supplies laid out on a linen tea towel by my friend susy pilgrim waters. 9

DIY: Black Beeswax Tapers for the Autumn Table

DIY: Black Beeswax Tapers for the Autumn Table

Information about DIY: Black Beeswax Tapers for the Autumn Table

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*N.B.: In a later attempt, I left the candles in the mold to cool for 24 hours, then placed them in the freezer for 15 minutes. They came right out, thus eliminating the need for the daunting boiling water dip below. Phew!

with the candles stuck in the molds, i tried the boiling water method. 18
Above: With the candles stuck in the molds, I tried the boiling water method.

Step 9:

Using boiling water to extract tapers is tricky: You have to work quickly and it’s messy. (Don’t wear your best oven mitts.) First, find a pot that’s larger than your mold, fill it with water, and bring to a boil. While the water is heating, place newspaper or parchment in a cookie tray that has sides (to catch the dripping wax–I learned this the hard way.) Position the tray as near as possible to your pot. Using gloves to protect your hands, submerge the entire mold in the boiling water for 20 seconds.

the loosened candles. 19
Above: The loosened candles.

Step 10:

Quickly remove mold from water to the cookie sheet and pull each row of tapers free. It may be necessary, as I discovered, to redip—but it works.

the finished product. 20
Above: The finished product.

Step 11:

Cut the candles from the sticks and trim the wicks.

N.B.: If you kitchen is now filled with black splatters, the best way to clean up is by pouring boiling water over the spills and quickly wiping the wax away.

The Finished Look

my new candles are ready for the holiday table. 21
Above: My new candles are ready for the holiday table.

Is it worth it?

So let’s review the cost of materials and labor—and see whether the project was worth it.

Prepping the wax was easy. I did it while making spaghetti sauce on the next burner. Ditto threading the wicks in the mold; that took about 10-15 minutes. The supplies came to around $35. My antique 12-candle mold was $60. (An eight candle mold is available at Better Bee for $47.33.) That’s $95 for 12 tapers, which is about $16 a pair—so far, I’m not ahead.

But after the initial outlay, things get better. The wick makes about 50 candles and there’s enough dye for around three to four dozen. So next time I make candles, I’ll really only have to invest in wax. At $9.95 per pound (x2), that’s less than $3 dollars per pair. Presuming it gets easier each time, I’d say that’s well worth the effort! (Guess what I’m giving the rest of the Remodelista team this holiday?)

Looking to accessorize your black candles? See 10 Favorites Modern Chambersticks for Making Your Way in the Dark. And if you’d still rather buy your candles, take a look at:

N.B.: This post has been updated; the original story ran on November 3, 2014.

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