Candlemaking: Creating a Beeswax Masterpiece

If you are like me and covet those large terra-cotta beeswax candles seen in speciality stores frequented by designers with a no-limits budget, have I got a deal for you. Instead of spending hundreds- look around your house for an empty terra-cotta vessel you already own, order some beeswax and wicks on Amazon, pick up a melting pot at Hobby Lobby and make your own!

In today’s post I’m going to teach you- skipping all the mistakes I made my first try. Yay! Lets get started.

Choose your container first so you know how much beeswax you will need to fill it. I used a terra-cotta container that was wide but shallow. I like terra-cotta because it heats slowly and cools slowly which will help keep your candle from cracking.

I began by melting my unfiltered hive beeswax in a pan of simmering water and a Pyrex container. It’s important to SLOWLY melt all beeswax in a double boiler and keep an eye on it while stirring at all times as it is highly combustible and if you heat it too quickly you can have a splattering issue. I then filtered my hive wax though four layers of cheesecloth into a melting pot. If you aren’t using hive beeswax- just the commercial stuff, there is no need to filter.

Natural beeswax options

Purchase beeswax from Hobby Lobby, Amazon, or online via commercial beekeepers. Wax comes in large blocks, smaller bars, pastilles and pellets, wicks can be found here. I prefer the pellets because they melt easier and consistently. It takes awhile to melt chunks that come from beating a large block of beeswax with a hammer. Determine whether you want a white, yellow or a more orange candle. Beeswax comes in all colors, just search your favorites on Amazon.

melting beeswax
Melting pot in pan of simmering water doing its job

Decide where you want your wicks to be placed in your container and tie the long end to a stick or chopsticks depending on the width of your container. Dip the end of the wick in beeswax and stick it to the bottom of the container. Allow wax to harden.

Set wick bottoms in place with beeswax

Eyeball how much beeswax your container will require. If you don’t get it right right away simply place the container containing the poured wax in an oven that has been heated to 175 degrees and turned off. This will allow you to melt more beeswax and pour it to the desired level. After your container is full- ensure the wicks are straight and allow the oven to cool with the candle inside, this curing method helps eliminate cracks.

curing beeswax
Curing the candle

Once the oven is cool and surface of the candle is cool to the touch, remove it from the oven and trim the wicks.

trimming candle wicks
beeswax pin
Add a small pin to personalize your candle!
strained beeswax
Beeswax firestarters

Cleanup all pots used with cheesecloth and bunch it into a ball- allow wax to harden and store in a plastic bag to be used as a firestarter for the fireplace, outside chiminea or fire pit. Allow candle to harden and cure for a week before lighting. Enjoy!

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