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How to Make Beeswax Taper Candles

Lately, I’ve been enjoying using beeswax taper candles around my home to provide a cozy atmosphere and to make dinner time feel more special. I don’t know about you, but whenever I walk into a store and they have a display of beeswax candles, I just ohh and ahh about them, wishing I could buy them all. The light that comes from beeswax is warm and inviting and the soft yellow glow never fails to help me slow down and notice the beauty in small moments. In the evening, I often like to light some candles, turn off all of my artificial lights, and listen to an audiobook. The one issue I keep running into, is the price of beeswax taper candles. I prefer beeswax to other waxes, because of how natural it is (plus they smell amazing). But beeswax tapers often cost around five dollars for one, or double that for a pair. I’ve even seen a set of eight trendy birthday candles being sold for forty dollars. They are pricey and I want to be able to burn my tapers, without that nagging feeling of needing to save my candles because of the price. 

A few weeks ago I was visiting my sister in Maine and on a sunny winter afternoon, we decided to try dipping some taper candles. We melted some wild foraged beeswax, prepared some cotton string, and started dipping. I was hooked! They were so much easier to make than I’d expected and the process was so fun and fulfilling. That night, we put one of our candles in a sconce on the wall, lit it, and enjoyed the beautiful light it cast as we sat by the fire and talked into the night. 

But do you know what one of the best parts was? We made so many candles out of not a ton of beeswax. We had one pound, which you can find for around ten dollars, and we made eight candles. We only used about half to three quarters of the wax for the eight candles, but because of how you dip them, you need to have deep enough melted wax to continue to dip more. That’s why a full pound is recommended, so you can keep topping off the melted wax. Or you can simply make shorter candles as the wax starts to get lower.

a candle in a candlestick with flowers

Are Beeswax Candles Really Better?

One of my favorite things in the fall and winter months is burning candles to create a comfy and cozy atmosphere. However most candles are full of toxins that are bad for your lungs and general health. Most candles you can find at the store will be made with paraffin wax. Paraffin wax is a byproduct of the petroleum industry and when burned, will release chemicals found in diesel–like benzene, toluene, and more. Beeswax on the other hand is a far better option because it does not pollute your air with these chemicals when burned. It is completely natural and doesn’t go through any processing like paraffin does. It’s also biodegradable, unlike paraffin wax which can take hundreds of years to break down. 

  • Paraffin Wax

Paraffin wax is a byproduct of the petroleum industry. It comes from a crystallization process of petroleum, coal, or oil shale. It is classified as a petrochemical and has some serious health risks, because the wax releases carcinogens and chemicals into your space when burned, like the ones listed below. One of the biggest reasons it is used is because it’s very cheap. Unfortunately, it’s not just candles that you have to look out for, as products like Vaseline–a popular brand of petroleum jelly–is also petrochemicals and a byproduct of the petroleum industry.

  • Benzene

Benzene is a liquid chemical that is a natural component of crude oil. It is a known carcinogen (cancer causing) and is used in gasoline, paint strippers, and glue. The Center for Disease and Control says “Benzene causes problems in the blood. People who breathe benzene for long periods may experience harmful effects in the tissues that form blood cells, especially the bone marrow. These effects can disrupt normal blood production and cause a decrease in important blood components.”

  • Toluene 

Toluene is a colorless liquid chemical that can cause many health issues if exposed. The Center for Disease and Control states that it can cause issues like nerve damage, anxiety, kidney and liver damage, tiredness, dizziness, etc. It is used in paint, in nail polish, and in gasoline, and more. 

Where to Get Beeswax

I like to get beeswax on etsy. I find they have a great variety and the prices are competitive. This etsy shop has one of the best prices per pound I could find. It also arrived clean and smelled lovely. You can often find it at your local health food store or a craft store, though craft store beeswax tends to be lower quality. 

two blocks of beeswax with \some wick on a cutting board

Coloring Beeswax

If you want to make birthday candles, or simply want fun colored taper candles, you can add powdered coloring. You can use beet powder for pink, blue spirulina for a teal blue, turmeric for a bright yellow, and matcha for green. I would recommend using a white beeswax like this one, as the color will show up better and be truer to its actual color. Keep in mind that the powder will settle to the bottom of the glass that you’re dipping your candles in, so have a wooden skewer on hand to stir it every once in a while. 

taper candle being dipped

Tips for Dipping Candles

Dipping candles is very easy and beginner friendly, but these tips can help create beautiful uniform candles. 

  • When dipping your candles, you’ll be dipping in wax, then water, then wax again, over and over. When you dip in the water, make sure to shake off as much water as possible before dipping back into the wax. When there are big water droplets, they get covered in wax and create a bumpy texture on your taper candle. 
  • When the wax gets too low to make long tapers, try making some birthday candles. For birthday candles, I recommend using a thinner cotton string, rather than a thick wick.
  • You can dip two at a time, but I prefer just doing one as I have more control over the dipping.
  • The height of your jar will determine how long your taper candles are, so choose accordingly.
  • Try to shake as much wax off of your candle before dipping it into water. If there are droplets of wax in your water, they can attach to your taper and create an uneven surface. 
  • Keep more melted beeswax on hand to top off your dipping jar. As you dip your candles, the wax will get lower and lower. When this happens, the wax won’t fully cover your taper and create dip lines. When you dip, you want the wax to come up to the same place on the wick everytime. 
dipping a taper candle in a jar of water and wax
Homemade Beeswax Taper Candles

Homemade Beeswax Taper Candles

Prep Time: 8 minutes
Active Time: 8 minutes
Total Time: 8 minutes

These homemade taper candles burn dripless and smell so so good.


  • 1 Lbs Beeswax
  • 1 Roll Candle Wick (or 100% thin cotton cord)


  • Wax dipping jar
  • Water dipping jar
  • Metal washer


  1. Melt beeswax in a tall jar in the microwave or in a double boiler. Fill another jar with cold water
  2. Cut your wick long enough to make two taper candles, with a little more leftover for hanging. (Once you've dipped a candle on one side, you'll repeat on the other). Tie one end of your wick to your metal washer. The washer will act as a weight.
  3. Once the wax is melted, dip your weighted wick into the wax, then the water.
  4. Repeat this a few times (always making sure to dip to the same spot on the wick), till you have a few layers of wax on the wick.
  5. Cut off the metal washer. Continue to dip.
  6. If a knob is forming on the bottom the the candle, cut it off and continue to dip.
  7. Continue to dip your taper candle until it is your desired size. Top Off melted wax if needed. To make the finished product look clean, cut off the uneven bottom, and dip once more to finish.

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