How to Make Beeswax Candles

how to make beeswax candles -- a simple tutorial!

*Flicker flicker flicker*

When I’m sitting by the blazing wood stove on a cold winter’s night, I gotta have a candle. No ifs, ands, or buts, the moment is simply not complete without the dancing light of a burning wick.

Even though I’m dumped most of my candles in favor of my essential diffusers (because not only do my essential oils make my house smell good naturally, but they also can provide health benefits), I still crave the cozy ambiance of a good old-fashioned candle.

Sadly, even though most candles no longer contain toxic lead wicks, many you might purchase at the store still contain lots of junk, such as artificial scents and paraffin. In short– stuff you don’t want floating around the air of your home.

how-to-make-beeswax-candles-2

No worries though– we’re homesteaders–we’ve got this whole homemade candle thing covered.

I’ve already shown you how to make tallow candles, but just in case you happen to be short on tallow, you can follow the same method to learn how to make beeswax candles too. Beeswax burns beautifully and is a wonderful option for natural, non-toxic, homemade candles.

A note about beeswax: If you have bees, lucky you! ;) Homegrown, filtered beeswax is a beautiful choice for homemade candles. However, if you don’t have bees yet (like me), you can always check with local beekeepers to see if someone has beeswax for sale. If you strike out there, Amazon is always an option too. (That’s where I got mine this time around).

how to make beeswax candles in mason jars

 

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How to Make Beeswax Candles

(A Note About Amounts: One pound of beeswax equals approximately 20 ounces in volume. For this tutorial, I used one pound of beeswas pastilles. It filled the four small canning jars shown in the above photo. Thankfully, the recipe is very flexible, so if you have more or less beeswax, simply fill more or less containers!)

melting-beeswax

Place the beeswax into your dedicated container/can. Place the can inside a stock pot filled half-full with water.  Simmer over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally as it melts.

In the meantime, prepare your jars and wicks.

In the meantime, prepare your jars and wicks.

The goal is to get the wick to stay in the middle of the jar as we pour in the beeswax and it sets. You can accomplish this a variety of ways. For example:

  • Use a glue gun to stick the wick to the bottom of the jar
  • Attach the wick to the jar with super glue
  • Hold the wick in place with strips of masking tap
  • Use pencils or dowels to prop/stabilize the wick.
  • Or use a combination of these methods.

It doesn’t matter the method, as long as the wick stays in the center of the jar. In the above photos, I placed a dab of glue on the bottom of the wick to secure it to the bottom of the jar. I then curled the wick around a small dowel to keep it from tipping over.

Pour the melted beeswax into the jar, leaving one inch of room at the top. Set the jars aside and allow them to cool and set completely.

homemade-beeswax-candles

Trim the wick, light, and enjoy your homemade beeswax candles!

FAQ:

  • Will my beeswax candles go rancid? No. One of the benefits of beeswax is that it will not go rancid like soy wax or palm wax.
  • Can I scent my homemade beeswax candles? Sure! Many people use essentials to create natural aromatherapy candles. However, keep in mind that essential oils don’t love high temps, so often the scent will not be as strong as if you were using artificial fragrances. I usually just leave my homemade candles unscented, and then make my house smell pretty with my essential oil diffuser instead.
  • Wanna make homemade candles using tallow or lard? Click here for my full tallow candle tutorial.
  • How do I filter beeswax for my candles? Here’s a video that’ll show you how!

In the meantime, prepare your jars and wicks.

