Sunday, July 18, 2010

Beeswax Lantern

I woke up this morning full of energy and ready to create! I find so much inspiration from my very favorite blog, Childhood Magic. I've been collecting supplies for several projects from that blog, and I started many of them today. First, and the one I was most excited about, was the beeswax lantern. Before Ella woke up this morning, I went on a nature walk on my own and collected some lovely leaves and flowers. I pressed the flowers between sheets of paper towels in large books; I really should have pressed them longer, but I'm very impatient! Here is my photo journal (a light tutorial, I guess) of the process:

1. Chop beeswax into chunks. Hitting your fancy Henckels chef knife with a hammer does wonders.

2. Place said chunks into the nice pyrex measuring cup that your grandmother left you when she passed. This will make your mother really happy.

3. Melt the wax in a homemade double boiler. Pretend to be careful by using a thermometer, but ignore whatever temperature it reads.

4. Fill a water balloon with water and some air. Or, if you can't find a water balloon in your local store, use whatever balloons you can find. Act surprised when it pops the first time you dip it in wax. Then start over using TWO balloons (I used a chopstick to help insert one balloon inside the other).

5. Dip the balloon into the hot wax quickly and remove. Let harden for just a second, then dip again. Repeat this process about 20 times. If you are adding flowers and/or leaves to your lantern, dip them in the wax first and then gently (and carefully) press them onto the lantern form. Dip into wax at least a couple more times to seal them in.

6. Get your 12-year-old niece to pop the balloon over a pan using a pin.

7. Again, act surprised when the balloon explodes and water spills all over your lovely coffee table, stack of library books, and fancy TV remote. Pretend you don't know why the remote doesn't work when your husband gets home.

8. I forgot to get a picture of the next step, but it adds a really nice finishing touch if you press the bottom and top of the lantern against a warm pan to smooth the rough edges and make it stand without wobbling.

9. Place a tea light or small votive inside the lantern and enjoy the warm glow!



  1. I love love LOVE this lantern! I'm dying to try this myself! I think they would make amazing Christmas gifts...I'm thinking about how difficult it would be to do a purple one...


  2. Oh Kim, I just made a candle for my Gram for Christmas this past year. You can use cheap crayons (do be warned though, I used purple and it melted into this disgusting browish color... maybe don't use cheap crayons... use Crayola which would hopefully be more true to it's color) or you can buy little bits of wax that is meant to color wax at a craft store (I know AC Moore has a candle making section).