With the soft-scent of natural honey, beeswax is a favorite natural crafting material. See how to make these gorgeous beeswax candle bowls from the new book Beekeeper’s Lab. I tested this tutorial and it worked just as shown.
For more projects, see 15 Creative & Practical Beeswax Projects.
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This excerpt from Beekeeper’s Lab by Kim Lehman is provided with permission from Quarto Publishing Group USA Inc. who also provided a review copy of this book.
This beeswax candle bowl project is one of over 50 creative projects in the book.
You do not need to be a beekeeper to use this book. While there are instructions for basics like setting up a hive and finding a queen, there are plenty of tutorials showing creative and practical uses for honey and beeswax. If you are a teacher or simply love nature-based learning and creating, you will find plenty of engaging activities.
- Recipes and tutorials include homemade honey dog treats, honey straws, and honey butter.
- Beeswax projects include candle-making, beeswax jewelry, ornaments, fire starters, waterproof bags, and the beautiful candle bowls (shown below).
- Health and beauty ideas include a homemade cream, lip balm, tincture, and cleanser.
- There are also sections featuring pollination, bee-related experiments, art projects, and bee conservation and awareness.
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Beeswax Candle Bowls
One tea light can transform this delicate beeswax candle bowl votive into a warm, luminous lamp. Impress your family and friends with this easy-to-make gift using nothing more than a wax-covered water balloon and dried flowers.
You will need:
- newsprint or cardboard
- electric hot plate or use your kitchen stove
- double boiler (the top part must be at least 7″ [17.8 cm] in diameter)
- beeswax – also check local beekeeper’s associations
This article on beeswax crafts also has more information on where to buy beeswax inexpensively.
- water balloons
- paper towels
- glue stick
- pressed flowers – See how to make your own in minutes here!
- paring knife
- griddle or warming tray – I use an upside-down baking sheet on my stove top
- aluminum foil
- tea light
1. Set up a workstation with newsprint or cardboard to protect your work surface. Plug in the hot plate and put it on your work surface.
2. Place the double boiler on the hot plate and melt the wax. You will need about 6″ (15 cm) of molten beeswax. Leave plenty of space between the top of the wax and the top of the container for wax displacement.
3. Make a water balloon to dip in the wax by stretching the mouth of the balloon over a faucet. Slowly run the water while firmly supporting the bottom of the balloon as it expands. Tightly squeeze the mouth of the balloon while removing it from the faucet. Tie a knot at the top of the balloon. Dry the water balloon completely with a paper towel.
4. Using a smooth, fluid movement, dip the water balloon in and out of the wax slightly past the balloon’s halfway point. Do not stop in the middle of the dipping movement or it will result in a
visible seam. Wait a few seconds and then dip the water balloon into the wax again to the same depth. Repeat approximately 20 times to create a durable thickness of wax. The hotter the wax, the thinner each coat will be, so additional dips may be needed.
5. Cradle the wax-coated water balloon in your lap or on a towel. Use a glue stick to attach the dried flowers and leaves onto the wax.
6. Dip the water balloon into the hot wax one last time to coat and seal the flowers. Set the water balloon upright to cool for a few minutes.
7. Carefully puncture the water balloon over a sink using a small paring knife. The punctured water balloon will pull away from the wax sides, creating the candle bowl.
8. Cover the griddle or warming tray with aluminum foil and secure with tape. Turn the griddle to the very lowest setting possible. Smooth the rim of the candle bowl by placing the rim on the griddle. Turn the bowl right side up. Place it on the griddle, make sure it is level, rest your palm on the rim, and gently press down for a few seconds to make a flat base. Be careful not to completely melt the bottom.
9. Allow the melted wax to cool. Once cooled, using a ladle, carefully spoon a little melted wax into the candle bowl to strengthen the base.
10. Put sand in the bowl to insulate the bottom from the heat of a tea light.
Take it Further
- Pressing flowers is great fun in itself. To allow for adequate reseeding, only pick flowers where there are at least ten plants present. Pick fewer than a third of the flowers in any one area. Make a simple plant press using recycled paper sandwiched between corrugated cardboard and held together with rubber bands.
- Not all flowers and leaves maintain their colors when pressed. Pansies, verbena, and larkspur maintain their colors well. Ferns, fennel, and dill add a beautiful feathery look.
- Challenge yourself by using only flowers that are nectar and pollen producers for honeybees.
Want to See What I Made?
- I tested this tutorial and made a set of beeswax bowls which I turned into indoor flower pots.