Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Beeswax Candle

Bayberry candles are one of my all time favorite things in the whole wide world.    I love them.   I also love beeswax candles.   I love how they smell when they're burning.  

I saved all our extra wax from last year and melted it down into a block so I could make candles with our own wax from our own bees.   Since I wanted really special candles, I got a pound of bayberry wax from betterbee.com to add to them.

Actually, I wanted to render my own bayberry wax -[You get the bayberry wax by boiling  bayberries.  The wax coating melts off and floats.  When it cools, it becomes hard like any other wax].  - so I spent days and days searching for a source for bulk bayberries by the pound.    No go.   If you ever find a source, let me know.     In the meantime, I may have to plant some bushes here.  We'll see.

I save my old candle jars for just this purpose, so I taped a wick to the bottom of the jar so it wouldn't wiggle and then wrapped it around a pencil that I laid across the top.  [I used the zinc core wicking for this candle - still experimenting with different wicks]  When the candle was cool, I cut it at the length I wanted. 

Traditionally, bayberry candles were made from half bayberry wax and half beeswax.  So that's what I did.    In a double boiler unit, I melted a hunk of beeswax and a hunk of bayberry together.   When they were all hot and melted, I poured it into the candle jar. 

To prevent the wax from heaving as it cooled, I turned off the burner under the hot water in the pan and set the candle jar right in the water and let it all cool overnight.   Worked like a charm.

Our wax is screaming yellow and bayberry wax is a gray green/olive color.   The two together make this nice yellow green.

It smells divine. 

8 comments:

  1. Needs smell-o-blog so that we all might enjoy the smell of the fruits of your labor.

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  2. I don't know that I've ever burned/smelled a bayberry candle before. Will have to find one to try! Can you use the honeycomb chunks to melt down as wax? I'm going to pick your brain next Tuesday about this. ;)

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    1. Sounds good! I did melt our honeycomb for this candle. Last fall I melted and strained all the wax into a block. Then I melted the block with some bayberry wax for the candle.

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  3. Oh! I just flashed on a long-dormant fascination I've had with dipped candles. I have never cared much about making candles out of milk cartons or pouring them into candle jars...but the prospect of dipping and making lovely tapers... yes. I wonder how that would work with your wax? Have you ever been tempted?

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    1. I have done the taper dipping thing. It's a mess. The candles look lumpy and irregular. That's why I went with jars.

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    2. Murph! Just found this vid on dipping candles. WAY easier than what I'd seen before. Still a lot of work, but definitely the way I'd do it myself now. http://forum.beemaster.com/index.php/topic,30857.0.html

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  4. Love this. You make everything look do-able. How's the scent? Strong or mild?

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    1. The scent is pretty mild. It smelled iffy while I was melting it all down, but I love the smell as it's burning.

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