make your own beeswax candles

12.17.2012

beeswax candle and boxwood
I know I talk a lot about needing a little extra light during these dark days, but I don't think it's a sentiment that can be too often repeated. Especially in the wake of Friday's tragedy, there is even more need to extend a comforting hand and offer a bit of light to a friend in need. This past weekend, I rolled beeswax candles to give as small gifts. Here, a few tips on making your own:
wick
Making your own rolled beeswax candles is almost laughably easy. I used natural medium brood beeswax foundation (the stuff that can actually be used inside bee hives) and cotton wicking from Brushy Mountain Bee Farm to make my tapers. Brushy Mountain has loads of bee-keeping and candle-making supplies and they're my favorite spot for supplies. Truly, the honor is all mine to collaborate with them on this post.

Beeswax foundation comes in long sheets (8 1/2" by 16 3/4" long). Cut in half, each sheet yields two 8 1/4" tapers. When your sheets arrive in the mail, bring the box inside and let the wax warm up to room temperature before handling it.  You can use a knife to cut each sheet in half or do what I did and carefully fold each sheet in half to score it and fold again in the opposite direction to break it in two. If you're worried about tears, bring out a knife. Next, cut a length of cotton wicking to be just a bit longer than the length of your sheet.rolling beeswax tapers
The wax is slightly sticky, so you can press the wick into place along the edge and carefully begin to curl the edge of the wax around it (if you didn't use a knife, begin rolling on the side with the rough edge). The wax is very pliable, but to get a nice neat roll you'll want to work slowly at first. Once you've rolled the wax over the wick a few times, things gets easier and you can use the flats of your fingers to roll up the rest of the way. (Be prepared for a heavenly smell and super soft hands by the time you're finished).
rolling beeswax tapers
If you prefer a thicker candle, don't cut your sheet in half and just keep on rolling. Thicker still? Start the process again with a second sheet of wax. The best part about rolling your own candles is that you can make them any size you'd like: short and squat or long and lean. When you're finished rolling, gently press the edge of the wax sheet to the candle using your fingertips. Because the wax is sticky on its own, you don't need to mess with heat or blow dryers or anything else fancy. A few gently presses will work just fine.
beeswax candle and boxwood
Once you've finished rolling your candles, tie two together to make a sweet little gift. I wrapped mine in a small length of parchment paper and tied it up with grosgrain ribbon and a sprig of boxwood.
miniature boxwood wreath
If you're in the mood for for something a little extra special, you can use the same boxwood to make festive candlesticks for the table.
beeswax candle and boxwood
How-to: Take a long boxwood branch and bend it into a circle. I like to allow the smaller shoots to branch off in different directions. Use a small bit of wire to secure the top of the branch to the bottom stem and then place the miniature wreath at the base of your candle before putting it into your candlestick.
candles786beeswax candle and boxwood
As always, make sure not to leave your burning candles unattended. And isn't that the hope after all? Here's to many long meals shared at tables lit by candlelight. Wishing you and yours many of them.
 
Materials for this post were generously provided by Brushy Mountain Bee Farm.

31 note(s) by friends.:

  1. Loving this tutorial! Thanks for sharing.

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  2. So simple, and so beautiful!
    Love it!

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  3. Love the simplicity of this gift! Beautiful nonetheless.

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  4. great tutorial, and a lovely reminder to show those around us that we love and care for them.

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  5. I like the addition of boxwood. Well done, Erin.

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    1. Glad you do! Of course, any ol' green will do!

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  6. This is gorgeous! Thank you for sharing.

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  7. I'm your newest follower. Love your blog and your sweet style.

    molly
    http://alwaysamrsforeverakidd.blogspot.com

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    1. Thanks to all of you for your sweet support of this project! I hope you're able to roll a few of your own this winter!

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  8. How beautiful! I love beeswax candles, and had no idea it could be so simple to make them. Thanks for the post! (And your photos are gorgeous!) :)

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  9. what a great idea! These are beautiful!

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  10. I made these with my mom and siblings when I was little and we lived in Australia. So many memories of that wonderful beeswax scent!

    Also I love your blog. Just added you to my blog roll. :-)

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    1. that's lovely, becca! i had a set of colored modeling beeswax that i played with i was little--the scent is so delicious and such a trigger for happy memories.

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  11. Such a simple and sweet gift. My mother-in-law would love these... guess I'll be making some soon!

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  12. thanks for sharing! what a good idea. :)

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  13. Those candles look so pretty and good that they also kind of look like cookies. :)

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  14. This is such a great gift idea!

    x missdottidee.blogspot.com

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  15. OK, these are absolutely gorgeous. Bonus that there really is no better scent for candles than plain old beeswax.

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  16. Just discovered this fantastic tutorial! We love beeswax candles here in Germany but I never thought about doing them myself. Such a great gift idea! Thanks for sharing!

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  17. I just tried making these candles thanks to your great post but mine won't stay lit. Did you have this problem? I think maybe the wicking is too small.

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    1. Oh no! I did not have that problem! Did you use the cotton wicking ordered through Brushy Mountain?

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  18. Yep - the 1/O size. Not sure what the problem is but I'm going to try the 3/O size and see if that helps.

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    1. Bummer. So strange! I'd definitely call their service line and ask there--they might be able to help troubleshoot!

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  19. Just called them and they were super helpful. Looks like I rolled them to loosely the first time. Thanks!

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  20. Great tutorial. Made 40 pairs of tapers for Christmas this year. Some for gifts, some to sell and some to use myself.

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