make your own beeswax candles

December 17, 2012

beeswax candle and boxwood I know I talk a lot about needing a little extra light during these dark days, but I don’t think it’s a sentiment that can be too often repeated. Especially in the wake of Friday’s tragedy, there is even more need to extend a comforting hand and offer a bit of light to a friend in need. This past weekend, I rolled beeswax candles to give as small gifts. Here, a few tips on making your own: wick Making your own rolled beeswax candles is almost laughably easy. I used natural medium brood beeswax foundation (the stuff that can actually be used inside bee hives) and cotton wicking from Brushy Mountain Bee Farm to make my tapers. Brushy Mountain has loads of bee-keeping and candle-making supplies and they’re my favorite spot for supplies. Truly, the honor is all mine to collaborate with them on this post.

Beeswax foundation comes in long sheets (8 1/2″ by 16 3/4″ long). Cut in half, each sheet yields two 8 1/4″ tapers. When your sheets arrive in the mail, bring the box inside and let the wax warm up to room temperature before handling it.  You can use a knife to cut each sheet in half or do what I did and carefully fold each sheet in half to score it and fold again in the opposite direction to break it in two. If you’re worried about tears, bring out a knife. Next, cut a length of cotton wicking to be just a bit longer than the length of your sheet.rolling beeswax tapers The wax is slightly sticky, so you can press the wick into place along the edge and carefully begin to curl the edge of the wax around it (if you didn’t use a knife, begin rolling on the side with the rough edge). The wax is very pliable, but to get a nice neat roll you’ll want to work slowly at first. Once you’ve rolled the wax over the wick a few times, things gets easier and you can use the flats of your fingers to roll up the rest of the way. (Be prepared for a heavenly smell and super soft hands by the time you’re finished). rolling beeswax tapers If you prefer a thicker candle, don’t cut your sheet in half and just keep on rolling. Thicker still? Start the process again with a second sheet of wax. The best part about rolling your own candles is that you can make them any size you’d like: short and squat or long and lean. When you’re finished rolling, gently press the edge of the wax sheet to the candle using your fingertips. Because the wax is sticky on its own, you don’t need to mess with heat or blow dryers or anything else fancy. A few gently presses will work just fine. beeswax candle and boxwood Once you’ve finished rolling your candles, tie two together to make a sweet little gift. I wrapped mine in a small length of parchment paper and tied it up with grosgrain ribbon and a sprig of boxwood. miniature boxwood wreath If you’re in the mood for for something a little extra special, you can use the same boxwood to make festive candlesticks for the table. beeswax candle and boxwood How-to: Take a long boxwood branch and bend it into a circle. I like to allow the smaller shoots to branch off in different directions. Use a small bit of wire to secure the top of the branch to the bottom stem and then place the miniature wreath at the base of your candle before putting it into your candlestick. candles786beeswax candle and boxwood As always, make sure not to leave your burning candles unattended. And isn’t that the hope after all? Here’s to many long meals shared at tables lit by candlelight. Wishing you and yours many of them.  

2020 UPDATE: Brushy Mountain Bee Farm has closed permanently. Our family now buys our wax and candle making supplies from Betterbee. Materials for this post were generously provided by Brushy Mountain Bee Farm

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  • Reply Katie December 17, 2012 at 3:13 pm

    Loving this tutorial! Thanks for sharing.

  • Reply sweet harvest moon December 17, 2012 at 3:13 pm


  • Reply Ana Cooks December 17, 2012 at 3:18 pm

    So simple, and so beautiful!
    Love it!

  • Reply Ann December 17, 2012 at 3:23 pm

    Can't wait to try this!

  • Reply Milynn {Love + Whimsy} December 17, 2012 at 3:46 pm

    Love the simplicity of this gift! Beautiful nonetheless.

  • Reply Little Kitchie December 17, 2012 at 3:49 pm

    great tutorial, and a lovely reminder to show those around us that we love and care for them.

  • Reply elizabeth December 17, 2012 at 3:58 pm


  • Reply Louise December 17, 2012 at 4:23 pm

    These are gorgeous!

  • Reply Cole Bentz December 17, 2012 at 4:51 pm

    I like the addition of boxwood. Well done, Erin.

    • Reply Erin December 19, 2012 at 2:43 pm

      Glad you do! Of course, any ol' green will do!

  • Reply Lisa December 17, 2012 at 6:28 pm

    This is gorgeous! Thank you for sharing.

  • Reply Urban Nester December 17, 2012 at 6:29 pm

    I'm your newest follower. Love your blog and your sweet style.


    • Reply Erin December 19, 2012 at 2:44 pm

      Thanks to all of you for your sweet support of this project! I hope you're able to roll a few of your own this winter!

