Make Your Own Modeling Beeswax

Make Your Own Modeling Beeswax

I like to make natural crafting materials for the wee ones. I’ve made paints and crayons, play dough and paste. I like the cost savings, and I especially like being in control of the ingredients, BUT I’ve learned something over the years… If the process is too messy, no matter how much I like the outcome, I won’t do it again. I think we’ve all had those undertakings that seemed like a good idea, but then it took hours to restore order to the kitchen! If I can’t pull it off in a semi-reasonable manner, I’ll go ahead and buy.

So, I’ve learned, when I go about making something, I try to find the easiest… fastest… cleanest… way to do it. Yesterday, after I made a batch of Modeling Beeswax… similar to Stockmar Modeling Beeswax… the picture above is what my kitchen looked like when I was done. I kid you not, no mess to clean up. Basically, when I was done making the Modeling Beeswax, everything looked like I had just started. Here’s what I did.

WARNING: I DO NOT consider this to be a craft to do with young children. Burns from the wax could be serious.

Supplies:

  • 1 teaspoon Jojoba Oil (jojoba, coconut or olive oil) I used jojoba oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon Lanolin Oil (people also use Lanolin cream as found in Nursing Creams)
  • 1/2 cup melted pure filtered beeswax
  • Colorant (I used a wax concentrate from a company no longer in busy) You can use food coloring, crayons, or other concentrates. If using food coloring use the paste, gel or powder. The liquid will not mix. BTW… I have never used the colorant I linked to. This is just an example of other options available.

Note on amounts of ingredients. Because all beeswax can be slightly different, the amounts above may not always have the same results. You need to experiment. In the directions below, after you melt the wax and add the jojoba and lanolin, I pour a small amount, about 1/2 teaspoon on a surface to cool. I then test it. If it is crumbly, I add a LITTLE more oils. If it is too sticky, I add a little more beeswax. If I have to error, I would rather have the Modeling Wax a little sticky as opposed to too hard. This is not an exact science. You will need to play with amounts each time you get new beeswax.

Also Note… check local farmer’s markets and farms that sell honey. They often sell beeswax. You might be able to get filtered beeswax for much cheaper than on line.

Equipment:

  • 2 cup Pyrex measuring cup reserved for non-edible crafting
  • muffin tin with paper liners
  • a teaspoon
  • hot pad and oven mitt
  • paper towels for clean up

Directions:

Note: I used the microwave. You can also melt the wax in a double-boiler or crockpot. I find the microwave the least messy.

Place beeswax in Pyrex measuring cup. You do not need to grate the beeswax. (Makes the job faster.) It will melt in block form. (Does melt faster if grated but I don’t enjoy grating beeswax 🙂 Melt enough beeswax to get 1/2 cup melted beeswax. I bought my beeswax from a local farmer that sold it in 1/2 cup blocks. If you have larger blocks, just cut off chunks.

In my microwave, on high, it took 4 minutes to melt MOST of the wax. You do not not want to overheat the wax. You can actually burn it. If you remove the wax before it is completely melted and allow the rest of the wax to sit and melt, you will not overcook it.

CAUTION: The wax and the cup are extremely hot. I use oven mitts and pot holders to handle the measuring cup. Use extreme caution.

Carefully mix in the jojoba oil (olive oil or coconut oil) and lanolin oil to the melted wax. Mix. Add the colorant.

Place paper muffin liners into a muffin pan. Pour melted wax into cups filling about half way. I got 3 muffin cups from each 1/2 cup of melted beeswax. To make things easy, I started by melting the yellow, then the red, then the green, then the brown in the cup. I drained as much as I could out of the measuring cup, then, without cleaning the cup, I melted more wax. I did not clean the cup each time.

When the wax is set, but still slightly warm, remove the paper. If you wait until they are completely cooled, then can be harder to get out of the pan, and the paper can stick to the beeswax. However, if you must wait, it really isn’t hard to do, the paper may rip a bit. Do make sure to remove all the paper because it will interfere with the use of the Modeling Beeswax.

For easy clean up, after you’ve melted the last of the wax, while the cup is still very hot, wearing your oven mitts, wipe out the inside and outside of the measuring cup with paper towel. Do the same for your teaspoon. That is all the clean-up that is necessary! Wasn’t that easy… and neat?

