I saw a great post on bees wax candles a few weeks ago on this blog. It looked like fun and something I could do! So I did.
The first step was acquiring a whole lot of beeswax. Last year, I bought some online and it was fine, but I discovered that the place where I buy my honey sells beeswax for only $6 a pound.
|Internet wax on the left, and local stuff on the right. Look how dark my local wax is!|
I needed a large can, so I multi-tasked and started a batch of homemade spaghetti sauce in the crockpot. Then, clean the can and set in a pot with water about halfway up the sides. Put a block of bees wax in the can and turn the stove up to medium.
As that block melts down, add another, and so on until the can is almost full. Just a word of warning, this takes about forever plus 5 minutes. I ended up using about 4 pounds of beeswax to fill the whole can. When you’re about 3/4 done with the last block, turn the heat down to warm.
I heard this was a great craft to do with kids, so I covered the entire house with newspapers.
Turns out that he founds this fun for about 10 seconds (just long enough for the photo) and then went to play.
I used hemp string to make the wicks. From what I’ve read, most string doesn’t burn well, but the hemp has been great. I found it at JoAnn fabrics in the jewerly making section. Cut the string long enough for two tapers, and then dip the whole string in wax.
Let it drip back in to the can, and then set aside.
Bend the string in-half, and with your fingers in the middle of string, dip it in to the wax. I held it above the can for about 15 seconds, and then repeated it.
This is what they looked like after about 15 dips. (Double click on the photo to enlarge it and see the structure of the candles. It’s helpful if you’re interested in making your own).
Just dip until they’ve reached your desired thickness. Let hang overnight to “cure”. A shower curtain rod would work. I used an old dowel that is in our pantry.
I opened the door the next morning, and it looked like I had fingers and shriveled mummy penises in my pantry. I felt a bit like Buffalo Bill from Silence of the Lambs.
With some of the leftover wax, I made canning jar candles. After I poured in the wax, I set a wick in there, and then secured it between two chopsticks and allowed it to “cure” overnight.
This was a fun craft to do, and I found it extremely calming to just stand there and dip for a few hours (with Sons of Anarchy playing on the laptop of course!). My house smelled amazing, and the candles burn beautifully. I like knowing that I have extra candles in the house in case of a power outage, and many of these will be used as holiday gifts.