How to Make Beeswax Candles
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Beeswax candles are a joy to see and to smell with their wonderful honey-scented beeswax. Learn how to make Beeswax Candles at home with this quick and simple step-by-step picture tutorial.
How to Make Beeswax Candles
There is nothing like a good candle. It makes your home feel warmer, more inviting, and like a happy cozy place. Unfortunately, many times when we are burning candles in our room we are actually letting off a mixture of chemicals and toxins that don’t need to be in the air!
We’ve already mentioned a few options for clean-burning candles here on Little House Living. Olive Oil Candles are fun to make and it gives you an excuse to use up that expired olive oil you left in the back of your pantry. And Soy Candles are another fun one. Today we are going to talk about how to make Beeswax Candles.
—Add a special touch to your room or gift to a friend when you make these Homemade Teacup Candles with this Beeswax Candle recipe.
Ever since we moved into a much smaller space I haven’t been able to burn a candle. No matter what they are made out of, the smell gets too strong and overpowering quickly and I have to blow it out. Regular candles are made with artificial scents which can be damaging to the health of those that are sensitive to chemicals, and even those that are not. Most of them also contain a lead-based wick and chemicals within the wax that can upset how your body is supposed to function…not really the kind of thing I want to put in the air!
Beeswax Candles are ridiculously easy to make and take only a few things. When choosing your beeswax for candle making make sure that you choose filtered beeswax. Unfiltered beeswax can still have pesticides and chemical residue left in them from how the bees were treated or from what they consumed. I buy my beeswax from Amazon or get it locally.
Why Add Coconut Oil to Beeswax Candles?
Why add coconut oil to your beeswax candles? While you can make beeswax with candles with just beeswax, I recommend adding coconut oil as well. The beeswax-to-coconut oil ratio for these candles helps the candle burn more consistently and slowly and prevents tunneling.
What You Need to Make Beeswax Candles:
- 1 cup filtered beeswax. I get the beeswax pastilles to make the melting easier. You may not be able to get those if you get your beeswax from a local beekeeper but either style will work fine.
- 1/3 cup pure coconut oil. You can use extra virgin or expeller pressed, just keep in mind that the extra virgin will retain a faint coconut scent. I get my coconut oil from Azure.
- Cotton Wick. The size wick you choose will be based on the size of your jar. Most wick listings have some kind of chart on them so you know which one to get.
- Glass Jar. Smaller jars are better for beeswax candles but you can experiment with different kinds. For this recipe, you will need a jar that at least holds 10 ounces. Mason Jars work well and can be reused.
This recipe is for one 8oz candle, you can easily double or triple it to make more!
Instructions for Making Homemade Beeswax Candles
Start by measuring your wick. You need it to be taller than the jar.
Now I know you can get those little metal things that clamp on the end of the wick to go in the bottom of the jar but I’m a cheapskate and those are expensive and I don’t like that they move around. Tape is easier 🙂 Put a piece of tape on one end. The other end of the wick should be taped to a pen, pencil, or wooden skewer that you don’t mind getting dirty.
Secure the tape at the bottom of the jar at the center of the jar. Wrap the other end of the wick around the pen until you can set it on the rim of the jar. You want you wick to be pulled up straight so your candle can burn.
In a saucepan (I have one that I use just for cooking up my weird concoctions!), melt the coconut oil and the beeswax together. You can also use a double boiler if you feel it’s necessary, but I just like to watch mine closely.
Update: I now use a Candle Pitcher when making candles. They work great and I don’t have to clean them out in between uses! You use these like a double boiler with an inch of water in the bottom pan to melt wax in the pitcher.
Constantly stir on low to medium heat until they are both melted and no pieces remain. You don’t need much heat to get either substance to melt, just keep stirring. This does not need to boil.
Pour the mixture from the pot into the jar. Make sure that your wick stays as straight as possible and upright during this process.
Or you could make a big mess like I did, that’s cool too. As long as the majority of the mixture gets in the jar you are good.
