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Honour the Child

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BTRT Patterns (on Etsy)

Tuesday, 26 April 2011
Beeswax polish is a wonderful, all natural way to preserve 
and protect your wooden treasures, toys and trinkets (furniture, too!).  
Here's how to make your own!

This is the finish we use on our wooden toys at BTRT.
First and foremost, because it is natural and safe for little hands (and mouths).
Add that it provides a beautiful gleaming finish that brings out the warmth of the wood, that it repels water, dirt and oils, and can be re-applied as needed to restore the beauty of any natural wood surfaces.
And it smells good. (oh that your monitor was scratch and sniff right now!)
And is great for your hands!
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Set aside about 30 minutes to complete this project.
Supplies Needed:
  • Beeswax (50 ml melted wax will make nearly 8 oz. of polish)
  • Jojoba Oil (5 oz./ 150 ml will yield 8 oz. of polish
  • Glass measuring cups in suitable volumes
  • Pot 
  • metal spoon
  • essential oils, if desired
  • glass or other non-porous, sealable containers
You can make as much or as little polish as you like, 
simply keep your beeswax to jojoba oil ration at 1:3.
For a softer polish, increase the jojoba (technically a wax, but liquid at room temperature).
For a harder polish, increase the beeswax.

1) Gather your supplies:
Set your pot on the stove, high heat, and fill part way with water to boil.
Put your measuring cup for melting the beeswax in the pot to heat with the water.
OR create another double boiler of your choice.

Make sure your jars or containers are clean and dry, set aside.

Figure out how much polish you plan to make, and measure the jojoba oil into the second measuring cup.
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2)  Melt the Beeswax.
SAFETY FIRST: Beeswax has a melting point of 143-148 degrees.
All waxes may ignite if they are heated to their flashpoint.
Never melt your beeswax in the microwave.
Always use a double boiler set up and remove the wax from the heat once it has melted.
TIP: Use a grater to shave off smaller amounts of beeswax for faster melting.I generally choose a small chunk, melt it in the measuring cup and eye up whether I have enough, adding more if needed.  If I over-melt, I simply pour off the excess into a non-porous container to cool and store for later use.
Mind that your pot does not boil dry and simply wait for the beeswax in your glass measuring cup to melt.

3) Mix the Oils.
When your beeswax is liquified, pour the needed amount into the glass measuring cup holding your jojoba oil.
Make sure you have figured out your ratio and measurements ahead of time!
Place this mixture back into the double boiler to melt together (the beeswax will immediately begin to harden in the cool jojoba oil~ you could heat the jojoba ahead of time, but why dirty more dishes?), stirring regularly until you have a liquid mixture.
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4) Fill Your Jar(s)
Pour the mixture into your waiting containers. I suggest heating the jars with hot water to avoid shock breakage when the hot liquid wax is poured in!
 Add essential oils at this point.  Just a few drops, and stir.
Lemon and lavender are my favourites.
We actually use flavour oils for added insurance of safety for toys that end up in kids' mouths!
Set the jars aside to cool and set up.
 This may take one to several hours depending on your ratios and temperatures.

5) Go Polish Something!
I prefer a flannel cloth~ preferably an old one so there will be less lint.
I keep my cloths in the jar for storage so they remain lint free and ready for polishing.
Apply one or more thin coats of polish to your wood.
Allow to dry, buff to shine!
Enjoy!
(Top coin has been polished, lower one has not)

BONUS IDEA: Your melted beeswax can be used for making toys and ornaments.  Simply pour it into the candy moulds used for chocolates, which come in endless shapes and sizes.  Let them cool and pop them out.  To add a string for hanging, simply use a hot needle to pierce the wax.

You can also poke about online for waxed paper boats and more beeswax fun!


{{Some folks are unsure about where to find beeswax. You can try a local apiary (we get ours from a local honey farm), or checkout online sources such as busybeebeeswax.ca .  You can search for beeswax, but also 'encaustic supplies'}}


Have fun! Feel free to link up your own beeswax adventures in the comment section! 

10 comments:

Krista said...

That looks so wonderful. I wonder where you'd get beeswax? Also, is it safe on any finish of wood? Because my kitchen table could use some sort of help, but I don't know how it was finished!

Tanya said...

Lori, thank you, thank you, thank you for the tutorial!!I have a few recipes for besswax polish but seeing you do it really helps!! Do you buy measuring cups purely for this purpose or if not, how do you clean them afterwards? I love the fact that you use flavourings...a lovely scent and also safe for little people. (I had one child who was a "mouther" so I really appreciate your caution.)
Like Krista, I also would love to know where you get your besswax, I've found some at a local craft store but wonder if you have any other ideas :) Thanks again Lori! I'll be whipping up a batch of this soon!

Lori @ Beneath the Rowan Tree said...

Yes, great questions!
I get mine from a local honey producer (about $9/lb, which goes a LONG way). You can try a local apiary, if you have one, or get some online (I believe that http://fairyfolk.etsy.com often has it in stock).

As for wood... I like it on unfinished wood as it will absorb and seal, but I imagine something like a finished table that has some wear to the finish, would really benefit from it (and it won't do any harm). I would test it on a hidden patch... at worst it will just wipe off again!

Lindsay said...

WOW! I love this! Great diy! This is def something I would make.

-Lindsay
Delighted Momma

abeachcottage said...

Great tutorial. Thanks for sharing and thanks so much for adding your link to Beach Cottage Good Life Wednesdays!

Jurrasic said...

I'll be making some of this for my new cedar wood square foot gardens. Yeah, I could make them for less but they sure will be purdy ;-)

RhondaLavender said...

I had not thought of adding the essential oils - great idea THANKS!!!

EMMA said...

I think my kitchen table also will love this!

Anonymous said...

Hello what time of essential oils do you suggest adding to this mixture??
Thanks so much
Yoli

Brooke (Siayla) said...

Wonderful! Shared here http://siayla.blogspot.ca/2014/01/got-wood-try-these-wood-crafts.html

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