Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Beeswax Candles

I make candles,though not as often as I should. I usually make them as gifts for the holidays. Rick is always asking me how come I don't make candles or soap for us. That's a good question. I suppose it's like the cobbler whose children went barefoot.
So,Rick and I decided that we would start burning more candles and kerosene/paraffin lamps in the evenings,instead of using just using electrical lights. The idea is to help save on our electric bill, which skyrockets in the winter months. I am not sure why that this,though. We use a wood stove and rarely use our oil furnace. I do have an electric oil heater that looks like a radiator that we use in our bedroom ( since we have no heat in there),but it really shouldn't push the bill up that much. ( I know NH has if not the highest, then certainly one of the highest, electrical rates in the country).
I will have to balance both electrical light and candlelight since I suffer from depression and it is worse in the winter time. ( My dear friend,Michelle,voiced concern over just using candles in the winter time because of my depression,and she has a very valid point).Rick has also recently been diagnosed with having moderate depression as well. So,we will have to keep an eye on our moods and cut back on the candles if it's causing our moods to plummet. We do love candlelight though. It tends to make the house cozy,especially in the wintertime.
The other day,Rick wanted to make some candles to get started on our stock for the winter, so we made some beeswax candles.

I had some left over yellow beeswax and a new package of white beeswax and some paraffin blocks. Rick wanted to make beeswax,and that was fine with me. You can see the packages in the left corner of the picture. We used plastic and metal votive molds,wicks,a candle thermometer,candle melting/pouring pot,and spice scent.

We used last of the yellow beeswax and about a quarter of the white beeswax (they come in 1 lb blocks). The picture is a bit dark,but you can see the wax starting to melt. The wax should be at 141 degrees melting point. When the wax reached that temperature,that meant it was ready to pour in the molds. Right before we poured,we put in a small piece of spice candle scent and mixed it until it melted.

While the wax was melting,we prepared the molds. There is a candle release that you can buy to coat the molds with to avoid sticking. We didn't have any of that,but we used vegetable spray,which is just as effective. As you can tell by the picture,the yellow holders and the metal ones are different. The tops of the yellow molds make the bottoms of the candles. We took the wick and pulled it through the hole in the bottom of the mold,then pressed a small piece of mold sealer over the hole and wick so the wax wouldn't leak out. In the metal holders,we used toothpicks to wrap around the wicks to hold the wick steady and centered. I have also used mold sealer to seat the metal piece of the wick in the bottom of the mold in the past.
Once the candles start to cool,a small depression will start to form. Poke a hole in the depression,and add more wax. You may have to do this a few times until the wax no longer forms a depression when it cools.
I have used beeswax in the past for candles,and have found the beeswax to be hard to remove from the mold. I was hoping since we used the vegetable spray it would make removal easier, but that was not the case. It took Rick pounding the molds against the counter many times and with great force to get the candles out. Next time I use beeswax I think I will stick with my method of pouring the wax into a canning jar and using that as the mold and candle holder. You don't need to take it out of the jar,just burn it as it is. I tied raffia around the jar for decoration.
Here is our finished product. I thought the scent of the beeswax over powered the spice scent we added,but Rick said the spice scent came through well. Don't you love my teacup saucer candle holder? I used it for photo purposes. :)

1 comment:

  1. Hi Donna,
    Thank you for posting about candle making, it's something I would love to do in the future. Wishing you a lovely cosy winter.