While I never expected to be living electricity-free for quite so long, there are certain benefits that come with unplugging. For one, we get to experience the warm glow of lighting with beeswax candles each and every night! After purchasing way too many cheap (or not so cheap) candles, we finally took the plunge into candle making. Here are some step-by-step photos of the process of making beeswax candles, in hopes that it inspires you to make your own!
What Equipment Do I Need to Make Beeswax Candles?
The first step in making beeswax candles is gathering the supplies you need. The basics are:
- Wick (suitable for tapers, like this one)
- Dipping Racks (that look like this one)
- Dipping Vat (like this)
- Beeswax (source from a local apiary, or buy here)
- Some old pots to melt the wax
We used a taper dipping rack that can make six candles at a time. We purchased this taper dipping rack through Glory Bee and borrowed several more from our neighbors. (I recommend Glory Bee for candle making supplies because they are pros, and you’ll find their prices reasonable, but I also provided Amazon links above where you can find similar supplies.)
Making Beeswax Candles
The photo above shows me pouring melted beeswax into the dipping vat, which sits inside of a larger pot of simmering water. We did this on our woodstove, although you could also do it on your range.
Once the dipping vat was full, we returned the beeswax pot to the stove to keep warm, topping off the vat as needed. We purchased the beeswax from a local honey farm, although we hope our beehives will produce ample beeswax in the coming years.
While the beeswax melted, we prepared the dippers by winding the wick from top to bottom.
Beginning the dipping process! With the borrowed dipping racks, were able to make 12 sets of 6 candles at a time. By the time we finished dipping the last, we were ready to begin again with the first.
This job went much more smoothly with two people working together. We kept the entire area between the woodstove and the drying rack covered in newspaper to minimize mess.
Getting thicker! We were warned that there is a “golden zone” between candles that are too thin, and thus burn too quickly, and candles that are too thick. We ended up doing 10 dips total, which has resulted in beautifully burning candles that don’t drip a bit!
After the candles finished drying, we cut them free from the dipping racks so we could reuse them for another round of candlemaking!
The kids really enjoyed pulling the excess wax off the dippers!
Voila! 72 beautiful, sweet-smelling candles to light our home.
If you’re using beeswax candles to light your home, or want to maximize their light when faced with a power outage, read my article for tips on lighting with beeswax candles.