Welcome to day two of Handmade Holiday 2015. Cassie from Wholefully and I are sharing simple handmade gifts all week long to get your crafty juices flowing! Today I’m sharing simple DIY Beeswax Candles and Cassie is sharing Spicy Black Bean Soup in a Jar. These pair nicely with yesterday’s DIY No Sew Flannel Blanket Scarf and my Sharpie Mugs (that won’t wash off!). It’s been a lot of fun working with Cassie on this and her projects are just beautiful while still being simple.
Beeswax candles are so much easier to make than you might have guessed. Not only are they easy but they are beautiful! The texture and color are just so interesting and appealing. Then there’s the smell… don’t even get me started on that smell. The natural beeswax smells like warm honey and it burns so bright and clean. I have loved having these candles around to decorate and use; they also make a super simple but really unique gift. I took a few up to my sister’s house when we stayed for Thanksgiving as a hostess gift and she just loved them.
Beeswax candles start with sheets of thin molded beeswax that already have that beautiful honeycomb pattern pressed into them. You can buy these in bulk from Amazon and I bet the craft store will have them. They are generally 8″ x 16 1/4″ (that is the size I used and what seemed to be the most common size). They come in lots of colors too. I love the “natural” unprocessed beeswax color, but if you like colored candles you have lots of options. The sheets can be cut to different sizes really easily with a pairing knife so that you can make just about any size candle you’d like. If you cut one sheet in half you will end up with two 8-inch long candles.
You’ll also need some candle wick. The beeswax sheets typically make candles that are between 3/4 of an inch and 1 inch so cotton square braid #1/0 wick works well for that size.
You can collect up the supplies you need individually or you can buy a candle making kit. That’s what I did and I highly recommend doing that. This kit will make 20 8-inch candles which puts them at less than $2.00 each. If you want to make a lot more, then you could buy the wick and beeswax sheets separately, but if you are planning on giving a few as gifts this is the perfect amount of material.
I also saw a kit to make little candles for birthdays or Hanukkah and I thought it was just adorable. That’s next on my to-make list!
You have a lot of flexibility when it comes to materials, colors, and sizes of candles, but no matter what you choose the actual candle making is very very simple. The end rests are just fabulous too. I can’t wait for you to make and share a set of these!
Simple DIY Beeswax Candles
1. Cut the beeswax sheet in half so that you end up with about an 8 inch square. Simply use a steady hand and razor blade or small knife to cut the beeswax.
2. Cut a piece of wick an inch or two longer than your candle.
3. Lay the wick very close to one end of the candle and use your finger to press it into the wax so that it stays where you push it.
4. Fold over the beeswax sheet so that it is covering the wick. The beeswax might tear a bit here, but it won’t matter in the end.
5. Gently but firmly start to roll the beeswax up. Press firmly but not so hard that you crush the honeycomb design. Roll the candle all the way up.
6. Where the beeswax sheet ended, use your thumb to gently press the edge of the sheet into the candle. The heat from your hand will help to adhere the beeswax to itself.
7. Trim the wick to about 1/2 inch.
Tips and Tricks:
The tighter you roll the candle, the slower and longer it will burn.
The beeswax needs to be at room temperature and will be very brittle if cold. If your house is chilly, set it in a warm area to warm up for a minute or two. My old house is chilly so I sat my whole kit in the sunshine coming through my kitchen window onto the counter to warm up for a minute.
You have lots of flexibility when it comes to the length of the candle. Cut the beeswax sheet however long you want it and always roll it up on the side that is 8 inches long (so that the thickness is consistent).
Wasn’t that simple?! You literally just roll up the pieces of beeswax and you are done. It takes very little time or effort and would even make a great project for younger kids to make. I think my eight-year-old would be able to do this with no problems. Even you “noncrafty” folks can handle this project, I promise!
Stay tuned for a whole week of handmade goodness, and pop over to Back to Her Roots to enjoy a fun gift in a jar project today.
Disclosure: The links to Amazon are affiliate links. If you make a purchase through my link then I get a small kickback for referring you. It doesn’t change the prices at all for you, but it sure is fun for me to get a few extra spending dollars this time of year! Thank you for supporting me in all these fun blogging activities.