I spent many happy hours yesterday making hand-rolled beeswax candles. I taught myself through trial and error and learned to make them years ago. I even went into business making them using natural golden, honey scented wax sheets, made a natural wrap of corrugated brown paper, tied them with raffia and stuck dried "Pearly Everlasting" flowers in the tie and sold them in the gallery at Vista House for years. :-) I thought I'd show you what I learned so you can make some for yourself or for gifts.
I used to buy my wax sheets through Ruhl Bee Co. but when I went to find their website, they'd gone out of business. :-( The people who bought their company only carry the natural golden color sheets. SO.. I went to Amazon and I found these - you get 10 sheets of any color you want. I ordered a package of bright red and a nice green.
The photo shows the red pretty well but it's actually a bit darker and the green is darker too.
You'll need: A craft mat or cutting board to work on, a utility knife or box cutter, ruler and a t-square, scissors to cut the wick. The sheets are 16 1/2 inches by 8 inches wide. First up you measure to 8 1/4 inches and cut the sheet in exactly half. I use a t-square when cutting so the edge is straight. NOTE: Try to have your wax at room temp, cold wax is much harder to manipulate.
I used to fold up the edge to insert the wick and this time came up with a clever idea of using the cardboard inside the box to use to turn the first fold up, this makes it more even. You only want to fold up a bit because the first roll makes or breaks the tightness of the finished candle.
Next you lay the wick on the sheet and cut it with 1/2 extra to stick up over the top to light. You can then use the first wick and use it as a measure to cut the next wicks ahead of rolling the next candles.
I put the end of the wick into the rolled edge and press it down and around the wick to hold it into place while I roll the rest of the wax over the wick and tuck it so it's round, not flat when I begin to roll.
Then you make the first roll.. it's very important that it's tight and round. You also must not do it so tight that you mash it. But if it's too loose it won't be a well-made candle. You'll learn as you go what works.
This is what it should look like when you're ready to roll...
My rolling technique is to use both hands, even pressure on the whole length of the candle, roll.. roll..
While rolling you need to make sure the edges are even, if you are not keeping even pressure it can start going askew.. if that happens you can unroll it carefully until it's to the point where it's even and then continue.
Roll.. check to see it's even on each end.. roll..
When it's all rolled up.. take your thumb and gently press the last edge to the candle. Not too hard or you'll squish it. :-)
This is what it should look like on the end when done. Tight but not crushed.
Ta-dah.. one pair done.
Then a green pair.
The beauty of these candles is they are a bit sticky so they stay in candleholders well. Plus if the holder opening is small you can press the base of the candle narrower, carefully, and it should fit any holder. Also - the finished candle is the perfect size for most candlesticks.
A red pair. And they smell divine, like honey. Some hints for successful burning of these - never burn them in a draft as they will drip, don't put them under a ceiling fan, open door or window. Keep the wick trimmed to 1/4 inch for even burning. Never leave a burning candle unattended. Keep away from pets and children. Blow the candle out if it's smoking or the flame becomes too high. When it cools, trim the wick and re-light.
Did you notice my new header? There is a Corbett Area group on Facebook and I was scrolling down and lo and behold a local woman had stopped and taken a photo of our barn and trees with colorful leaves. I asked her if I could use it on my blog and she agreed. Isn't that cool?
OK, have a wonderful week my friends!
((hugs)), Teresa :-)