Sunday, July 8, 2012

Beeswax Candles

Without much planning or practice, a friend and I made beeswax candles in my kitchen. We wanted to keep the process as simple as possible so we used empty jars that were sitting around the house and melted the wax in a bowl over a pot of boiling water. We did buy blocks of 100% beeswax and some ready-made wicks. We originally wanted to make our own wicks, but found out this process takes a little longer than our patience allowed, so we decided to save that project for next time. (In case you do want to make your own wicks and have a few days before you want to make candles, here are some instructions, though I have not yet tried this myself.)

The process was simple albeit a bit messy. We just melted a pound of beeswax in a double boiler (thrift store bowl + stock pot = excellent double boiler). This took a while, which is a great time to mix up a cocktail and enjoy it with a friend while keeping one eye on the stove. Wax does have a flash point, so you don't want to get it too hot. 

Clear off the kitchen table and cover it in old newspaper. Make sure your jars are nice and clean and place the wicks in them with a supporting chop stick to lean on so it won't fall over while you pour in the wax. If you are going to add any essential oils have those at the ready too, because once the wax is melted you will need to move quickly. 

When the wax is ready carefully bring the bowl (use oven mitts so you don't burn your hands, silly) over to your jars and gently pour the wax into each jar (ideally) without knocking over your wick. Immediately add a dozen or so drops of essential oil (if desired) to your candle and stir with a second chop stick. Then just let the candles cool down. The wax will tend to sink down as it cools, so if you want them to look perfect just top them off with a little more melted wax once they have cooled down. 

That's it. 

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