Although rolled candles are by far the easiest to make, they create lasting impressions. Paraffin wax is available in sheets, but cross-hatched beeswax is much easier to work with and adds a distinctive flair.
MAKES TWO 8 X 7/8-INCH ROLLED TAPERS
One 8 x 16-inch beeswax sheet
One 10-inch-length braided 2/0 wick
1 to 2 ounces paraffin wax for priming the wick, if desired
1. With a straightedge as a guide and a craft knife, cut the beeswax sheet into two 8-inch squares.
2. Use a hairdryer to slightly soften the wax. Avoid over-softening the wax by using the low heat or “style” setting.
3. Press the wick into one of the edges of a wax square; 1 inch of wick should extend beyond each side. Roll up the wax, taking care to keep the edges even. It can be a little tricky to get started and to keep the roll tight around the wick; to get a tighter roll, insert a piece of waxed paper between your fingers and the wax. As you roll the wax, move the waxed paper along so it doesn’t get caught up in the roll. This not only gives a tighter roll, but it also prevents the heat of your hands from making the wax too soft and therefore difficult to work with.
4. When the candle is completely rolled, press the edge of the wax into the candle to seal it, softening with a hairdryer if necessary.
5. Repeat steps 3 and 4 with the second square.
6. To prime the wicks, take small pieces of wax sheet and press them around the wicks. Alternately, in the top of a double boiler over medium heat, melt the paraffin wax. Dip the wick ends into the wax for 5 seconds and allow to cool completely.
7. Trim the wicks to 1/4 inch and the candles are ready to light.
This candle project originally appeared in the book Country Living Handmade Candles.