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Rolled Beeswax Candles
Violet
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Rolled Beeswax Candles
Making your own candles for your spells and rituals can help with the focus and intent, and helps you get a little more hands-on with your tools in the Craft. I know Candle-making can become an entire hobby unto itsself; it can get pretty involved with molds, bulk wax, dyes, scents, and so on and so forth. For our purposes though, you can get started very, very easily and very inexpensively.

Rolled beeswax candles are quick and easy to make, and you don't need any tools at all. All you need is a beeswax sheet, and some wick. You can get both online or at some craft stores. Michaels in Canada used to carry them, and might still have them in the USA. I found them online at Bee Maid Honey (see my review of Bee Maid Honey).

Please Note: beeswax sheets are soft and malleable at room temperature. They can be a bit fragile so handle it carefully. If room-temperature is less than 65ºF (or if you've just brought it inside from a cold car, etc) get the wax to warm up a bit more first, or it may crack rather than roll.

Materials & Tools:
  • Beeswax Sheet
  • Wick
  • Athame or craft knife or scissors
  • Ruler (optional)
[Image: candle_supplies.jpg]



The first step is to decide what size candle you want to make, then measure out and cut the right amount of wax from a sheet.

In this example I am going to make a relatively small and narrow taper to be used in a Candle Spell. So I want something about 3 inches long and about 1/4 inch in diameter. The sheet is roughly 8" wide and 16" long, so I'm going to cut 3" off the end, resulting in a 3" by 8" strip.

You don't need a sharp knife or scissors to cut the wax. You can do it with a butter knife or the edge of a metal ruler. Do excercise caution of course, if you do use a sharp knife or Athame.

[Image: candle_measurewax.jpg]



Next step is to measure and cut some wick to the length you need. You don't need to be super-accurate, and it's best to cut the wick too long here. You can always trim it afterwards, but you cannot add more wick later if it's too short now.

I tend to have about 3/4" extra on both ends when I do this; it makes it much easier to work with.

Also - don't try and use string or whatever else you have lying around. Wick is cheap, and it's designed for the job at hand. Get the right stuff and you won't regret it.

[Image: candle_measurewick.jpg]



To make it really easy to roll your candle, use a ruler or straight-edge as a guide then bend up about 1/8" or 3mm along the edge that you're going to start rolling.

[Image: candle_startedge.jpg]



Now that you've got the edge started, you can lay the wick inside the fold of the edge, and then press that edge down over the wick to hold it in place. From this point, you can start rolling the wax around the wick.

Work on a hard flat surface and take your time, try and make the roll as tight and solid as you can. Keep rolling till the candle reaches the diameter you want.

[Image: candle_rollwax.jpg]



When the candle has reached the diameter you want, if you have excess wax left, just trim it off. In this example, I only needed about half of my 8" strip of wax to reach the 1/4" diameter candle.

[Image: candle_trimwax.jpg]



Finally, trim the wick. Which ever end of your candle looks flatter, should be the base. Cut the wick flush with the bottom of the wax. On the other end, trim the wick so it's about 1/4" long. That's all there is to it!

[Image: candle_finished.jpg]



The finished candle is now ready for use. To light it, it's best to hold it horizontally or even tilted a bit downwards when starting, so that the flame will melt the wax and let it run down and coat the wick. Once this happens, you can turn the candle upright and place it in a holder etc. The reason for doing this is to get the wax into the wick. A dry wick will not burn properly. (You only need to do this the very first time you use a candle made in this way.)

You can use this technique to make altar candles, tealight candles, votive candles, et cetera. The only differences are the length of the candle and the amount of 'layers' as you roll it. Using an entire 8" x 16" sheet to roll a 16" long taper would be more difficult, but it is not impossible. It just takes some practise.

Cost-wise, my 3" x 1/4" candle used roughly a 3" by 4" sheet of wax. By my estimate, I could make roughly 10 of them from a single sheet. At $1.60 per sheet (not including shipping), that's 16 cents for the candle. The cost of the wick is negligible; for 5" of wick the price works out to roughly four one-hundredths of a cent.

Cheers!
(This post was last modified: 2014.05.22, 13.10 by Violet.)
2014.05.22, 13.09
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