Bee wax candles are easy to make and even easier to clean up after making them. After learning the basics, the sky is the limit to what else you can do with these materials.
- You need to decide if you want to make a stacked candle or a rolled candle.
- If you want to make a rolled candle, you will first need to decide how tall you want your candle to be. If you want a 4-inch tall candle, then use the ruler to mark 4 inches at either of the end of the sheet of bee wax. Place the wax on a cutting board and using a straight edge cut the length of wax. How thick your candle will be depends on how many strips you add (for a votive size candle, I used 2 strips of wax, 3 inches by 18 inches). With one length of wax in front of you, cut a piece of wick to be the height of the candle plus 1 inch. (With a 4-inch candle the wick would be 5 inches.) At one end of the wax strip, heat up the wax with the hairdryer until it is soft. Press the wick into the wax with one end even with the edge of the wax and the extra inch hanging over the edge. Heat up a few inches of the wax and using your fingertips start to roll the wax, first wrapping the wax around the wick and then rolling the wax up. The tighter the roll, the longer the candle will burn, and the longer the candle will remain rolled. While rolling, press the wax together (with gentle pressure) to make a tighter roll. Every few inches, pause and heat the wax with the hairdryer. When you come to the end of the strip, press the edge into the wax. If you want the candle to be thicker, add another strip. Butt up the ends of the old, rolled strip to the new strip. Use your fingertips to press the two ends together and to the wax below. Keep heating and rolling like before. Add as many strips as you want to make the candle you want. Once at the end of the last strip you want to add, make sure you heat up the edge of the strip and really press it into the wax to seal the end.
- If you want to make a stacked candle, you need to choose a shape like a cube or a triangle where all the wax shapes are of the same size. On a flat cutting board use a utility knife and a ruler to cut the bee wax sheet into the shape you want your candle to be. How many layers you add depends on how thick you want the candle to be. You will need an even number of pieces. Once you have all of the pieces cut, pick out two of the pieces and place them in front of you. Cut a length of wick that is one inch longer than the pieces of wax. Using a hair dryer, warm up the two pieces of wax so that they are soft to the touch. Place the wick in the middle of one of the pieces with one end of the wick even with the bottom of the piece and one inch hanging over the other side. Press the wick into the softened wax. Then place the other piece on top and press the two wax sheets together. The closer they are pressed together, the longer it will take the candle to burn and the longer the candle will hold together. Use the hairdryer to warm up another sheet and add it by pressing it to the sheets already together. Build up the candle evenly on both sides so that the wick remains in the middle. Keep adding as many layers as you want until you have the shape you want for your candle.
- You can also make a stacked candle by using wax pieces that gradually get smaller. Just make sure you cut the pieces in pairs so you can put one on either side of the wick. Start with the two largest pieces and work your way down to the smallest pieces.
- If you are worried that the candle will not hold together, you can heat up a cookie tray and melt the bottom of the candle to make sure it does not come apart. (I have never felt the need to do this. I wrap the candles very tightly and even after 10 years the candles I made for my wedding are still together.)
- If you are going to burn the candles, trim the wick to ¼ inch and make sure you have a plate under the candle to catch the melting wax. If you are giving the candles away, make sure the new owner knows to trim the wick and to place something under the candle while it burns. (And of course, never leave a burning candle unattended.)
- I have added sprinkles to the candles or smaller pieces of different colored wax while they are still warm. I have also glued paper, beads and other decorations to candles. How you decorate the candles you have made is up to you and your imagination.