Candles really are a necessity for us on the homestead. In an emergency situation, the light from a candle can truly make a world of difference to your situation. But let’s be realistic here – Candles are not terribly inexpensive. Sure, you can head to the dollar store and pick up some cheap candles – but they won’t last long. To look at this a different way, why even spend the money on candles when you may have everything you need to make your own right in front of you? One of my guilty pleasures is Yankee Candles. In my eyes (or nose), there isn’t a candle out there that smells as fabulous as them. Their large jar candles last a long time too – but I have a complaint about them. When they finally fizzle out and burn their last flame, there is still about an inch of wax stuck in the bottom that doesn’t get used up. But wait! Don’t throw them out! Use that wax to make more candles! One easy way to get the wax out is to pop the whole jar in the freezer – after frozen, the wax disc will easily pop out with the flick of a knife. An alternative method would be to place the jar in a saucepan with water coving the sides to the level of the wax – simmer on low until the wax is melted, which you can then pour out. Here’s my method for saving up scrap wax. When I finish up a candle, I collect the extra wax chunks in container until I have a substantial amount to make multiple candles. I really do prefer to do things in bigger batches – Makes my life loads easier. So…. Here we go!
Gather up your wax chunks into a large bowl that you can use double-boiler style. Over a pot of simmering water, slowly melt the wax – If there are any tealight labels or metal wick pieces you missed, you can fish them out when the wax is all melted. Makes life easier.
While you are waiting for the wax to melt, start preparing your candle containers. You have unlimited options here. You can use old candle jars, teacups, mason jars – whatever your cute little heart desires. Today, I used mason jars and an old candle jar. To prepare them, simply make sure they are clean and dry – That’s it! You can use actual candle wicks from the craft store for these, but I had skinny wooden craft sticks, so that’s what I used. After cutting them to the height of the jars, coat the entire length (I do one end at a time) with melted wax and set aside on a piece of wax paper to harden.
When your wax in your double boiler is melted and ready to go, pour about an inch into the bottom of your jar and place your wick stick upright and centered into the hot wax. I usually hold it there for a minute or so until it just begins to solidify, then I pop it in the fridge to firm up some more. I like to have my wick stabilized before filling up completely with wax. Just trust me on this one. NOT FUN to have to fish out a sinking and sliding wick. Nope. Not at all.
After the first inch of wax has solidified, you can go ahead and fill them up, leaving about 1/4 inch of exposed wick stick.
Now I do want to mention – These candles are scrap candles – I don’t give these as gifts because, well, they aren’t always that pretty. I use the ends of various candles, which gives an interesting, mottled, layered look sometimes. But they work! 🙂
Voila! This post can also be found at the Homestead Barn Hop!