Beeswax is a great choice when it comes to making gifts for family and friends. It is non-toxic, great for your skin, and has many practical uses around the home. It can also be sourced from your own beehives or those of a local beekeeper. If you don't have a local source, you can easily search a site like Etsy for beeswax straight from the beekeeper. Or, if you need the wax faster, you can get a high quality option from Amazon or a local craft store. Just make sure that if you are making skin care products you get beeswax that is approved for that purpose.
As beekeepers ourselves, we lean toward products that are useful and help our wax to go far. Candles are an excellent option if you have tons of wax available but since our supply is usually somewhat small, we aim for products that combine a little bit of beeswax with other high quality products.
If you are going to work with beeswax, I highly recommend getting a double boiler from a second hand shop to use for melting. Wax can be a challenge to clean up (never put it down your drain!) so this way you aren't too worried about ruining your own nice pot.
Here are 6 easy ideas for beeswax gifts and links for how-to articles to make them!
1. Beeswax Furniture Polish
When we started making beeswax furniture polish for our Etsy site, we were amazed at how popular it became. Not only is it extremely practical and useful, but packaged up nicely it can make a great gift for someone who seems to have everything. To make beeswax furniture polish you simply melt the wax and combine with mineral oil (we prefer food grade so we can use it on cutting boards). Then you pour into a container and let it cool. The polish can then be used as a finishing coat on bare wood or to nourish furniture or cutting boards! Click here for directions.
2. Beeswax Lotion Bars
Lotion bars are basically lotion in a more solid form. When cool, it keeps its form, but when you rub it over your warm skin it melts just enough to soak in and nourish event the toughest cracks. When you combine beeswax with a few other high-quality skin care products you wouldn't believe the power it has to heal! We make our beeswax furniture polish with shea butter, coconut oil, and vitamin E - plus a little dash of honey. You can also add a scent like vanilla or lavender to personalize your lotion bars. Many recipes are available online; click here to see our recipe for Honey Almond Lotion Bars.
3. Beeswax Lip Balm
The healing qualities of beeswax can also be utilized for dry, chapped lips. A beeswax lip balm combines beeswax with a complementary oil - such as olive or coconut. The combination creates a smooth and shiny product that can compete with anything you could buy at the store. Lip balms can be poured into tubes or metal tins, depending on the finished look you prefer. This is a great project to do with kids, as you can add flavors to make it fun (just be sure you look for food-save and/or flavors that are approved for skin care). Our recipe for honey lip balm adds the healing power of honey plus a subtle honey flavor.
4. Beeswax Ornaments
For a purely decorative gift for the holidays, consider making beeswax ornaments. These are quick, easy, and infinitely adaptable. All you need is beeswax, a pan to melt it in, a silicone mold of any shape, and string. You simply melt the wax, pour it into your mold, wait a few minutes, then add your string and let it dry. You can choose fun holiday shapes or a shape specifically geared toward the gift recipient! Click here for simple directions.
5. Beeswax Food Wraps
Another infinitely adaptable and highly useful choice is a beeswax food wrap. These wraps seal when you wrap them around your food and warm them with your hands. They are made by coating fabric with beeswax (and a few other products), which means that you can choose almost any design or theme you want! For a great set of directions, check out this article by Mother Earth News.
6. Beeswax Pine Cone Fire Starters
Pine cone fire starters are simply pine cones with a wick, both of which are coated with beeswax. Since beeswax burns more cleanly without releasing toxic chemicals, they are great choice for a fire place, wood stove, or camp fire. You simply build a fire around the pine cone, light the wick, and watch it burn! So easy, and a great gift for self-sufficient types. Click here for simple directions.
Carrie Williams Howe is a non-profit leader by day and a part-time homesteader by nights and weekends. She blogs about homesteading at her family's site, The Happy Hive and also at a collaborative site, Homestead How-To. She and her husband have been beekeepers for the better part of a decade. Carrie lives in Vermont on a small plot of land with her husband, 2 kids, and a rambunctious Border Collie. You can read all of Carrie’s Mother Earth News posts here.
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