Monday, March 22, 2010

Making Beeswax Container Candles

To make container candles out of beeswax, you'll need basic candle making supplies, like a double boiler and pouring pot as shown in the previous post, glass containers, wicking, wick clips, and some clothepins, toothpicks or sewing pins.

Containers for candles need to be heat resistant.  A good choice is to save and reuse containers from older candles.  I used votive glasses that my mom had saved after she'd burned the candles.  Mason jars are another heat resistant choice, and are very cute.  Half-pints, and 4oz sizes are ideal.
You'll also need beeswax and paraffin.  Beeswax has a relatively high melting point.  This makes it ideal for tapers, which generally will be almost dripless, because the outer sides of the wax stay solid longer than the center by the wick, containing the melted wax.  In a container, on the other hand, there is a bigger surface area and more of it stays unmelted, causing the flame to burn right down the center of the candle, leaving a lot of the sides behind.

Paraffin has a relatively low melting point, and so mixing the two kinds of waxes can solve this problem.  I used a 50/50 mix, which you'll see lower down may have been a bit high on the beeswax.

Oh, and I woundn't buy the paraffin in the candlemaking supplies of the craft store; it's much cheaper in the canning supplies of a grocery or country store.  I got my Gulf Wax at Rural King, right along the canning jars and rings and lids.  They put it there because the old-timers still insist that it's okay to use it to seal jams and jellies, but that's another topic.  Just making you aware, a pound of paraffin wax doesn't really cost $8-$12 like it would at Michaels.  Gulf wax is between $2 and $4 for a pound.  :)
Prepare the containers by running the appropriate wicking (just check the labels, it will say right on it what size candle and type of wax it's best suited for) into a wick clip, securing it with pliers, cutting it to length and then sticking the wick clip to the center bottom with Tacky Wax.

I used a wick that was naked, and also tried a few with wick that I'd "primed" by dipping it in wax and letting it harden.  I haven't really seen a difference in the way they burn yet.
To keep the wicks straight and upright, I used toothpicks that I'd poked right through the wick, so they'd sit across the top of the container.  I think that pins might be more appropriate for this, especially long pins like corsage pins, since they'd pierce the wick better and leave less of a hole in the braid of it.  For thicker wicks or larger diameter containers, clothespins will work well.  If a wick isn't thick enough for the clothespin to grasp, a pin can be put through the wick to keep it from fall through the space in the clothespin.  Unbent paper clips, tying wicks to pencils, and just using two knives or chopsticks laid across the container are all choices for this.
Container candles are pretty simple to make, since after the wicks are prepared, all you have to do is pour the wax into the container, making sure to pour it over the wick as you do so.  Make sure to leave a little extra room at the top, and a bit of wax as well, since wax will sink and crack as it cools and hardens, making topping off a necessity.  To top off the candles, just wait until the they have finished hardening at the top and sinking, then pour a layer of wax on top to fill the divet and any cracks.  This will produce a smooth flat topped candle surface.
As you can see, the candles I made the other day do burn down the middle a bit more than commercial candles.  This is because my beeswax to paraffin ratio was 50/50.  I think that perhaps a ratio of 1to2 might be more appropriate for containers.
I left my candle wax plain, without any added colors or scents because the natural golden color is so beautiful.  The beeswax also has a lovely natural scent that's like hot honey and sweet pollen, but is very subtle in small candles like these are.  I may try some cinnamon scent in the next batch, since I think that would really compliment the natural honey aroma.

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4 comments:

Worknprogress said...

beautiful candles!! thanks for the tute!

Mishieru said...

Wow! You are so creative. I wish i could be as creative as you. I'm just new at blogging so i wish i could find friends through it. Have a nice day!

Bethany said...

Thanks ladies!

Welcome, Mishieru. Good to have you here in "Blogland". :)

katty said...

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So when i have a romantic date, i always decorate my apartment with some candles, and the night result successfully like some medicine that increase your sexual performance, so if you want to live a great experience advice you buy viagra

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