Hand-Dipped Beeswax Taper Candles

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!

5

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.

1.5

Dipping can inside of pot for double boiling

6

Smaller double boiler for extra wax

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.

7

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.

8Then 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.

3.5Once there was enough wax on them that they were holding themselves straight we cut off all of the washers and rivets.  We also smoothed the bottoms a bit after cutting them off.

4.5

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.

photo 1

We kept dipping the rest until they were the width we wanted.

photo 2

photo 3

I then took some and put them in the log candle holder my husband made me for Christmas last year.

2

And I put some in the two wall candle holders my husband made me for Christmas this year.

1

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.

10 thoughts on “Hand-Dipped Beeswax Taper Candles

    • Waiting for all of the wax to melt probably took an hour or more. Then the dipping, with 6 of us, took 2 hours or so.
      I would not want to do it alone, switching jobs was important because our arms and upper backs got quite a workout.

      Like

  1. Okay, I’m impressed! I have plenty of beeswax (kilos and kilos of the stuff) from my beehives and I have made some beeswax candles from it. I love the smell and the thought I’m burning (and breathing) something that isn’t petroleum based. I’ve played around with wick width and candle size (using old containers rather than buying molds but I may break down and do that) to get some short pillar candles that work really well. I tried tapered candles and gave it up as too hard. Firstly, like you I didn’t have anything nearly deep enough. Then my arm gave up (and my boredom took over) when I had candles that would be perfect for a birthday cake but not a log candle holder (that’s fantastic, I may show this to my husband and see if he can mimic it). Your twisted candle is especially amazing. But I’m not going to be fooled, if I tried the same thing I know it would lean and buckle and…. You are good!

    Beautiful outcome from such a fun project. And, one of the things I love about making candles is all those bits you cut off with washers and to even out the bottom, go back in the pot or into your next candle making exercise – no waste ever!

    Like

    • That is so great that you have your own wax from your bee hives! Bees are so amazing to me.
      Our arms definitely got tired and there is no way I could have done all the dipping on my own. Rotating with six of us made it easier and less boring.
      And I agree, it is great that there is no waste. With the firestarters we make for our woodstoves even the small bits of wick left in burnt candles gets reused around here.
      This is our first experience with beeswax and I love how natural is. It adds to the experience. My husband’s brother-in-law is going to start beekeeping this spring and we are excited to have the opportunity to have easy access to the wonderful products that the bees make in the years to come.

      Like

      • Does your brother-in-law-in-law live near you? You guys have such a hard winter that I doubt he’ll harvest any honey but you never know.

        BTW, did you know that a bee consumes 10 kilos of honey to make 1 kilo of wax? Remember to appreciate all the effort (and honey) that went in to producing those candles every time you light them. That’s another thing I like about beeswax candles, they make me pause to think about my consumption of resources and I am always thankful for the hard work of those industrious bees when I watch the flame.

        Like

  2. Pingback: Decorating with Candles | Advertise2Win

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s