1.Glass Jars Make Great Candle Containers
We love the shape of the glass Oui jars. They’re recyclable, of course, and make great little containers for all sorts of things like paper clips, nails and screws. However, we decided to fill these cute jars with beeswax candles.
2. A Word About Beeswax
Beekeepers (also called apiarists) carefully remove the beeswax when they harvest honey from their honeybee hives. They always leave enough honey for the bees to eat because it’s the bees’ main source of nutrition all winter long. When spring comes and flowers and trees bloom again, the bees collect nectar and pollen. That’s when they start making honey and raising new bees for the year ahead. Natural beeswax is wonderful to work with and it smells great without any added fragrance.
3. Buying Beeswax for DIY Beeswax Candles
There are many online sources for beeswax. We are beeswax and candles manufacturer.
It’s important to use the correct diameter wicking based on the size of the candle. We used a 30-ft. length (the smallest amount available) of 44-24 zinc core wicking for the glass jars, that have a 3-3/8-in.-diameter opening.
Here’s what you need to make 4 candles from 1 lb. of beeswax:
4 clean jars (a single glass jar holds 5 oz., so you’ll need 4 jars, filled with 4 oz. melted beeswax each, for each lb. of beeswax
1 lb. of beeswax
Flat-sided pencils or chopsticks
Paper towels, newspaper or parchment paper
Cloth and ribbon for covering the candles
Compass for drawing circles on the cloth
5. Cut the Wicking
The wicking needs to be long enough to wrap around a pencil or chopstick and reach the bottom of the glass jar. Measure one and then use it as a template for the rest of the wicks.
6. Set Up a Double-Boiler to Melt the Wax
CAUTION: Melted beeswax is highly flammable and you should never melt beeswax on an open flame!
First, to break up the blocks of wax into smaller chunks that would easily fit into a container for melting, we used an old chisel and hit the beeswax blocks with a hammer (hard!).
Next, always use a double-boiler setup for melting beeswax. DON’T ever use a microwave.
We used an electric frying pan filled with water that we brought to a boil. We placed the chunks of wax in glass measuring cups and let the handles hang outside the pan to keep them cool. Melt the beeswax slowly at the lowest heat that will keep the water boiling. Once the wax is melted, you’ll need to work fairly quickly. If you heat the melted wax for too long, it becomes discolored.
If you don’t have an electric frying pan, you can create a double boiler with a medium-size saucepan and a smaller saucepan. Fill the medium saucepan halfway with water, then place the smaller pan on top.
7. Melt the Wax
This step takes patience, but you will be rewarded by the lovely fragrance of beeswax as it melts. Take your time here and melt SLOWLY. The melting point of beeswax is between 145 and 147 degrees F. The flash point (when it can ignite) is 400 degrees F.
Replenish the water in the frying pan as it boils off, if needed. Use something disposable, like chopsticks, to stir the melting wax. You can burn yourself, so be careful. Don’t let kids or pets play around melting wax.
CAUTION: Melted beeswax is highly flammable
8. Dip the Wicks for Your DIY Beeswax Candles Homemade
Before you pour your first candle, spread newspapers or parchment paper on your work surface. Pick up a pre-cut length of wicking and dip one end into the melted wax. Let it cool for a few seconds and then dip the other end. Lay the waxed wicks on the paper to cool. If you don’t dip the wicks to make them stiff, they will float around when you pour the melted wax in the jar.
9. Wrap the Wicks
Wrap one end of a waxed wick around a flat-sided pencil or chopstick leaving the long end just long enough to touch the bottom of the glass jar. Repeat for each jar.
10. Position the Wicks
Position the wicks on the pencils so that they are centered in the glass jars. Try to keep them as straight and centered as possible for better burning.
11. Pour the Wax and Allow to Cool
Carefully pour 4 ounces of the melted wax into each of the glass jars. Let them cool. This can take up to an hour and they will stay warm to the touch for even longer.
12. Cut the Wicks
When the wax has completely cooled, remove the pencils and snip off the excess wick that is sticking up above the candle.
13. For Gifts, Cover Your DIY Beeswax Candles with a Cloth Top
Use any kind of fabric or burlap to cover the candle and tie it up with ribbon or twine. These little covers protect and keep dust off of the wax. Give the candles as gifts but be sure to keep one for yourself. And always remember: To avoid the risk of a house fire, never leave a burning candle unattended!
14. Clean Up
Follow these instructions if you get melted wax on your carpet. To get wax out of glass containers, pour in hot water and the wax will float to the top. Lift it out and repeat with more hot water if needed. Wipe off any leftover wax with a paper towel or newspaper, using vinegar or glass cleaner if necessary. Never pour melted wax down the drain.