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DSCF0396 (768x1024)CANDLE-MAKING & Hand-made Holiday Gifts . . from Nature !

December 7th, 2019 Saturday 1-5p

Settle in . . . relax and enjoy the aroma and rhythm of Candle dipping ~ with wax made by local bees.  Receive the gift of warmth for yourself, and you may want to invite a family member or friend to join you in this experience.

Later in the afternoon, after a snack, we will be making Earthen Candle Holders & decorative Match Boxes from all local and natural materials.   mmmmm. The activities will be held in the cozy kitchen of the main house.



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If you wish,  you can have a short tour the grounds – see enchanting thatched structures & sustainable projects.  Although all materials are provided you might want to bring some things from nature or harvest them at the Strawbale Studio.

Note that the same class is also available on the next day, Dec 8, 2019, if that works better for you. Come to one, or both. Last year all classes filled with a class size limit of 12, so register soon if you can.  Register by Nov 23 and get the Early Bird Discount rate!

Class includes all materials to make 6 candles, 3 candle holders and 3 match boxes for you to take home. There will be a variety of natural materials from the land that you can use to decorate your projects.  You can also collect some ahead of time as well, which is FUN !  (bark, stones, leaves, etc.)



  • The price includes all materials to make 6 candles, 3 candle holders and 3 match boxes for you to take home. There will be a variety of natural materials from the land that you can use to decorate your projects.  You can also collect some ahead of time as well, which is FUN !  (bark, stones, leaves, etc.)  REGISTRATION
  • Early Bird Discount Price for each workshop is $30 if paid Nov 23, or $40 thereafter
  • Bring-a-Friend Discount is an additional $5 off for each person. 
  • Some 1/2 pay Scholarships available.
  • Class size limited to 12, so consider registering with a payment now.
  • Eventbrite registration shows you how many spaces are left.
  • Share Dec 7 Candle Class to  Facebook 🙂



Agenda & Candle-making Resources are below.

What to bring:

  • Wear comfortable old clothes.  Wax may get on them.
  • You might want to gather some nature items ahead of time to use as decoration.
  • Optional: Bring a treat to share if you would like to.
  • You might want to photograph the Strawbale Studio or such.
  • More information about our agenda, candle-making & resources, below.

The Location is at the Strawbale Studio land one hour north of Detroit. Click on link.

If you have further questions contact Deanne by text or phone 248 236 5432 or email

CANDLEDSCF0415 (768x1024) MAKING Workshop Schedule & Resources

12:30 – 1:00 pm ARRIVE & SIGN IN  – tea & coffee 

1:00 -3:15          CANDLE MAKING session.
All Materials provided. 

3:15 – 3:30       REFRESHMENTS

3:45 – 4:45p    CANDLESTICK HOLDER /  Decorate MATCHBOX . (possible options for gift cards and incense)

4:45p  – 5:00p   Any Burning Questions & Closing.  

CANDLE-MAKING Agenda.  Further details, and where to order materials, at bottom of this page. 

Introduction; Circle up around the kitchen island counter. What is bees wax? Show an examples:  Candle holder, addition of nature items. Matchbox. Start with one candle each, then 2 each.

Materials:  Crock pot, warming tray, hot plate, wax, pie tins, stirring big stick, spoon or knife to clean edges, tall cans.  Crock pot on table with a step ladder for kids.  Two dipping areas.


  • Label wicks.
  • Tie wick to stick.  Start with one.  Get another soon.
  • “Smoothly down, smoothly up” … move.
  • Prime the wick.  After first dip, hold the wick straight until it hardens. Let drip, and then tap the bottom if you want.  Optional: hang on rack.
  • Size of thumb (3/4 “) Ending time .
  • Breaking up into teams.  Can move to the other group.

