What does a Garden Gnome do when she is not gardening, in the kitchen or doing genealogy? Well the answer might just surprise you so read the entries to find out more. This blog focuses on everything we do to make our house a home. There will be a strong emphasis on home energy efficiency and do-it-yourself (DIY) projects. At the same time there will also be crafts, knitting and crocheting projects along with any other little tips we do to create that down to earth, I want to be here home. Please enjoy your visit :)


Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Rolled Beeswax Votives


Pure beeswax candles are simply lovely! I make a lot of beeswax candles in many forms but the rolled beeswax candles always get a lot of attention. They are perfect for gift giving or daily use. I have beeswax candles in some form in every room of our home.

Pure beeswax has a higher melting point making it ideal for candlemaking. Rolled beeswax votives are the perfect size for gift baskets. They are easy to make and inexpensive. I prefer to use natural pure beeswax sheets purchased from a local beekeeper in 25 lb cartons. The beeswax sheets I use measure 8" x 16 3/4" and have a honeycomb pattern. Unlike the coloured beeswax sheets found in many craft stores, these sheets have a mild and pleasant natural honey smell. When burning, the flame is a pale amber that fills the room with a natural aroma. The flame is said to have air purifying qualities as well.

The choice of wick is very important. Use a 100% square braided cotton that has four distinct sides. The flattest side shows a pronounced "V" or herringbone design. Place the "V" side down on the sheet of wax for proper placement. This will ensure the wick will burn in the hottest part of the flame. If not properly placed, the wick will extend beyond the flame causing a carbon ball to develop at the tip. If smoking or dripping occurs the candle was not rolled tight enough or is being burned in a draft.

Once you have mastered the technique of rolling votives, you will be able to move to more advanced candles like joined standards or tapers. For a fiesta look, brush candles lightly with mica.

Materials
1 sheet pure beeswax per 2 votives
length of 100% square braided cotton wick
sharp knife
ruler
scissors
hair dryer
cutting board

Instructions
1. Lay beeswax sheet with short end towards you on cutting board.
2. Using a ruler, mark at 2" intervals on each short end.
3. Lay the ruler to join the first marks on each short end. Press firmly and use sharp knife to cut the first 2" strip from the sheet. Repeat until all 4 strips are cut.
4. Lay a strip on the cutting board, short end towards you.
5. Place wick along short end of strip along edge, "V" side down.
6. Very carefully heat wax with hair dryer and press wick into wax. Do not overheat wax!
7. Begin firmly rolling, heating wax as needed.
8. When you reach the end of the first strip, warm about 2" of the second strip and butt this strip to the end of the first. Continue warming and rolling until you reach the end of the second strip.
9. Lightly warm the final edge of the second strip and using your thumb, press to secure.
10. Lightly warm the bottom of the candle and push with light pressure from the top of the candle to smooth the bottom.
11. Trim wick.

You now have made your first rolled beeswax votive candle.
Caution: Never leave lit candles unattended.

Enjoy,

Garden Gnome
© 2006


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