Saturday, September 17, 2016

Beeswax Candles Two Ways

Ung.  I love the smell of beeswax.  Is there anyone in the world who doesn't?  Melting beeswax is even super yummier.  It really is such a versatile product for making handmade gifts.  I have a huge block set aside, and a bunch of different plans for it.

I made these candles a couple of days ago and they were ridiculously easy.  The dipped candles take a little more time and patience but they were still far easier to make than I'd anticipated. They'll make sweet little Christmas gifts for friends who don't mind imperfect looking candles. I might actually assist Eleanor in making the next batch, and who wouldn't want a lumpy candle that was handmade by a kiddo?!  No one, that's who.

It's a little tricky with the bee allergy thing, as I discovered, but now that I know that, I can take all the precautions.

If you want to make you're own, the only difficult part of the process will be finding a beeswax source.  We have loads of local beekeepers and were lucky enough to score the most gigantic block ever.  I think it'll keep us in candles for a while.  

:: Tip ::
Close all windows and doors before you begin the process, unless you want to invite all the bees in to tea.  I discovered this the hard way and it was a little bit freaky!  Fortunately I lured all the bees back outside before Eleanor even noticed (though to be fair, she's not nearly as bothered by the critters as I am, on her behalf).

You will need:
Beeswax, candle wick, weights (nuts or bolts will do), an old (clean) tin can, a pot.  

You may also want to find somewhere to hang your candles to harden, though my dried so quickly this wasn't necessary.  These were small, votive length candles so it was pretty easy.  A broom placed between two chairs would do fine, with some newspaper underneath to catch any drips.

1.  Fill tin can with chipped wax (I found that it clumped together quite quickly anyway, so don't get precious about grating or cutting it really small, unless you have the time and patience).

2.  Cut candle wick to length.  I cut enough for two candles, with an extra length for me to hold as I dipped both candles.  Some people have fancier ways of doing this, but it worked out so fine this way. Tie a weight to each end of the wick.  

3.  Set up your pot as a double boiler and place the can inside, keeping an eye on it as it melts.

4.  Once the wax has melted you can start dipping!  Pause a little between each dip to allow the wax to harden.  The layers build up surprisingly quickly, which is satisfying-as.  

5.  Cut the weights off the wick after a few dips.  The hardened wax will keep the wick straight from now on.

6.  Once complete, hang your candles to harden, or pop them on a ceramic plate like I did, and start your next batch!

See, totally easy.  Once your tin of wax has reached a level that makes it harder to dip candles, you can do what I did and pour the remainder into a small jar (I used an old baby food jar).  Of course, you'll need to have a weighted wick sitting in your jar already.  Use a straw placed across the top of the jar to hold the wick in place, and pour carefully around it.  

Too easy! 

Along with my little stash of handmade soap (I think I'm almost ready to tackle making some of this again... almost), I hope to have a supply of candles and other little handmade products to fill my present basket.  Such good feels, both in the making and the giving.  

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