Friday, May 23, 2014

How To Upcycle Old Candles

Don't throw away your old, used candles with leftover wax! Melt them down to make new ones in just a few easy steps!

I'm addicted to candles! I love when my home smells good and I love the warm and homey feel that burning candles brings into it. So when my lovely candles burn down to where they no longer light, I shed a little tear or two. Especially when there is still a layer of waxy goodness at the bottom of the jar. Do you hate to let that go to waste as much as I do? Well wipe away those tears my friends! I'm here to share with you a quick DIY to upcycle those old candles into new ones!
I began by collecting a few old candle jars.

Okay, so it was more than a few.

I just didn't have the heart to throw them away! You know we're all about frugal here.

Let's get down to business......

What you'll need:

Old Candles 
Pot or Double Broiler
New wicks and tabs (Less than $3 for 6 at craft stores, but don't forget to use a 40% off coupon!)
Pencil or Popsicle stick (to hold up the wick)
Oven mitt

How to do it:

1.) Bring water to boil in a medium to large pot or double broiler (Use the ugliest pot you can find. It's what all the cool people do.)
2.) Place candle jar in pot of boiling water. Leave in boiling water until all wax is melted.

3.) Place your new wick in the center of the clean container or jar you will be using. I like to place a small amount of wax at the bottom of the jar before placing my wick tab in. This helps to hold the wick in place (you can also use a glue stick to glob some glue on the bottom).

4.) Pour melted wax into jar. 

This is the final layer of my first jar. I chose to melt the candles separately but I could have melted them all at the same time when using the same scent.  To do that I would've just cut the wax out of each jar (using the method described below) and added them all to one jar to melt.

There are several methods for melting down old candles. I also tried melting my wax in the microwave and got similar results. To do this, cut into your candle with a knife (it should cut very easily) and remove the wax from the jar. Discard the used wick base (tab). 

Continue cutting until your candle wax is broken into pieces.

Place cut up pieces of wax in a microwave safe container. 

Microwave on 50-60% power in 1 minute intervals. This could take anywhere from 5 minutes to 20 minutes if your microwave is a dinosaur like mine. Lightly stir after each interval until your wax is completely melted.

When using different scents, make a layered candle with similar colors and scents. For this candle I grouped together fall and "baking" scents and poured them into my candle in layers. Tip: Notice the little black soot at the bottom of the wax? This is heavier than the wax and sinks to the bottom, making it easy to avoid pouring out or you can easily scoop it out with a spoon before pouring into new jar.

Let each layer cool until hardened (at least 15 minutes) before adding the next layer to prevent the colors and scents from mixing.

Voila! Now you have a beautiful layered candle with some of your favorite scents!
Bonus! Your house will smell SO good when making these!

Additional Tips: 

I bought my initial container at the Dollar Store and then once I had an empty candle jar, I washed that one out and used it for the next candle. That way I was only out a dollar for the first container and for all the others, I was using the previous jar.

To wash out old candle jars. Add a small amount of dish soap and fill jar with boiling water. Allow to sit for 15 minutes and then carefully pour out water. In most cases the jars will now wipe clean with a paper towel. If wax is especially stubborn, a little more dish soap, water and elbow grease should do the trick!

You could really get creative with containers! Mason jars look great and tea cups would look really cute! I have even seen halved fruit peels filled with melted wax. I hear they burn even more fragrantly. 

There you have it! How to melt down your old candles to make new ones! You'll be so proud of yourself for stretching a dollar and your house will smell amazing! It's a win win!

Thanks for stopping by! Do you save your old candles? Have you ever melted them down before? We'd love to hear your tips in the comments!

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