Thursday, March 12, 2015

DIY Recycled Candles!

A few days ago, my one-year-old brother broke one of my favorite Yankee candles. I wasn't really mad though, because it had gotten to the last inch or so and I never used it. Then I thought, "Why don't I melt it down and make a new candle?"

So I dug it out of the trash and stabbed the wax out of it using a knife (carefully, of course--there was broken glass). Then I dumped it into a mason jar.

Since one inch of broken wax wasn't going to make me a full candle, I looked around the house for more ideas. One of my favorites is "ring removal".

See how we hadn't burned the candle evenly? Wax rings formed and stuck to the sides. I pressed on some, used scissors on others, and added those to my jars. To get even more wax, I had to kill a few more candles that were too small for me to really use. I even went to the dollar store and bought a 3 oz candle for a dollar and some WAX MELTS??? for two.

Then I divided them up into two 8 oz. mason jars--one for "Christmas" smells, such as hot chocolate, vanilla, peppermint, and coconut. The other one had some lemon, lavender, and Sun and Sand from Yankee candle.
In the Pyrex is the Christmas wax, the mason jar has the summer scents, and I have a little extra wax melts in the plastic box.

Here are my other utensils:

Clean jars and lids, crayons for coloring the candles (I ended up using the purple and brown ones near the end), and these wicks from Joann Fabrics. Note: When I make candles again, I'll be using different wicks. These ones don't work well.

I didn't really plan to follow any candle making instructions, but I'm glad I at least looked around. Apparently wax can catch fire if it's too hot, so don't put it directly on the stove, and don't set it past medium heat.
I poured about two inches of water into a pot, and then stuck the Pyrex into that. I didn't have to call the fire department, so I guess I did something right.
Then I stirred it a lot. Don't ask me up what the purple stuff is on the burner--I have no idea. Here I'm melting the Christmas candle, so there's no purple wax involved.
After it was completely melted, I poured a tiny bit into the clean jar, which was waiting with the wick.

I taped two chopsticks around the wick to keep it steady, and then I poured in about half an inch of melted wax to hold the wick straight for when I poured in the rest of the wax.

Actually, I didn't figure that out until the second candle. For the Christmas one, I used too little wax, and that wasn't strong enough to keep the wick in place. Try to pour in enough wax so cover the whole bottom of the jar.
In the purple candle, you can see the first layer I poured. That worked much better than the dab I put into the brown one.

After it hardened, it imploded. My dad said the same happened when you pour plastic into a mold--since the outside hardens faster, is make a hole.

I had kept a little wax in reserve for when it would implode, but I didn't save nearly enough. Then I had to melt down more wax, which I colored with the purple crayon (or the brown one, for the winter candle).

Ta-da! Hot Coconut and Lavender.
Unfortunately, these are not the finished products.

When I lit the Hot Coconut one, the wax pool was tiny.

This is as big as it got, no matter how long I burned it. This may have been because the wick was for a candle with a slightly smaller circumference, or maybe because my wax came from lots of different companies. Anyway, I melted them down again and put them into medicine bottles with no-stick spray on them, so I could pull them out of the molds. Here is the real finished product:

Small Hot Coconut, large Hot Coconut, and small Lavender. The large Lavender broke, so I need to melt it down again.
And there you have it! They smell pretty good. I recently ordered more beeswax, some dyes, new wicks, and empty chapstick containers. Expect more posts on what I do with those. ;)


  1. That was thoroughly entertaining to read through. I've always wanted to melt down wax and make a candle!

    1. It was a TON of fun. You should definitely try it. :)

  2. This is super cool! I can remember making candles as a kid, but I haven't tried making them since. Maybe someday in the future I'll get around to it... Anyway, I enjoyed the post, and thanks for sharing so thoroughly how you did it!

    1. I hope the pictures made sense! Making candles is loads of fun.