After you let the candle sit for a while the mixture will firm and harden. After it’s done this you can trim the wick down to about a half an inch.
And that’s all it takes to make your own beeswax candles! So easy and they are ingredients that are easy to come by. Now that I have them on hand I can continually make candles as each one burns out!
If you like a scented candle, you can add a small amount of essential oils or fragrance oil. Or you can try these Spiced Beeswax Candles.
If you use virgin coconut oil (like the one I used) your candle will have a faint coconut scent already.
Tip: For a fun winter-themed candle you can also make these Frosty Beeswax Candles!
- 1 cup filtered beeswax
- 1/3 cup pure coconut oil
- Cotton Wick
This recipe is for one 8oz candle, you can easily double or triple it to make more!
Start by measuring your wick. You need it to be taller than the jar.
Now I know you can get those little metal things that clamp on the end of the wick to go in the bottom of the jar but I'm a cheapskate and those are expensive and I don't like that they move around. Tape is easier 🙂 Put a piece of tape on one end. The other end of the wick should be taped to a pen or pencil that you don't mind getting dirty.
Secure the tape at the bottom of the jar. Wrap the other end of the wick around the pen until you can set it on the rim of the jar. You want you wick to be pulled up straight so your candle can burn.
In a saucepan (I have one that I use just for cooking up my weird concoctions!), melt the coconut oil and the beeswax together.
Constantly stir on low heat until they are both melted and no pieces remain. You don't need much heat to get either substance to melt, just keep stirring.
Pour the mixture into the jar. Make sure that your wick stays as straight as possible and upright during this process.
Or you could make a big mess like I did, that's cool too. As long as the majority of the mixture gets in the jar you are good.
After you let the candle sit for a while the mixture will firm and harden. After it's done this you can trim the wick down to about a half an inch.
And that's all it takes to make your own beeswax candles! So easy and they are ingredients that are easy to come by. Now that I have them on hand I can continually make candles as each one burns out!
If you like a scented candle, you can add a small amount of essential oils. Or you can try these Spiced Beeswax Candles. If you use virgin coconut oil (like the one I used) your candle will have a faint coconut scent already.
How to Use Leftover Beeswax
Have some beeswax leftover from your candle making? Beeswax is used in many DIY recipes! Here are a few you may want to try:
Homemade Vanilla Lip Balm Recipe
How to Make Deodorant At Home
The Best Natural Homemade Diaper Rash Cream
Homemade Coconut Oil Lotion Recipe
Now you know how to make beeswax candles!
Have you ever made beeswax candles… or candles of any kind?
This post on How to Make Beeswax Candles was originally published on Little House Living in May 2013. It has been updated as of November 2022.
Hi Merissa! I’m a recent subscriber and love your site! I clicked on the link for the wicks and in the product description it says that the “wicks need to be primed with the wax of your choice prior to use.” Did you do that and what does it mean to prime a wick? Thanks!
I didn’t do this. For certain candles you can coat with a thin layer of wax before you make the candle but it’s not needed for a candle like this. 🙂
Great – Thanks so much! Can’t wait to try this!
I love your site to .
Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!!
What is the purpose of the coconut oil? Couldn’t you just use straight beeswax?
You could if you really wanted to but the coconut oil does help to “stretch” the beeswax (which can get expensive) and it gives it a nice scent without adding any fragrance.
hi, I find the coconut oil more expensive than the beeswax, will it have the same effect if you use lees coconut oil to the same amount of beeswax?
Just discovered your site and really like it 🙂
It should still work you are just going to want to pick a thicker wick since anything with more beeswax will burn slower (since it’s harder).
I’m fairly new to beeswax candlemaking but learned that adding coconut oil to the beeswax helps the candle burn cooler. Beeswax burns extremely hot and can crack glass containers. Adding the coconut oil helps the candle burn at a lower temperature which helps protect candles in glass containers. Love your site.
Thanks for sharing that!
I am sorry, but I was not sharing. I asked a question. It would be nice to know, if it is possible to make pillar candles using beeswax.
