January. The sun sets early in the day and there is a chill in the winter air. It seemed the perfect time to try candle making.
I had stacks of vintage jello tins on hand, and I found classic glass teacups for .50 at a local thrift store. After doing a bit of research I discovered that traditional paraffin candles are petroleum based, potentially toxic, and simply not the best to burn in one's home. So I decided to work with beeswax. I read that when lit beeswax candles clear the air and are a good choice for allergy sufferers. They were much easier to make than I expected, and I have since also made beeswax candles with cinnamon!
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Homemade Beeswax Candles
makes 6-7 small candles
1/2 lb beeswax (I used half of a 1 pound bar)
2 cups palm oil shortening
Vintage jello mold tins and teacups
Lead-free natural candle wick
6-7 thin pencils
Candy or candle thermometer
Double boiler or similar (I used a glass measuring pot in a larger pot with water)
Set wicks in bottom of each candle dish and twist tops around pencils to hold in place. Simmer water pot + beeswax pot on medium low heat. Stir frequently. Beeswax should melt around 145 degrees Fahrenheit. Do not allow temperature to exceed 160-170 degrees Fahrenheit. Once wax is melted add 2 cups of palm oil shortening, stir until melted. The shortening prevents the candles from cracking once hardened.
Carefully pour wax/shortening mixture into each candle dish. Adjust wicks to be centered in dish. Immediately wipe out cookware before beeswax hardens. Allow to cool for at least 24 hours. Trim wick to about 1/2" tall.
This was my first attempt at homemade candles and they turned out beautifully! When buying your wick buy a smaller wick for small candles. Large wick for large candles. Wick size does matter, I used a medium size and they burn well. I opted to leave them free of fragrance. The beeswax gives off a slight natural honey smell.
I hope you give candle making a try! These were simple to create and would make sweet gifts or decor pieces at a wedding or baby shower.
Disclaimer: Never leave a lit candle unattended and use in a well ventilated area.