Sunday, January 4, 2009

Beeswax Canvas Instructions

Hey Everyone!

I am FINALLY getting around to posting the instructions on how to make a beeswax canvas!! I know I's been a while but things are just nuts.

Before I begin, I want to show you a few variations. Each was made using the same basic steps...the main difference would be the materials used to construct the canvases.



This is a box I made for a friend after she returned from France. The lid both inside and out were collaged using beeswax. There are also several pieces of molded beeswax that were used as well. I simply used Mold & Pour molds, poured the melted beeswax and let them cool. You must be very gentle when removing the wax pieces from the mold as they may bend or break. Take your time and work slowly. The color on the molded pieces is Perfect Pearls. It is excellent because it also takes away the sticky feel of the beeswax that lingers.

Ranger - Beeswax 004

paris box lid

Ranger - Beeswax 005

paris box inside lid

This is not a messy process unless you're a messy person like me ;) I tend to get a little wild with my mediums & techniques so usually my work area, my self and my tools are covered but it doesn't have to be that way...lay down newspaper or a non-stick craft mat and wear old cloths ~ you should be all set.

Someone asked me if it was time consuming...I don't think so but I get lost in the process. If you fuss and fidget yes, it could take a long time. If you know the look you're going for and just do it goes by very quickly. To me melting the wax takes more time than anything. The wax dries very quickly so you don't have that long wait at the end for your piece to dry. All in all I'd say it's a fun project to try and if you don't like how it comes out...simply heat the wax, remove the pieces and start over! It's very forgiving so there are no worries :)


Beeswax - Ranger or other

Melt Pot & Project Pan - Ranger

Old brush dedicated to Beeswax

Canvas or other firm foundation material

Papers, Ephemera, Images (to be added to the collage)

Elements (3-d goodies can also be attached w/Beeswax!!)

Heat Gun

Tweezers or Popsicle stick

Perfect Pearls (optional) - Ranger

Distress Inks (optional) - Ranger


NOTE: These instructions are how I go about making a beeswax canvas...I'm sure there are several ways to go about this but I find this always works for me.

1. Plug in the melt pot, insert project pan, cover and let it heat up.

NOTE: You should always use a project pan for beeswax. It is tough to remove all of the wax from the pot and unlike a suggestion I read from one of the posters never put the whole melt pot into the freezer...I'm just not sure what that would do to the inner electrical workings of the melt pot it's self. If you'd like to stick the project pan into the freezer to remove the wax that would be o.k. but I usually just keep 2 project pans for beeswax....natural and white.

2. Add beeswax to the pot, cover with the lid and let it melt. I usually set my temp on UTEE then move it back once the wax is melted...or not. I like my wax to be really molten but some people prefer it to be cooler.

3. If you'd like to ink your canvas prior to adding the collage, while the wax is melting is the perfect time to do so.

4. Once the wax has completely melted, paint the entire canvas with wax. You will notice that it begins to dry and harden almost worries, that's why we have a heat gun ;)

5. After the canvas has been coated, you may apply fabric, papers, natural items at this time. Place the desired piece on the canvas; you may either apply a layer of wax over this item or melt the wax underneath with the heat gun and press the item into the hot wax. If the paper/embellishments isn't exactly where you would like it to be because it slipped or you changed your mind, melt the wax with the heat gun and slide it using the tweezers or pop cycle stick.

Now if I've got a good layer of wax on my collage, I normally don't add too much more. I simply heat the wax in the area where I want to add my next piece and press it into the molten wax. You can also move the wax around by blowing the wax with the heat gun to areas where it is needed or away from elements that have too much wax build up.

Another tip to keep in mind ~ if you end up with fingerprints, uneven wax or lots of undesired brush strokes you may also melt the wax to smooth them out! Wax is very forgiving so don't worry if you make a long as you've got your heat gun you're all set!

6. To add heavy or bulky items I always melt the wax, submerge it as far as I can then apply additional wax as needed to secure the piece. If it's a large item I sometimes pour the wax directly from the pan making a pool of wax and press the piece into the pool. Scrape away excess and smooth out with the heat gun.

7. After all of my elements have been added I usually smooth everything out with my heat gun and let it cool...then I dust it with Perfect Pearls just to take away any sticky feel that the wax may have.

That's about it...

It's really a very easy process once you get started.

I will talk more about stamping in wax and taking wax away from a design in the coming days.

If you've got any questions, please let me know...I'm always happy to help whenever I can!


  1. Thanks Roni...I've been wanting to do this, so I think this may be a project I work on this week.

  2. Nice! Great instructions and examples.

    Thanks, Roni!

  3. What a beautiful box, I adore all things PARIS and this is beautiful, well done and thank you for the information, Jaqi


Thanks for your thoughts and comments!