I love beeswax. I use it in everything, from my body butters and lip balms to salves and mascara. It acts as a sealant in my beauty goodies, locking in moisture and providing a protective layer against the elements. Plus it smells divine! Like honey and warm earth. Best of all, buying local beeswax supports the bees which we need for a thriving planet and happy garden.
I've fallen in love with beeswax all over again, recently, after I began making these homemade candles. I adore candles. Their dancing light turns dinner into a celebration or nighttime reading into a cozy retreat from the world. Their open flames seem made for whispering wishes into and their warm glow chases away the darkness like no lamplight can. In short, they are one of my sacred simple pleasures. I enjoy the homey task of making them, especially last week, as I cleaned and prepared my home for the coming summer solstice and enjoyed a candlelit night once the sun set on the longest day of the year.
Beeswax candles are one of the purest candles out there, free from yucky chemicals and artificial ingredients of mainstream candles. They have the added benefit of purifying your home. While most candles actually release toxins into the air while they burn, beeswax candles release negative ions as they melt which neutralizes the positive ions create by allergies and other pollutants. Bonus: It makes your home smell like amber, soft and sweet, like the honey it comes from.
These homemade candles are ridiculously easy to make, as are all my recipes, natch. I prefer to use old toilet paper rolls for pillar candles and egg cartons for tea lights, rather than pouring them into jars. The jars are nice, but I hate the build-up of candle containers; plus, I just love the look of pillar candles. Feel free to use jars if you prefer them (or reuse old candle tins).
These candles make wonderful gifts. I like to make a big batch since they are so easy to make, to have on hand for last-minute gifts or give to my family. Once the wick on your candle has burned down, don't throw the wax out! Use it to make new candles. Beeswax is super durable and long-lasting, so you can just keep reusing what doesn't get burned up. This recipe also works well for any candle wax you've got lying around. I melted down one of my favorite chakra candles and refashioned it into a new one. It beats spending a small fortune on new candles!
I've made my beeswax candles two ways: with just the beeswax and with a little coconut oil thrown it. The pure beeswax candles emit a softer, lighter glow, while the ones with coconut oil burn brighter and faster. If you use a jar, you will for sure want to use coconut oil so that you can more easily remove leftover wax once the candle is done burning.
Beeswax, preferably local
Coconut oil (optional, using only 1 part oil to 4 parts beeswax for best consistency)
Toilet paper or paper towel rolls
Large tin can
Organic candle wicks
Parchment or wax paper
Skewers or string (to keep wicks straight)
To make, roughly chop wax and place in the large tin can. Fill saucepan halfway with water and place on stove. Put can in saucepan. Burner should be on medium heat. Stir occasionally until wax melts. The time on this varies, depending on how much beeswax you use and how small the wax pieces are. It will take at least twenty minutes. I typically put it on when writing so it can melt while I work.
If you are using coconut oil, melt it in a separate tin can only once your beeswax is melted, as the coconut oil melts more quickly. Once it's melted, combine with the wax and stir.
Remove melted wax from heat and let sit about five minutes to cool. While your wax (and coconut oil, if you are using it) is cooling, spread parchment paper across a baking sheet and line up your paper rolls. You can also use the bottom of an egg carton if you want smaller candles.
To make candles, pour a dime-sized bit of wax into the bottom of the rolls sitting on parchment paper or in the egg cartons. Then place the metal bottom of your wicks into the wax. This will serve as a solid base. Once you've done it for all your candle molds, line one or two skewers or other straight objects across the middle of your rolls (or carton) so that your wicks are neatly sandwiched between them. This will ensure that they stay centered. For smaller candles, simply cut the desired wick size and place it in the cooling wax.
Pour wax slowly into molds. Note: If the wax isn't cool enough, it may leak out of bottom rolls, so make sure it has enough time to cool. I forgot to the first time I made these and had wax puddles forming outside the molds--luckily I could just let it harden, scrape it off, and remelt it!
Once the beeswax is poured into the molds, let them sit until hardened, usually an hour or two. I keep them on the baking sheet so that I can move them someplace where they won't be in the way. Once they've hardened and cooled, simply peel away the carton or roll and you've got yourself a lovely collection of beeswax candles!
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