This is one of my favorite, easy-peasy homemade gifts to make and share at Christmas! It's the simplicity, beauty, and warmth of candlelight from natural, nontoxic beeswax.
It may sound intimidating, but making your own hand-rolled beeswax candles is actually simple enough that even my youngest daughter at 5 years old could do it! In the past few years, rolling out these candles together has become one of our favorite traditions during the holiday season, both for using in our home as well as for giving away. We make them in the natural colors shown, and in Advent colors for our Advent wreath for lighting each Sunday leading up to Christmas.
I love creating these traditions and memories with my girls! I’m also grateful for a natural candle option that we can enjoy and share with others, without the concern of releasing mystery chemicals into the air. In fact, in addition to being a healthier candle alternative, beeswax candles actually help to purify the air indoors, which makes them a win-win in my book!
Here are the instructions for making your own:
DIY Hand-Rolled Beeswax Candles
- 8x16" beeswax sheets - You can order these from Amazon, but I prefer to get mine as a set of 20 sheets from http://www.knorrbeeswax.com which includes 12 yards of cotton wick. This will make about 60 standard-size taper candles or 40 slightly thicker taper candles. When you buy them as a set, you can pick and choose from a variety of colors (the ones shown in above image are ivory and natural). We've also used purples and pinks for making Advent candles.
- Cotton wick - if you're not ordering from Knorr Beeswax, you can also find this on Amazon. Look for cotton wick size #1/0, which is what's recommended for tapers made from honeycomb beeswax.
- Gift ribbon
Step 1: Decide what thickness you want your candles to be. For a relatively standard-sized taper candle that fits most candelabras (like the ivory candles tied with ribbon in the above image), fold the long side of your beeswax sheet into thirds. For a slightly thicker candle (like the natural candles in candle holders in the above image), fold the sheet in half. Then cut along the fold line.
Step 2: Measure and trim your cotton wick. The wick should be about ½” longer than the (new) long side of your wax sheet. In other words, about 8 ½ inches long. You can either measure it with a ruler, or lay it on the long side of the wax sheet and trim to fit. Tip: if in doubt, err on the side of cutting the wick too long! You can always trim any excess once the candle is made.
Step 3: Once trimmed, press the wick gently into the wax along the inner long edge of the wax sheet. The warmth of your fingers will help to soften the wax as you go.
Step 4: Roll the wax up and over the wick; making sure to roll tightly here so that wick is snug inside the wax. Getting started is the hardest part, but don't worry---once the wick is sealed in the wax, it's easy rolling the rest of the way! Continue rolling until candle is fully formed.
Step 5: Use the warmth of your fingers to gently press and seal the wax along the fold. You can also use a blow dryer on low to more easily soften and seal.
Step 6: If you want a more tapered look (as in image below), gently press and seal the wax around the wick at the top of the candle. Depending on the look you're going for, you could also leave it open (i.e., not tapered). I’ve made them both ways--both work and are lovely!
Step 7: Seal the bottom of the candle by pressing it down gently on a hard surface.
That's it! Enjoy using and sharing your candles. :)
Have questions? Send me a message or comment below. If you try this I'd love to hear how it turned out for you!