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Beeswax 101: The Humble Bee’s Astounding Contribution to Candle Making

Posted: November 15th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: articles | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | No Comments »

A Short History on Beeswax

Beeswax is the cleanest burning, brightest and only naturally scented wax available. It is collected from honeybees, a creature whose activities scientists can measure and marvel at, but never comprehend.


The Chinese Tang Dynasty were the first to use beeswax and during the Middle Ages, spread throughout Europe. 14th century English Royals would pay their servants with beeswax candles. They were a marked improvement over tallow  however considered a luxury item unavailable to many. Even today, beeswax is over twice as expensive as oil based wax however it burns approximately one inch every hour, far longer than paraffin and soy.

One of nature’s most humbling processes is the activity of the bumblebee. In addition to pollinating plants, they provide a wonderful food source and the byproduct of these activities is our ability to harvest their beeswax.

A bee flies some 75,000 miles to gather the nectar for a pound of honey. It will need to consume 10 to 15 pounds of  honey to produce one pound of wax. This is the wax-unmatched by any other and deemed most fitting for use in the highest quality premium candles.

Unlike oil based waxes, beeswax candles contain no additives that may cause some to be subject to various allergic reactions and asthma attacks. Without the additives used to help candles burn, beeswax candles use a larger diameter cotton wick.

All candles require monitoring. Beeswax candles additionally require one to trim the wick to approximately .5 inches to continuously achieve an optimal burn. Most non-beeswax candles use self-trimming wicks that turn to carbon and curl down. Failure to monitor a beeswax wick will cause the candle flame to slowly diminish.

When burning a beeswax pillar candle, it’s important to allow it to burn long enough to form a hot pool of wax up to the edge of the candle. This can take anywhere from one to two hours of continuous burn time. If this doesn’t occur, a wall of wax will form in the middle of the candle creating a gap around the wick. It will receive little oxygen and be unable to stay lit.

Many candle makers swear by the beneficial characteristics of beeswax claiming it emit negative ions that acts as a natural air freshener. Beeswax candles create an inner sense of well being. The light emitted from a beeswax candle closely duplicates the natural spectrum of light. It is virtually dripless and isn’t an oil based fuel source therefore emits virtually no smoke, soot or harmful particles.

Article reposted with permission, courtesy of General Wax Company



How to Make a Zebra Stipe Pillar Candle with Beeswax Sheets

Posted: November 12th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: beeswax, candlemaking tutorials | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Zebra Print Beeswax Pillar Candle

Inspired by my secret guilty pleasure reality TV: Jerseylicious and their not-so-secret-love for animal prints, this honeycomb patterned masterpiece is freehandly detailed with beeswax zebra stripes. Decorate your mantel and to let the animal in you come out and play. Read the rest of this entry »

Fancy Layered Round Pillar Candle

Posted: October 19th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: candlemaking tutorials, paraffin | Tags: , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

This is an easy candle project that yields lovely results. With simple techniques, learn to create a fancy effect on the classic layered candle.


Mini Hearts and Stars Beeswax Candles

Posted: October 16th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: beeswax, candlemaking tutorials | Tags: , , , , , | No Comments »

mini hearts and stars candle

Silicone ice trays make great tools when it comes to making poured beeswax candles. While the beeswax stubbornly sticks to other types of molds, with silicone, the candle pops right out. These little heart and star-shaped candles are perfect for gift giving or adding a touch of candlelight to any occasion.


Carved Beeswax Rose Candle

Posted: October 3rd, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: beeswax, candlemaking tutorials | Tags: , , , , | No Comments »

Hand molding beeswax is a fun (but sometimes more difficult) way to get
creative with this natural wax. Taking the time to practice this technique is the key to creating a stunning finished piece.


Scents, Molds & Supplies! Where to Buy Candlemaking Materials?

Posted: June 15th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: resources | Tags: , , , , , | 1 Comment »

After years of experimenting with the art of candlemaking, I’ve gathered a sweet list of companies that offer a variety of supplies

GENWAX is a great Southern California candlemaking supply store. They cater towards both wholesalers and hobbyist, and has a wide selection of materials for starting out.

BITTERCREEK has a huge selection of scents to choose from

CANDLEWIC carries a wide range of candlemaking molds and other specialty items for more advanced candlemaking.

DISCOUNT CANDLE has a couple of starter kits if you are the type that likes to be spoon fed :)

8 Unexpected (Mostly Kitchen) Tools Useful for Candlemaking

Posted: March 17th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: useful tips | Tags: , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

  1. SPOON An essential tool when making specialty candles. It can replace a whisk when making whipped wax, since its easier to clean and you can work within a smaller container. Also useful to spoon molten wax into small crevasse and to top off the bottom of candles with more control.
  2. LADLE Great for transferring small to medium amounts of wax from one container to another without getting burned. Also useful for evening out molten wax when making homemade beeswax sheets.
  3. CHOPSTICKS Finally a use for your Chinese takeout utensil! If you don’t want to splurge on wick holders yet, look towards chopsticks to the rescue! Put wick in between two chopsticks and secure with paper clamps. Also useful for stirring in color, scent, and additives.
  4. MEAT THERMOMETER Much cheaper than a wax thermometer, and no need to worry about spilled mercury if broken. If I had extra money to burn, I would get a digital one this time. Saves me the time to sit there and wait for the pointer to go up.
  5. METAL BOWLS Great alternative to pouring pots and vats. Only downside is that you can’t hold onto the rim when removing from the double boiler, so try using pliers to lift the bowl. Useful for storing wax, whipping wax, and most of all, melting wax!
  6. COFFEE FILTERS Comes in handy when making a project with recycled wax or wax with debris. Place 1 filter in an empty metal bowl, pour the melted wax into it, and lift the coffee filter by its edges slowly to drain out all the clean wax.
  7. TIN LIDS Remember the good ol’ AOL cds that came in the metal tins? Who knew that these would come in handy for my candle making! Works great for making small batches of chunks for chunk candles, no need to melt large amounts of wax to make a thin layer of wax sheet, since the surface area is so small. Other tin lids work too, like cookie tin or candy tin lids.
  8. TOOTHPICK Nice disposable tool for poking wick holes into warm wax or applying small amounts of varnish to candles.

Needless to say, you will no longer be able to use these kitchenware on your cooking again. Great tools are everywhere in your kitchen, you just have to stop and look. Hope this list has been helpful!

Have you also discovered unexpected tools you use in candlemaking? Feel free to share!

Candlewic Candle Gel

Mini Blossom Rolled Beeswax Square Candle

Posted: March 15th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: beeswax, candlemaking tutorials, useful tips | Tags: , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Inspired by cherry blossoms, this dainty candle reminds me of something proper and ladylike. Contrasting and matching colors make this project a fun way to explore decorative combinations through beeswax sheets, ribbons, and beads.