My friend Lola and I got all old-fashioned the other day and made our own candles. For our first try they turned out pretty great. I haven’t lit any of mine but Lola burned hers during a power outage and said that they burned really well.
I’m no expert so I’m not going to give you a detailed tutorial but it was just too neat of an experience not at least share some pictures. They are hand dipped and definitely rustic beeswax candles but they look lovely and they smell AMAZING.
Just so that we keep it real, I will include a few of the happenings that occurred while we were candle making. You'll see these happenings in italics.
Clean, filtered pure beeswax (I just happen to know more than one bee keeper which is handy.)
#4/0 bleached Square Wick http://www.canwax.com/40-Bleached-Square_p_797.html
Newspaper ( You need this)
Tall narrow Stainless steel container- this is ideal but we
used tall cans from Tomato Juice. They made shorter tapers than we had planned so we'll be looking for a different option.
Something to hang your dipped candles over- We used a wooden bar and two piece of firewood.
This was the stage where the two men decided that they were headed to get photos of the ocean because there were some great waves. This left us with seven children.
How you make them:
Break the wax into chunks and fill the tall can or container. The wax needs to be melted so we put ours in the oven at 185* (don’t get it higher than that) to get the melting going quicker then we moved the can over to a pot of water on the stove and finished melting the wax on mid heat. Pause to rescue baby Lewis because Kathleen is using his head as a teething toy.
Spread newspaper in several layers. Believe me, you want to do this to catch drips. Sooth baby Lewis.
Cut your wick to length. Measure the height of your can, double it and add about an inch or so (we were too generous and added too much length). Pull Kathleen out of the compost bucket and pry the apple core from her fist.
Dip both ends of the wick to the height of your container. Hang it and straighten it out. Continue with more wicks and let the previous ones dry. Repeat this about three or so times, getting the wick as straight as possible. Get Kathleen away from the toilet, relieved that the last person flushed.
Then you just keep dipping in a smooth dipping motion…we didn’t count but probably about 20-25 or so times…just until they look the thickness that you want. They are still a bit pliable so can be gently straightened. Kathleen is gnawing on Baby Lewis again.
Every so often trim the bottom because the wax will drip down and you will have wickless (and wasted) wax if you don’t. Kathleen is writhing in the sling, reaching for every single thing in sight. Breath a sigh of relief because Dan and Mark are back to tend children and take photos.
In an afternoon, we made two dozen tapers each. Then because it slightly addicting, I made birthday candles the next day.
I can't wait to use my own candles for Advent!
Have you tried making candles before?
I'm joining Your Green Resource with this little candle making experience.