Yes you can. I experimented with using different size PVC pipes as molds. Grease the pipe before adding wax so it will slide out after cooling. I used pure wax from a local beekeeper and I did have some problems with cracking. Would be interested in trying it with a mix of coconut oil to see if it does better. You have to experiment with different wick sizes. I used different thickness craft jute string and had fair success. I dip the string in hot wax first and let it cool to “season” the string.
Chandler here – the reason you must add the oil to beeswax is because it is a container candle (in a glass jar). 100% plain beeswax has a high melting point compared to container waxes and it is more commonly used to make pillar candles. Plain beeswax in a glass jar runs the risk of having to use a larger wick to get a full melt pool, which could potentially end up cracking or shattering your glass jar. Fire hazard.
Beeswax is an extremely hard wax, and hard to burn. When you use it alone it always cracks, doesn’t adhere to the sides of the jar, and gets sink holes as it cools. Adding the coconut oil isa natural way to soften it a bit, to maker it easier to work with and more a more reliable, consistent burn.
Could you add some essential oil to this mixture if you wanted a little extra fragrance?
You can! The coconut oil adds a little bit of fragrance as well if you just extra virgin.
Wow! I started reading the comments as I’m waiting at an appointment lol… started reading the comments re:Coconut oil in beeswax for make candles… wow! I’m so happy I started reading! I’ve been so s aggravated about my homemade candles not burning correctly! Wick goes out and yes “Sink holes” developing and making them impossible to burn. Big waste of time and money! Also was trying to make Christmas Gifts!:( of course I could t give these as gifts! SO… now I’ll try using coconut oil in with the beeswax! Makes sense! I’m so thankful to you all for posting the error of my ways! LoL… looking forward now to making more GOOD candles! Thanks so much!
Sounds easy enough! I’m not very “crafty” but even I could make these candles. Many thanks
I’ve been wanting to make beeswax candles. This looks pretty easy. I like having them in the jar especially because I can cover with a lid when I’m not using it – I hate lighting dusty candles. 😉
What else can I do with beeswax? I just got some.
I add my Beeswax to Homemade Lip Balm, The Best Diaper Rash Cream, Homemade Vaseline, and more!
if you know a local bee keeper they will often keep sheets of wax, these sheets of wax can be used to make a different style of candles called rolled candles which look stunning. these are easy to make and the beekeeper should be able to show you how to make it.
Have you actually burned these? Do they burn well? I attempted beeswax candle and it burned terrible! Mine was straight beeswax though and I think my wicks were the preprepped ones from Michaels? I love the smell of beeswax and coconut oil so I might try it again… hate wasting the wax though $ if it isn’t a nice burning candle. I actually scraped and reused the last batch.
Yes I have burned them and I think they work great! Pure beeswax may be too hard to burn unless you have a really thick wick so I think the addition of coconut oil is what makes these great.
You are so right about needing a thicker wick if you make a candle with only beeswax. In fact we did this and weren’t able to easily find a wick thick enough so back to the drawing board, at least that was the plan until I read your candle ingredients. THANK YOU! Our first candle burned slow and only melted a 1/4th inch in the center. It clearly failed to meet minimum requirements. Can’t wait to try adding coconut oil. Love your site. My husband is a naturalist and bee keeper and I’m a nurse. We like simple, old fashioned ways and identify with many of your ideals. Keep up the good work.
I know this is a very old thread, but for all the people reading this currently, beeswax has a different viscosity than other waxes and using flat braid or round wicks usually doesn’t cut it. You need a square braid cotton core wick with Beeswax candles, to get a nice burn. You also need to do testing to find the right size wick. It sounds easy but I can’t tell you how many test candles I did before I found the right combination. Too small a wick and the candle will tunnel and even get drown out by the wax. Too large a wick and the candle burns far too hot, running the risk of breaking the jar and starting a fire. So experimentation is needed. You can usually find recommendations of a staring point on the wick makers website. For example, “premium craft” on Amazon has guidelines on the packaging and photos on their site, saying that their #2 square braid cotton core wick Is for container candles up to 3″ in diameter. I tried it out, and even with the coconut oil to soften it up the wick burn barely reached the edge of my 2.5″ container. So I’m going to order a #3 and test that. It’s not so easy or simple to make a great candle.
