Adventures in Waldorf Toy Making: Make your own Modeling Beeswax

Making your own Modeling Beeswax

beeswax-featuredimage

Yesterday, after a year of thinking about doing it… I did it!  I had a block of Beeswax sitting in my craft drawer, some broken soy crayons and I figured I was halfway there.  Here’s how…

Ingredients:

Olive Oil
Lanolin (bought it at target for $10 and used about a third of it)
Beeswax (bought it at the farmers market for $8)
Crayons (soy or beeswax if you want to stay all natural) (got them at a garage sale for $1)
Muffin pan liners ($1’s worth)

Tools:

Muffin Pan
Double Broiler or Crock pot
Measuring cup and spoons

Recipe: 

1 Pound Beeswax
4 teaspoons Lanolin
5 Tablespoons Olive Oil.
*recipe varies depending on the beeswax used.  I started off with 4 tsp Lanolin and 4 tbs or Olive oil.  The resulting mixture was crumbly, so I added another tsp of Lanolin and another Tbs. of oil.  The result was very good, however a bit sticky from too much lanolin.  I think it would have been perfect with 4 tsp Lanolin and 5 Tbs oil.  Don’t skip Step 2!  This is the step where you test your mixture and see if it is right.

Step 1: I put a big block of beeswax in a double broiler and started the long boring process of melting it.  My little helper was quite excited at every drop of melted wax that appeared!

beeswax-melt

Step 2:  When the Beeswax was melted I added 4 tsp lanolin and 4 tbs of olive oil.  I stirred the mixture and scooped out a couple of teaspoons worth and poured it into the lid of a jar.  When it cooled, I began to mess with it to see if it resembled the Stockmar modeling Beeswax I typically use.  It was a bit brittle and crumbled.

beeswax-test1

Step 3:  I added one Tbs of oil and 1 Tsp of lanolin.  Then gave it another test.  This time is seemed perfect!   My warning… it seemed perfect at the time, but the finished product is a bit sticky from too much lanolin.  Next time I will try only adding the extra oil.

Step 4:  I took a cheese grater and grated a green soy crayon into a measuring cup.  Then I added about half a cup of melted beeswax.

Step 5: I stirred it up with an old chop stick and poured it into my muffin tin which I had lined with regular muffin liners.  I feel like I could have gotten by with a thinner pour.  Mine ended up about 1/4 inch thick, which is harder for my son to manipulate.  Let them cool a little bit, and then pop them out of the muffin tin, but leave them in the liners to fully cool.

beeswax pour

Step 6: Repeat with all of the colors you want to use… I found my green to be very unattractive.  It just looks pukey to me, maybe I should have used more.  I used about half a crayon.  I tried a purple crayon and it came out a very unattractive shade of gray.  I used a red crayon and it looks ok, kind of Orange-red.  I think all around I could have gone with a bit more crayon.

Step 7:  When fully cool, take them out of the liners and store them somewhere!

Step 8: Clean up….  I know you are going to clean up without my writing it as a step, however this was the part that almost has me swearing to never try this again.  Cleaning up the crayon wax was AWFUL!  Use something to protect your work space.  Cleaning the crayon wax off of the cutting board and cheese grater was also terrible.  I ended up boiling everything and then reaching into the boiling water to take things out one at a time and attempt to wipe off the wax.  Some people have crafting equipment dedicated to beeswax and wax projects, but I don’t, and therefore this step is a big con in the process.

Finished Product looks like this:

beeswax-done

Pros:

Cost effective… I had to spend about $10 on a new muffin tin (mine was rusted) and about $14ish on other ingredients.   I ended up with a lot of modeling wax.  This is still way cheaper than the Stockmar wax I usually use.  Mine is a little sticky, and a little thick, but it is still totally usable, and the kids played with it for quite awhile last night.  Next time I think I can make it a bit more Stockmar like.

It was fun for me and fun for my son!

Cons:

SO MESSY!

Took me at least 2 hours.

My colors don’t look all that pretty, hopefully I can do better on that front as well.

Good luck!

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