4.8 from 5 reviews
How to Make Beeswax Candles
Author: 
Recipe type: DIY
 
Ingredients
  • Beeswax
  • Wicks
  • Glass jars (canning jars work great!)
  • Dedicated container, such as a #10 can, for melting the wax (because it's impossible to clean out afterwards!)
Instructions
  1. (A Note About Amounts: One pound of beeswax equals approximately 20 ounces in volume. For this tutorial, I used one pound of beeswas pastilles. It filled the four small canning jars shown in the above photo. Thankfully, the recipe is very flexible, so if you have more or less beeswax, simply fill more or less containers!)
  2. Place the beeswax into your dedicated container/can. Place the can inside a stock pot filled half-full with water. Simmer over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally as it melts.
  3. In the meantime, prepare your jars and wicks.
  4. The goal is to get the wick to stay in the middle of the jar as we pour in the beeswax and it sets. You can accomplish this a variety of ways.
  5. It doesn't matter the method, as long as the wick stays in the center of the jar. In the above photos, I placed a dab of glue on the bottom of the wick to secure it to the bottom of the jar. I then curled the wick around a small dowel to keep it from tipping over.
  6. Pour the melted beeswax into the jar, leaving one inch of room at the top. Set the jars aside and allow them to cool and set completely.
  7. Trim the wick, light, and enjoy your homemade beeswax candles!

 

Coffee Sugar Scrub Recipe

homemade sugar scrub recipe with chocolate and coffee

By Stacy Karen, contributing writer

Coffee and cocoa are a delightful combination when it comes to a warm beverage. Turns out, it’s a great mix for natural body care, too!

Body scrubs are a fantastic way to remove dead skin cells and brighten skin, giving it a more youthful and vibrant appearance and a softer smoother feel. Body scrubs are also invigorating and enjoyable to apply.

Most body scrubs are made by mixing two parts sugar and one part oil. This creates an excellent and effective sugar scrub, but today I want to share a different method of preparing body scrubs that makes them even more nourishing and unique.

Instead of using oil alone, we will be adding cocoa butter. (Other butters would also work well too, but will have different consistencies due to varying degrees of softness/hardness.)

Cocoa butter is a solid butter, so it needs to be melted prior to mixing with the sugar. This adds a little extra work, but I think you’ll find it worthwhile.

By using cocoa butter in the place of oil, we are creating a body care product that is both exfoliating and extremely moisturizing. Cocoa butter also helps the scrub hold together much better than when using oil alone.

This simple coffee sugar scrub recipe would make a wonderful gift.

If you don’t enjoy the smell of coffee, simply leave it out. The scrub will still be successful and luxurious.

homemade sugar scrub recipe with chocolate and coffee

Coffee Sugar Scrub Recipe

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  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 2 ounces coconut oil (where to buy)
  • 2 ounces avocado oil (where to buy --can be replaced with grapeseed, sweet almond, or sunflower oil)
  • 1.25 ounces cocoa butter (where to buy)
  • 1 tablespoon ground coffee beans
  • Seeds of one vanilla bean (optional) (where to buy)
  • Ice (for cooling cocoa butter after it has melted)

coffee cocoa scrub ingredients

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 275 degrees F. Measure the cocoa butter and coconut oil into an oven proof dish, bowl, or loaf pan and place in the oven. Leave until butter has melted (this will only take a few minutes). Carefully remove from the oven.

Fill a large bowl with ice and place the bowl (or pan) with the melted cocoa butter and coconut oil into the ice. Add the avocado oil and stir to combine. Leave to cool for a few minutes.

oil on ice

Don’t forget to tun off the oven!

Let cocoa butter/coconut oil mixture cool until it is slightly warm, but not hot (about 100 degrees). Be careful not to allow the oil/butter mixture to cool completely as it may harden and it should have a thick liquid consistency when adding the sugar.

Begin adding the sugar a little at a time, stirring until it is thoroughly incorporated.

Add the ground coffee and stir to distribute evenly. Then add the vanilla bean seeds, if using.

One you have incorporated all of the sugar and coffee, your scrub is complete. It will continue to thicken as it sets.

finishing scrub

If you would like to make the sugar scrub have more of a “whipped” texture and appearance, you may use a handheld beater to beat the mixture a few times as the cocoa butter is cooling. You will need to do this reasonable quickly so it does not harden before you have the chance to put it in a jar.

