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Monday, March 10, 2008

Making Candles -- Beeswax

Monday, March 10, 2008
There are many ways to make candles and many things that candles can be made out of. From paraffin to beeswax to waxberries and beyond. But I am focusing on beeswax, today, for many reasons. First I am able to find it locally and for a cheap price and because it is a naturally occuring product and also because it is relatively easy to work with.
The supplies that you will need are as follows:
  1. A pan with water and something to melt the wax in that can fit into the pot. The alternative to this is a double boiler
  2. A wax or candy thermometer
  3. Molds or jars. Either will work well
  4. A wooden spoon
  5. Wicks made specifically for the wax you are using
  6. Beeswax or some other kind of wax
  7. Also if you want to have colored or scented candles, then you need to buy candle dyes and candle scents
A note of caution before I list the instructions. Wax is very flammable (obviously) and therefore extreme caution must be exercised during the melting process. Also since you will be boiling water in the pot to melt the wax you must also keep an eye on that so that you don't either crack your pot or cause a fire that way.
I have found that the best thing to melt wax in is a clean and used coffee can and that the wax melts easier and faster if it is shaved down into small pieces.
Heat the wax to about 140 degrees Fahrenheit. You can always go up from there if the wax is not melted enough. When the wax is melted enough then you can add any scents necessary. And then, always last, add the dye. You can drip some of the wax onto a piece of paper and let it cool so that you can have a pretty good idea of what the final color will be. Remember though to always add the color last so that whatever you add for the scent does not change the color.
When the wax has melted completely then you can insert the wick into the mold or jar and tie it off the top so that the wick does not fall into the wax when you begin to pour. Next you can pour the wax to a level just slightly below the top of where you want your candle to end.
Let the wax cool at room temperature for just about 6 hours. Then reheat the wax to just slightly warmer then the last time you heated it. You are planning to repour the wax because the candle is not flat on the top. This time you can pour the wax to the top of the mold or where you want the candle to end.
Let cool again and congratulations you have a candle. Repeat as often as you wish.

Now some of you may be wondering about the necessity of making your own candles. Why make them, when I can buy them? Well as I have always said you don't know where it has been. With making your own, you can personally choose the colors and scents that you wish. Also you should be able to see some savings versus commercially made colors. Besides I remember making candles as a kid when I actually went to church. It was a fond memory and it could make a fond memory for your kids and mine.

Good Luck and Blessed Be!

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