how to: beeswax toy polish


Working with wood can feel like a daunting prospect if you're not familiar with it but prepping the dowel for a Calamity Bolt project is actually pretty basic. I've added beeswaxing as a recommended step because in my opinion it's worth that bit of extra effort for the beautifully soft, non-splintery and durable finish. So nice for little hands!
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It's not only great for wooden toys but also wooden furniture. It protects and nourishes the wood and makes it easy to wipe down and best of all it's natural!
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And you can easily make your own!
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The ratio is 1 part beeswax to 3 parts oil. Choose a shelf stable oil such as olive oil, jojoba or coconut oil. You can also add essential oils of your choice. (If your polish is intended for toys and you're adding scent, just make sure it's food grade.) I love to add a few drops of pure lavender oil to mine - smells so good!

Please note: Beeswax is hard to clean off pots and utensils and shouldn't be washed down the sink so it's best to have a dedicated pot that you only ever use to make your beeswax polish. You might have an old pot you don't often use or you could pick one up from the thrift store. 

The only other thing you'll need is
a jar to store it in. Something out of your recycling bin, like a jam jar, would be perfect.

My recipe:
100 grams beeswax (mine's from Ballina Honey)
300 grams olive oil 
About 10 drops pure lavender oil (mine's from Australian Lavender Essentials)

1. Break beeswax into a small saucepan. 
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2. Fill a bigger pot 3/4 full of water and bring to the simmer. This will act as a double boiler and is a much safer way to melt beeswax than directly on the stove. Beeswax has a low melting point of 62-64 degrees Celsius and if it's heated over 85 degrees Celsius, discolouration occurs. The flash point is about 200 degrees Celsius and it will catch fire dramatically at this temperature, so keep the temperature low to avoid a disaster in the kitchen!

3. Float the beeswax pot in the gently simmering water (not boiling) and wait for it to melt.
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4. Stir in the oil and scent, if you're adding any. Note: If the beeswax partly solidifies on contact with the oil, just let it melt again.
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5. Pour it into a jar and let it solidify. And that's it!
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Allow a couple of hours for it to completely cool before you use it. 
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Apply it with a clean soft rag, let it sit for a minimum 10 minutes, then buff off with a clean soft rag. I made a video to show you how I apply it to my toy dowel
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All that's left to do now, is stand back and admire your work and those warm rich tones of the wood. Well done you!
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You can find my growing range of toy patterns in my Etsy shop. Happy making!



(Styled shot by Mikaela Greaney, Mowgli and the Bear)



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