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Candle-making Class

Page history last edited by Deanne Bednar 11 years, 2 months ago

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This page includes the candle workshop agenda

plus additional resources & information on making dipped candles with beeswax. 



                   CANDLE MAKING WORKSHOP

                                  Tentative Schedule


 1:00 pm        ARRIVE & SIGN IN   

 1:15 – 1:45   TOUR of grounds     



  • Note the connections between natural building & our projects for the day. 
  • Gather materials, (sticks, etc.) during tour



        Short Break

        2:00 -3:15   CANDLE MAKING session




Crock pot, warming tray, hot plate, wax, pie tins, stirring big stick, spoon or knife to clean edges, tall cans.   Crock pot on table with a step ladder for kids.  Two dipping areas. 




  • Circle up around the kitchen island counter.
  • What is bees wax? 
  • Show an examples:  Candle holder, addition of nature items. Matchbox. 
  • Start with one candle each, then 2 each.



  • Label wicks. 
  • Tie wick to stick.  Start with one.  Get another soon.
  • “Smoothly down, smoothly up” … move. 
  • Prime the wick.  After first dip, hold the wick straight until it hardens. Let drip, and then tap the bottom if you want.  Optional: hang on rack. 
  • Size of thumb (3/4 “) Ending time .   
  • Breaking up into teams.  Can move to the other group.


  3:15 – 3:30   REFRESHMENTS 


        3:45 – 5:00 Options:  Handmade Holiday CARDS, CANDLESTICK HOLDER or Decorate MATCHBOX.




Wood boards and cardboard covered with waxed paper.   Small rocks and natural items.  Clippers, scissors, silverware, wood skewers,


Directions for Candle Stick Holder - sculpted from earth: 

  • What is cob?  Identify earth for natural building, sculpting.  Make a very stiff mix. 
  • Going taller.  Create support.  An armature.
  • Smoothing, texturing, adding things. 
  • Letting dry / keeping moist.  Speeding up-- use fan or heat source. Slowing down. Put in a plastic bag.  . 
  • Painting & Sealing. (egg yolk)


Directions for MATCHBOX decoration  (optional project)

  • Materials:  glue, scissors, magazines, natural items.  (consider chalk technique or colored pencil or water color on black (like bookmarks.  Make book marks first)  
  • Directions:  Collage directly on the box, or trace the size on a piece of heavy paper or paper bag, collage, cut out and glue to the box.  Leave material to wrap around all edges, or add on a decorative edge paper.  Ends can also be covered.


Directions for Stenciled CARDS:  

  • Materials: Paper, pastels, scissors, tissue 
  • Directions: Make a paper stencil from paper. Using a pastel, rub a color patch onto an extra piece of scrap paper. Using a tissue, pick up some of the pastel -- like applying rouge or "blusher" -- and fill in the stencil onto the card you are making.




How to Make a Beeswax Taper Candle


Things You'll Need:

  • square braided wick (see details below)
  • beeswax   (see details below)
  • tall coffee can or dipping vat
  • a pot to boil some water


  1. Step 1

Melt the beeswax in the dipping vat, or coffee can over medium low heat by placing the vat in a pot of water. Let the water come to a slow rolling boil and the wax will slowly melt. This is the longest part of this project!  I bought several tall tomato juice cans for the project. 

  1. Step 2

Cut your wick to the length of desired candle stick. Be careful to leave enough wick so you don't burn your finger tips. You want a little bit of room to work with.

  1. Step 3

Once the wax is melted it will appear rather clear. Dip the wick so that the bottom of the wick is almost touching the base of the vat. Lift up and pull string straight and tight. LET COOL. Keep dipping until you get the desired width of the candle.  (Although not recommended by me, some people submerge the candle in water between dips, but this can cause water to be trapped inside the wax, especially if it is humid weather which would prevent the water from evaporating quickly.  db)





Beeswax: types and where to purchase


Why buy local? Ideally you could support your local ecology and economyby purchasing lbees wax from a local place that raises bees, sells honey and possibly wax & wicks as well.  You can google “candles and beeswax” or “honey” in your area. Two places near me, north of Pontiac, MI are


What kind of beeswax?  You can buy cleaned wax or clean it yourself (see directions below).  Some folks also sell a darker wax from the brooder bees.  I got it at ½ price and cleaned it myself, as it had quite a bit of “dregs” that settled out when the wax was heated.


Wick: sizing & buying

Wicks are best if they are the correct size for the candle.  If  too small,  a wick can go out, as the wax floods the wick.  Too large, and the wick can burn because it can’t get wax fast enough.  For a dipped beeswax taper candle, size 1/0 or 2/0 square braided cord is recommended.  I bought wick on the internet from 85ft  of 1/O SQ Braid Cotton Wick W142 for $3.60.

18 ply Flat Braid Cotton Wick Yardage: 10 yards from www.alittlecandleandbathshop.com for $2.95 + $4.95 shipping. I haven’t experimented with the flat braid, but bought it because it was “unbleached” cotton.   Websites have suggested 3/0 square braided wick for 1/2" to 3/4" beeswax candles. 

Judy from Jody bees recommends 1/0 or 2/0. 

You could also try local craft stores. 



Cleaning the beeswax

If there are particles in the wax, melt it, and pour through a cloth that is attached to the top of a metal can or pot with a rubberband or wire.  The screening material can be a fine cloth, like a sheet, or cheese cloth with a tissue on top.  Change the tissue occasionally. 







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