How to Make Candles out of Pine Resin (With Pictures)

By Arminius February 23, 2017 14:33

How to Make Candles out of Pine Resin (With Pictures)

The pine tree is one of the most overlooked natural resources as it has multiple survival uses. The entire tree is edible, from the bark to the pine cones. You can make pine needle tea or use the roots as cordage.

The most versatile item is the pine resin, you can use it to make candles, glue, treat wounds, to start a fire, a water-proof sealant and many more.

To tap a pine tree, use an axe or a machete to cut the bark. Tie a bucket around the tree at the bottom of your area. The bucket must stay firm against the tree as it will collect the pine sap. Hack “V” shaped notches in the cleared area pointed to the bucket. You can gather even more sap if you stick a beak like metal object to direct the sap to the bucket.

How To Tap Pine Resin

Pine candles shine brightly and give you one of the greatest scents—pine wood.

Necessary Ingredients

  • At least one container to melt the resin in (a tin can in this case)
  • Another container that will be used for the candles
  • Some rope to make the wick
  • A knife
  • A fireplace or someplace to melt the resin
  • And, of course, the resinHow to Make Candles out of Pine Resin - Ingredients

I thought that I’d use more types of containers. It’s always fun to experiment.How to Make Candles out of Pine Resin - Containers

Step One: Melting the Resin

After you light the fire, fill your container with the resin. Don’t be scared to fill it to the brim as it will melt down and fill in all the gaps.

Also, it will be even less if you want to filter it out, so it’s fine to go all out.How to Make Candles out of Pine Resin - Melting The Resin

WARNING: The resin might catch on fire if the heat is too high. Just take it off the fire with some pliers, and blow the flames out. Make sure you never hold the can—it gets extremely hot. Be sure to stand next to it while it melts as it may burn to ash if you’re not careful.How to Make Candles out of Pine Resin - Melting The Resin

While all the resin melts, start working on getting the candle holders ready.

Step Two (Optional): Filtering Out All the Yuck

After melting it all down, you will need another container and something to filter out the bark and the pine needles. I used an old fish landing net.How to Make Candles out of Pine Resin - Filtering

Get the filter ready, and pour the hot resin over it and into the container. You will need to work quickly because it cools off fast and might clog up the holes of the filter. For this to work, you will need to move the resin around a little bit so that it can go down into the container.How to Make Candles out of Pine Resin - Filtering 2

Step Three: Making the Candles

After getting your container ready and cutting the rope to the perfect size, you are ready to make your candles. You might have to put the filtered resin back onto the fire to get it ready for pouring once again.

Pour a little bit of hot resin into the candle holder; it will help to fix the wick.How to Make Candles out of Pine Resin - Orange Candle

After this, dip the rope into the resin quickly for it to soak some up. This is necessary to get the wick standing straight while you’re pouring the resin.How to Make Candles out of Pine Resin - Metal Candle

Now you just have to put the wick in and leave it to rest for a few seconds so it can harden.How to Make Candles out of Pine Resin - Orange Candle 2

Finally, you will have to fill it up. You might also need to keep the wick straight with your hands. It will melt the resin that’s holding it and may try to fall down; just use toothpicks to keep it at the same spot until it hardens, which will take roughly 10–15 minutes.How to Make Candles out of Pine Resin - Candles

Enjoy your homemade pine resin candles.

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By Arminius February 23, 2017 14:33
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  1. MamaT February 23, 15:46

    What happens to the resin as the candle wick burns?

    Reply to this comment
  2. la0508 February 23, 15:57

    Good! Thank you for this simple way to make candles! Love your site. So many GREAT tips.

    Reply to this comment
  3. stoney February 23, 16:27

    If you cover your collection bucket/can with a lid with a small cut-out where the “beak” is to let the resin drip in, you won’t have to fool with the filtering task. You might have a speck or needle or two to pick out by hand if you feel like it. Wire or tape the lid on so it won’t blow away.

    Reply to this comment
  4. Tye February 23, 16:35

    Thanks so much for the information…..adding this one to my collection.

    Reply to this comment
    • Josh August 2, 21:40

      Doesn’t work. Followed this process, and it all worked fine – until I lit the candle. The whole surface of the candle caught fire. And no wonder – pine resin is highly flammable. Wax is not. NOT the same thing.

      Reply to this comment
  5. Robby February 23, 18:29

    We have mostly fir trees on the west side of the mountains in Washington. Will this work as well with fir as with pine?

    Reply to this comment
  6. Crystal February 23, 18:50

    Awesome idea .Great tip Claude, God bless, if anyone out there knows about how to connect solar panels controllers battery and inverter please email at
    Make sure to buy Claudes book the lost ways if you want all the help you need for home.made principles to survive when Shtf.

    Reply to this comment
  7. Greybeard February 23, 20:05

    We did this back in the 30″s when I was a kid in Idaho.
    Lots of white pine to choose from.
    Thanks for the memory.

