Friday, December 24, 2010

Mini Beeswax Christmas Tree Lanterns

Last year during Autumn Color week I posted a picture of my homemade beeswax luminaries made the previous fall. What I didn't do was tell the story behind them.

As beautiful as they were, they made a mess that two years later I'm still trying to clean up. You see, these luminaries were made with water filled balloons dipped into melted beeswax. Usually, all goes well. But on occasion, the beeswax gets too warm, or your water balloon too cool. Or the balloon is weak. Or the Gods just want to laugh at you that day. I think probably all of the above took place the day I made these luminaries.

As I toiled over the double boiler on the stove, the balloon I was dipping exploded. The water hit the beeswax with great force, causing beeswax to literally propel itself into ALL corners of my kitchen. My hair was covered, my arms were covered, my clothes ruined. My floors, counters, cabinets, and ceiling? Well, lets just say I'm still finding beeswax to scrape up. My son, just learning to walk and say a few words, was thankfully in the next room watching me from the doorway. "Whoa." He said in his excited baby babble.

Whoa indeed. And it was enough to cause me pause and not attempt this process again.

Until yesterday.

Over on Morning Rae Sun there was a fabulous tutorial on making mini beeswax luminaries for your Christmas tree. I KNEW I had to give it a try again. Rae was kind enough to send me some pointers via email, and I readied our supplies.

Let me be forthcoming here. I only made 1 of the lanterns. I had Super Hubby dip the rest. He's infinitely more brave than I. Dipping one lantern sent my heart racing and caused me to break into a sweat. Too be fair, just as I was getting ready to dip my first lantern, Super Hubby, standing by my side said loudly, "Watch out!" That stinker. I gasped and almost dropped the entire balloon in the beeswax.

Here are a few of our photos from this afternoon. Please excuse the dark spot on all the images - I have some sort of dust fleck on my camera lens that I can't seem to clean off:

Melting rescued beeswax chunks from ancient projects and used candles in our old crock pot. This crock is specifically used for beeswax projects.

Super Hubby dipping one of our water balloons. Such concentration.

Some of the dipped luminaries cooling on a wax paper lined cookie sheet:

After we popped the balloons over the sink, we allowed the luminaries to drain on a towel on the counter:

And the finished luminaries hanging from the boughs of our Christmas tree. I think they turned out beautifully. You can see a bit of the rainbow paper chain we adorned our tree with behind them:

I'm so glad Rae convinced me ( husband) to try this craft again!

Wishing you love and light this Christmas Eve.

Simple Mama


  1. Hello
    That is a great idea. It looks wunderful.

    Merry Christmas

  2. you are so cute!! so thrilled for you that they turned out. they look absolutely gorgeous on your tree! great photos. merry christmas!!

  3. I googled for wax covered baloons cause i saw the idea in a book. so I was thrilled to find it here. I had wondered too why balloons would not melt. I also read about glitter and adding salt to them to make them shiny. I had pictured them in a ball form, I suppose that would be hard to do?