How to Make Beeswax Candles

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This easy tutorial will show you step-by-step how to make beeswax candles with essential or fragrance oils that burn for a long time and smell amazing.

Homemade beeswax candles in mason jars.

Out of all the types of candles, beeswax candles burn the cleanest. When burned, beeswax produces negative ions, which bond to positive ions in the air, so it actually helps to clean the air in your home by reducing indoor air pollution.

They also have a long burn time compared to other types of wax So even though it’s more expensive to buy the supplies for DIY beeswax candles than DIY soy candles, it’s worth it because they last longer.

I love that I can scent them however I like with essential oils or fragrance oils, and I can always choose something new to match the season. In this tutorial, I share a little tip for making the scent last longer – coconut oil. I hope you enjoy making your own beeswax candles either for yourself or for handmade gifts!

Supplies and Ingredients

  • 1 pound of beeswax pastilles
  • ½ cup of coconut oil
  • 15 ml bottle of essential oil or 1 ounce of fragrance oil
  • Candle wicks
  • Wick stickers or hot glue gun
  • Candle pouring pitcher
  • Large pot of water
  • Small glass jars
  • Hot glue gun or wick stickers
  • Clothes pins
  • Craft sticks
  • Scissors

By the Numbers: How to Make Beeswax Candles

Follow this simple step-by-step process to learn how to make your own candles with beeswax at home.

Step 1: Attach Wicks to Jar Bottoms.

Attach a candle wick, using a wick sticker, to the bottom of the jar. Alternatively, you can hot glue the bottom of the wick to the jar.

Some people recommend adhering it to the bottom of the jar with a little melted wax, but this method doesn’t work as well. Sometimes the wicks will detach when you pour the rest of the hot wax into the jar, so using a wick sticker or glue is the best option.

Wick glued into bottom of glass jar on a kitchen counter

Step 2: Add Beeswax & Coconut Oil to Pitcher.

Add 16 ounces of beeswax and ½ cup of coconut oil to the candle pouring pitcher. Place it into a saucepan that is filled with about 2-3 inches of water and turn the stove onto medium heat.

Close up of beeswax pellets in a candle pouring pitcher

Step 3: Add Essential Oil to Melted Wax & Oil.

Melt the wax and oil, stirring frequently, until it’s clear and smooth. Turn off the heat, allow it to cool down to 155° F then add a 15 ml bottle of essential oil (there are 250 drops in a 15 mL bottle of oil if you want to use a combination of different oils) and mix well.

If you want to use fragrance oils instead of essential oils, add 1 ounce per pound of beeswax when the temperature reaches 185° F and stir really, really well.

Pouring bottle of essential oil into melted beeswax.

Step 4: Pour Candle Wax Into Jars.

If you added essential oils, you’ll want to immediately pour the melted beeswax into the jars you prepared with wicks. If the wax starts to harden, put it back in the hot water to remelt it. Use paper towels to wipe any drips.

If you used fragrance oils, wait until the beeswax cools to 175°F before pouring it into your jars.

Melted beeswax being poured into a glass jar with a candle wick hanging out of it.

Step 5: Secure Wick with Clothespin.

Take a clothespin and set it across the top of the jars to hold the wick in place in the center of the jar as it cools. It should take about 2 hours for smaller candles to cool, and longer for larger jars.

6 small glass jars with beeswax poured into them cooling into beeswax candles

Step 6: Trim the Wicks.

After the candles are totally cooled down to room temperature, you can remove the clothes pins, then trim the wicks down to the right wick length, which is about ¼”.

DIY beeswax candle shot from overhead

Step 7: Light Your Beeswax Candles.

It’s best if you can wait for 3-4 days before lighting your candles so the wax can fully cure. Be sure to allow the entire top layer of the beeswax melt the first time you light your candles so they don’t develop a tunnel.

DIY beeswax candle lit on a table

Tips for Making Beeswax Candles

Answers to all of your questions about making candles from beeswax that burn evenly and hold their scent for a long time, including tips and substitution ideas.

How many candles does this recipe make?

You will get two 8-ounce candles, four 4-ounce candles or eight 2-ounce candles from one pound of beeswax (about 16 ounces in total). You can use any size jar you’d like, or mix and match.

I prefer to use a glass jar like mason jars for my candle tins since they have lids that fit perfectly. You can use any clean jar or tin as candle jars though… pretty much anything that is heat safe. I like to choose ones with lids for easy storage.

Why add coconut oil to beeswax candles?

The one issue with beeswax is that even though it burns longer and cleaner than other waxes, it doesn’t retain scent well on its own. So we add some coconut oil to our beeswax candles to help them retain the scent better. It also helps them to burn more evenly.

Which essential oils to use?

It’s a bit easier to destroy the scent by overheating essential oils than fragrance oils. So you really need to watch the temperature and only use really high quality essential oils like the ones from Rocky Mountain Oils. They’re the only oils I use and you can read my Rocky Mountain Essential Oils Review to learn more about them.

The first time I made beeswax candles, I used RMO’s Bug Away Essential Oil to make insect repelling candles. The next time, I made some holiday scented candles… I love the versatility.

Some other great blends are:

Best fragrance oils for candles?

I like to use the fragrance oils from Nature’s Oils to make candles. They have a lot of really fun scents. If you’re going to use fragrance oil for your beeswax candles, make sure to choose something that will complement the light scent of beeswax.

What’s the best beeswax to use?

I like to buy beeswax for candle making from Mountain Rose Herbs because I know it’s pure beeswax. As long as it’s pure, it doesn’t matter whether you choose white beeswax or yellow beeswax.

I personally like beeswax pastilles because they melt down faster and more evenly. However, beeswax bars or grated beeswax will work as well.