These sound fun! Can you use other oils instead of coconut oil? How much does it cost (approximately) to make each candle? Thinking of making some for gifts, but we’re on a tight budget this year.
I’m guessing it cost under $3 to make one candle. I have not used other oils besides coconut oil in this particular recipe so I’m not sure how something else would set up or burn.
Have you burned both a solid beeswax and then one stretched with coconut oil to see how they are different? IE , burn pool, How hot the jar gets, the soot etc?
Im wondering if one is safer than the other while burning as far as how hot each one gets……like if adding the oil would make it safer….and have you had a chance to add essential oils yet? wondering if theres some essential oils that do better than others for burning 🙂
I haven’t burned solid beeswax because I don’t have thick enough wick right now, beeswax alone doesn’t seem to burn as well as far as I can tell though, it won’t burn the whole candle and needs a really thick wick since it burns so slowly. I’ve only added vanilla essential oil to make candles so far because I like that scent the best 🙂
Hi Merissa. New to your website. I was just scrolling down reading questions and answers and I came across this one where you talked about using Vanilla essential oil in your candles. I was told that, because Vanilla can’t be made into an actual oil, it is put in a carrier oil and is not recommended for candles. What do you use that you can put it in a candle? Vanilla is my favorite scent as well. Thanks!
Adding coconut oil to the beeswax does make it a bit safer. Using pure beeswax can shatter the glass jar you are pouring into, as it is very hot. Adding the coconut oil to the double boiler after the beeswax melts can cool it down significantly. 🙂
Hi! I was looking at the reviews on amazon for the beeswax and some people complained of the beeswax smelling bad….what is beeswax supposed to smell like? Thank you! I love your site!!
It’s hard to describe but it definitely has a different smell to it, it doesn’t mean it’s bad it’s just the beeswaxy kind of smell!
Couple of things come to mind. Ask about looking for bee keepers in your area. They will happily sell you bees wax a better prices than otherwise.
Also if you do decide to use the metal base clips, pour about a 1/4 inch first and then place you wick. If you do this while pour is soft-ish, you can both center and keep in place. Works a treat!
Coconut can be ordered from largish soap supply houses cheaper than elsewhere. The down side is that 5 galleons is the usual minimum 🙁 So double up and make soap 🙂
Great step by step!
I was so excited to find this tutorial! And your entire blog for that matter. I had something weird happen while trying to melt the beeswax and coconut oil (I use Nutiva organic ev)…it started to melt, but then started hardening and getting chunky. Any idea what could have caused this?! I had ot on low heat and was stirring it. Very weird. I’m anxious to try it again and hope it works this time!
Hmm, I have no idea other than maybe there were still some cold spots in the mix? I haven’t had that happen before.
Merissa, great info! Thank you! :). I have everything I need except the wicks. I wanted to tell everyone here that Sam’s Club and Costco both have a huge jar of Organic Coconut oil for a great price
Hi – thanks so much for your easy candle making tips. I tried making a all beeswax candle the other night and the wick is wrong so it is burning very badly. I will remake with the addition of coconut oil, which I love and hope it will burn better. Most other instructions say to melt the wax in a double boiler, but I don’t think you do this, am I right? It takes a long time for the wax to melt in a double boiler and I’d prefer not to. Thanks again.
I don’t use a double boiler but I just continually stir my wax just in case. I’ve never had a problem making candles that way.
How many drops of essential oils do you need to use to get a strong scent? Also, any scent combination recommendations?
