This post is a bit off topic as far as art goes, but being an artist, I am constantly thinking of creative ways to save money so I can get some new art supplies 🙂 Since it is valentine’s day I also thought this might be a good read for someone who is looking for a romantic craft to do…
Ever spend a lot of money on a nice scented candle, like one of those really big triple wick ones? There is usually quite a bit of wax left when it’s burnt down to the point where it’s not really safe to burn it any more. I really dislike wasting things, so I had quite a few pieces of candles remnants saved up to melt down into new ones “someday.”
I decided this past week, with Valentine’s Day coming up, that someday was now. I had tried recycling candles once before, and had tried making my own wicks out of some thread I had on hand. My home made wicks did not work very well at all. and consequently I also had several candles left over from several years ago. thanks to another family member who mentioned to me previously that she had done the same thing only with using birthday candles for the wicks, I tried again.
For larger candles I used tapered candle remnants and poured the melted wax into empty cardboard juice concentrate containers. To make shorter ones I used birthday candles and poured the wax into votive size glass candle holders.
I started out by breaking the larger candles into pieces small enough to place in a tin can in a pot of simmering water on the stove. While the wax was melting I made sure to set out something like some newspaper or card board to make cleaning up any spills easier. Have something like a jar lifter, the kind used in home canning , to lift the can without burning yourself. Once it melted I poured a small amount of wax into the mold and let it cool a little. Then I placed the taper or birthday candle in the soft wax and held it there until it would stay in place. After the candle was firmly attached to the bottom of the mold I slowly poured enough wax into the mold to reach the top of the taper without covering up the wick.
I also created some heart shaped molds by cutting up cereal boxes and placing them in a heart cookie cutter. Then I taped it up to prevent leaks. I would recommend a wide masking tape for this. The molds are not reusable because the tape does not stick to the cardboard very well once it has wax residue.Make sure to tape up the bottom really well or it will get really really messy.
Anytime I spilled some wax I would let it cool for a little while and then scrape it up while it was still soft. Then I would mash it down into the top of the new candle. this made interesting designs when I ripped the cardboard molds off the next day. I really liked the lava-like pattern of air pockets this process left behind.
Dawna’s Zazzle Gallery of items featuring her Art and Photography
You can also find Dawna on flickr