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. Turns out it’s not as hard as you’d think.
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. Never fear, though, because you can save time by learning from my mistakes. The recipe outlined in this tutorial yielded a success!
Before You Get Started…
A note about fire: Before you begin experimenting, please remember that beeswax is flammable. Do not melt beeswax in a pan on direct heat, and watch it closely while you’re melting it using a double-boiler method. If you don’t want to buy a double boiler, you can read about how you can make one here. Don’t catch your kitchen on fire. Here is the double boiler I made using a pan and a big pot:
A note about wicks: Use a cotton square-braided wick. The list below will tell you what size wick you need for your project.
- 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 you’ll need:
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- Coconut oil (We buy this kind in big containers)
- Double boiler or the hillbilly double boiler I use (If you want to buy one, 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 to make Beeswax and Coconut Oil Candles!
Step 1: Figure out how much of each ingredient you need for your container. I am working with 8 ounces of beeswax and 8 ounces of coconut oil (8 ounces = 1 cup). Whatever container size you use, just remember that you’ll need a 50/50 beeswax/coconut oil mixture. And make sure to leave some room at the top of the jar so your wax doesn’t overflow when you pour it in!
Step 2: Cut your wick based on how tall your candle jar is, but leave a few inches on the top so that you can wrap it around your pen or pencil for stability (more on that later).
Step 3: Measure your beeswax and coconut oil. The type of wax I’m using comes in 1-ounce blocks, so it’s very easy to measure. To speed up the melting time, I cut each block into chunks. Put the beeswax chunks and coconut oil into your disposable aluminum tin and set it aside.
Step 4: Fill your big pot with about 4 inches of water. Bring the water to a boil.
Step 5: When the water in your big pot reaches a boil, place your pan on top of your 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. Stir the mixture as it melts.
Step 6: When it’s melted, dip your wick to cover 75% of it with wax. Run your fingers from top to bottom to straighten out the wick as the wax dries. This will make the wick very straight and help when setting it in the candle container. (An alternative option is to use wick stickers, which will hold your wick in place while you’re setting it.)
Step 7: Wrap the white end of your wick around a pen or pencil with the straight, waxy end dipping down into the center of your candle container. Once your wick is in the correct position, gently pour about a 1/2 inch of the beeswax/coconut oil mixture into your 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 will look something like this:
Step 8: After the wax has solidified enough to allow the wick to stay put on its own, you’re ready to finish your 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.
You’re done! Let your newly made candle rest for 24 hours. Then, trim the wick and light it up.
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