Make Your Own Beeswax Candles!

Make Your Own Beeswax Candles! (click through for tutorial)       Now that it's a dreary winter scene outside my window, I've been really craving the faint glow and flicker of a warm candle. As I started to be more intentional about having more natural-based products in my home so I thought I'd try making some beeswax candles which are actually really easy to make yourself. Non-toxic, easy to make, and have a delicious honey smell—yay! 

Make Your Own Beeswax Candles! (click through for tutorial)Beeswax Candles, makes 2 4oz containers
Process adapted from Wellness Mama's Beeswax Candles

Supplies:
-1/2 lb beeswax pellets (filtered beeswax is best)
-1/4 cup coconut oil
cotton candle wicks
wick stickers
4 oz glass or ceramic jars for the candles (I used a small ceramic container and glass jar from a used candle I had bought.)
-large glass jar 
-bamboo skewers (or something else to stir the wax with)

Make Your Own Beeswax Candles! (click through for tutorial) First you'll want to put your beeswax pellets into your large glass jar.

Make Your Own Beeswax Candles! (click through for tutorial)    Fill a large pot with enough water that will cover the height of the beeswax but won't spill out when the water starts to boil. Place your jar into the pot and heat the water until it reaches a low and gentle boil. Allow the heat from the water to melt the beeswax, giving it a stir with a wooden skewer every few minutes. Beeswax is potentially flammable, so keep an eye on it while it's melting and make sure no wax pellets have scattered onto your hot stovetop (one sign the wax is getting too hot in the jar is that it will start to smoke, so watch for that too). 

Make Your Own Beeswax Candles! (click through for tutorial)   While your wax is melting, prepare your candle jars by adding a wick sticker to the bottom of your wick and placing it in the center of the bottom of your jar. Wrap the wick around a skewer that's laid across the top of your jar to keep the wick in an upright position (you can tape the skewer in place as well if needed while it sets).

Once the wax is melted, turn off the heat and add in your coconut oil, stirring to combine. Adding some coconut oil to your beeswax should help the candle burn more consistently and avoid tunneling, but technically you can also make a 100% beeswax candle as well. 

Make Your Own Beeswax Candles! (click through for tutorial)     Pour the wax and oil into your candle containers and let them set for 1-2 days before using. Trim the wicks to 1/2" long, and you're ready to use your candle!

For a single wick candle, the general candle rule of thumb is to burn it for 1 hour per inch width (so 3 hours for a 3" wide candle) so that the entire top melts on that first burn. Basically, your candle will never burn further out from the center than it does on your first burn. So if you want to avoid it tunneling just down the middle, make sure the entire top melts that first time.

Make Your Own Beeswax Candles! (click through for tutorial)      Make Your Own Beeswax Candles! (click through for tutorial)      Yay!! They work! Depending on the beeswax you use, the size of the wick, and the size of the jar, you may have to do some troubleshooting the first few times you make a candle. If you have a candle that tunnels down the middle and never reaches the sides, try a larger/thicker wick to get more heat to melt the wax more evenly. Depending on how bad your candle is tunneling (especially if it's only doing it a little bit), you may decide to leave your recipe as is and just scoop out and reuse the leftover wax around the edges each time—that's pretty easy to do as well. If your candle is melting too fast and your flame won't stay lit because the wax is drowning out the flame, try a smaller wick instead. 

Some people report cracking problems at the top of their beeswax candles or the candle might fall a bit in the center as it cools, so in case that happens, you can reserve a bit of the wax/oil to remelt later and pour another thin layer once it has cooled for a smooth looking top. 

While the beeswax does have a light and pleasant honey smell when burning, it's rather faint. So you can experiment with adding essential oils to your candles if you want a more noticeable scent. Try 1/2-1 oz of a stronger essential oil (like lavender or vetiver) per 8 oz of melted wax, or even more for a lighter scented essential oil. I left my candles unscented, but I love the warm glow they put off and the faint honey smell as well. Hope you have fun making your own! xo. Laura

Credits // Author and Photography: Laura Gummerman. Photos edited with the NEW A Beautiful Mess actions.   

