Ken and I recently took a little babymoon to Boston and Nantucket in early October. While we were there I was lugging my camera from place to place either carrying it by hand (so it was convenient to snap a photo) or in my saddle purse, and I came to the realization that I needed a camera strap. Badly. Why the heck had I never gotten one?! They make life so much easier, whether I’m on a trip or at home snapping photos for a blog post. So when we got home, I set out to make one.
Thanks to the genius craft of a new favorite pourover coffeeshop in our neighborhood, I’ve been converted into a believer–a pourover coffee believer, that is. As Serious Eats so eloquently explains it, “[Pourover coffee] can hold myriad subtle and fanciful flavors that can get lost in the sludge of a French press,
Happy Monday! Over the weekend I pulled out the bag of raw beeswax we collected from the honey harvest, cleaned it, melted it down and made some beeswax tea lights out of it. We brought home a pretty blue lantern from Italy earlier this year, and I thought tea lights would be the perfect way to light it up.
I’ve been reading up quite a bit lately on how to make beeswax candles and learned a lot of fun factoids along the way. Did you know that beeswax candles, in addition to being non-toxic and clean burning, they also purify your air (!!) by producing negative ions that clean the air of odors and allergens. How cool is that?
Beeswax also has an inherently clean and pleasant aroma, so I decided not to add any additional scents to it. I felt it wasn’t necessary, but it sounds like you can add essential oils to the wax once it’s cleaned and melted if you’d like.
- raw beeswax from a hive or pre-cleaned beeswax
- heatsafe pouring container (Thank you Scott & Caitlyn for loaning yours to me!) Or you can use any old metal pot that you’re okay designating as a candle-making pot. It’s extremely difficult to remove all the wax after using it for candle-making.
- a larger metal pot to use as a double boiler. This one shouldn’t come in contact with wax, so it’s okay to use an everyday pot.
- candy thermometer
- rubber tea light mold (Mann Lake sku# PM-778)
- ready-made 1.5″ wicking (Mann Lake sku# MD-501)
- parchment paper
- apron (this is optional, but splatters happen!)
- If you need to clean your raw beeswax, you’ll also need a few more materials. Read on for more details.
I bought my tea light mold and ready-made wicking from Mann Lake, a Minnesota beekeeping company, with a big candle-making selection and super fast delivery. They also have a cute beehive candle mold (PM-803) that I’ve got my eye on for next year!
Step 1. Cover your worksurface surface with parchment paper to catch any fugitive wax drops (It’s difficult to clean up the dried wax, so the more of your kitchen you can protect, the better.)
Step 2. If you’re starting with raw uncleaned beeswax, you’ll need to remove the honey and other non-wax material mixed in with it from the hive. Just Two Farm Kids has a great tutorial on how to make that happen. They also show a different wicking method for their candles. Check out their blog for the play-by-play. If you purchased cleaned beeswax, skip this step.
Step 3. Place one pre-made wick in the center of each of the tea light molds, so it’s set to go.
Step 4. Create a double boiler. Heat 2″ of water in the larger pot over medium heat. Place the cleaned beeswax in the candle-making pouring container and place the pot into the larger pot. Heat the wax to 150-160° F using the candy thermometer. Stir occasionally and do not leave unattended.
Step 5. Once you’ve reached 150° F, remove candy thermometer, remove pouring pot from the double boiler, and pour wax into prepared molds. To prevent air bubbles, pour slowly.
Step 6. Allow wax to cool. Once completely cool (about 10 minutes), pull slowly, but firmly on the candle wick, rocking back and forth to remove from the mold. Trim wicks to 1/2,” light and enjoy!