Easy-peasy and quick to make, beeswax ornaments are a great craft for parents and children to do together. Kids will love helping smash the big wax chunks, picking out molds, making yarn holes and stringing the ornaments (also great for small motor development).
A block of yellow beeswax. We found a block produced in Northern Michigan at Ben Franklin Crafts in Petoskey. For a direct Northern Michigan source, try Champion Hill Farm in Beulah where they produce beeswax from their hives just a few miles from the Sleeping Bear Dunes Lakeshore. championhillfarm.com.
A hammer (perhaps the kids’ favorite part happens with a hammer. Our kids wear ski goggles when the hammer is in their hands).
A double boiler and spoon for stirring (we use a table spoon—the wax is easy to chip off when dry).
A mold. We used a Wilton holiday cookie pan from Joann Fabrics for $9.99.
A needle or piece of craft wire for making a ribbon/yarn hole.
Head to the garage or porch with your hammer in hand and take out any holiday stress on that chunk-o-wax! Beeswax is incredibly dense when solid, and it is easier to work with in small chunks. Set it on the ground and give it a few whacks to break it apart … It’s seriously therapeutic. If the little ones are having a go with the smashing, ski goggles double as great eye protectors.
Move into the kitchen and click on a burner. Drop a chunk of wax into the double boiler (don’t forget water in the bottom pot) and melt over medium-low heat, stirring frequently. When the wax is liquid, pour it quickly into the molds. These steps are best done by adults, as the wax is oh-so-hot and the stove … well, oh so hotter.
Kids can jump back in the action with the craft wire or needle to make a ribbon hole so that the ornament can be hung. Wax hardens very quickly, so as soon as the liquid looks cloudy, insert the wire/needle near the top and gently swirl to create a small hole.
Wait about 20 minutes for the wax to cool completely. We suggest spending the time drinking cocoa and eating cookies. Once the ornaments have pulled away from the mold, carefully pull them out, or if stuck, simply turn over the pan and tap gently.
Finish with a ribbon or yarn of your choice.
*The great thing about beeswax is that it’s reusable, so if you break an ornament or have a bad pour, just pop the wax in for the next go-round!