One of the homesteading skills I had been wanting to learn for a long time, was how to make my own beeswax candles. Tired of waiting until I have my own beehive and learning how to harvest the wax, I bought some beeswax online at www.bulkapothocary.com (1 lb for about $9). They also sell wicks (100 for $6) and tons of other homesteading supplies for soapmaking and natural body care. I picked up some cute little tart tins at a yard sale for $2 to use as molds/candleholders and decided to give this a go. (I can then burn the candle directly in the tart tin.) They turned out beautifully and I now have a nice little stash of emergency candles. Here's how to do it.
To melt the wax, you need to do so in a double boiler. (A double boiler is essentially 2 pots: a larger one that boils water and a smaller pot that fits inside the larger pot and holds the wax. This way what you are melting is further away from the heat source and won't burn.) I opted to purchase a candlemaking pitcher and a wax thermometer set on Ebay, but you really don't need anything special. You just need a pot of some kind that has a pour spout and one that you can devote to only candlemaking. (The wax will stick to the pot.) I do recommend a candlemaking thermometer to monitor the temperature of the wax.
Step 1. Melt wax in a double boiler to about 170 degrees.
Step 2. Place wick in mold/candleholder. You can use a glue dot to hold it in place in the center of the mold if you like. I used a pencil to prop it up straight once the melted wax was added.
Step 3. Pour melted wax into mold or container and let it cool.
Done. See how easy that was? Now you have one more skill to add to your homesteading manual.