Whimsical and Homespun Art Creations with a Little Rural Living Thrown In

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

How to Make a Beeswax Taper Candle in a Mold

Do you remember when I talked about getting that candle mold in Baraboo and a couple of chunks of beeswax?  It was going to be my little adventure... not a hobby... just an adventure.  Have to repeat that, because another hobby in my hands scares my hubby aka Mr. Hollow to death! ;)   (If by chance you do not remember my purchase last fall,  you can jump over to that post by clicking here. )  Well, I finally decided to take a modern day pioneer stab at making them.

Got to give you a little prequel to what pushed me to finally trying my hand at candle making.  See the mound of beeswax in the picture below?  After I had purchased the original beeswax and candle mold, they were wrapped up carefully and set on a shelf... and forgotten. :(  Then many months later, my hubby dumped two loads of chips from our tree business at a local establishment that sells shrubs.  It just so happens this gentlemen has an apiary.  My hubby, who is always making deals, tells the owner that he would take some beeswax in trade for the loads of chips.  Where that idea came from?? Who knows.  I honestly had forgotten about the candle project, but he apparently didn't!    Hey, is this the same guy that shuddered when he saw my candle mold purchase originally??   What a guy! :)  To make a long prequel short and around 26 pounds of beeswax later (not counting my original purchases), I was stocked with enough beeswax to light up our little town! LOL 

After a little procrastination and outright dawdling, I picked up some sticks in the yard that were strong and straight, stole the old crock pot out of our motor home, and decided to spend the afternoon creating 8 six inch tapers. 

I began by breaking up a one pound block of beeswax and adding it to the crock pot set on Low.  And to be thrifty, I tore up some "garage saled" beeswax honey comb candles (the ones that people buy in a kit but never make)  and added them to the pot.   It took a good couple of hours, but they melted into a nice liquid as I stirred occasionally with a wooden paint stick.

As you can see, I set my crock pot on a cookie sheet, and my candle mold on a cookie sheet covered with newsprint.  I took the candle mold and ran a rag up and down the inside of each taper with a towel spritzed with vegetable oil on the end of a wooden spoon handle.  The tips of the mold were each covered with a little blob of play dough (Gifted to my son by a humor loving friend!), just in case of a leak.  Then, I tied my wicks to two sticks, got them centered, and tightened up the wicks by balancing the sticks on to over sized mason jars.  A little primitive... but necessity is the mother of invention, and after all I am a rustic girl at heart! :)

I used a small enamel ware pan (garage sale tag still on the handle!)  to ladle the wax into the molds.  After the beeswax started to harden, it dropped down in the mold.  So, I ladled a little more in the molds to cap the candles off.  Then, I talked to my kid for a while.    He pointed out that if there would have been ice water in the house, I could have submerged the bottom of the mold to push the process.  (They use this technique at the local historic fort.)   I opted for ten or more minutes in the freezer... but the tapers weren't budging.

So, I took the opposite approach and ran some hot water over the sides of the tapers for a few seconds and this is what I got... Eight tapers and a great feeling of achievement. :)  Pioneer primitive is my style, and these would be so rustic displayed on their original sticks until needed... possibly darkened or grubbied.  Maybe the kid could make me a barnboard holder for them.  Oh the possibilities! :)  My head is spinning with ideas...

My hubby was snooping around and checking out the finished product with a smile on his face.  He's not kidding anyone and loves this sort of stuff just like me.  I asked if he was impressed.  He just looked at me casually and said, "Didn't you buy some scent to add to these?"  Aaahh... Maybe next time dear! ;)   


Lorraine Young Pottery said...

Love your photos. You can not beat the experience of making and using own home made candles!

Lorraine :-}

Brenda said...

Thanks Lorraine... I look forward to making more and really enjoyed the process! :)