I love to dip candles in wintertime. Candles are a beautiful and universal symbol for the winter season and a functional art. My family likes making things for ourselves, and we especially like making it from the source. Homegrown from the start inspires us deeply. So this year’s candles were especially special, dipped from our own bees’ wax.

 beeswax block 

See the honey on the beeswax? It makes the candles smell even sweeter.

It was a year-long project to refine the beeswax. I adventured in the art of refining lumps of dirty beeswax from February through August. I had dirty lumps of beeswax on the counter and in two different freezers, and one in the back of the fridge. It felt good to collect them (most of them?) and melt 'em down and clean 'em up into usable beeswax. I will write a post with the refining details later, for those of you with dirty lumps of beeswax in your freezer(s). This month, we brought out the block of refined beeswax and melted it down to dip candles.

How to dip candles 

You have to use a double boiler when melting wax, so the wax won’t get too hot. My wax is in a tall bean can that I cleaned out well. I set the can of wax into a pot of water, and heated it up on medium. The can might try to float — just spill water out from the pot until it’s the right proportion for the weight of your wax, so your can doesn’t float. I use a chopstick as a stirrer and keep it with my supplies. I picked up a couple extra pots at Goodwill to use as designated wax pots. Even though the pot only contains water, it gets waxy. You don’t want this to be your pasta pot. 

6/27/2013 7:07:44 PM

So question.  What type of wick did you use?  We have had bad luck with wicks also.  

Mary Lou Shaw
1/9/2013 4:23:13 PM

Thanks for your inspiration! I have saved bees' wax for several years, and this is certainly the season to get going on candle-making project. Your photos are helpful too.

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