensure candlemaking success. Here are some reputable suppliers:
- Local beekeepers or farmers markets: Fresh beeswax direct from apiaries
- Soap/candle supply stores: Specialty ingredients, dyes, molds
- Online shops: Bulk beeswax, wicks, jars, kits
See the table below highlighting a few trusted online beeswax candle suppliers to compare shops:
|Mountain Rose Herbs
|Organic blocks, pellets
|Oils, wicks, jars
|Fragrance, dyes, all supplies
|Soap, lotion, some jars
No matter where you source materials from, triple-check product details to ensure cans, wicks, and beeswax are lead-free. Safety first!
Let the Beeswax Candle Making Begin!
You’re now fully prepped to try crafting gorgeous beeswax candles in your home. From understanding why beeswax wins over paraffin to troubleshooting common candle issues, this guide covered everything required to start.
The basic steps are:
- Gather quality ingredients and tools
- Melt beeswax gently in a double boiler.
- Mix in essential oils or dyes (optional)
- Carefully pour the wax into the mold and set the wick.
- Allow proper cooling time to cure
- Trim the wick end and enjoy your new candle!
You now know how to infuse creative touches like hand-carved vessels or herbal ingredients. And even turn your homemade beeswax candles into heartfelt gifts.
What tips or questions come up on your daily candle-making journey? Share your experiences in the comments below!