People have used melted beeswax for thousands of years for a variety of uses, from cosmetics to candle-making to preserving furniture. Its versatility has made it a valuable commodity across cultures.
Things You'll Need
- Double boiler
- Wooden spoon
- Natural bristle paintbrush
- Oven mitts
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Use an old Crock-Pot or double boiler that you will no longer use for cooking. These are ideal for melting beeswax slowly without burning it; however, once you have used the pot for beeswax, it can no longer be used for cooking. Think about what utensils you will use as well, as some of these may absorb some of the beeswax, which will make them unusable for some other applications. Spread newspaper around the work surface to protect your table or countertops.
A large can, such as a 32 oz. tomato can, can be used as a double boiler, allowing you to melt wax without ruining any pots. Clean out the can and place it inside a larger saucepan, filling the outside pot halfway with water. This method is highly recommended if you want to add pigments to the wax to color it for candles, encaustic painting or crayon making, as you can use several cans for different colors.
Start with a block of pure beeswax, which is available in large or small quantities from craft stores and online sources. Shave the amount of beeswax you need into your pot to melt. Turn the heat on medium. Stir the wax with a wooden or metal spoon as it melts.
Keep the heat on low or simmer and stir the wax occasionally so that it doesn't set again while you work on the project. If you are using the wax for ointments, lotions or balms, you can add the emulsifying oils and essential oils at this point, before pouring the mixture into containers. For candles, the melted wax can simply be poured into a mold with a wick. Lift the can out of the double boiler with tongs in order to pour the wax directly into molds, or use oven mitts to lift the pot and pour.
Keep the wax on simmer and use a natural bristle brush for artwork, such as collage projects or encaustic paintings. See the links in References for household recipes for beeswax and directions for dozens of beeswax-related crafts.