Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle Those Old Candles

Votive Candles from Mermaid Cove

Have you ever wondered what to do with those old candles that you have finished using?  The wick is done, but you still have almost half a candle left. The wax is almost completely demolished with black streaks and beads of hardened drips.  You can’t really keep them and drop a tealight into the center since they are rather ugly looking and it appears that the only use from them is the garbage can. It seems like a shame to toss them but what else can you really do with old candles.

Well, if you are really interested in the whole eco-friendly movement and going green, the answer is simple; reduce, reuse and recycle those old candles.

If you aren’t sure exactly how to do this, just look around at various craft stores or online candle sights and you will find a million and one uses for your old candles, including making new ones.  It actually takes very little time and effort to recycle those old candles and you can create some truly delightful candles.

Before you start creating new candles, you will need to have a few things handy.  These include:

  • Molds – You can use just about anything from candle molds to glass jars.  The nicest candles that I have ever seen came out of beer cans that ridged in shape.
  • Old Candles – Use any color of candle but remember that some colors will combine creating a muddied look.
  • Candle Wicks – You can buy candle wicks at any craft store.  All you will need to do is trim them down.
  • Double Boiler – The best tool to use is a double boiler but if you don’t have one handy, a metal bowl inside a pot that contains several inches of water will also work.  Just make sure there is a wide base to prevent spills.

And that is just about everything that you need.  If you are melting down a few candles that are white, use some colored dyes to create new looks or add some essential oils to create scented candles.

Now that you have all the tools that you will need, it’s time to start making candles.

First, you will want to melt the wax in a double boiler over a medium –low heat on the stove.  It is better for the wax to melt slowly to prevent fires.  Stir the wax with a wooden spoon and remove from heat as soon as the wax is completely melted.

Next, you will need to pour the wax into the mold that you have at ready.  Remember that you can use just about anything for a mold so get creative.  If you would like to make some jarred candles, simply pour it into the glass.  If you spill along the sides, immerse the glass into a bowl of hot water after the wax sets to remove it.

To create a wick for your new candle, take the strip of candle wicks and cut it down to reflect the size of your candle mold.  Make sure to leave about 2 to 4 inches of wick, which you will need to tie to a pencil.  Place the wick in the center of the melted candle wax and rest the pencil across the top of the mold so the wick doesn’t fall into the wax.  Leave it until it sets and then remove it from the mold when it is cooled.

Making your own candles is an excellent way to reduce, reuse and recycle while being completely creative doing it.

-MJ Plaster

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