Rolled beeswax candles are easy enough for a classroom of six year olds, and sophisticated enough for any adult to enjoy making, burning, or gifting. These candles burn bright, providing enough light to read by. And they burn cleaner than paraffin or soy based waxes. Enjoy these sweet scented candles at any time of year.
Rolled beeswax candles are the easiest candles to make. They are the perfect choice to make in a group setting. Rolled beeswax candles give even inexperienced chandlers immediate satisfaction and a sense of accomplishment.
Beeswax candles have many health benefits
- They clean the air
- They increase negative ions in the air which improve mood
- They burn cleanly without smoking and without toxic fumes
- They are comforting and cheering
But beeswax candles can be messy to make, requiring special equipment like melting pots, molds, and candle frames. Rolled beeswax candles, on the other hand, don’t require special equipment.
Making rolled beeswax candles
- They are quick to make. In fact you can make a pair in less than 5 minutes.
- You can make them with just a wick and a sheet of honeycomb beeswax.
- Beeswax sheets come in many colours both with and without dye.
- You don’t even have to wait for the wax to melt before making the candle.
- They are simple enough that children can make them.
- Rolled beeswax candles can be made in a group setting.
- You can create different sizes of candles from birthday candles, Hanukkah candles, Shabbat candles, and even Havdalah candles just by changing the way you work with the beeswax sheet.
- You can make different shaped candles by changing the way you cut the sheet of beeswax from straight pillar candles to braided candles, to candles shaped like bee skeps, Christmas Trees, sushi, or tea lights.
What are beeswax sheets?
Beeswax sheets are sold at bee supply stores as foundation comb for beehives. Generally they come in packages of 10. If you are buying beeswax sheets to use as comb foundation you’ll need beeswax sheets in natural colours, free of dyes and additives. But for candle making, any beeswax sheets will work. Generally the dyes used for beeswax sheets are nontoxic. If in doubt, ask before you buy. The beeswax sheets come in the standard size of a beehive frame – 16 ¼ inches long x 8 ½ inch
Amazon sells beeswax sheets in both full and half sizes for craft and candle making.
To make one pair of 8 inch rolled beeswax candles
This size candle fits in a standard candle holder.
17 inches of #2 wick
1 – 16 ¼ x 8 ½ inch sheet of honeycomb beeswax, in the colour of your choice
A knife or scissors to cut the beeswax sheet
A hair dryer
Clean a work surface well. Any dust or crumbs on the surface of the table will end up stuck to the wax of the candle. (Don’t ask) Clean up before your begin. If you are working with coloured beeswax, lay down a washable plastic sheet, or smooth board over the work surface to protect it from the dyes in the wax.
Measure your beeswax sheet and cut it exactly in half along the long edge. You’ll end up with two sheets 8 1/8th inch x 8 ½ inch. Your candles will be 8 1/8th inches tall.
Cut your wick to 8 1/2 inches long.
Find the upside of the wick
The wick has an upside. Find the upside of the wick. Look closely at the flat side of the braided wick. You’ll see “V”s going down the length of the wick. The wick is right side up when the “V”s point down. If the “V”s look like this “^” instead, turn the wick over. You want all the “V”s right side up in the wick.
Working with a ½ sheet at a time
Warm the beeswax sheet just slightly with a hair dryer. Any white bloom on the beeswax sheet will disappear as it is warmed. Don’t warm it too much. If the sheet begins to look liquid you’ve warmed it too much. Let it cool a bit before working with it. A properly warmed sheet of beeswax will be pliable but not fragile.
Lay the wick right side up along the 8 1/8th inch side of the wax. Place the top of the wick, extending from the wax by ½ inch, or so. Line up the bottom of the wick with the bottom of the wax sheet. Fold the wax over the wick, along the edge of the wax sheet.
Roll the wax over the wick so that it rolls up in a tube. Keep the wax tight around the wick. The tighter the candle is, the better the wick will burn.
Continue rolling the candle around the wick until only an inch remains on the beeswax sheet.
Warm the last inch of the candle, slightly with the hair dryer.
Finish rolling the last inch of the beeswax sheet to complete the candle. Roll the candle on your work surface to straighten the pillar.
Repeat with the second candle.
You’ll have a pair of 8 inch rolled candles. These candles make lovely hostess gifts. A pair of pillar candles will burn for about 5 hours. Longer if you roll them tighter. Less time if you roll them loosely.
Why you should care if your wick is upright in the candle
When the wick is upright in the candle the wick will bend over as the candle is burning. It will bend into the flame and be self-trimming. The candle will burn without smoking. If the wick is sized correctly for the candle size, the candle will burn without dripping. However, when the wick is upside down instead of bending down into the flame, it flares. The candle wick won’t self-trim. The flame can get too large, causing smoking and dripping of wax.
More How to Make Candles Tutorials from Joybilee Farm
Prefer smaller candles? Learn How to make beeswax tea light candles, and enjoy the benefits of beeswax in a smaller candle form.
Have wax but not wax sheets? Learn How to make hand dipped beeswax tapers, they will last longer than the rolled candles and give off the same bright and clean candle light that we love getting from beeswax.
Molded candles are fun to create. Learn How to make molded Beeswax Candles and get the most out of your candle molds.
Need to vary the size of your rolled candles for birthdays, Hanukah, or a narrower than normal candle holder? Learn How to make rolled beewax candles for Chanukah, and use the same tactics to create your own uniquely sized rolled candles.
Similar to making your own tapers, you can learn How to make dipped beeswax candles for Hanukkah. Use the same tactic to make dipped birthday candles, or candles for decorations that need smaller base sizes.
Get started right with candles by learning How to make braided candle wicking. Beeswax candles need a slightly different wick size to quicker burning and lower heat candles like paraffin and soya.
Need decorations for outside, or a table display? Make beeswax luminaries and light them with tea light candles, or battery operated candles to reduce fire risk if the luminaries will be left unattended.
Be inspired with more beeswax recipes from my book The Beeswax Workshop:
Beeswax is easy to work with and a versatile ingredients for DIY Perfumes, salves, and personal care products. It’s not just for candles, even though DIY candles are wonderful, too. Grab my book The Beeswax Workshop, and learn more about this amazing ingredient.