Earlier in the year, I wrote a post about dangers of burning synthetic candles in your household (read it here). Burning paraffin candles emits toxins in the air and is in no way good for you or your loved ones to breath. They may smell good but the damage they do is not worth it!
Natural beeswax candles on the other hand help purify the air. They have a warm, subtle honey smell and burn much longer than conventional paraffin candles. Beewax candles produce negative ions that cling to the junk in the air (positive ions). When they attach together, the particles get neutralized and either get sucked back into the candle or fall to the ground.
Fortunately, making beeswax candles is very easy! My sister-in-law Pamela was in the candle and soap making business for 10 years and has agreed to guest post (she’s already wrote about making a sugar scrub and lotion bars) for the last segment of the Toxic Free DIY Mini Series. Without further ado, let’s make beeswax candles!
What You’ll Need-
- Pouring pot — this makes it 10x easier to pour into the mold (find it here)
- Regular pot or double boiler* (find it here)
- Wick, square braided cotton, preferably organic** (find it here)
- Filtered beeswax (local is best but if it’s unavailable, you can find it here)
- Wood skewers (find it here)
- Silicone mold (find it here) … Find more silicone molds here and here
- Razor blade*** (find it here)
- thick rubber band or a few thin ones (find it here)
*If you have a double boiler, you do not necessarily need a regular pot
**You want to buy a wick that measures the same as the diameter of the middle of your silicone mold. You’ll need a thicker wick to burn a larger diameter. If the wick is too thin, your candle will not burn thoroughly. Mommypotamus has a great post about candle wicks and diameters that you can read here.
***If your silicone mold does not have a pre-cut slit, you will need a razor blade to make your own slit
Part 1 – Melting Wax
- If you do not have a double boiler, take a regular pot, add water and place the pouring pot inside. The water should be 2 inches up the side of the pouring pot. By doing this, we are replicating the double boiler method
- Place your wax inside the pouring pot. If you have a chunk of beeswax and it doesn’t fit in the pouring pot, break the beeswax with a hammer. Do not try cutting it (this is completely ineffective and will take you way too long)
- Turn on your heat to about medium – medium high. If you see water boiling over the edge either turn your heat down or dump out some water
Part 2 – Preparing Wick
Before you add any wax to the candle mold, you have to secure the wick inside the candle.
Also, please keep in mind, when dealing with silicone molds, the bottom of the mold is actually the top of the candle.
- First you will have to create the hole in which your wick pulls through. To do this, you need to find the center on the flat end (bottom). This is where (when you are complete) you will be lighting the candle. You can choose to measure it or you can eye-ball it.
- Take your wooden skewer and with the pointy end, poke it through the middle. Do not push the wooden skewer completely through the silicone mold. Poke it just enough to where you can clearly see you’ve made a hole
- Take the wick and wrap the end of the wick around the point end of the skewer.
- Poke the skewer with the wick through the hole you made, just enough to where the wick comes through the other side and you can see it when you look inside the mold.
- Reach through and pull wick through.
- Tie one knot around the center of the skewer with the wick and place the skewer so it’s balancing on top of the candle mold. Your wick should be tight. If your wick has slack in it, the candle will not set straight.
- Cut the bottom (remember this is the flat end and will be the top of your candle) so there is about a half an inch of wick left.
Here is a short video to also help you so you can visually see how to do it.
Part 3 – Preparing Silicone Mold
When you purchase a silicone mold, most of the times there will already be a pre-cut slit in the side of the mold. This is normal and helps to extract the candle once cooled. If your silicone mold does not come with a pre-cut slit, please adhere to the following steps. A silicone mold without any sort of slit will make it impossible to get the candle out.
- Pick a spot on the side of the silicone mold, take your blade and make a slit about 2 inches from the bottom.
- Place your rubber band so it’s snug around the part where the slit is. This ensures the mold will keep together so nothing spills out of your candle. You’ll have more security and support with a thicker rubber band but if you do not have a thick one on hand, just place a few thinner ones together to mimic a thick band.
You need to have done Parts 1-3 before you pour any wax into your silicone mold!
Part 4 – Making the Candle
- Set your candle down on the flat end. Your half inch wick will just be squished on the bottom
- Some people check temperatures but I never have. As long as the wax is completely melted, it is ready to pour.
- Using your pouring pot, pour the melted wax into the silicone candle. Make sure not to move your wooden skewer with wick tied to it or else your wick will not set straight. Do not over fill.
- Leave it to harden, about three hours.
Do not even attempt to try and pop the mold out of the candle until the mold and wax are completely cool to touch. When the mold/wax is still a little warm, it will be difficult to get out of the mold and you run a chance of smearing the design of the candle.
If you are really impatient, like me, you can put the candle in the refrigerator the last hour it’s cooling so it can hurry it up a bit.
Part 5 – Extracting Your Candle From the Mold
- When your candle is ready, cut the wick on the skewer end
- To get the candle out, you’ll want to push with both your thumbs on the flat end while taking your fingers and opening the slice you made. You’re essentially pulling apart the the side with the slit and pushing with your thumbs to pop the mold out
This can take a while so you must be patient! When you open the candle and you notice it is still warm and soft, you must put it down and let it cool down some more. No risk in ruining your candle you’ve waited so patiently for!
When you are ready to burn the candle, cut your wick so it is a quarter inch in length. This is optimal size for the right burn.
If you still need help visualizing how to make candles, you can click here for a video. If you do watch it, I highly recommend NOT putting the wax in the microwave to melt!
Hi, I am Pamela, a mother of two, becoming more earth conscious and trying to leave as small a carbon footprint as possible while teaching my kids to do the same. I became interested in making my own products at home when I picked up a book called The Green Beauty Guide. I realized I was able to choose everything that went into the products knowing that they were truly natural.