Making Waxed “Linen” Thread

There are many great reasons to have waxed linen on hand –  coiling, book binding, jewelry making, and braiding just to name a few. Here is a really easy way to use up some bits of embroidery floss and get that elusive waxed thread into your tool kit (the only stuff available around here is absolute crap and is pretty expensive). 


1. Grab yourself a candle.

2. Grab yourself a pile of embroidery floss.

3. Run the floss through the candle. 

Seriously that’s it. We used this method all the time in my first fiber arts class for coiling. I think it would work well for book binding too. You can make some really fun bindings using different colors that embroidery floss allows for.

20 thoughts on “Making Waxed “Linen” Thread

  1. Oh my gosh, that picture brought me back to my friendship-bracelet-making camp days! So thank you for that! I wonder what ever happened to it all?…

  2. Having just purchased a skein of linen thread for bookbinding and finding it really pricey – this is a great tip! And the colour options are unlimited.
    Thanks for sharing!


  3. Can you clarify?
    “Run the floss through the candle.”

    Does this mean over the surface of the candle?

    I’m keen to try this. Thanks!

  4. Wow, it’s that easy? How is it for working on jewelry? I make felted bracelets and necklaces and wonder how this would work for threading felted balls.

  5. Fantastic idea. Can’t thank you enough, reall will save me some serious money when I weave my small jewelry baskest.

  6. I can say that this is a great idea. I used to use it all the time when making beaded jewelry with glass or heavier items. Except, we would use beeswax. You can get a decent hunk of it at some bead stores for 35 cents or use a beeswax candle. Also parafin wax could become brittle- at least when doing caustic papercrafts. I never thougt of doing this with embroidery thread. Thank you.

  7. THANK YOU SO MUCH! I've been trying to figure out where the hellz am I going to buy some waxed linen for a book I'm making for a craft swap and YOU ARE A GOD SEND!

  8. Over would be a good word :) Just over/through the surface of the candle’s wax to give it a nice coat.

  9. hi, i was wondering if/how i could do this! i have a bunch of extra surfboard wax do you think thats ok to use?  also does the color come off? this one is kind of whiteish

  10. Oh that’s a great idea. I’ve been wanting to start doing video tutorials and this will be a good one for me to start with. I’ll let you know when I get it done and post it.

  11. Hello…I just tried this and it is not as sturdy as the manufactured waxed linen. Any idea how many times we should run this across the candle? I did mine about 15 times and it is still limp as if I didn’t do it. I love the idea because I have a ton of embroidery floss and crochet thread and I can’t afford a large array of waxed linen quite yet…and my mind is exploding with crafty ideas for bracelets! Any help would be appreciated. Thank you   Mandy

  12. Bella4468 and anyone else, maybe the candle you used is too hard. I haven’t tried this yet, just found these instructions, but I’m thinking of warming my candle to it will be softer and the wax apply better.

    1. Absolutely! I love beeswax so much. When I wrote the post, I didn’t have beeswax on hand. Both work great. Back then it was a leftover candle, now it would definitely be that leftover nub of beeswax! Use what you have and what makes sense for you :)

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