Saturday, 6 April 2013

DIY: Reusing your old candles

So you know when you are finished using a candle and there is still a little wax left at the bottom, but you just can't throw it out? This is a problem for someone like me who is ridiculously OCD about finishing things. Also if it is a scent you really love, it might make it even more difficult to throw that candle away. Well, guess what? You don't have to. I'm going to show you how easy it is to use up that left over wax and make new candles.

I have these candles that were not very well designed, shape-wise. As you can see they just melted down the center, creating a puddle of wax because they are so narrow. But, because I like the scent I haven't thrown them away. So I'm going to use them for this project. However, this project will also work well with little bits of wax left at the bottom of an old candle, you just make layers of different scents one at a time, allowing each layer to cool before pouring in the next. The trick is to not mix different kinds of wax or scents that aren't cohesive.
All you need to start is: 1) left over candle wax, duh; 2) candle wicks (which you can pick up at any craft supply store); 3) masking tape; 4) a clean glass or ceramic container to put the new candle into; 4) a couple of pots.
 I actually picked up wicks larger then I needed because I originally planned to put the wax in mason jars. (How cute would that have been!?!) Unfortunately I got a little over zealous in my kitchen purge/reorganization and seem to have gotten rid of them. But that's okay cause I have these cute little Japanese bowls that will suit my purposes just fine. Really, you can use any kind of glass container you like, time to get creative!

Step 1: Fill a large pot with about 1-2 inches of water and heat to a simmer. Set a smaller pot inside the larger one, making sure not to let any water get into the smaller pot. Ensure the smaller pot is large enough to hold the amount of wax you want to reuse.

Step 2: Remove any stickers or tags from your candle and place your candle wax inside the smaller pot. (If you are using multiple candles with different scents, only melt one at a time and let harden in your jar before adding the next layer.) Don't forget that if you are using wax from multiple candles to make sure they are the same type of wax. You cannot mix paraffin with soy wax or beeswax for example.

Step 3: Once the wax is melted, carefully fish out any charred bits and old wicks with a fork or spoon.

Step 4: Place your new wick in the center of your jar and carefully pour a small amount of wax in the bottom. Pour just enough wax to hold the wick in place and let harden. (I poured the wax into the jar over the kitchen sink with old newspaper in the sink to catch any wax drips, otherwise it can create quite the mess.)
 Step 5: With your masking tape, make and X and tear a hole in the centre of each piece of tape. This is to hold your wick in the centre, so it won't move around as you pour in the rest of the wax.
Step 6: Carefully pour the rest of the wax from the small pot into your jar/container, filling to about 1/4 inch from the top.

 Step 7: Let your new candle harden and then cut the wick so about 1/2 inch sticks out from the top.
Step 8: Enjoy your new candles! I ended up getting 5 candles out of those two large candles! Awesome! Next time I think it would be fun to do this with beeswax.