    Reply to this comment
  8. Judy Janke February 23, 20:16

    Wow, I love this idea, thanks!

    Reply to this comment
  9. Howard February 23, 22:18

    Is there a preferable or specific time of the year to do this?

    Reply to this comment
  10. Laurie February 23, 22:26

    This is great but can you use fire trees?

    Reply to this comment
  11. PB- dave February 23, 22:38

    Would like a little more info on the gathering step. Maybe better/more pics.
    Do the cuts seal over in time?
    Will it kill the tree?
    What are best tree types?
    Will the cut area keep giving sap, or is it limited?

    Reply to this comment
    • Arminius February 24, 10:28

      If done properly tapping will not seriously injure the trees. They can be tapped for well over 20 years, the wood is not damaged during the tapping process.
      It’s best find a mature, live, good-sized, tight-barked pine tree for the best results.
      Pine trees that will give the largest amount of resin : White Pine, Jack Pine, Blue Spruce.
      The cut area will give limited sap. But in a couple of months you can harvest again.

      Reply to this comment
    • Chill Bill August 2, 21:51

      Don’t cut the tree. There’s plenty of trees out there that are already damaged by wind, lightning, etc. All you need to do is walk around, walk a trail, and spot it. Bring a butter knife to pry the little, hard amber globules from the tree. Good luck and enjoy!

      Reply to this comment
  12. frank5678 February 23, 23:06

    How much do these candles smoke ? I know in a survival
    situation it wouldnt matter. But I dont want to soot up my
    house just burning a pine pitch candle for the scent.

    Reply to this comment
  13. CCTer February 24, 08:31

    Lots of great questions. I cant wait to look back for the answers. In my part of Texas we dont have pines, but “mountain cedars” galore. Would this also work with them?

    Reply to this comment
  14. m rapp February 27, 20:15

    what about mixing an amount of old candle wax in ? burn cleaner , last longer, ? anybody ?

    Reply to this comment
  15. HomeView March 25, 22:35

    One idea is to have muffin paper liners ready. After pouring, before setup of Gunk, put some in each liner 1/2 way up. Pull liner top together and twist let harden. put is zip bag to use as firestarter. Use in a jet/rocket stove under a tree to let residue smoke dissipate. It will start faster & get hot level up faster, so no smoke will show. When jet/rocket stove is burning, little to no smoke shows as long as proper wood – sticks are used. (ie: squaw wood – lower limb sticks on trees break it off, no cutting. Doesn’t break? still living green wood!)

    Reply to this comment
  16. teresa olofson June 4, 06:33

    where can i buy one ?

    Reply to this comment
  17. Firegirl June 1, 17:38

    This is awesome, thank you so much! I’ve been looking into different sustainable materials to make candles out of, because I don’t have any lard or tallow readily available to me at this point!

    Reply to this comment
  18. Rocky September 1, 19:16

    Love this idea! Is frankincense or myrrh resin a good resin to use for candles?

    Reply to this comment
  19. patti November 4, 09:21

    hi! I found it very interesting to use the sap to make candles. but what about the pine cones? we need recipes for those also. in fact the cones are easier to collect. thanks in advance.

    Reply to this comment
  20. Wilderness woman December 31, 15:37

    this type of candle should be used outdoors only as the resin has a high flammable content and will burn your house down tried and true even mixed with beeswax it becomes dangerous for indoor use

    Reply to this comment
  21. RW-in-DC February 5, 21:51

    Could the pine resin be mixed with the bacon grease to make a less smoky and more indoor friendly candle?

    Reply to this comment
  22. Sandy October 29, 18:13

    I read this in a book some time ago and did not even think it was possible. Thank you so much for the information and I’m definitely going to try this.

    Reply to this comment
  23. chillbill October 30, 11:18

    This method of “tapping” does harm the tree. You’re wounding the tree to force the tree to create wound seal to help/heal the damage you’ve caused. I’ve collected pounds and pounds of conifer resin over the years by just taking the drops off the tree underneath the wound. There is no reason to harm the tree with as many trees as we have.

    Reply to this comment
  24. Annie November 25, 21:05

    I agree with chillbill. The size of the cut I see on your tree photo definitely causes irreparable damage to the tree. The open wound allows bacteria, disease and decay to set into the tree. I doubt any arborist worth his/her salt would recommend that size of cut to a healthy tree and I would not recommend that to someone who has such a stand of trees, if they want to keep them healthy and stable.

    Reply to this comment
  25. TheSouthernNationalist December 23, 15:48

    Pine pitch has been used for a long time to seal containers, I have an 18th century canteen that is sealed with pine pitch on the inside, it gives the water a nice little zing to it!

    Reply to this comment
  26. Allie December 4, 18:05

    Can you blend with beeswax for pine scented but more conventional looking/burning candle

    Reply to this comment
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