Directions for Candle Stick Holder – sculpted from earth:

  • What is cob?  Identify earth for natural building, sculpting.  Make a very stiff mix.
  • Going taller.  Create support.  An armature.
  • Smoothing, texturing, adding things.
  • Letting dry / keeping moist.  Speeding up– use fan or heat source. Slowing down. Put in a plastic bag.  .
  • Painting & Sealing. (egg yolk)

Directions for MATCHBOX decoration (optional project)
Materials:Wood boards and cardboard covered with waxed paper.   Small rocks and natural items.  Clippers, scissors, silverware, wood skewers,

  • Materials:  glue, scissors, magazines, natural items.  (consider chalk technique or colored pencil or water color on black (like bookmarks.  Make book marks first)
  • Directions:  Collage directly on the box, or trace the size on a piece of heavy paper or paper bag, collage, cut out and glue to the box.  Leave material to wrap around all edges, or add on a decorative edge paper.  Ends can also be covered.

Directions for Stenciled CARDS:  (when this is offered as an option)

  • Materials: Paper, pastels, scissors, tissue
  • Directions: Make a paper stencil from paper. Using a pastel, rub a color patch onto an extra piece of scrap paper. Using a tissue, pick up some of the pastel — like applying rouge or “blusher” — and fill in the stencil onto the card you are making.

How to make your own Campfire Incense  (when this is offered as an option)
Grind up pine needles and leaves, and mix with a binder of starch paste and/or pine pitch. Shape to a cone or tiny log, or experiment covering a fine stick.


How to Make Beeswax Taper Candles – after this workshop on your own ! (All materials are provided for your workshop this December !)

  • square braided wick (see details below)
  • beeswax   (see details below)
  • tall coffee can or dipping vat
  • a pot to boil some water

Step 1  Melt the beeswax in the dipping vat, or coffee can over medium low heat by placing the vat in a pot of water. Let the water come to a slow rolling boil and the wax will slowly melt. This is the longest part of this project!  I bought several tall tomato juice cans for the project.

Step 2  Cut your wick to the length of desired candle stick. Be careful to leave enough wick so you don’t burn your finger tips. You want a little bit of room to work with.

Step 3  Once the wax is melted it will appear rather clear. Dip the wick so that the bottom of the wick is almost touching the base of the vat. Lift up and pull string straight and tight. LET COOL. Keep dipping until you get the desired width of the candle.  (Although not recommended by me, some people submerge the candle in water between dips, but this can cause water to be trapped inside the wax, especially if it is humid weather which would prevent the water from evaporating quickly.

Beeswax: types and where to purchase  Why buy local? Ideally we can support your local ecology and economy by purchasing beeswax from a local place that raises bees, sells honey and possibly wax & wicks as well.  You can google “candles and beeswax” or “honey” in your area. Two places near me, north of Pontiac, MI are

What kind of beeswax? You can buy cleaned wax or clean it yourself (see directions below).  Some folks also sell a darker wax from the brooder bees.  I got it at ½ price and cleaned it myself, as it had quite a bit of “dregs” that settled out when the wax was heated.

Wick: sizing & buying  Wicks are best if they are the correct size for the candle.  If  too small,  a wick can go out, as the wax floods the wick.  Too large, and the wick can burn because it can’t get wax fast enough.  For a dipped beeswax taper candle, size 1/0 or 2/0 square braided cord is recommended.  I bought wick on the internet from 85ft  of 1/O SQ Braid Cotton Wick W142 for $3.60.

18 ply Flat Braid Cotton Wick Yardage: 10 yards from for $2.95 + $4.95 shipping. I haven’t experimented with the flat braid, but bought it because it was “unbleached” cotton.   Websites have suggested 3/0 square braided wick for 1/2″ to 3/4″ beeswax candles.

Judy from Jody bees recommends 1/0 or 2/0.  You could also try local craft stores.

Cleaning the beeswax  If there are particles in the wax, melt it, and pour through a cloth that is attached to the top of a metal can or pot with a rubber band or wire.  The screening material can be a fine cloth, like a sheet, or cheese cloth with a tissue on top.  Change the tissue occasionally.

Enjoy the process !



December 7, 2019
1:00 pm - 5:00 pm
$25 – $40


2691 Noble Rd
Oxford, MI 48370 United States
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