I’ve been making candles for years, and absolutely love it. It is so calming and soothing for me! Priming the wick helps the candle burn well. When the wax is melting, I take my wick and dip it into the melted wax and let it soak in the wax, then pull it out and lay it on waxed paper to cool, and while that’s going on, gently stretch it so it hardens nice and straight. I agree with the tip to only pour a 1/2 inch in the base of the jar (some even use a bit of double sided tape) to hold the wick centered, let cool, then top off the candle. Beeswax has a melt point of 147 so you need a thicker wick, and the diameter of the candle will also come into play there if you want the candle to burn all the way to the edge. It should smell like honey when you burn it if you don’t scent it.
Very helpful post, appreciate the tip, because many posts had trouble w/ pure beeswax candles. Thanks
Hi! I am thinking about making these candles and was wondering about how many 8oz. Candles you get from a pound of beeswax? (I will most likely use your recommended link from Amazon.) Thank you!
1 pound of beeswax is 16 ounces and there is about 4 ounces of beeswax in each candle. So roughly 4 per pound of beeswax. (And that measurement is in dry beeswax…not liquid.)
Also, wax expands when it’s hot. 16 oz in weight of wax usually expands to fill 20 z worth of jars. I’ve never treated this with beeswax but it might be a good idea to have an extra jar just in case…
A quick question….I am making my first beeswax candles and I am using glass jars. As my candles are cooling I am noticing that they are getting a ‘sinkhole’, for lack of a better term, in the center around the wick. Is this normal, or is there something I can do to prevent it? Thanks!
It’s normal. You can always save a little wax back and add it in as it sinks.
From everything I’ve read, its because the wax was too hot when you poured it in. I’ve read it should be between 120-165 F. Maybe give that a try. In Real Estate its location, location, location. In candle making, its temp, temp, temp. good luck
Does this wick and wax work with larger jars (say, a quart mason jar)? Or would you need a thicker wick? Thank you very much for your tutorial!!
Yes it would but yes, I would use a larger wick…since it’s beeswax it burns quite slowly.
How much of the essential oils should you put into the mixture?
Love your site by the way. Thanks for all the useful info.
How much you add i up to you and how strongly you want it to be scented. I would start with around 10-15 drops and go up from there.
Do you add the essential oils into the pan while the wax is really hot and melted? Or after when you pour it into the jar?
I add them into the jar as I’m pouring in the wax.
This was very helpful, thank you! I’ll most certainly be doing a post on my adventures in candlemaking if and when I get the project underway — thank you for helping me take the first steps! Well written too, exactly what I was looking for 🙂
Hi! I’m wondering if there are any downsides to raising the coconut to beeswax ratio; beeswax is hard to come by for a decent price in my area, and I’d like to make the amount that I have stretch as far as possible. Thanks!
You could add a bit more but not too much or it will make the candle too soft and it will burn through quickly.
Hi, i was wondering if you have any advice for big cracks?
I pre warm the jars and have allowed to cool at room temp and also in a warm oven slowly, either way i still get big cracks!
Is your beeswax really old? Is your room temp really cold?
Hi, i have heated the room and placed the containers in the oven to cool slowly, neither worked. The wax is new and i have some from a local beekepper.
I’m really not sure, I haven’t had that trouble before with this recipe. Did you use pure beeswax or the mixture of wax and oil?
Hi, I now have a nice smooth top, i love the coconut oil!
However i do have some shrinkage, i warm the jars before pouring, any idea what i am doing wrong?
Is it possible to make pillar candles from beeswax?
Yes, I don’t see why not 🙂
You will need a candle mold. I buy mine from Better Bee.
Hello. I was also wondering if you could pour this mixture into a mold for votive candles? Or would 100 percent beeswax be better? Thank you!
I would also use the mixture for a votive candle.
I’m new to beewax candles. The triple filtered, organic wax I purchased has semi weird smell to it. I’ve never smelled beeswax before so I don’t know what its supposed to smell like. Are the raw and the lit wax supposed to smell different?
Does anybody know if I can add a little but of raw honey to the heated wax/coconut oil mix to get a sweeter smell when the candle is lit?