      • Reply Erin m November 28, 2016 at 12:32 pm

        Hi Erin, thanks for a great tutorial and pics. I bought some beeswax sheets to make candles with and was wondering what size of wick thread I should get to match a 20cm height 35cm wide sheet. Which I think looks the same as yours in these pictures.. Any advice?x

  • Reply Bridgid Gallagher December 17, 2012 at 6:33 pm

    How beautiful! I love beeswax candles, and had no idea it could be so simple to make them. Thanks for the post! (And your photos are gorgeous!) 🙂

  • Reply Michelle Justine December 17, 2012 at 7:09 pm

    what a great idea! These are beautiful!

  • Reply Becca December 17, 2012 at 7:12 pm

    I made these with my mom and siblings when I was little and we lived in Australia. So many memories of that wonderful beeswax scent!

    Also I love your blog. Just added you to my blog roll. 🙂

    • Reply Erin December 19, 2012 at 2:43 pm

      that's lovely, becca! i had a set of colored modeling beeswax that i played with i was little–the scent is so delicious and such a trigger for happy memories.

  • Reply Tara Celeste December 17, 2012 at 7:21 pm

    Such a simple and sweet gift. My mother-in-law would love these… guess I'll be making some soon!

  • Reply Anonymous December 18, 2012 at 6:04 pm

    thanks for sharing! what a good idea. 🙂

  • Reply Neurotic Workaholic December 18, 2012 at 10:13 pm

    Those candles look so pretty and good that they also kind of look like cookies. 🙂

  • Reply Sarah Dee December 19, 2012 at 3:20 am

    This is such a great gift idea!


  • Reply allyson Alvarez December 19, 2012 at 7:05 am

    They're beautiful. I love the idea. Thanks.

  • Reply Cara of Big Girls, Small Kitchen December 20, 2012 at 5:14 pm

    OK, these are absolutely gorgeous. Bonus that there really is no better scent for candles than plain old beeswax.

  • Reply miamiri December 21, 2012 at 10:41 pm

    Just discovered this fantastic tutorial! We love beeswax candles here in Germany but I never thought about doing them myself. Such a great gift idea! Thanks for sharing!

  • Reply GINNY January 16, 2013 at 6:08 pm

    I just tried making these candles thanks to your great post but mine won't stay lit. Did you have this problem? I think maybe the wicking is too small.

    • Reply Erin January 16, 2013 at 6:10 pm

      Oh no! I did not have that problem! Did you use the cotton wicking ordered through Brushy Mountain?

  • Reply GINNY January 16, 2013 at 6:27 pm

    Yep – the 1/O size. Not sure what the problem is but I'm going to try the 3/O size and see if that helps.

    • Reply Erin January 16, 2013 at 6:33 pm

      Bummer. So strange! I'd definitely call their service line and ask there–they might be able to help troubleshoot!

  • Reply GINNY January 16, 2013 at 6:44 pm

    Just called them and they were super helpful. Looks like I rolled them to loosely the first time. Thanks!

    • Reply Erin January 16, 2013 at 6:44 pm

      So glad to hear it!

  • Reply mrsjekyll November 29, 2013 at 7:12 pm

    Great tutorial. Made 40 pairs of tapers for Christmas this year. Some for gifts, some to sell and some to use myself.

  • Reply lauren November 17, 2016 at 11:55 am

    I absolutely love this sweet simple ideas. I’ve had this pinned since you originally posted, but I’m actually going to make them this year as I am trying hard to create small, meaningful gifts that can actually be used. I’d love any other ideas like this one you have for the holidays!

  • Reply Alicia November 27, 2018 at 11:09 am

    Hi Erin –
    Just curious if you’re still making these and where you’re getting your drone foundation from now because as I was about to order more for this year I learned that Brushy Mountain has closed. I ordered three times as much from Better Bee and sadly the quality is not the same. The color of the wax is almost brown and the edges of the hexagon pattern are crumbly and make them look sloppy. I don’t mind using these at home, but after comparing to my last set of candlesticks from Brushy Mountain I can’t bear to give them as gifts. If you have tried any other companies that make equally nice foundation I’d love to know. Thanks!

    • Reply ERIN BOYLE November 27, 2018 at 11:12 am

      Hi Alicia!

      Haven’t placed an order for foundation since last Christmas, so just learning about Brushy Mountain Bee closing. James bought taper molds last year—I believe from Better Bee—so he’s been pouring the tapers we use around the house. Will do some sleuthing to try to find an alternative foundation source, but keep me posted if you find something first!

  • Reply Bridget Morton December 4, 2018 at 12:01 am

    Also hoping to hear about an alternative to Brushy Mountain; I can’t bear to turn to Amazon on this one!

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