Friday, June 22, 2012

Hand Rolled Beeswax Pillar Candle

Today's project is fun, easy, and versatile. I chose to make an 8 inch pillar candle with red, white, and blue sheets of textured beeswax, accented with white stars for a patriotic theme for the 4th of July. The colors and cutouts could easily be changed for any holiday. Think red, green and white or gold with Christmas tree cutouts for Christmas, or orange and black with pumpkin cutouts for Halloween. My Canadian friends could make red and white with maple leaf cutouts - the ideas are endless. Making this candle doesn't require a lot of equipment or concentration. If you make a mistake, sheets of beeswax are flexible and forgiving. My little guy was talking to me non-stop the whole time I was working on this candle and I made a small error when measuring the red stripes. Once I realized what happened, I adjusted the rest of my measurements and everything worked out fine. Most craft supply stores carry candle making supplies, but sheets of textured beeswax may need to be ordered. My favorite source for candle making supplies is Candlewic Candle Making - Wholesale wax, wicks, molds, scents & more. Huge selection. Low prices.  These candles are beautiful home decor pieces, make gorgeous gifts, and sell well online and at craft shows. Go to and search for beeswax candles to see for yourself!

Here's what you'll need to make your candle:
  • Beeswax Honeycomb Sheets
         White - 6 sheets
          Red - 1 sheet
          Blue - 1 sheet
  • #1 Candle wick; 10 inches
  • Ruler
  • Craft knife
  • Star shaped cookie cutter (or you can cut the shape freehand)
These first two steps build the foundation and are probably the most important part of the whole candle.
Let's begin by laying the 10 inch piece of candle wick down across the bottom of the 8 inch side of the first sheet of white beeswax.  Gently roll the wax sheet evenly around the wick so that it is pretty snug, and level at both ends.

Now continue rolling the wax until you get to the end of the sheet. You can roll and unroll as much as necessary to keep the candle snug, even, and level at both ends. When you reach the end of the sheet, grab the second white beeswax sheet and butt the new 8 inch end up against the old one. It doesn't have to meet perfectly as long as the emerging candle layers remain snug, even and level at the top and bottom ends. You repeat this step until you have used 5 of the 6 sheets of beeswax and you have a nice, fat pillar candle.

*Cutting tip - Beeswax is a bit sticky so you won't be able to cut it like you would paper or fabric. I kind of put the knife down and press, pick it up and move it, then press it down again. Once I've done that all the way down the length of the sheet, I gently bend the beeswax up and pull the piece away from the rest of the sheet.

Now take the 6th and final sheet of white beeswax and cut three strips 11/16" by 16 3/4".

Take the sheet of red  beeswax and cut three strips 3/4" by 16 3/4".

Take the sheet of Cobalt blue beeswax and cut one strip 4" by 16 3/4".

 Next, roll the strips in a level manner around the white pillar candle you rolled in the beginning, alternating red/white, red/white, red/white. Then roll the Cobalt blue stripe above the last white stripe. The length of the strips is long and they will overlap. Sometimes I have a little too much blue and it sticks up over the top of the candle. If that happens just take a ruler and measure the part that is sticking up, then unroll the blue stripe, cut that extra strip off and roll the newly measured strip back on the candle.
*Tip - Measure twice, cut once!

 Press the star shaped cookie cutter down on the leftover part of the sheet of white beeswax to make three star cutouts. Depending on the size of your stars, you can make as many or few as you want. Now stick the star shapes, evenly spaced, on the Cobalt blue strip at the top of the candle and gently press the stars so they adhere well to the blue beeswax stripe. Don't press so hard that you smush the honeycomb texture of the stars. Since beeswax is sticky, this shouldn't take too much effort.

Congratulations! You did it! You made a beautiful, hand rolled beeswax pillar candle! Sheets of beeswax come in all kinds of colors so once you get the hang of hand rolling sheets of beeswax, you can make votive candles, tapers and all kinds of fun shapes!

I never burn my patriotic pillar candle, it's just too pretty - but if you decide to light yours, remember *Never leave a burning candle unattended. Keep burning candles away from children and anything that can catch fire.*

Many Blessings,

Jana : )