At some point after processing your honey you’ll realize that you have all this beeswax and you want to do something with it. One of the easiest things to do is make candles.
While you can purchase lots of equipment to make candles perfectly you can also make candles cheaply mostly with things you have around the home.
- Wicks for your candles. These can usually be purchased at craft stores or online at beekeeping supply stores or candle supply stores.
- Containers for your candles. These too can be purchased at craft stores however you can also save old tea candle metals or use yogurt containers and the like. Whatever you use remember that beeswax is sticky and getting the candle out can be tricky, especially if they container isn’t smooth.
- Pot for melting wax. You’ll either want a double boiler or a bottom and top pan. This is mainly to keep any spilt wax from dropping onto your burner and catching fire but can also help you heat the wax slowly so it doesn’t burn. Don’t use your kitchen pots as you won’t be able to get the wax off! You can get cheap pots at most Goodwill stores.
Now it’s time to make your candles. You can spend a lot of time trying to make your candles perfect and when finished they’ll look like something you purchased… at the grocery store! I (Jessica) did this when I first started making candles and then realized that the expensive candles sold at boutique stores looked far more like my first “failure” candles and were indeed prettier and less industrial looking. So don’t worry too much about making things perfect unless you like that made-by-a-machine look!
To make candles:
- Heat the wax in your double boiler until melted and no more.
- If you’re pouring into plastic let the wax cool until the top begins to show a layer of hardened wax. This way you know it’s cool enough to pour without melting your plastic container.
- Pour the wax into your container almost to the top.
- Keep an eye on your candle. As it cools there will be a depression in the middle of the candle. Keep filling this with wax so you don’t have a hollow candle. The cooler the wax is when you pour it the less this will happen so yet another benefit to letting the wax cool a bit.
- Once the depression is gone let your candle cool overnight.
- Take your candle out of the container. If it doesn’t want to come out place the candle in the freezer for 30 minutes or so to shrink it a bit.
Burn your candle and take note of how things go. Was the wick too big causing the wax to melt over the sides or too small causing just a small circle of warm wax in the middle of the candle? If so you can always adjust for next time. Experiment and of course remember not to leave any burning candle unattended!