Friday, August 26, 2016

How To Make Blackened Beeswax & Natural Beeswax Ornaments With Brown Bag Molds

Beeswax ornaments for the Christmas tree
have a rich history steeped in old world tradition.
German bakers were the first to use intricately 
carved wooden gingerbread and springerle molds 
to make beeswax ornaments.  They are easy to 
make with Brown Bag cookie molds so, I thought 
I'd share how I make them.   
For beeswax ornaments
this is what you need:
Cleaned beeswax
molds
a small level
2 cup Pyrex glass measuring cup
vegetable oil
small brush
paper towels
small wooden spoon for stirring
hot pad
wooden or acrylic cutting board
OPTIONAL-scented candle oil of your choice
OPTIONAL-wax candle color blocks or wax 
liquid color dye of your choice
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For BLACKENED WAX castings
you will also need:
scented candle oil in cinnamon
ground cinnamon 
(Saigon cinnamon is the most aromatic)
black or dark brown wax candle color blocks 
OR
liquid candle dye
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I purchased 1 lb. of natural cleaned beeswax,
candle scent and candle dye at the local
Michael's craft store. 
I make simple hanging hooks from wire or wire
 ornament hangers.  I add a bend at he end of 
the wire for added strength.
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Beeswax has a low melting point of
144 degrees F to 147 degrees F.
If  beeswax is heated above 185° F 
discoloration occurs. 
 CAUTION
The flash point of beeswax is 400° F!!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Melting beeswax in the microwave is a slow careful 
process.  I microwave in a Pyrex measuring cup, at 
half power for 1 minute at a time, stirring along the 
way.  I chop my beeswax into small chunks to help 
speed up the melting process.
If you want a specific color for your castings, 
add liquid candle dye or wax color blocks to
 the melting beeswax.
Caution!
BEE CAREFUL and use a hot pad
when handling the Pyrex measuring cup,
the handle gets hot.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~ 
For BLACKENED WAX ornie castings, add a few 
drops of black liquid candle dye or wax candle 
color blocks according to the directions.
(I had a couple dark brown wax coloring 
blocks in my supplies, so that's what I used  
for the sheep casting in the photo) 
Black will be much darker than mine.
Add liquid candle cinnamon scent to 
the wax when it's melted and stir.  
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Important tip, if beeswax is heated too 
hot, it will become brittle & be difficult  
to remove from the mold.
So, just melt the beeswax, don't cook it.
When there is a teeny tiny piece of wax
left at the bottom of the cup, it's ready to pour.
If you want scent to your wax casting,
add a few drops of candle fragrance oil and stir.
Cool the mold in the refrigerator for about 
20 minutes.  Lightly oil the mold.  Be sure to
get the oil in all the little details.
Don't put it in the freezer,
the mold should be cold not frozen!
Make sure the mold is level.
The wax will spill out the mold if
it isn't perfectly level & make a BIG mess.
(Voice of experience, don't skip this step.) 
Carefully pour the melted 
beeswax into the mold. 
If a little runs over the edge, don't worry,
  it pops right off the cool mold.
Add the hanging hook just before
 it begins to harden.
 
This photo shows the rustic wire loop hanger 
used for the blackened beeswax casting.
Remove the casting from the mold when 
it is SOLID but STILL WARM.
Hold the mold perpendicular to the cutting
board and bang the edge of the mold hard.
The casting should pop right out.
Brown Bag molds are very durable, they can
take a hard banging.  Be sure to use a wooden
or acrylic cutting board, not the counter or
the edge of the sink!
Smooth any rough edges of the casting
 with a warm dull knife or your warm finger.
Wipe excess oil off with a soft cloth. 
For BLACKENED BEESWAX castings, rub 
cinnamon into the wax as soon as you remove
 it from the mold.  Front and back.
No need to wipe away the excess oil.
Brush away the loose cinnamon.
Add ribbon, raffia, jute, metallic trim, 
pipe cleaner or decorative cloth strip 
as a hanger.
Beeswax ornaments are safe to hang near the lights
on your tree but don't store them in the attic, they'll melt.
Store your scented ornaments in a plastic bag
to preserve the scent.
Beeswax comes in varying natural shades 
of yellow and has a wonderful sweet scent 
that is so yummy.
It's amazing stuff, basically inert, it can
 last forever!  Beautiful examples of early 
wax ornaments can be found in European 
museums that are over 3oo years old.

They smell nice just hanging 
in the kitchen all year round.

Easy and so beautiful, but please
bee careful when working with hot wax! 
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 
TAKING CARE OF YOUR BEESWAX
Beeswax castings are easy to take care of.
When displaying your beeswax, do not place
near a heat source, such as fireplace or a sunny
window, as the beeswax can soften.  When storing 
your wax casting, wrap in white tissue paper.  
Placing the piece in a plastic bag will help to 
maintain the scent.  Do not store in a hot attic, 
or a heat source, as the beeswax can soften. 
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ABOUT THE BLOOM ON BEESWAX
Beeswax can develop a "bloom" over time.
Bloom is a powdery film.  It's actually an 
indication of the purity of beeswax.  Only 
100% beeswax will bloom.  Heat can also
encourage blooming.  To remove the bloom,
 buff your casting with a soft lint free cloth, or
 rinse it it under warm (not hot) water.  Use
your hairdryer on a low setting a few inches
away from the dryer, until the casting is shiny 
again.  This also helps to freshen the scent of the 
beeswax casting.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
 Lucy Natkiel, the designer of the Brown Bag molds,
has a website.  Bee sure to visit and download 
her cookie Recipe Book and Brown Bag Idea Book,
located on the right hand side of the cookie page.
Lots of great ideas for your Brown Bag molds.
Lucy Natkiel's Brown Bag Site
 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Rocky Mountain Waxworks sells
decorative hangers in their "Goods 
For Home Crafting" section.
They also sell beautiful beeswax ornaments!
Rocky Mountain Waxworks