Beeswax candles and ornaments are the perfect hostess gift for the holiday.
Healthy, Sustainable Hostess Gift
I am most definitely one of the only people in my family interested in sustainability. Sure, they do the basics, recycling, etc…, but I am known as the “crunchy” one. I wanted to make sustainable gifts that people would actually enjoy. It is more sustainable to give people things they actually want and will use versus things you think they should want. I know that my family loves candles. Bath & Body Works candles used to be a staple in my household, as it is in many of theirs. I wanted to create a substitute that would smell great and be cute too!
Beeswax candles are healthier for your family than traditional paraffin wax candles (Check out my blog post on the benefits of beeswax here). Honestly, your gift recipient doesn’t even have to know about that or care about it so long as you create a heavenly scent!
Perfecting the Beeswax Candle Recipe
In my last attempt making beeswax candles, I used white beeswax pellets from Amazon. I definitely liked the look of the white candles better, but they did not burn great for me. The wax seemed to burn straight down the wick and not around the edges.
I tried combinations with cocoa butter and coconut oil, but the combination that ended up working best for me… plain beeswax with nothing added! I should have known. Beeswax is a little bit expensive and very hard, so cutting it with an additive seemed attractive, but it did not work out. I ended up finding a good deal on traditional beeswax from this seller on Etsy, but if you can find it from a local farmer, that is even better.
Because beeswax is harder than other types of candle wax, it does take forever to melt in the double broiler. Also, I found that you need as many 100% cotton wicks as will fit in your desired container.
Candle Container Options
You can use a lot of different containers for candles. After a little research, you will fin that thick glass is the safest, but you can also use thick metal (like the vintage coffee canister I used). Beware though, metal can get very hot and candles should never be burned unattended. To be safe, I burn my homemade candles on top of the stove.
Reusing items you have is the best way to make a sustainable gift.
Options for Candle Containers
- A new glass jar (16oz mason jar)
- A recycled glass jar (mayo, salsa, and sauce jars work great)
- A thrifted container (mugs are the absolute best for this and can be reused easily once the candle is burned)
- Antique containers (this is a great use for cool vintage metal tins and containers, just be mindful and safe)
To Top, or Not to Top?
Adding toppers like coffee beans, crystals, and cinnamon sticks can make your gift look extra beautiful, but there are a few things to be mindful of. Coffee beans and cinnamon sticks can catch fire and burn. They should be kept as far away from the wicks as possible. In my experience, they usually don’t burn long, but it can smell like fire instead of whatever wonderful scent the candle was supposed to smell like. Just be smart here!
How do you make a Beeswax Candle?
- Glue wicks into container of choice using hot glue.
- Wrap wick around pencil or spoon to hold in place.
- Melt beeswax in glass bowl double boiler.
- Mix in essential oils of choice.
- Pour wax into container and add toppings (coffee beans, crystals, cinnamon sticks, honey, etc…)
- Let harden at room temperature, light, and enjoy!
I always use the same thrifted glass bowl for my wax melting so I don’t have too clean out the wax each time. That sounds miserable.
Always be careful when pouring hot wax. If I had to do it again, I would probably choose a glass bowl with a pour spout. I rarely use any disposables in my kitchen, but I always put down parchment paper under my work surface because I really don’t like wax clean up.
Beeswax Candle Scent Ideas
Scent is so personal. It is honestly up to you what you like, or what you know the gift recipient to like. Here’s what I did with these four candles:
- 1tsp of vanilla extract with coffee beans to top
- Unscented (natural beeswax/honey scent) with cinnamon sticks to top
- 10 drops cinnamon essential oil, 5 drops clove essential oil, and 10 drops nutmeg essential oil with crushed cinnamon sticks on the bottom
- 1 tsp vanilla extract and 10 drops peppermint essential oil
Great essential oil options for the holiday include orange, clove, cinnamon bark, nutmeg, vanilla, cedar, pine, pumpkin, ginger, and frankincense.
Make a Beeswax Ornament instead!
If you recipient is not a candle lover or you are looking for things to do with your leftover wax, make little ornaments or gift tags out of silicone molds! I used an alphabet mold that I already had on hand.
These candles and ornaments are great to make in one day to get in the holiday spirit and to have on hand to give as hostess gifts as things get busy and parties pop up for the holiday season. If you make your own candles, I would love for you to tag me in your photos on Instagram!
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- 1. 3lbs Beeswax
- 2. 100% Cotton Wicks
- 3. Double Boiler
- 4. Containers of choice
- 5. Essential Oils of choice
- 6. Optional Toppings
- 7. Hot Glue Gun
1. Place wicks in container using hot glue.
2. Wrap wick around pencil or spoon so it stays in place (do not cut it yet)
3. Melt beeswax in glass bowl over double broiler.
4. Pour in essential oils of choice and mix.
5. Pour wax in container. If you want, add honey, cinnamon sticks, coffee beans or crystals at this time.
6. Let sit at room temperature until hardened.
7. Cut wick to size, light and enjoy!
I used about 3lbs of beeswax to make 4 candles and 2 small ornaments.