Instead paying a lot of pretty pennies for wicks and holders at Michael's when I wanted to make some beeswax tea lights, I decided to make my own.
The wicks work well. I may do another Instructable on beeswax tea lights using them.
Step 1: Materials and Tools
To make the wicks and their holders you will need:
1. hemp twine for the wicks
2. an aluminum can to cut up for the holders
3. scissors to cut the hemp and the aluminum
4. a bodkin or awl for piercing aluminum pieces
5. a beeswax applicator for sewing thread and/or twine. You can use a piece of beewax without the holder as well.
Step 2: Prepare Holder Pieces
Cut the bottom and top off the can. Trim up the edges so they are neat.
Mark the resulting triangle into half inch strips. I stopped marking after five strips since each will be cut into 4 rectangles and I'm only making twenty tea lights.
For thicker wicks / bigger candles you may want larger holders. The working ratio for the rectangle dimensions is 2:3. If you want 1 inch squares for your holders, cut the rectangles 1 1/2 inches long.
Step 3: Prepare Wick Pieces
Two foot lengths of hemp twine are nice to work with for wax coating. I have a beeswax holder for coating thread or light twine (you might find one in a sewing supplies store). Alternatively you can use a chunk of beeswax without a holder. Draw the hemp twine several times through the beeswax to coat and stiffen it. You can also melt beeswax in a shallow pan and dip the twine in it to coat it.
Cut the stiffened twine to the wick length you'll be using, allowing at least a quarter-inch to be secured in the wick holder.Dra
Step 4: Secure Holders to Wicks
Pierce the holder a third of the way along its length. Make the hole large enough to insert the wick, but not too oversize.
Insert a quarter inch of the wick through the hole. Fold a third of the length of the holder rectangle over the wick end. Press closed.
Straighten the main length of the wick and be sure it extends at a right angle from the holder.
Here are the wicks in use: new and unlit as well as lit. The "holder" for the lit tea light is actually the bottom of the pop can I cut up for the wick holders.