Package in a pretty jar and add a label.

Notes and warnings

  • Please be aware that this homemade sugar scrub is intended for use as a body scrub. It is not to be used as a facial scrub. Scrubs should not be used on windburned, sunburned, or broken skin.
  • This scrub can be made even more “chocolatey” by adding 2 teaspoons of cocoa powder.
  • White sugar may be used in place of brown, but it will have a different scent. You may also use a combination of white and brown sugar, if desired.
  • If you enjoy making scrubs, you might like my ebook, Simple Scrubs to Make and Give; a comprehensive guide to DIY all-natural body scrubs.
  • For other homemade skin care recipes, here are recipes for peppermint citrus sugar scrub, whipped body butter, and silky DIY lotion for hard-working hands.

homemade sugar scrub recipe with chocolate and coffee

Coffee Sugar Scrub Recipe
Author: 
Recipe type: DIY Skincare
 
Ingredients
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 2 ounces coconut oil
  • 2 ounces avocado oil (-can be replaced with grapeseed, sweet almond, or sunflower oil)
  • 1.25 ounces cocoa butter
  • 1 tablespoon ground coffee beans
  • Seeds of one vanilla bean (optional)
  • Ice (for cooling cocoa butter after it has melted)
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 275 degrees F. Measure the cocoa butter and coconut oil into an oven proof dish, bowl, or loaf pan and place in the oven. Leave until butter has melted (this will only take a few minutes). Carefully remove from the oven.
  2. Fill a large bowl with ice and place the bowl (or pan) with the melted cocoa butter and coconut oil into the ice. Add the avocado oil and stir to combine. Leave to cool for a few minutes.
  3. Don't forget to tun off the oven!
  4. Let cocoa butter/coconut oil mixture cool until it is slightly warm, but not hot (about 100 degrees). Be careful not to allow the oil/butter mixture to cool completely as it may harden and it should have a thick liquid consistency when adding the sugar.
  5. Begin adding the sugar a little at a time, stirring until it is thoroughly incorporated.
  6. Add the ground coffee and stir to distribute evenly. Then add the vanilla bean seeds, if using.
  7. One you have incorporated all of the sugar and coffee, your scrub is complete. It will continue to thicken as it sets.
  8. If you would like to make the sugar scrub have more of a "whipped" texture and appearance, you may use a handheld beater to beat the mixture a few times as the cocoa butter is cooling. You will need to do this reasonable quickly so it does not harden before you have the chance to put it in a jar.
  9. Package in a pretty jar and add a label.

 

 

Stacy Karen - profile 1Stacy is a preacher’s wife and mom to three children. She is slightly obsessed with DIY projects, especially when they involve herbs or natural body care. She blogs at A Delightful Home, where she shares tips on natural, family living and is the author of Simple Scrubs to Make and Give and DIY Face Masks and Scrubs.

 

Whipped Body Butter Recipe

whipped body butter recipe using simple, natural ingredients!

Don’t eat this…

I just wanted to get that out in the open right now because it’s very, verrrry tempting.

OK, well technically you *could* eat this whipped body butter recipe, because the ingredients are perfectly safe, but it’ll taste kinda gross.

The Prairie Kids were circling me like sharks when I made this last week, and were utterly confused when I told them to rub it on their hands instead of licking the beaters… It’s hard having a DIY-crazed mother sometimes…

That being said, your skin will absolutely adore this simple whipped body butter made with natural, nourishing ingredients. It’s decadently moisturizing (without being greasy) and it smells like chocolate–need I say more??

It also makes a completely awesome homemade gift and everyone will think you are a DIY-genius–especially if you package it in a cute lil’ mason jar with a bow. (Just remind them not to eat it!)

whipped body butter recipe using simple, natural ingredients!

