DIY Beeswax Birthday Candles

handmade beeswax birthday or chime candles laid out on sprinkles
Miniature dipped taper candles

DIY beeswax birthday candles make a birthday cake even sweeter.

While similar candles can be bought, the love put into dipping these candles by hand makes them extra special. I can’t wait to use them on my own cake in November (I love to use this chocolate cake recipe.) Plus, dipping candles is really, really fun!

A while back, I received about 10 pounds of free pelleted beeswax. These tiny dipped candles barely put a dent in my stash, but their tininess is was got me excited about them! I love miniature things. Sure, they’re cute, but they’re multi-purpose too— use them to light a birthday cake, for meditation, wishes, and spells, or to refill your Swedish angel chimes.

Disclosure: Kiyafries is reader supported. Some of the links below are Amazon affiliate links. This means that, at no cost to you, I will earn an affiliate commission if you click through the link and finalize a purchase.

a lighted diy mini dipped candle on birthday cake sprinkles
a blown out, smoking miniature beeswax taper candle

Beeswax Birthday Candle Materials

  • 1.5-2 lbs pelleted beeswax
    • If you want to use a different kind of wax, you may need a different kind of wick, but the rest of the process will be the same.
  • Candle pouring pot
  • 3 quart pot (for water)
  • #1/0 square braided wick
    • Beeswax burns better with square braided wicks
  • Small washers
  • Paint stirring stick (to hang the candles on)
  • 2 pint mason jars (to hold up the paint stirring stick)
  • Thermometer
    • I use an infrared thermometer so it doesn’t have to touch the wax.
      You can use other kinds of thermometers, but they shouldn’t be used on food after being put into wax.)  
  • Wooden chopsticks (to stir the wax and pick up the primed wicks)
    • If you can’t use chopsticks, use a fork or tongs
  • Waxed paper or parchment paper

1. Melt the Wax

  • Pour the beeswax into the candle pouring pot.
    • You want the wax to be deep enough so that the candles can dip straight in and out. Mine was not quite deep enough, so I had to tilt the pot when I dipped. It worked, but it would’ve been easier if I had used more wax!
  • Fill the pot halfway with water and place the candle pouring pot inside.
    • I hooked the handle of my pot onto the side of the pot. 
  • Heat the water
    • I heated over medium-low, and then reduced the heat to low. Don’t let the simmer get too crazy— the water doesn’t need to bubble, just be hot.
  • Let the wax melt completely, and heat to 180 degrees F
    • This takes a while! You can push it along by using the wooden chopsticks to stir once it starts melting. But I suggest doing the rest of the steps below while you wait.
melting beeswax in a double boiler
infrared thermometer for beeswax

2. Prepare the Candle Hanging Station

  • Lay out a piece of waxed paper or parchment paper to catch wax drips.
  • Place the jars on the paper, and place the paint stirring stick on top of them.
    • If the stick is moving around too much, you can tape it onto the jars to keep it still.
DIY hanging rack for dipped candles
These were the first several candles I dipped– lumpy!! But they burned just fine.

3. Prepare the Wicks with Washers

  • Cut one wick at a time to about 9 inches, and tie a washer onto either end. Each piece of wick will be two candles.
    • Cut one wick at a time for uniform sizes— I found that I didn’t tie my washers consistently, so I measured off the first wick for the following wicks.
      I really just eyeballed this! 
    • Remember, some of the wick will be taken up by hanging, and some will be taken up from tying on the washers.
    • I made 10 wicks/ 20 candles. It’s nice to make extra, because if you’re like me, the first few will be wonky until you get the hang of it!
tying wicks onto washers for dipped candles
double wicks with washers for dipping

4. Prime the Wicks

priming wicks for dipped candles

Once the beeswax is completely melted, drop the entire wick with washers into the wax.

coating wicks in wax

Pick the wick up with the chopsticks and hang it on the paint stirrer.

straightening primed wicks

Gently pull both washers downward to straighten.

primed wicks

This will leave you with a shaped and primed wick that’s easy to hold while you dip, and that burns cleanly.

5. Dip your Beeswax Birthday Candles!

melted beeswax
  1. Once the wax has heated to 180F, remove it from the hot water.
    Allow the wax to cool to about 160F before you start dipping.
primed wicks for dipped candles

2. Make four of the prepared wicks into candles at a time. 
(Making too many at once may make the candles look inconsistent due to the wax cooling as you dip.)

birthday candles

3. Dip wicks into wax three times and hang back on the rack.
(Try to keep the wicks moving straight up and down and not bending. Tilt the pot if you need more depth.)

taper candles dipped with washers

4. Then, dip wicks into wax four more times and hang back on the rack.

when to cut washers off taper candles

5. Use scissors to cut the washers off the wicks.

making beeswax chime candles

6. Last, dip wicks into the wax six more times, or until they’ve reached the desired thickness.
Hang on the rack to dry.

hand dipped birthday candles hanging to dry

7. Repeat the process with the remaining wicks, melting more beeswax to maintain the desired depth when needed.

Trouble-Shooting: Why are my candles lumpy?

  • If the candles start to become lumpy, or if the wax is forming a skin, the wax is too cold. Dip the pouring pot back into the hot water to heat it back up a little bit, then continue dipping.
    • Don’t let the wax get too hot, or your candles will melt and shrink when dipped. A few seconds in the water should do it— use the thermometer to see when the wax has risen to 160F again.

6. Finishing Birthday Beeswax Candles Post-Dip

  • Let the candles dry on their hanging rack for an hour, or until dry to the touch.
  • Use a knife to trim the bottoms of the candles if desired. I like to just cut off any drippy wax that has formed.
  • Use scissors to cut candles apart and to trim the wicks.
  • Spread the candles out on a piece of waxed or parchment paper to harden for a day.
  • Store the candles for 7 days to cure before burning. (Although, I did burn some 3 days after dipping for a birthday cake and they worked great!)
trimming drips off dipped candles
beeswax birthday candles trimmed after dipping
a cake decorated with hand dipped beeswax candles
Some of my candles on my friend Grace’s birthday cake! This very cool mushroom stump cake was made by our friend Frankie.
homemade beeswax candles smoking on a cake

What to do with Washers + Leftover Wax:

  • Washers:
    • Drop the waxy washers into reheated hot wax.
    • Stir until excess wax has melted off. transfer washers to parchment paper, then cut off the wicks when they’ve cooled.Cut off the wicks and set aside to use again later.
  • Leftover Wax:
    • Let the wax harden in the pitcher to melt again later, or, pour into silicone molds or parchment paper lined dishes to harden. The wax can be remelted and reused.
      • Or, make a candle if you have the supplies! (A future post on poured beeswax candles is likely.)
how to clean washers used for taper candles
how to clean washers used for taper candles

How to Clean Up Wax Spills

Once wax has hardened, it can be scraped up with a credit card.

Then, use rubbing alcohol and paper towels to clean up. 

I hope these wee candles add a little homemade magic to your next birthday cake, meditation, wish, or spell!

a homemade beeswax birthday candle burning

Tiny Candle Sticks for your Tiny Candles

I fell down a rabbit hole looking for tiny candle sticks to hold candles of this size— here’s some I dug up!
If you want to search for some on your own, it seems like “chime candle” is the best keyword.

I may make my own holder in the future!

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