  • This is the most streamlined tutorial I’ve ever seen for DIY candle making! Thank you for making the steps so clear and concise. Can’t wait to try this out in vintage and unique containers for gift giving 🙂 Great job as always!

  • Yes! Love beeswax candles! I’ve made them before but I did have some issues with tunneling. I’m wondering if a wood wick might help with the tunneling issue?

  • great tutorial. Can I ask what purpose the coconut oil serves? Will they work without it? Just curious!

  • I love those beeswax candles 🙂 My problem is : I once made 3 of them in jars (so pretty) and, as the wax doesn’t evaporate (it only melts and stays in the container) my winks drowned. Did you experiment the same issue? DO YOU HAVE A SOLUTION ? 😉
    Many thanks and greets from France !

  • I’m astounded by the amount of pseudoscience in this blog post. If you’re going to make such outrageous claims (e.g. ” Not only are beeswax candles not toxic, but they release negative ions into the air that bind with toxins and help clean the air around them), you owe it to us to actually cite your sources with actual science! There is NO scientific proof that this posit is in fact true. What’s even funnier is this claim’s “citation” actually links to a different blog who is ran by someone who directly financially benefits from the sale of beeswax candles. Conflict of interest, anyone?

    You have so many young followers who look up to you all at ABM, and you owe it to them to not fill their heads with unfounded & made-up non-sense. Young people need to learn how to discern their society & environment with a critical eye. Let’s help them, not hurt them.

    Don’t get me wrong, I think beeswax candles make a fine DIY project, but please don’t try to pass along bogus claims while doing so.

    Please, if you want to make a scientific claim, cite them with legitimate sources.

  • I have a friend who started an candles business this year and I’m pretty amazed to see all the work and effort that goes into making all those candles that she does!

    Paige Flamm
    The Happy Flammily
    http://bit.ly/2jEd6V2

  • These are awesome!! I tried to make DIY mason jar candles as Christmas gifts, but when I tried a candle out it I started a mini fire in the mason jar! hahah woops! These look much better, definitely going to try this DIY out!
    XX -KK

  • I really hate to be *that* person but there is very little evidence that paraffin wax is harmful to anyone, and the articles listed contain almost no reputable scientific sources, and the ones that are listed in only one article are from 1999 or talking mostly about lead wicks.

    There is also no evidence that beeswax cleans anything, and all flames release both positive and negative ions. Actual toxins are compounds that are essentially poison (think heavy metals or cyanide), so if you have these items in your home air, you have bigger issues than needing a candle to help clean your air. A small candle will clean “toxins” out about as well as glass full of sugary juice.

    That said, I realize this is a fairly negative post, and probably won’t even get pushed through to where people can see it. I love ABM and will continue to visit the site, I just wanted to point out that psudeoscience like this is dangerous – it’s the sort of thing that causes people to treat their children with maple syrup instead of medicine or skip out on life saving vaccines. I know this post was not written with any intention to mislead people.

    On a completely unrelated note, I love the candle making tutorials. I’ve been thinking about making my own as a hobby and it’s nice to see some motivation.

    Thanks for at least reading.

  • This sounds like fun and I will bee sure to share his with my candle crazy daughter! A suggestion regarding scent: if you have to use that great a quantity of an essential oil, there would likely be a lot of other stuff in it that you wouldn’t want to be inhaling. I personally diffuse dōTERRA pure essential oils on a daily basis in place of candles and I would suggest you consider something like this in your candle recipe. You would only need a drop or two. Read the labels of those big and inexpensive bottles of EO and you often find they contain a small % of actual EO and the rest is ???

  • Yes! I hardcore eye-rolled there. I love everything about this post except that.

  • Hi K!

    I completely agree – see my comment above!

    Pseudoscience is even more dangerous than ever before, due to our highly interconnected society. Touting unfounded ideas as factual information is highly misleading and dangerous.