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Whipped Body Butter Recipe

White Chocolate Body Butter Recipe:

Regular Body Butter Recipe:

(this version doesn’t smell like chocolate)

Instructions for both versions:

Combine all ingredients, except the essential oils, in a small pot or double boiler.

Gently melt and stir over medium-low heat until the mixture is liquid.

Remove from the heat and allow the mixture to partially set up. I’m horribly impatient, so I put mine in the freezer to speed the process. (And then promptly forgot and left it in there way to long… *a-hem*).

Once the mixture is partially set, add the essential oils of your choice, and whip with a hand mixer or stand mixer (my favorite stand mixer) until the body butter is fluffy and stiff peaks have formed.

whipped body butter recipe using simple, natural ingredients!

The body butter in the photo is all ready to go– see how it holds its shape?

Spoon the finished body butter into a cute little jar. Apply as needed to dry skin anywhere on your body, or give it as a gift!

Notes:

  • It’s really important to allow the body butter to set up, otherwise it won’t whip. I’ve found it’s ready to whip when I can stick my finger in the middle and it will hold the indentation. However, if you accidentally forget about your body butter in the fridge or freezer and it gets too hard, all is not lost. Simply allow it to thaw at room temperature until it reaches the proper consistency.
  • You can easily store your whipped body butter at room temperature. However, if your house is very warm, it may melt. But if this happens, you can simply re-whip and you’ll be good to go.
  • Want unscented body butter? No problem! The essential oils are completely optional.
  • My favorite essential oil for this recipe is peppermint–especially peppermint combined with the white chocolate body butter recipe… YUM.
  • Other good essential oil options would be lavender, bergamot, frankincense, geranium, or wild orange. But the sky’s the limit! Here’s how I purchase essential oils for wholesale prices.
  • Need other homemade gift ideas? I’ve got ya covered!

4.7 from 3 reviews
Whipped Body Butter Recipe
Author: 
Recipe type: DIY Skincare
 
Ingredients
  • ¼ cup shea butter
  • ¼ cup cocoa butter
  • ¼ cup coconut oil
  • ¼ cup sweet almond oil
  • 10-20 drops of essential oil
Instructions
  1. Combine all ingredients, except the essential oils, in a small pot or double boiler.
  2. Gently melt and stir over medium-low heat until the mixture is liquid.
  3. Remove from the heat and allow the mixture to partially set up. (you can place in the fridge or freezer to speed this process)
  4. Once the mixture is partially set, add the essential oils of your choice, and whip with a hand mixer or stand mixer until the body butter is fluffy and stiff peaks have formed.
  5. Spoon into a jar and apply anywhere on the body. Or, gift as a gift!

 

whipped body butter recipe using simple, natural ingredients!

 

How to Make Stevia Extract

how to make stevia extract

I have a sweet tooth.

There. I said it.

As much as I would like to be one of those people who can happily chug black coffee and has no problem passing up dessert, I’m just not.

Now, as my real-food journey has progressed, I have gotten much better than I used to be. White sugar is pretty much banned from our house, and I don’t even use as many unrefined sweeteners as I used to. Eating a piece of fruit generally satisfies my cravings for sweetness (which have lessened considerably), and I’m pretty darn creative about using small amounts of maple syrup, honey, or stevia to sweeten stuff instead.

Stevia extract is amazing stuff. It’s pretty popular right now, but in case you haven’t jumped on the stevia train yet, here is a quick run-down: Stevia is simply a plant. Yup– a plant. It’s not created in a laboratory and it’s most definitely not one of those scary artificial sweeteners. Stevia is 200-times sweeter than sugar and you can grow it right in your garden. That’s my kind of sweetener!

growing stevia

Of course, there is some debate surrounding stevia, (because, quite frankly, there is debate surrouding everything these days…) Some people question if it is safe to use in large amounts, and other folks don’t like the more-processed forms of stevia powder on the market today.

