We managed to finish the autumn with a slight surplus of wax so I decided to try my hand at candlemaking. After a bit of research (aka Google) I settled on a 1:1 blend of beeswax with palm oil. Pure beeswax was tempting but it seems that the candle is liable to crack when the wax cools.
I was also tempted with a special offer for these small round glass globes for candles. As these only use around 95g of wax per candle they seemed perfect for my job.
I took advice from the same site on appropriate wicks, choosing an 'NT53' wick.
The process began with melting. I've melted beeswax before in a bowl over boiling water and that works fine. In this case, however, I had use of a proper 'bain marie' and I heartily recommend you get hold of one for ease of use, and clean up.
The beeswax and palm oil were weighed and melted together. If possible use sustainably source palm oil, by the way. It took around half an hour to reduce around 1200g of the mix to a smooth liquid.
After a few trials I settled on the following method of doing the wicks and pouring the candle.
- Cut the wicks slightly over-long — so they can stick up above the glass rim.
- Pin the top of the wick to a large match and dangle the other end into the centre of the pot. Hold the wick with the edge of the pin rather than spiking through it — you will see why later.
- Pour a few mm of wax into the bottom of the globe and allow it to set. As this will take a few minutes you may as well do all the globes at the same time.
- When the wax has hardened adjust the wick through the pin to hold the wick straight and very slightly under tension.
- Carefully pour in the hot wax to a sensible level - around 10mm from the rim.
- When set cut the wick to length.
They burn very nicely with a slight scent of beeswax. Next time I'll try a higher beeswax content. This batch are going to make nice Christmas stocking-fillers.