All beeswax will have a little bit of a different scent since all are made my different bees in different areas. My favorite wax is what I can get “fresh” from friends and local honey producers. The raw and lit will smell somewhat similar but lit should be a little sweeter if you add in the coconut oil of course. I’m not sure about the raw honey, I haven’t tried it yet.
Thanks for the reply. I made my first batch and theres actually no smell at all once lit. Even after 2-3 hours, a small room doesn’t even have any scent. Is that normal? Once I blow it out, and then bring my nose up to the hot wax I can smell something light. I did like 65% organic beeswax, and 40% vegetable shortening. I may have used too hot a temperature because one of my candles had a dip, hole and crack.
Yes, there will be very little scent with beeswax candles unless you find some sweet beeswax (which all depends on the supplier). Also, I have not made my candles with vegetable shortening, only coconut oil which helps add a little scent as well.
I loved this recipe, thank you for sharing! After my candle cooled, three cracks leading out from the wick appeared. Any idea how I can avoid this in the future?
It sounds like they may have cooled too quickly, you might want to try letting them cool in a warmer room next time 🙂
hey! can you use olive oil instead of coconut?
I’ll be making pure beeswax candles, and I want to use a braided cotton wick, but I’m having trouble deciding on wchih size to buy. Can you tell me which size would be the best?
What size candle are you looking to make or what size of container do you have?
Go to your local churches that us fifty-one percent or 100-percent beeswax candles for liturgical purposes and ask for the remnants that are left over after they burn down so far. For Chuck, try locating a co. that sells clear plastic tubing with a thin wall and diameters from three-quarters, one and one eight, one and one quarter, one and one half, etc. Take your tubing to a hardware store and get PVC flat or oval shaped caps to put on one end. If loose, glue layers of card stock with duct tape to thicken the end to fit snugly for the PVC cap. Good Luck Quentin
Info followup: Wicks unlimited div. of The Stimson company.
Atkins and Pierce candle wicks, paper core, zinc core, cotton core, Lead core is no longer used in candle mfg. by law. Please forward Email to Chuck for further info. re: tube candle making using beeswax. I ran out of room with my first Email. Thanks
For tube candles, do not use additives. straight beeswax and proper wick (Square braided ) consult with personnel of wick companies and they can direct you to the proper size of wick depending on the thickness of tube candle you are making. Ask about Poly core wick from Wicks unlimited, try to speak with Tom. Mention my name to him I buy all my wick from him.
If you want your candle to smell good could you add some type of like essential oil?
Or would it not work the same way?
Yes, you can add in some essential oils if you wish 🙂
I’m new at candle making and I see many blogs saying you have to use a certain size wick depending on the measurements of your jar. I’m making a beeswax and coconut oil candle. I read mixing coconut oil helps with how it burns. My jar is an 8 oz jar and the width is 4″ and the height is 3.1″. What size wick should I use? I’d appreciate any help.
The ones at michaels craft store seem to work very well for my 8oz jars that i use
Hi, you’ve used tape to hold the wick in place. Is the tape not dangerous as it’s inflammable? Thanks
It’s highly unlikely that the candle will burn all the wax up at the bottom of the jar so the tape will be fine. If you are concerned about the tape, you can also use a dab of hot glue to hold the wick to the bottom before pouring.
Thanks for your excellent website and info
It is strange that with all of the questions on “what size wick to use”, there has never been any answer shown here. Only further questions sometimes.
How about if candle is: 13mm(1/2″), 25mm(1″), 40mm, 50mm, etc.
Surely, somebody can provide a sensible response.
I tried this, and my candle just burns out. Any idea why?
Did you use a large enough wick for the size candle that you made? Beeswax burns very slowly so it needs a larger than normal wick.
I tried to make beeswax candle. I add significant amount of essential oils but still very subtle smell. any ideas?
I haven’t made a candle yet, but I have bought many, and from what I found, beeswax does not have the “scent throw” of conventional fragranced candles. The EO won’t be very fragrant, unless you use a wax blend using a wax with a throw. Coconut oil is one non-toxic option, and it is better than beeswax alone, but not as great “throw” as others.