However, I feel pretty confident in simple stevia extracts, especially when you make them yourself. Just remember– stevia is SUPER sweet, so you’ll only want to use a drop or two at a time!

homemade stevia extract

How to Make Stevia Extract

You will need:

  • Fresh stevia leaves (Dry leaves can work too–see the note below)*
  • Vodka*
  • Clean glass jar with lid

*The amount of ingredients you need will depend on how much stevia extract you want to make. I made a fairly small batch this time around, so I only ended up using about 1 cup of vodka, and a handful of chopped leaves. Depending on how many stevia plants you have, you can make a big batch, or just a small one.

fresh stevia leaves

Wash the leaves and remove them from the stem. Discard any wilted or brown leaves, and coarsely chop the rest.

how to make stevia extract

Place the leaves into a clean, glass jar. I filled my jar to the top, but I didn’t pack the leaves down.

stevia extract tutorial

Fill the jar with vodka, making sure the leaves are completely covered.

Place the lid on securely, and give it a good shake and set it aside.

Let the leaves steep in the vodka for around 48 hours. This is a much shorter time frame than many other extracts, but if you let it sit more than a day or two, the resulting stevia extract is pretty darn bitter.

After 48 hours, strain the leaves from the vodka (I also gave my leaves a good squeeze to smoosh out every last bit of extract). 

Pour the extract into small saucepan and heat it gently for 20 minutes. Do not let it boil, just warm it up to remove the alcohol and improve the sweetness. It will also thicken up a bit and reduce in volume.

homemade stevia extract

Pour your finished extract into a small bottle (I like one with a dropper–it makes it easier to use) and store it in the fridge. It should last several months.

How to use Stevia Extract

Add 1-2 drops to your favorite beverages (I especially love using homemade stevia extract to sweeten my coffee or tea!) A little bit goes a looooong way, so start with small amounts. I found I had  to use a bit more of my homemade stevia to get the desired level of sweetness, as compared to the store-bought stevia I’ve tried. But I think the sweetness will depends on how long you heated the extract and how many leaves you used.

Kitchen Notes

  • Dry stevia leaves can also be using to create homemade stevia extract. Just skip the washing/chopping step, and cover them with vodka. Just be sure to select dried, crushed leaves, not stevia powder.
  • I imagine you could use other types of alcohol here, but I like vodka because it’s cheap.
  • Don’t want to use alcohol in your extract? Here’s a tutorial for water-based stevia extract.
  • You technically don’t *have* to heat the stevia extract after the steeping period, but if you don’t, the resulting extract will be more bitter. However, the up-side is that it will keep longer and you don’t have to store it in the fridge. (the alcohol acts as a preservative).

 

How to Make Homemade Stevia Extract

Ingredients

  • Fresh stevia leaves (Dry leaves can work too)
  • Vodka*
  • Clean glass jar with lid

Instructions

  1. Wash the leaves and remove them from the stem. Discard any wilted or brown leaves, and coarsely chop the rest.
  2. Place the leaves into a clean, glass jar. I filled my jar to the top, but I didn't pack the leaves down.
  3. Fill the jar with vodka, making sure the leaves are completely covered.
  4. Place the lid on securely, and give it a good shake and set it aside.
  5. Let the leaves steep in the vodka for around 48 hours. This is a much shorter time frame than many other extracts, but if you let it sit more than a day or two, the resulting stevia extract is pretty darn bitter.
  6. After 48 hours, strain the leaves from the vodka (I also gave my leaves a good squeeze to smoosh out every last bit of extract).
  7. Pour the extract into small saucepan and heat it gently for 20 minutes. Do not let it boil, just warm it up to remove the alcohol and improve the sweetness. It will also thicken up a bit and reduce in volume.
  8. Pour your finished extract into a small bottle (I like one with a dropper--it makes it easier to use) and store it in the fridge. It should last several months.
http://www.theprairiehomestead.com/2014/08/homemade-stevia-extract.html

how to make stevia extract

Ready to Do Some More Extractin’? Check out these Tutorials!