Wednesday, August 22, 2012

THINGS TO DO WITH LEFTOVER CANDLE WAX



Earth-friendly folk, like most of us aspire to be, are always looking for recycling projects. We know that  there's a lot of waste in our homes and that, with a little imagination, we can find new uses for things that, previously, we threw out.

A tin can can be a candle holder.
So, here’s another reuse wonder – making useful things with leftover candle wax. If you burn candles frequently, like I do, you’ve seen how candlewicks tend to be used up first, leaving a lot of extra wax at the bottom. What 's left of the candle is not trash.  It’s a potential treasure.  So start collecting that extra wax that remains in the container. It can be easily made into several recyclable projects for your home. 

Recycled candles

Save extra candle wax, sorted by colors or by scents. Use these leftovers as candle supplies to make new candles. Make sure you have good, clean wax leftovers in a quantity that makes it worth your while. If you have too little wax in the container or if it has got too much soot and other ugly stuff, it’s best to toss it.

(I buy only white or cream colored candles with very little scent, that way I can use all my extra wax without bothering to sort it.)

- Heat the wax in a double boiler until it liquefies. Use a pan that will only be used for this purpose in the future (and never again for cooking). Having the wax over boiling water is a safety measure. Wax can change color and smoke at a temperature of about 250 degrees, and hotter than that and it can catch fire.

- Use your rinsed-out tin cans as the molds. The small vegetable cans are just the right size for votive candles. (Taller cans can be given a fancier look when holes are punctured around the top, according to some design.

- For the wicks, buy braided wick or pre-dip twine or heavy cotton string in the melted wax. Place your wicks on a flat surface so they remain straight.

- Make 2 small cardboard circles for each can, one slightly smaller than the bottom, and another a bit larger than the top; punch a hole in the middle of each circle. Grease the cans so that you can take out the bottom cardboard circles before burning the candles and, that way, the same cans are reusable over and over.

- Insert the wick in the bottom circle, with an inch or so below, and hold the wick up while you fill up the can with melted wax up to 1 or 2 inches from the top.

- Place the top circle on top of the melted wax with the wick pulled through the middle hole. Let the wick hang over the side of the can.

- The candle will set quickly in the air at room temperature or it can be placed in refrigerator to speed up the process.

- When the wax has set, trim the wick to a length of 3/4 inch, and your candle is ready for burning.


Wax ornaments

You can use leftover melted candles to make decorations that can be hung on a Christmas tree or elsewhere in the home.

Begin by melting the leftover wax. Add a candle scent if you like. Then, pour the wax into molds (the kind with both a top and a bottom). Before the wax hardens, cut off pieces of satin ribbon and attach loops in the tops of each ornament. When the wax is completely dry, pop the ornaments out of the molds. A set of these ornaments make nice gifts.

Great fire starters

Any leftover wax - even the sooty kind with ugly bits - is reusable for this project.

Take a large cardboard egg carton and place sawdust or tiny bits of newspaper in the egg part of the carton. Fill it up about halfway.

Pour melted wax over the sawdust or bits of newspaper to the top and allow to set.

Cut the carton into individual egg parts, and use one egg part at a time to start a fire.


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