If you have raw beeswax from your own hives or a local beekeeper, be sure you clean your beeswax first so your candles will burn properly.

How to make candles without a candle pitcher?

If you can, I recommend getting a candle pouring pitcher. It makes things so much easier and then you have a pitcher dedicated to making candles. Blick Art Materials is my favorite place to get crafting supplies, including beeswax candle making supplies, and they have affordable candle pitchers.

Even if you don’t have a pitcher, it’s important to know that you don’t want to melt beeswax under direct heat. You can use a double boiler or utilize the double boiler method instead.

To use that method, fit a bowl into a pan filled with enough water to almost touch the bowl, then heat and melt the ingredients in the bowl. That way the flame isn’t hitting the wax directly and you won’t scorch it.

What’s the best wick to use?

If you’ve tried your hand at candle making before, you’ll know that not all wicks burn the same. You want a wick that burns evenly so your candles burn evenly. I prefer to use a natural cotton or hemp wick, and I like the convenience of buying them from Amazon or Blick Art Materials.

If you want something a bit more unique, try wood wicks. Just keep in mind that a thicker wick is not necessarily better. If you’ve made your candles and find that the wicks aren’t burning right, you can always melt down the wax again, then repour it into a new mason jar with a different wick. It’s okay to reuse wax rather than waste it.

Alternatives to clothespins?

If you don’t have clothes pins, you can also use a bamboo skewer or pencil laid across the jar. Then you just wrap the wicks around them to hold them in place while the candles cool.

You can also buy other types of wick-centering devices like wick bars if you plan to make candles more frequently.

Can you color beeswax candles?

If you want to make colored candles, it’s better to make soy wax candles since it’s white. Because beeswax has a yellow tint to it, any color you add will be affected by the yellow hue, even if you use high quality candle dye blocks or flakes.

Is there a cheaper alternative to beeswax?

Beeswax burns much cleaner than any other wax so it’s my first choice for making candles. Beeswax also melts slower than other types of wax so they can burn for a long time. In my opinion, it’s worth the extra cost.

However, soy wax still burns pretty clean and it’s much more affordable than beeswax pellets. If you want to make more cost-effective candles, check out my tutorial on How to Make Soy Candles. Soy wax does tend to burn down more quickly though since it’s not as dense, so it’s a tradeoff.

Four homemade soy wax candles with dried flowers on a wood slice on white table.

I don’t recommend using paraffin wax, which is what is typically found in regular candles you find at the store unless they’re labeled otherwise. Paraffin candles do not burn cleanly and it can affect indoor air quality, so I recommend avoiding cheap candle waxes like paraffin.

What else to make with beeswax?

In addition to this beeswax candle recipe, you can make many homemade beauty products like:

How to make beeswax candles burn longer?

The first burn matters if you want your candles to last for as long as possible. The first time you burn a candle, you need to burn it for the right length of time, or it will create a “tunnel” or “memory ring” in the center of your candle that you will never be able to fix.

You need to burn it for at least an hour for every inch of diameter of the candle on the initial burn. For example, a 4-ounce mason jar has a 2.5” diameter, and should therefore be burned for 2.5 hours the first time it’s used.

You want to make sure the wax that is touching the sides of the container has melted too, or you’ll get that tunnel effect, and the life of your candle will be shortened. So don’t burn your homemade candles until you have time to do it right.

How long do beeswax candles burn for?

You can expect a 4-ounce beeswax candle to burn for around 20 hours if you burn it properly. An 8-ounce candle, on the other hand, will burn for twice as long.

How long do beeswax candles last?

If stored properly, beeswax itself does not go rancid like soy wax. Coconut oil, on the other hand, can. You want to store these candles with a lid on them or covered in some way in a cool, dry, dark place. They will last as long as the coconut oil is good for. If they start to smell like rancid oil, toss them in the garbage.

Beeswax candle made in a 4 ounce jelly jar with smaller beeswax candles behind it

How to Make Beeswax Candles

Learn how to make the best candles from beeswax and essential oils that retain their scent in this easy to follow tutorial.
4.83 from 23 votes
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Prep Time: 5 minutes
Active Time: 30 minutes
Additional Time: 2 hours
Total Time: 2 hours 35 minutes
Makes: 16 ounces candles

Supplies

Tools

  • Candle pouring pitcher
  • Sauce pan large enough to hold the pitcher
  • Small glass jars totaling about 16 ounces total volume
  • Hot glue gun or wick stickers
  • Clothes pins or wick bars
  • Craft sticks or wood spoon
  • Candle wicks

Instructions

  • Glue wicks to the bottoms of each of your jars (or use wick stickers).
    Wick glued into bottom of glass jar on a kitchen counter
  • Place candle pouring pitcher into saucepan that is half full of water, then add beeswax and coconut oil to the candle pouring pitcher.
    Close up of beeswax pellets in a candle pouring pitcher
  • Heat over medium, stirring occasionally, until the wax and oil are fully melted. Then, add the bottle of essential oil or fragrance oil and stir to combine with the hot wax mixture.
    Pouring bottle of essential oil into melted beeswax.
  • Immediately pour the melted wax into your prepared jars.
    Melted beeswax being poured into a glass jar with a candle wick hanging out of it.
  • Use a clothes pin to secure the wick in place on each jar, then allow the jars to rest in place until completely cooled to room temperature.
    6 small glass jars with beeswax poured into them cooling into beeswax candles
  • Remove the clothespins, then snip the wick to the appropriate length. Let your candles cure for 3-4 days before using them.
    DIY beeswax candle shot from overhead
  • Light your homemade beeswax candles and enjoy the ambiance of watching your candle burn.
    DIY beeswax candle lit on a table

Notes

Never leave candles burning unattended or it can be a huge fire hazard.

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