Before the wax has even set, your clean-up is done!

Working with the Modeling Beeswax:

I usually place a piece of parchment or waxed paper on a work surface while playing with the Modeling Beeswax. They wax  can stick to surfaces and parchment or waxed paper makes clean up easy.

When the beeswax has set and cooled, it is ready to be played with. If you’ve never used Modeling Beeswax before, you do need to “warm up” the wax a bit in order to be able to work it. It helps to cut the wax into chunks and work a little at a time. The heat from you hands will warm it up. One of my favorite ways to “warm up” the wax slightly is to lightly heat a rice pack in the microwave, and with the Modeling Beeswax in a baggie, lay it on the rice pack. You do not want the wax to actually start melting, just to warm up enough to be pliable. Placing the wax, in a baggie, against your skin, like under your arm or in your bra, is another trick 🙂

Once the beeswax is pliable, it can be worked like any modeling clay. The Modeling Beeswax will not dry out. You can often take apart a sculpture and reuse the wax. It is a fun alternative to the more common place clays and doughs.

 

Kimara

13 Comments

  1. Hi – thanks for sharing your recipe. In our school we go through a lot of modelling wax and I have, at times, separated as much as I could into colour groups and melted batches to cut up and reuse. I have used silicone baking trays and muffin tins as well as small cake pans. None of these I use for food anymore, but it does eliminate the need for paper cups and the fussing with them. Just a suggestion!

     

    1. I do notice that our modeling wax is not as shiny as store bought. I’m assuming they probably use some paraffin in their formula and we want to keep ours all natural. So, not as shiny, but every bit as fun to play with and oh, what a wonderful smell 🙂 Thanks for sharing your tip. I don’t actually own any of the silicone baking trays, but I can see where they would make the wax pop right out.   

  2. I often let each child hold the wax to warm in their hands during a short story. Thanks for the great recipe. Will be fun to make before starting our homeschooling year.

    1. Love this idea. Not only does it warm up the wax, it’s great for all of the “fidgeters” out there! Thanks for sharing. ((hugs))

  3. I am allergic to lanolin is there an alternate ingredient that I could use?

    1. Sorry….Recipe without lanolin

    2. I asked a friend about this and she had 2 suggestions. I haven’t tried either, so it will be a matter of you experimenting. First, she suggested coconut oil. She said use jojoba/olive oil and the coconut oil as an alternative for the lanolin. Also, she said that probably the better choice for similar properties is petrolatum. Petrolatum is found in things like Vaseline. The down side, petrolatum is a derivative of petroleum, which many people do not wish to use when making natural products. However, Stockmar uses paraffin, which is a petroleum product, so given your allergies, it does give you choices.

      Basically, you need to experiment. If you do come up with a suitable recipe, by all means come back and share it here. I’m sure there are many people that share your allergies. I’m allergic to wool, although I was able to work with the modeling wax without a problem. Of course, I was in direct contact with the wax for very long. Good luck!

  4. I did this using food colouring ….it didn’t work 🙁 the food colouring wouldn’t mix with the rest (I even heated it up again and it still wouldn’t mix.
    What did ido do wrong?

    1. Wax based compounds and oil based compounds will not mix with water..
      Try melting a coloured kids crayon into the mix or a small amount of oil based paint.

      1. Kimara
        Author

        Thanks for answering Emma’s question. Since you seem knowledgeable… any chance you know why mine has a chalky, cloudy appearance? The store bought always seems to be more clear. Thanks! ~KImara~

  5. Kimara
    Author

    My original recipe I had from the 70s listed food coloring as an ingredient. I’ve never used straight up food coloring with my candles, crayons or modeling wax, I’ve always used the wax based colorants. I did a little research and read not to use the liquid food coloring. Seems to water and oils repel one another, which makes sense. I have now changed my directions to be more specific in the material lists. The good news is you should be able to melt your wax down again and add the right colors. You might want to up the oil a bit to compensate for any evaporation when heating the first time. You don’t want the wax crumbly when you are done. Hope this works better for you. ~Kimara~



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