  • Thanks for this! I make beeswax candles at home (I’m in the process of opening an etsy shop bc I want the world to know about how amazing they are!!). I’ve found that to avoid cracking on the top, you can turn your oven on the lowest setting, then place your jars on a cookie sheet (with wicks ready to go) and pop them in there to heat them up while your wax is melting. Cracking usually happens when the wax cools too quickly, so that helps slow the cooling process down.
    Then pour in the wax, close the oven and turn it off, letting them sit in there and slowly cool down and solidify. Hope that helps!

    I’ve done some research on paraffin vs. beeswax & soy candles, and I know that while it’s not always conclusive, paraffin is made from petroleum byproducts, with scents that often have phthalates and nasty chemicals, so that’s enough to gross me out. Not to mention the sore throat I get from burning them in the house. AND a candle can say on the label that it’s soy or beeswax if it has just 51% of either of those (the rest being paraffin). So if you’re out buying and are looking for non-paraffin candles, make sure it says 100% soy or beeswax!

  • Beeswax is a much harder wax than soy or paraffin, so adding a bit of coconut oil helps soften it some, which can prevent tunneling (when just the wax right around the wick melts). But if you have a thick enough wick for the width of the container, you don’t necessarily need it 🙂

  • If the wax is drowning out your wick then your wick is probaby too small for the container so try a thicker wick next time and see if that helps or experiment with more or less coconut oil or different brands of beeswax too 🙂

    Laura

  • Hi Renee!
    I do understand what you are saying. I have read that the candles can be cleaning to air on several web sites that I like and trust (the same way a Himalayan salt lamp can be) but I understand that it’s not everybody’s point of view. Either way, the beeswax candles are a more natural way to do a candle DIY and I still love them for that reason as I avoid petroleum based products and artificial scents as much as I can in my home. Thanks for your input!

    Laura

  • Hi K!
    I do understand what you are saying. I have read that the candles can be cleaning to air on several web sites that I like and trust (the same way a Himalayan salt lamp can be) but I understand that it’s not everybody’s point of view. Either way, the beeswax candles are a more natural way to do a candle DIY and I still love them for that reason as I avoid petroleum based products and artificial scents as much as I can in my home. Thanks for your input!

    Laura

  • Great tip! And yes, that’s my feelings on conventional candles as well so I’m so happy to have found a more natural product I like too 🙂

    Laura

  • Lovely! I LOVE the scent of beeswax candles. I used to make them when I was a kid. <3

    Laura- can you tell me where you got the gold hand on the left?? I've been looking for one of those in that position for AGES.

    Help a sistah out!!!

  • Hi Laura,

    There’s nothing wrong with making beeswax candles – but there is A LOT wrong with making false claims about what they do for air quality. There is zero legitimate science behind your claims about ‘negative ions binding and removing toxins in the air’. If there were, would you mind citing your sources? Linking to another blog that repeats the same is called circular reasoning and as such, doesn’t count as a good citation. (I did happen to read that post as well, and there were no links to credible sources to be found.) And just because you read other sites that you ‘like & trust’, doesn’t make their (or your) claims true. Moreover, it appears the logical fallacy of Appealing to Nature is at work here. Natural does not equal safe, or better, or anything – it’s just ‘natural’, that’s all. It’s a biased way of thinking.

    You all at ABM are in a position of power with your wide audience – I wish you would be more socially responsible about it.

  • Hi again,

    I just noticed you guys edited your blog post to remove the ‘toxin-binding’ claim. Seriously, Thank you!! I respect you for that.

    ~Renee

  • Whenever I make candles I get a pretty annoying sink hole down the middle when the wax is setting. It can be solved easily with pouring a second batch of melted wax in the jar to fill the hole, but every blog I read about it nobody seems to have the same problem… pinterest-perfect, so to say 😉 did you experience something like this before? Or do you know how to avoid this? (I usually melt ‘existing’ candles instead of wax, maybe that has something to do with it?)

    Many thanks!!
    Elise

  • I love all your DIYs!! I just started a blog myself (littlediyproject.wordpress.com) and this is so inspirational. Please go on and make many more people happy with your projects!!