Saturday, October 10, 2015

Dipping Beeswax Candles

It's autumn. . .
Isn't it just delightful?
The days are getting a little shorter at each end.
One routine around here that I absolutely treasure
is that we set the coffee up in the evening with the timer so it is ready
when we awake each morning.
Mr. LB goes downstairs and gets our coffee
while I brush my teeth, use the facilities, and light a candle.
With the exception of a month or so in midsummer when it's already light,
I light a candle every morning.
The candle light is so much easier to wake to.
We sit in bed and drink our coffee by candlelight every morning.
Perhaps that's a little personal,
but I love that line Meg Ryan had in "You've Got Mail,"
"If it's not personal, what's the point?"
(Do you have a morning routine?)
Anyways, I go through quite a few taper candles this way.
I often find them at thrift stores since many folks use them for decor only.
I figure that's better than buying new,
but they are still made of paraffin which is a petroleum product.
I've wanted to dip my own candles for some time
using beeswax of course.
I took this morning to do just that.
The first thing I do is get the beeswax melting since that takes a little while.
You will need a tall slender 'vessel' (or olive oil tin:?) and a larger one for water
so that the heat is indirect.  (medium heat)
Then I got my wicks prepared and paper spread.
Here's my meager yet functional set up:
I cut #3 wick to about 27 inches long then tied a nut to each end.
The little hangers I just made from wire then tapped nails into a scrap of wood
and hung it from the cabinet pulls.  It worked pretty well.
I used a stuffing stick (for stuffing craft projects) to make sure the wax is all melted since it's not a transparent wax.
I then dipped each set twice.
This makes a good start so I then trim the nuts off 
leaving as much wick as possible.
I actually laid them on the counter to cut them but showed you this way
so I could hold the scissors and take the picture at the same time:)
All trimmed.
You'll notice the little black marks on the wicks.
I measured from the nut up to 8 inches and marked it
so I knew how deep to dip them.
That was a tip I had heard so tried it.
I won't do that next time.  It's unsightly, and
it's easy enough just to gage by the level of wax in the olive oil tin.
After trimming the nuts off~
These I put in a clean tin can (veggie can) on another burner (on low heat.)
When the wax had melted off, I carefully poured it back into the large
dipping tin - no wasting good wax.
The bits of wick, I'll pull off and throw in compost and reuse the nuts.
After a total of 10 dips~
At this point I used an old crummy knife to trim the ends blunt.
If you've never used beeswax, be forewarned:
it is extremely difficult to get off of anything!
Please do not use your good paring knife.
I dipped them 8 more times (so now 18 dips) and trimmed the ends again.
This leaves two final dips to round off the bottoms and
make them look nice.
For 8 inches tall, I dipped them 20 times. 
If I were making 10-12 inch candles, I would go about 25-30 dips.
Just so they 'look' proportional to me but fit in the candle holder.
These turned out just as I desired and will be a great size 
for the little candle holder I use each morning.
I do have to admit one thing.  I didn't have extra wax today.
If you are making these, you should have some extra so that
as you dip the candles and the level of the wax declines, 
you can add more to keep the level up so the whole candle gets dipped.
In order to get the last 5 dips, 
I used the law of displacement:
(a great example/lesson for students)
I filled a narrow bottle with hot water and put it in the tin of wax
to one side in order to bring the level back up,
but then I had to be careful not to bump the candles over on the bottle.
I'll have to get more wax before I make more candles.

Until next time,
Nimble Fingers and Even Stitches


  1. I've never made them, but I love to watch, and I like to burn them.

  2. Your candles are beautiful! How long do they burn? I have dabbled in beeswax candles but have sofar only made tea lights and pillars. Your pictorial makes the process of dipping look easier than I imagined. Thank you.

    1. I'll have to let you know how long these burn. I got ahold of some good beeswax and they set up nice and hard so I'm thinking they should have a pretty long burn time for a smaller candle. The process isn't difficult, just a little repetitious which is something I find methodical and soothing:)

    2. These are smaller in diameter (see photo w/ yard stick) so they fit well in the candle stick shown. I actually dipped some of them several more times so they would stand in other candlesticks better. These (sm.) burn about 6-ish hours. The fatter ones about 8-ish hours.

  3. Wow this is a great idea!! I love the smell of bees wax, your could even add bayberry to it. To make it smell even better. Thanks for sharing, God bless


    1. MMmmm, bayberry, great idea. If you decide to do that, maybe find a tall skinny 'vessel' otherwise, all your beeswax will be scented. I will have to see what I have now 'casue I love that idea.

  4. The Locust Blossom has been included in our A Sunday Drive for this week. Be assured that we hope this helps to point even more new visitors in your direction.

  5. I have often wondered how candles are made now I know a very clear tutorial

  6. I have recently learned that most candles contain as you said petroleum and by products which are harmful, and the bees wax are a excellent alternative, and they have properties which clear the air as you burn them, not adding harmful components to the air. I purchase my candles from a place which Nuns ( Sisters) make the beeswax candles it is called Quiet Light Candles. I enjoyed your post how to make them, they are beautiful.

  7. I LOVE those candles, they are just beautiful. It is on my list of things to do :)

  8. They turned out beautifully, well done. One of the reasons I chose the Warre beehive is to have a beeswax harvest in addition to honey. Looking forward then, to someday dipping my own beeswax candles.

  9. Your tutorial on Dipping Beeswax Candles is great and a fun project I'm sure. Thank you for sharing with the Clever Chicks Blog Hop! I hope you’ll join us again next week!

    Kathy Shea Mormino
    The Chicken Chick

  10. those are beautiful! thanks for the tutorial!

  11. Your candles are beautiful, I've made beeswax candles using an antique mold but have never tried dipping them! Thank you for sharing you post on Our Simple Homestead Blog Hop!
    - Nancy

  12. This was my Featured Post today on the hop :)
    thanks for sharing!