There are many different types of candles around, and making them at home is usually a straightforward task.
That is also true of beeswax candles, which are often viewed as being the best type of candles to burn.
Making beeswax candles is no different to any other type of candle, with the process following an almost identical process. Here we show you how to make beeswax candles, as well as giving you more insight into their benefits and some helpful tips to get the most from them.
What are beeswax candles?
Beeswax candles are candles that are made from wax produced by honeybees. This makes them completely natural, as there are no chemicals or additional compounds combined with the wax. For many centuries, beeswax candles were viewed as a premium item, although their expense meant that they were not commonplace in many homes, so for many years, they were mostly used in churches. However, they are very accessible today, and although they are more expensive than soy candles, for example, they do provide great value for money because of their slow burn rate.
What are the benefits of beeswax candles?
If you make beeswax candles or buy some ready-made for your home, you will be able to enjoy the following benefits:
- No chemical compounds: Beeswax candles are all-natural, which means no toxic by-products are released into the air as they burn. The best way to ensure you are making totally natural candles is to make or buy 100% beeswax, with the only other ingredient needed being essential oils.
- Refresh any room in your home: The natural sweet aroma of beeswax candles adds a wonderfully pleasant scent to your home, so whether it’s just to enjoy the fragrance, or to neutralise any odours that are lingering, these candles offer the ideal solution.
- Longer burn time: Compared to other types of wax, beeswax has a higher burn point, allowing them to last for longer. Although they cost a little more upfront, they tend to be more cost-efficient due to their longevity.
- Eco-friendly: We all need to be as eco-friendly as possible in today’s world, and that includes the candles we burn. 100% beeswax candles are non-toxic, safe and environmentally friendly, whilst also being biodegradable. They burn cleanly and without releasing much smoke into the air.
How to make beeswax candles
Beeswax candles are easy, requiring only a handful of ingredients. Before you get started, check that you have the following:
- Beeswax (1 pound)
- Coconut oil (1/2 cup)
- Essential oils of choice (30-50 drops)
- ½ pint mason jars (3 of)
- Candle wicks
- Old coffee tin or metal pitcher
- Large pot (to place the metal pitcher/container inside)
- Bamboo skewers
To make beeswax candles, follow the instructions:
- Add the beeswax to the metal container/pitcher.
- Place this into a large pot of water that sits below the tin and bring to the boil (this works as a double boiler).
- When at boiling point, turn the heat down to medium and gently stir until the wax has been melted. Keep a close eye on the water to ensure it doesn’t splash into the container.
- Remove the wax from the heat once it has fully melted.
- Stir in the coconut oil, which will help to reduce the burn rate of the candle.
- Add your chosen essential oils to the mixture.
- Using a little glue, secure a wick to the bottom of the mason jar.
- Carefully pour the melted wax mixture into the jar, leaving about half an inch at the top.
- Wrap the other end of the wick around a bamboo skewer, before laying it horizontally across the top centre of the jar (as the wax hardens, this will ensure the wick remains centred).
- Finally, when the wax is completely hardened, trim the wick so it is about ½ inch long.
And that’s it! The candle is now ready to use, so all you need to decide on is which room to scent around your home.
What are some beeswax candle making tips?
Here are some things to bear in mind when making beeswax candles:
- Beeswax can be difficult to clean off dishes, so try to use as few dishes as possible. Or, if possible, use things that can be disposed of or saved for your DIY beeswax candles.
- If you don’t have a metal container for the recipe, you could use a crockpot instead, by pouring the wax straight into the jars and letting them melt in the crockpot.
- The candle wick should be no shorter than ½ inch, otherwise it could cause the candle to burn down in a tunnel shape. The first time you light the wick, blow it out and recut it if it starts to smoke or spark.
- You can make a candle holder out of pretty much anything that is heat resistant, including things like old coffee mugs or cool, vintage containers to create a more decorative finish.
What are the best practices for storing and maintaining beeswax candles?
You won’t be able to burn all your beeswax candles at once, which means some will have to be stored away for a while. Bear the following in mind when it comes to storage:
- Regularly dust down your candles, as a build-up of dust can affect the performance of the candle by melting into the wax pool, which eventually clogs the wick. Box or wrap the candles in tissue in a drawer or cupboard until you are ready to use them.
- Store the beeswax candles in a cool, dry location in your home, away from direct sunlight and household heat sources. Beeswax is incredibly resilient, so they should be fine at room temperature also.
- Beeswax will develop something called bloom over time, which is a natural, whitish film that creates beautiful crystalline patterns similar to snowflakes. It creates a wonderful, antiqued look that makes the candles look very special and unique.
If you are tempted to get started making beeswax candles, feel free to use our step-by-step instructions above. There are plenty of places to buy beeswax, and the other ingredients are low in cost and easy to source. Beeswax candles also smell great when burned without any essential oils, so you could always make two batches, so you have more fragrance options to play with. And if you have any leftover beeswax from the recipe, you could use it to make a reusable food wrap, solid perfume or even homemade citronella candles.