Use up that stray wax, and make some magical, glitter candles!
What to do with all that leftover candle wax?
Y’all know about the 5 R’s, right? All together: Refuse, Reduce, Reuse, Repurpose and Recycle! This is a pretty new concept for me, honestly. As I discussed before in my Homesteading As A Renter post, recycling is one of the ways you can begin to live a more sustainable lifestyle. But, it’s actually a better practice to simply not buy those plastic-y or disposable items in the first place.
I’m embarrassed to say that the concept of simply refusing to buy items that don’t support the type of economy and lifestyle I want to exist in blew my mind. Like, clean out of the water. But it’s so true. There is power in our money, so you should only give it away with intention and direction. If you think about it, every dollar spent is like casting a vote for what you support in our markets. I believe I first heard about the 5 R’s on Self-Sufficient Life podcast, which is an absolutely amazing resource, and I highly recommend starting at the beginning where they interview farmstead entrepreneurs to discover how each person began their new lifestyle.
One of the things I began this winter to up my 5R game, is saving bits of wax that don’t burn away with the wick. Why I wasn’t doing this before, who knows. But have you seen the price of new candles? Especially the candles that don’t kill you? Yea, that’s right, you’re filthy expensive candles are killing you. And not even with kindness. No. With chemicals.
But, anyhow. I bought some beeswax pellets overwinter too. I was super excited to do lots of candle making, and I got as far as making some sweet little sage-scented candles for those Christmas gift baskets I talked about in my previous post, too. That was about the extint of my candle making, because my family takes the power of candle-gifting very seriously. As in: I got a lot of candles as presents. Which always makes me happy.
However, my accumulation of unused wax was becoming … epic. So, I decided it was time to play with fire! Or, my burner, at least. Whatever.
If you have an accumulation, or if you want to begin your collection of unused wax, here is an experiment I created that I’m pretty happy with the results of.
Round up those waxy driblets, and let’s get melting!
The total cost of this project was about five bucks for me, including tax. I used wax from candles whose wax had expired (free), wicks that I already had (I hate when people count this as “free” but I can’t remember what they cost, so let’s say an additional $5 if you have to buy them (but then you get like a million)), Elmer’s glue (already had), glitter (if you don’t have glitter already then I just don’t know what kind of person you are), and glass cups (thrift store score: $5). I also used rosemary essential oil to scent mine.
Pan for water
Bowl or jar for melting the wax (use something you can dedicate to wax melting for the rest of all time)
Sticks (I used old chopsticks)
Fill your pot / pan with water and set on your burner. Place your bowl / jar in that water so it can heat up with the water. Turn your burner onto medium heat. This will be your double boiler.
Break up wax bits so you can fit them into your bowl / jar. I used a hammer for the more solid bits. I highly recommend putting something down under the wax when you break it up so that you don’t just smash wax onto everything. Maybe some… wax paper?
Place your wax pieces in the jar. Allow to melt fully. While this melting happens, proceed to step four!
Glue your wick bases into your cups or whatever container you’re using for this. Have your sticks and glitter and any essential oil you’ll use for scent nearby. Also, put something down that can be both close to your pan of water and wax, and allows your containers to rest on a flat surface.
Pour! Be very careful… your jar of wax is most definitely hot. Use those oven mits!!
Immediately after pouring, place your sticks across your cup’s rim to hold the wick up straight. Then add scents and glitter!
I recommend leaving your candles near the stove as they cool so that there’s no sudden change in temperature. I found out that if you quickly change the temperature of the wax it will not stay flat and beautiful on top, but will cave in. Who cares, but, ya know, looks and stuff.
What sort of things do you use to scent your candles? I’ve had the best success with essential oils so far, but am interested in trying herbs.
Oh, look. Prettyyyy.