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Sunday, July 29, 2012

Beeswax (updated with pix)

My first attempt at working with raw beeswax was a partial failure, but a great learning experience.  I took lots of great pictures, but cannot find my 4 gig SD card anywhere. :(  Please pray for pictures to be found so I can update.

Anyway, the second attempt yielded better results.

If you want to give it a shot, here's what you need to do...

Step 1: Collect all the things you need to make candles or molds (double boiler, cheese cloth, medium can/wax melting pot, canning funnel, molds/glass/etc., wick weight/tab, wick, scent)

IMPORTANT - you must get the right size/type of wick for the type of wax you are using and the size of the candle!!!!!  Do your research!  One of my mistakes is that I got a thin wick that drowned when I tried to light my first candle.

Step 2: Soak cappings in warm water (raw beeswax contains lots of honey, pollen, and maybe even some dead bees!), squeeze out like a sponge, and lay on towel to dry for a few minutes.

Step 3: Melt wax in a double boiler.  Choose a pot you will not use for cooking ever again.

Step 4: Strain wax through 3-4 layers of cheese cloth over a canning funnel into another container.  I used a baked bean can that I bent to make a pour spout.   (The second time around, I decided to put the cheese cloth over the funnel and it worked much better).

Step 5: Add scent (look at directions on package for amount).  I used lemon and sage for a nice summery smell!

Step 6: If you are making candles, you would already have your wicks positioned (got the chopstick idea from my Philanthropic Panda), but if you are making molds, pour (there will be some honey at the bottom, avoid pouring this into the mold.... this was mistake number 2 of my first attempt).  I used a clearance star ice cube tray from Walmart!  Silicone works better, I'm sure, but I am happy with the results.

Allow to cool, then pop out!  These can be melted in a warmer (with a flame... electric is not hot enough) or set out for decoration.  Enjoy!

Big, huge THANK YOU to the wax donors!!! ;)

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