Hello, Local Milk readers! I’m Lindy, I share about home and using our hands for meaningful work through my online shop Thimble & Cloth and Instagram. As a PNW native, I’ve learned to consciously incorporate ways to thoroughly enjoy these dreary winters rather than just enduring them and wishing for sunnier days. They almost invite you to stay in, take a bath in the middle of the day, knit at 2 pm, or sit on the floor doing puzzles with your kids. Candlelight only aids in this slowing down. A maker through and through, candlelight becomes even more enjoyable when dipping the tapered candles myself. Making hand-dipped beeswax taper candles is a relatively simple, cost-effective, and worthy way to spend a winter day at home. It’s also a great project with toddler age helpers, (just so long as they understand that the wax is hot!)
Supply List for Making Hand-Dipped Beeswax Taper Candles
- One pound of beeswax pellets – This amount will yield around ten medium-size tapered candles. You can get this at a local apiary or online. I prefer the pellets over the brick beeswax. They melt much faster, and grating beeswax isn’t a very effective process. I used triple-filtered beeswax pellets for this project, which is considered “cosmetic grade” and is why the candlesticks are white rather than the traditional yellow hue you tend to see.
- Beeswax Hemp Wick
- A double boiler system – An old deep and narrow pot that you can dip right from, a tall tin can, or this double boiler I used to melt down the wax on the stovetop before transferring it to a tall slim thermos cup for dipping.
- Thermos for dipping if separate from the wax pot
- Utility scissors or knife
- Small bolt or washers – These weight the wick and ensure a straight taper.
- A dowel or stick to drape the wicks over – If you are dipping multiple wicks at a time this is helpful to keep the dips even and untangled.
- Tall vase or bucket of cold water
The Process for Making Your Hand-Dipped Candles
- Fill up a saucepan with water, place the double boiler in the pot, and get your water boiling.
2. Pour the beeswax pellets into the double boiler. While the wax melts down, measure, and cut your wick depending on the depth of your wax pot. Tie a small weight to the bottom of the wick. I used a small washer. You can dip two candles at once with one cut of wick by cutting a little more than double the depth of wax pot in length of wick and draping the middle point over a dowel. Depending on how big your wax pot is, you could dip multiple rows of wick at a time. My narrow thermos could only dip one at a time.
3. When the wax has melted, you can either dip right from the stovetop or transfer the wax to a dipping container. I just poured the hot wax right from the double boiler to a tall narrow thermos for dipping with a cold pitcher of water set up next to me.
4. You’ll dip straight up and down into the wax, making sure the little weight is keeping the wick straight. Slowly dip in wax, then dip in cold water. Be sure to wipe away any droplets of water before dipping it back into the hot wax. So dip in wax, dip in cold water, dip in wax, repeat!
5. The little weight at the bottom of the wick will start collecting a big ball of wax. You only need that weight for about five dips before the candle is able to dip straight on its own. Cut it off while the wax is hot with a knife or utility scissors. About 10-15 dips makes a great candle.
6. Make one last clean cut on the bottom before hanging on a doorknob or hook to fully set. The candles should be ready to light and enjoy about an hour later.
There is much to enjoy about those dreary days; stay home and make a hand-dipped beeswax taper candle. Its warm glow will tide you over until spring!
Lindy is a Pacific Northwest native, seamstress, potter, homemaker, mama and shop owner. She shares about home and using her hands for meaningful work through her online shop Thimble & Cloth and Instagram.
Want to see more of Lindy’s lovely home? Don’t miss her 2019 home tour and tips for creating an intentional family home!