We had so much fun doing our own hand-dipped beeswax tapers last Friday!
I had been collecting the necessary supplies for a few months, and the beeswax was the last thing I needed. My sweet husband gave it to me for Christmas!
As we began preparing we realized that we needed a rack of some sort to hang the candles on to cool during the process. Husband headed up to his wood shop, and, as is common for him, came back with a rack that was not only functional but also beautiful. I was very excited about it and we got started as soon as the finish on it was dry.
First, we melted the beeswax. The tallest metal dipping vat we could find after much searching was a 7-inch deep food can. We will try to find a deeper vat for future candles, as this only made tapers that were about 5 1/2 inches tall.
We put the dipping can inside of a pot that we didn’t care about getting wax on – our soap-making pot. We put water in the pot up to about 2 inches of the top of the dipping can and put the beeswax in the can. It is not good to melt wax directly on the stove, it needs to be in a double-boiler type set-up. We also set up my small wax double boiler that I have used in the past for making candles and firestarters. This we also put the beeswax in, and its purpose was to pour into the dipping can to refill it as the level of wax went down throughout the dipping process.
While we waited for the wax to melt we prepared our supplies. We are trying two different types of wicks this time to see which we like better. We cut the wicks to length, hooked them over a little cardboard holder we had made to hold the pair of candles apart from each other, and tied a washer or rivet thingy (whatever we had lying around that would serve the purpose) to the bottom of each wick.
I must jump in at this point for a second to say…see my brown swirl textured kitchen countertop in the above picture? And see the faux brick wall and the burnt orange oven door in the photo above that? Say goodbye to my 70s style kitchen! It is being ripped out this coming weekend and I am SO excited. I will not miss it.
But I digress…
We then hung them on my pretty rack and put the rack on a lazy susan (after this pic was taken) so we could easily spin it during the process.
Then we started dipping. We found that the rivets were not quite heavy enough to keep the wick totally straight, so we will stick with washers and nuts next time. We had 20 pair all together. We would dip two pair, put them back on the rack, and by the time we got through the rest of them and back to those two pair they were dry and ready for the next layer.
We kept dipping and dipping and dipping. Eventually they began to get thicker and thicker.
We did realize during the process one issue with the beautiful rack husband built…the round dowels for hanging them on didn’t want to allow the cardboard to stay flat and keep the two candles from touching eachother. So he is going to switch out those dowels for arms that are flat instead of round before we do it again. As it was, we ended up taping some cardboard on top of the dowels to give them a flat top for the cardboard holding the wicks to sit on.
Once they were a little bit past half-way to the width I wanted I took a couple and did some pretty twisted candles. To do that, we held them in the wax a little bit longer than normal to soften them a little extra, then I carefully twisted them together. I had to go slow and take my time to be sure they didn’t crack or break. I also took the bottom and shaped it to the size I needed it to fit onto the candle holder. Once they were twisted and their bottoms were shaped I dipped them again, as a twisted pair, twice to help seal them together.
We kept dipping the rest until they were the width we wanted.
I then took some and put them in the log candle holder my husband made me for Christmas last year.
And I put some in the two wall candle holders my husband made me for Christmas this year.
They are awesome! We are very happy with them and it was so much fun for the family to do together. We will definitely be doing this again.