Make Beeswax & Coconut Oil Candles
Have you ever heard of Burt’s Bees? Burt’s products are popular for a reason. Many of them are made out of beeswax, which is a naturally produced wax that can be used for so many things. From Burt’s website:
“Beeswax is another natural solution to a common cosmetic problem: holding ingredients together. An excellent binder, Beeswax works with the same efficacy and flexibility of harsher synthetic formulations. It helps seal in moisture and keep skin conditioned. And, of course, it looks, feels and smells delicious.”
Beeswax does smell delicious, and it has benefits beyond being a beauty-product binder; when in a candle, it also purifies the air as it burns. Using beeswax in a candle was definitely something I wanted to try, so I decided to begin experimenting.
The first beeswax candle I made looked good, but it was kind of a bust when it burned. Beeswax is very hard, which makes it difficult to melt. It needs to be softened by mixing it with an oil, and I don’t think I used enough oil on my first candle attempt, so I had a hard time getting a good flame. I also didn’t use a thick-enough wick, so it only burned a hole down into the beeswax instead of burning down evenly. But the recipe outlined in this tutorial yielded a success 🙂
Before I Got Started…
A note about fire: Beeswax is flammable. I read never to melt beeswax in a pan on direct heat. I watched mine closely while I was melting it using a double-boiler method. Here is the double boiler I made using a pan and a big pot:
A note about wicks: I used a cotton square-braided wick.
- Wick size #1 = Candle diameter of 1 – 1.5″
- Wick size #2 = Candle diameter of 1.5 – 2″
- Wick size #3 = Candle diameter of of 2 – 2.5″
- Wick size #4 = Candle diameter of 2.5 – 2.8″ (what I used)
- Wick size #6 = Candle diameter of 2.8 – 3.2″
- Wick size #7 = Candle diameter of 3.2 – 3.5″
Here are the supplies I used:
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- Coconut oil (We buy this kind in big containers)
- Double boiler or the hillbilly double boiler I used (here is an affordable one)
- Candle container
- Disposable aluminum tin
- Kitchen stove, water, measuring cups
- Square cotton-braided wick. (I used this brand, #4. It also comes in #2 and #6, #8, and #10)
- Scissors and pen or pencil
And here’s how I made Beeswax and Coconut Oil Candles!
(Do not use any appliances or work with new materials without proper training, precautions, and supervision from a professional. Make sure you research fire safety and take all necessary precautions before working with beeswax. If you’re looking for a professional-quality candle recipe to sell, you may want to consult a candle-making professional. Read my full disclaimer here.)
Step 1: First I figured out how much of each ingredient I needed for my container. I am working with 8 ounces of beeswax and 8 ounces of coconut oil (8 ounces = 1 cup). The key is a 50/50 beeswax/coconut oil mixture and making sure there is room at the top of the jar so the wax doesn’t overflow when poured in.
Step 2: I cut my wick based on how tall the candle jar was, but I left a few inches on the top so that I could wrap it around a pen or pencil for stability (more on that later).
Step 3: I measured the beeswax and coconut oil. The type of wax I used comes in 1-ounce blocks, so it’s very easy to measure. To speed up the melting time, I cut each block into chunks. Then I put the beeswax chunks and coconut oil into the disposable aluminum tin and set it aside.
Step 4: Next I filled my big pot with about 4 inches of water and brought the water to a boil.
Step 5: When the water in the big pot reached a boil, I placed my pan on top of my big pot and set the disposable aluminum tin in the pan. To speed up the melting process, I added 1 cup of water to the pan as well (not the aluminum tin). That way, as the big pot boiled, it heated the water in the pan, which helped the beeswax melt. I stirred the mixture as it melted.
Step 6: When it had melted, I dipped the wick to cover 75% of it with wax. I ran my fingers from top to bottom to straighten out the wick as the wax dried. This helps to make the wick very straight and helps when setting it in the candle container. (An alternative option is to use wick stickers, which will hold the wick in place while setting it.)
Step 7: I wrapped the white end of my wick around a pen or pencil with the straight, waxy end dipping down into the center of the candle container. Once the wick is in the correct position, I gently poured about a 1/2 inch of the beeswax/coconut oil mixture into the candle container. At this point, I let my mixture harden for about 5 minutes; then, I stuck it in the fridge for an additional 5 minutes to ensure the wick stayed put while I poured the rest of the candle.
This process looked something like this:
Step 8: After the wax has solidified enough to allow the wick to stay put on its own, I was ready to finish the candle. I split the remainder of my mixture into two pours. After the first half, I gave the candle another 5 minutes to solidify. The last thing I wanted was for the new pours to melt the wax on the bottom, which would send my wick floating around.
And done! I let my newly made candle rest for 24 hours. Then, I trimmed the wick and lit it.
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