Tuesday, November 29, 2011

How To Recycle Old Candles

Tis the season for burning candles!
I love candles and I love recycling. Oh and I love making things.

I started by gathering up all my dead candles over a few months, the ones where the wick is all burned up or drowned in wax but there's still lots of solid wax around the edges that never melted. Then I went trekking all around the city for the ideal cute containers in charity shops. Mine cost me 3 pounds total. I wanted teacups originally but found this little set instead!

I cut up my wax into little cubes and melted them in a double boiler on medium heat. With constant stirring and keeping an eye on it, the melting process took about 15 minutes. (My mom once started a small house fire in our kitchen by leaving hot wax unattended on the stove - LEARN FROM THIS MISTAKE AND WATCH YOUR WAX AT ALL TIMES! Sorry for ratting you out mom... :)

  The next thing was to add some essential oil bought at the German Christmas market (mine was a winter pine scent) and then half a green wax crayon stolen from a restaurant. I was drawing hearts and stars on the menu while waiting for my food when I got an idea for how to add color to my candles. It worked perfectly! I would recommend putting in at least a full crayon though if you want a brighter color, since mine came out quite pale.

The wicks, I had already bought here a long time ago but I think they're readily available at craft stores, or there might even be tutorials around on how to make your own if you're adventurous! I found a tip online saying to position the wicks in the bottom center of your container and curl the excess around a pencil or other round object and sit it across the top of the container so the bottom of the wick lies flat against the bottom of the container. It was really helpful since the wick shifted around a bit during the pouring of the wax into the container. 

Once poured, I let them set on the cool window ledge for a couple hours. During that time I cleaned up all my wax and put away the supplies but that turned out to be stupid because when I checked in on my babies later I realized the wax had sunk quite a bit in the center around the wick. When doing it again I'll keep my wax hot until this happens, then pour in a second layer on top to fill the gap. Because i definitely will be doing this again. It's such an impressive-looking end result and is perfect for gifts!

Happy crafting! 


Megan said...

Here is what I was thinking when I read this.

I was thinking 'Jenny decides to do something and just does it. She's very inspiring that way. I'm always thinking up projects and never doing them because I'm never just 'passing by' the shop I need to be in. Jenny decides to do something one day, so she does it.

I think that's cool.

Yash... said...

This is so cool! I've often wondered what to do with all that extra wax... Now to find wicks.

And wouldn't you know: We had a guest from out of town the day you posted this, and we took the guest wandering through the Christmas market, and he saw the candles, and he asked about how you use old wax to make new candles, and I told him I had just the post to forward to him! The same day that you posted this.


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