Tuesday, September 11, 2012


I'm big on candles. I always have a few scented candles about. I love to light them early in the evening and let the daylight die down around their glow. I like to light them before dinner parties even though the house is already filled with the smell of cooking.

But candles can get expensive. Beeswax candles, in particular, can get expensive. So I'd been meaning to pour my own. It's really not difficult. I started saving the glass cups from every little scented votive I'd burned (to clean out the glass base, place it in the freezer for an hour or two; the frozen wax is pretty easy to scrape/pop out of the base). Then I bought some unfiltered beeswax (cheaper than filtered) and wicks (with bases already attached - easy!) at Zenith Supplies here in Seattle. Dandelion Botanical Company (a natural apothecary) in Ballard also sells the stuff - probably a few other shops in town do, too.

To filter beeswax, just heat it over low heat in a metal saucepan on the stove, swirling the pan to keep it from darkening as it all melts down. Strain through pantyhose, and it's ready to go! Yes, the pan you use and whatever you strain the melted wax into should probably be vessels that are devoted to "beeswax usage only." I just went to Goodwill to find a pan, a metal bowl, and a pyrex glass measuring cup (the pour spout means I don't make a mess when trying to pour melted wax) to use. I added a few drops of bergamot essential oil to the melted wax to make a scented candle, but apparently it was not enough oil because these don't smell like anything but beeswax! Next time, I'll be a little more daring.

Affix wicking to a metal base if you haven't bought pre-assembled wicks (like lazy me), then tack metal base to the bottom of the candleholder. Pour wax, holding wick straight (you could wrap it around a pencil set across the top of the glass base. My wicks are all 6" long and needed to be trimmed, but the store was out of 4" wicks when I went to buy supplies and I figure these long wicks mean I can make bigger candles if I want. I made these three votives with about $8 of wax. Considering that the votives that were in these originally (granted, yes, I was paying for special scents) EACH cost more than that, I'm saving quite a bit of money here.

You could also buy a mold and build your own pillar candles - then you'll really enjoy the savings!

It's not going to absolutely end my scented candle purchases, but I do love the honey-scent of beeswax candles, so this is a great way to be able to enjoy candles whenever I want without having to worry quite so much about the cost.

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