Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Take a Break: Repurpose Candle Odds and Ends

As tomorrow begins the holiday season, there are often lots of candles that will be burned, leaving behind stubs, broken ones and the dregs of wax in candle jars. Here are a variety of ways to repurpose those odd bits.

Some suggestions for getting wax out of jars:
-       Pour boiling water in the jar and let sit over night. The wax will move to the top and makes it easier to take out. Don't dump water down the drain! Dump it outside or in the dumpster.
-       Place the candle jar in the freezer for a few hours or overnight. This will loosen the wax from the jar. Break up wax with a butter knife
-       See if the label will just peel off. If it doesn’t come off easily, soak it in hot water and try again. If there is goo left on it, a combination of baking soda and dish cleaner should do the trick. Wash the jar and lid with soap and water.

• Melt candles and create new ones. There are a variety of ways to melt wax-hot plate, microwave and even an oven. Because candles can have scents and can be made of various ingredients, I stay away from using a microwave or oven, simply because I use these appliances for cooking. A double boiler works well. If you don’t have a dedicated double boiler you can make one by using an old pot and placing a tin can or smaller pot that holds the candle dregs inside. Pour water around the sides so it creates a water bath. Boil
Double boiler method
away. If you want to learn more on different ways to melt candles check out How to Easily Melt Candle Wax Fast

 I make my own wicks by dipping 100% cotton butcher's string into the wax and let harden on wax paper. You can turn all sorts of items into candle holders-old tea cups, glass jars, tin cans. Just don’t use plastic. If you have access to sand, fill up a bucket or bowl and make sand candles.

Fill mason jar with solid candle wax. Insert a left over peeled crayon. Place in slow cooker and pour water around the jars. Cover and “cook” on high for 3 hours. Once it’s melted, put a candlewick in the jar, keep it in place by wrapping the top with a stick. Let dry/cool and enjoy!

• Seal your holiday cards by dripping hot wax on the back of the envelope. I’ve used this method to decorate a gift box.

Repair shoelace ends that are frayed, dip them into the hot wax and roll between your fingers to make sure they stick together

Fire starters: My friends with wood stoves, fire pits, and fireplaces love them. In fact we have a party at the beginning of December where we make fire starters, wreaths and swags. Collect pine cones and let dry for a few days so they open up and will crumble a bit when you crush them. Pick up pine needles, small berries or other small woodsie items.
• Purchase a tube of cotton pads from the Dollar Store. These will be in the cosmetic section as they are used for removing make up.
• Melt the wax (see above). If you have Scentsy warmer that will also work.
• Lay out wax paper, foil or parchment paper and scatter it with pieces of pine cone, needles,  bark, dried berries, herb pieces etc.
• Immerse the pad into the melted max for a few seconds until it is covered in wax and remove with tweezers or another tool. Lay on the prepared wax paper. Fip it over so both sides are evenly coated and then set aside to dry and cool.
• When cool, place as many as you want into a cellophane bag, along with a note that explains that these are fire starters.

An alternative method is take egg cartons (not plastic ones) and fill them with a mixture of pine cones, dried leaves, lint, sawdust etc. and then pour a little wax into each holder. Let dry and separate.

If you come across small pine cones, you can always make pine cone fire starters, which will look very attractive in a gift box.

Fix that drawer that’s being annoying you for months. Try rubbing your leftover candle wax wherever the wood slides. You’ll be surprised how easily the drawers move around afterwards.

Not interested in today’s activity, go to the Take a Break Pinterest and pick out something else.

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