Ever wanted to make hand dipped beeswax candles? You can! They are pretty straight forward and easy to make with a little prep work.
The first time I made these I think I was about 8 years old. My Godmother Jane Lebrun had me spend the day with her at her house and she showed me how to make them. ‘Uncle’ Allen (Jane’s husband) made me my own candle dipper for me to take home that day. I will never forget that special time we had!
I have never seen another wooden dipper like this one, and I’ve searched online to find one for you guys. The closest I could find is a metal one which I’ve linked below. You don’t have to have a fancy rack though. You can just dip them with your bare hand and hang them with tacks on the edge of a shelf or cupboard.
To make the candles you will need:
A few pounds of beeswax. The bigger your tin, the more wax you will need.
Wick for taper candles. Or wick that is for candles up to 2″ in diameter.
A tin or something similar for melting the wax in. Whatever you choose, be sure you are content to only use it for wax after this, as it will not be good for anything else.
Candle dipper/rack (optional) Or tacks/nails on the edge of a cupboard or shelf.
Let’s make candles!
Fill your stockpot part way with water. Place your tin or melting pot inside the stockpot, and add enough more water to almost fill the stockpot. Begin melting the wax. Be sure the wax tin does not fill up with water.
You may need to chop up the wax to fit it in your tin, or if you only need to add a little at a time. This part can be difficult to do. Bulk beeswax is generally cheaper than smaller “bricks” or “sticks” of wax, but also is much harder to cut. You can heat your knife in hot water to help the process. At one point I even used my son’s little hatchet to break it up. Sometimes the price is worth the convenience. Be weary of buying beeswax online. A lot of companies market their products as “beeswax” when in fact it contains paraffin and additives. As long as it contains 51% of beeswax, they are allowed to say it is beeswax! True, pure beeswax should smell slightly sweet like honey and melt beautifully. To the best of my knowledge, the links below are TRUE beeswax. I actually could not find pure beeswax bars on Amazon, only 1 pound blocks.
Also, I recommend starting with AT LEAST 5 lbs of wax your first time making candles. It will take quite a bit to fill your tin just to get the height needed for tall candles. I know it is expensive, but after that initial purchase, you will not need to buy so much to make subsequent batches of candles, as there will always be some left in the bottom of your tin.
Once the wax is completely melted you are ready to start dipping! For my particular candle dipper, I used pieces of wick 21″ long, which makes two candles. You probably won’t need that long of a piece if using a smaller dipper. If dipping with your bare hand, that measurement might actually be close to what you want.
At first, the dipping will go quickly, as it will cool much quicker between dips. As the wax builds up on the wicks you will have to wait longer between dips. The candles do not have to be completely cool before dipping again, but just cool enough that the wax will continue to build up on the wicks and not just melt off. If you are pressed for time you can fill a deep pitcher or another stockpot with ice cold water and dip the candles in the cold water between wax dips to cool them faster.
Continue dipping the candles until they reach the diameter you need for your candle holders. As you dip, drips of hardened wax will form on the bottoms of your candles. Simply trim them off with a knife and toss the trimmings back into your tin. If you find when you are finished that the candles are a bit too large to fit into your desired candle holder, just trim the bottoms with a knife until they fit. When you are finished, you will have lovely homemade candles for enjoying yourself or giving as gifts! Christmas will be here before you know it, so keep that in mind!
Here is a picture of a makeshift drying rack option. I just stuck two tacks into the edge of my wooden baking shelf. Happy candle making and God bless!