Sunday, March 28, 2010

projects - candle, candle

(Hey Kirby, I've finally done it!) Guess what I did this weekend? Make candles! Well, sort of. I remade candles! That's more like it! Let me explain...

Remember when method first introduced their candles in the new glass bowl? It was right around the holidays, and they had holiday candles, and their standard aircare candle line, and they'd even brought back gingerbread + spice! And you know what else? These candles sucked! The things just didn't burn properly. (And then method reworked the soy wax, made it perfect, and canned the entire candle line right after. Sigh.) Well, anyway. I'm working on all that in therapy. But the good thing is, instead of throwing out all that wax each burnt candle left behind (and it was a lot) I saved it. I'd just take a fork, break up the remaining wax (it's SO easy!) and place it in a small bowl. My plan for the longest time was to melt each scent down, and make "new" method candles! Recycle, recycle, recycle!

Fellow method luster Kirby (who I gave a shout out to at the beginning of this post) had done this ages ago with her frosted fir candle (please method bring back frosted fir this year for the holidays! Just the scent in the hand wash! Please, oh please please pretty please! I lust it so much and failed completely to stock up on that scent for some insane reason... oh my, but I'm so digressing...) And, focus. Kirby had taken her remaining frosted fir wax and made tea lights from it! Such a great idea! And she told me how to do it, and I told her I'd give it a try, and in the back of my mind I knew it would be so hard to do, and I didn't do it for a zillion years, and finally I got up the nerve to do it this weekend! And a) it was so ridiculously easy I can't even believe it; and b) now I'm sorta addicted! I want to make candles, like, all the time! Ha ha!

What you see in the photo at the very top are six candles I made this weekend! With leftover method candle wax! How frickin' cool is that?! I now have a frosted fir, a fig, two pomegranate tea, and a spiced pear. And I have some more leftover wax (as you can see on the left) from a hollyberry candle and lavender + lemongrass. As I use up my candles, I'll scrape out the remnants and save them for some more candle makin'! You would think "Eh, I wouldn't have enough wax to make a whole candle!" Well, all I'd do is scrape out a spoonful or so from each used up fig candle, and before you knew it, I had one whole candle! Yay!

What you see in the second photo is me melting some leftover apricot basil wax from method's premium candle line from oh so long ago. And a little white ceramic jar awaiting it's elixir!

It's all so easy to do it's quite maddening! Here are the steps:

1 + Run out to your local candle supply/craft/hobby shop (I went to Michael's) and pick up some wicks! Read the package carefully, as not all wicks will work with soy candles. I bought the extra-large (which sounds humongous, but really isn't) for these as I knew that was the size they used in the glass jars, BUT those didn't burn well; so I wanted to try the same size in the smaller ceramic jars - figuring it would burn better (obviously.)
2 + Wash out some old method ceramic candle jars (or other container if you so desire - I have about a zillion of these things though, so I thought I'd reuse them!) and grab a pot/saucepan, fill up with a little water and place on your stove; once it reaches boiling pop a metal mixing bowl (I found one for a buck at a thrift store!) over top of the pot/saucepan - and tada, you've just created a double boiler!
3 + Throw your wax in the metal mixing bowl, it will slowly melt over the boiling water (without burning cause it's not on direct heat! And the mixing bowl shouldn't be sitting IN the water, but on top of the pan. The wax will melt from the hot steam that's hitting the bowl.) and as that does it's thing, take one of your wicks, dip the metal end into the melting wax, and stick it to the bottom of your candle container (the wax will sorta hold it in place.) I also put a pencil on top of the container to help center the wick.
4 + Once the wax is melted, pour into your container, adjust the wick a bit if it moved around. And you're DONE! So (allow me to say it one more time!) easy peasy!

+ Keep in mind you're dealing with hot steam, boiling water, and hot melted wax, so safety first as they'd say in first grade!

Now here's the hard part, the waiting. I wanted to burn them right away! But patience is a virtue, patience is a virtue, Nathan. Just let it sit. I actually let mine sit over night, and it had hardened completely by morning. Then just grab some scissors, snip the wick to it's proper size (as you'll have leftover, I actually had enough leftover for more candles! I just have to go buy some more of those metal thingies. And yes, they have a name, I just don't know what it is. LOL)

What you see in this photo are my spiced berry and apricot basil candles from the premium line. I didn't have enough to make an entire candle, but I'm just excited I get to enjoy them a little bit longer now, since I've made half a candle each out of the old wax! And I've been burning the pomegranate tea all evening long and it's working great! So give it a try, send in your pics, and let us know how it works out! Have fun!


kirby said...

Aah! They're fabulous! I hadn't thought of scraping the wax out of the containers before melting it--I would just put the whole dead candle into water in a pan on the stove until it melted, and then grab the container (with a silicone mitt) and pour the melted wax into the new containers. Love the double boiler idea. And it's easy clean up because the wax is so not waxy. You know what I mean. Tomorrow is my lone day off and I think I'm gonna melt down some more of my candle corpses. Because we're still gonna have fabulous candles even if method doesn't think we need them. :P

Amy said...

If you want to get wax out of a container just pop it in the freezer. I'm not sure how long, I always forget about it for a couple hours but I'm sure 45 min - 1 hour would be enough.

Nathan Aaron said...

Send pics, Kirby! :)

Great tip, Amy! I've done this before and it's amazing how well it works!

kirby said...

Sending a poor quality phone pic your way (woohoo, exciting, huh)! They're not nearly as wonderful as yours.

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