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Candle Recycling: Part One

Good afternoon, everyone! Have you ever bought and used up a candle, then wondered what to do with the leftover wax and container? I've been hoarding my empty candle jars because I just can't bring myself to throw them out. Plus, it really bugs me that there's leftover wax that didn't burn off! So, this will be a two part post on what you can do with those leftovers.

This first part is about recycling the wax at the bottom of the glass jar. I'll show you how to make pretty layered candles out of your leftover wax without ruining ANY dishes!  Let's get started!

Here's what you'll need:
-Used candles
-An empty glass container (start with something small) to make your candle in (see the note below)
-A small pot/sauce pan
-Cotton yarn & a pop tab OR pre-made wicks (sold at craft stores)
-Oven mitts/protective gloves of some kind (I used rubber gloves and they got quite warm! Be careful!)
-Butter knife
-Tweezers (For picking out old wick ends)

NOTE: If you don't have an empty container yet, you can use one that still has wax in it. Just make your wick, melt down the wax in the container (I'll show you how), pick out the old wick ends, and place your new wick in the wax. Read through the tutorial completely before getting started!

1. First, let's get everything ready. Take off all the labels on your jar if you can - it's not a huge deal if you can't get them off, it just makes cleaning easier. Remove the lids if your containers have them.
Prepare your wicks by cutting about 12+ inches of cotton yarn (longer if your jar is tall, I just eyeball it), and tie one end around the middle of your pop tab. Tie it tight! If you have store bought wicks, you're ready to go!

Place your wick on the bottom of the new container (if you're not using a new jar, you'll do this later) and secure it by wrapping it around a butter knife as shown below.

2. Fill your pot with water. Remember that when you put your jars in, the water will be displaced, so don't fill it too full! You can test it by placing the jar in before you turn the heat on. You really only need the water to go up as high as the wax does on the jar. When you have the right amount, heat the water on the stove until it boils.

3. When your water is boiling, carefully place your jar into the water. The wax will take a few minutes to melt. If you can reach with tweezers, pick out the old wick very carefully. Once the wax is completely melted, use oven mitts to take the jar out of the water. Pour the melted wax into your new container. (If you aren't using a new container, put your new wick into the melted wax and secure with a butter knife.) Double check that your wick is where you want it to be; after this layer is hardened you won't be able to move it.

4. Let this layer of wax cool. When you're ready for the next layer, repeat steps 2 and 3, letting the wax cool each time. Don't fill your container too full! On your last layer, pour a little bit of the wax on what will be the top of your wick. After it's completely cool and hardened, trim your wick.

Voila! Now you have a brand new candle with a cool layered effect!

In the next post, I'll show you how to clean out the jars you emptied to use them for storage, or for making more candles!

Now, go get started! What wonderful scent combinations will you make?


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