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If you’re like us, you utilize a lot of candles in these cooler months. Most of our daily rhythms center around candles. I usually try to burn clean beeswax with cotton or hemp wicks, which when you’re talking quality candles, they get expensive very quickly.
What most people don’t talk about is the fact that candles are such an easy low waste project (and gift!) to make. It’s easy to reuse candle holders you already have or repurpose other containers for jarred candles, or our favorite application- taper candles.
To me there’s nothing better than a taper candle in a candlestick. The way the flame illuminates a dark kitchen in the morning, or the elegant touch it gives your evening meal is just irreplaceable in my world.
Now, if you’ve never, ever made taper candles and you’re terrified of the steps involved in this project, I highly recomment trying out a rolled beeswax candle kit like this one. Rolled beeswax candles are amazing as a gift from kids since there’s no real heat involved in the process. That said, rolled beeswax candles are just a different look and burn than a dipped or molded candle.
For this project you’re only going to need a few things.
- 2 Lbs of Beeswax. Either in block form like this, or in pellet form like this (if you don’t want to grate your beeswax) Of course, if you can source your beeswax from a local family business that is always optimal and will cut your waste in the process since you’ll be able to avoid much of the plastic and shipping waste.
- Wick. I loved this hemp wick that I found on Amazon. You’re going to want a thicker wick for beeswax projects since beeswax melts at a higher temp than other waxes so you want a strong, large flame for even melting.
- Scissors for cutting the wick.
- A heat proof tall container for melting the beeswax and dipping your candles in.
- A tall container for the water cooling process.
- A heat source to heat water for the double boiler process (a crock pot or sauce pan works well)
The first step to this process is to grate your beeswax, unless of course you purchased the pellets. In that case, you can skip this step.
Once it’s grated, transfer the curls/pellets to the heat proof container and put it in a preheated sauce pot with 2 inches of boiling water or a crock pot with boiling water. As the level of the beeswax rises in the container, I added water to the pot so the water level was closer to the level of beeswax on the inside for even heating.
Melting the beeswax took a while. A long while. Don’t go too far from the burner and monitor the water levels in the pot as well as the melting in the heat proof dipping container. I stirred the beeswax a couple times. Remember whatever you use to stir or mess with the beeswax will then be coated with beeswax. I re-purposed a set of chopsticks for stirring and used the same grater and scissors through the entire process to minimize clean up.
Now comes the fun part. You’re going to dip the wicks into the hot beeswax, and then immediately into the cool water bath.
I kept the water bath close to the heated beeswax to minimize dripping. But, you’re going to dip continuously hot, cool, hot, cool, hot, cool until you’ve reached your desired thickness of candle.
I tipped the container of beeswax to achieve a longer taper candle and personally I didn’t weight the bottom of my wicks. If you choose to weight them, using a metal nut, heavy bead, or something to the like would do the trick well. I like the rustic look so I didn’t worry about it too much though.
Once you’ve reached your desired thickness and length, just drape your wicks over a rod, shower curtain rod, dowel, or anywhere else that works for you. I used my light fixture in the dining room and it worked really well.
Mine were completely done setting up after a few hours but I left them up over night to make sure they were completely cured. once they’re done, transfer them to a container of your choosing and they’re ready to burn!
I took all the remaining beeswax and cooled it in a thin sheet over waxed paper for later use so it won’t have to be grated again. Hold on to that beeswax as we will have more projects coming up soon!
I hope you enjoyed this tutorial and be sure to let me know if you try out this project!