I love candles. I find the small, orange glow of a flickering flame to be very comforting, and they're great for setting a calm, soothing atmosphere. However, I hate buying them. Many candles available in stores are overpriced, don't smell quite right - and worst of all - are made of paraffin. And since I previously wrote a post on the dangers of paraffin candles, I thought I should post instructions on how you can make your own beeswax candles!
- beeswax (preferably pellets, but if you're working with a block of beeswax try to chop it up or grate it as best you can)
- a glass cup or jar (clean, empty jam jars work great)
- cotton string or twine (or similar material that can be used as a wick)
- small piece of cardboard
- a pencil, chopstick, etc. (basically a tool that is long and thin)
- essential oils (optional)
- food coloring (optional)
2. Melt the beeswax in a double boiler.
6. Once your beeswax is melted, take it off the heat. Mix in essential oils if you want to add fragrance to your candle. Add food coloring if you want it colored. I usually find a lot more food coloring than I originally thought was necessary is needed to make a strong color show through in the wax.
7. This part is tricky. Carefully pour the wax into the jar without pouring it over the pencil or chopstick that is holding up the string. But you also want to coat the part of the wick that will be protruding from the candle so that it will be easier to light later on.
Light your homemade candle as you would any other candle, and enjoy.
Have fun with this by trying out different scents, colors and by putting labels and tags on your candles. They make great gifts.
You can buy metal tabs to help you anchor your wick, but I don't like to use those because when the candle melts to the point where the flame meets the tab, it'll burn and release into the air whatever toxins are in the coating of the metal. This is also the reason why I prefer using cotton string or twine to make my wicks, rather than buy ready-made ones, as those often also have traces of silver in them to make the wick burner hotter. Completely unnecessary and unhealthy, in my opinion.
And just a few reminders about safety ...
Even though this candle is in a glass jar, it's still important to never leave an open flame unattended. Also, before each use, make sure you keep the candle wick trimmed so that it is always roughly 1 cm in length. This will help keep the candle burning neatly and prevent the flame from getting away from you and becoming a fire hazard.
If you're interested, you can also try making a candle using a tangerine!