Kinda, sorta making candles

While Steve does his usual recycling push, I’ve started reusing and upcycling some of our stuff. Actually, crap could be a better description. And I’m not talking about literal crap, just some of the junk we’ve accumulated over the years…along with a few things we’d normally throw out.

Surprisingly enough, we disagree on what should be recycled vs reused. He’s started replacing all his ‘non-made in the US clothing’ and plans on donating them to Goodwill and other local organizations, while I think he should at least wear them until they NEED to be replaced since so much of the donated clothing is just bundled up and sold to other countries to use as fiber. In fact, right now I’m sitting next to a pile of jeans on the couch that he won’t wear and I won’t donate. But enough of that.

At least he’s fine with what I’ve started doing with all our leftover bits and pieces of candle wax. We were going through a lot of scented candles with four cats, a smelly man-butt, and a small house (I have a dainty lady-butt, thank you very much) and there’s a lot of wax left at the bottom of the candle jars (bottles, glasses, whatever you call them). I found a bag of candle wicks at our local Hobby Lobby and started scraping down and popping out the bits of leftover wax earlier this year. I combined those with two pillar candles that were no longer usable (the cinnamon candle was missing a wick and the vanilla only burned down one side and ended up dripping all over the place).

Of course, by the time I got everything together, I ended up losing the bag of wicks. So everything sat on my kitchen counter for a few more months until I purchased a new bag last week (thank goodness they’re cheap). After a quick trip to the new Goodwill in town (and the purchase of a really nice wool jacket and a few interesting cookbooks) I had a used pot to melt my wax and I was ready to go.

One mess later and I’m now the proud owner of three new candles. One is cinnamon (it had all the non-vanilla scents mixed in with the cinnamon pillar candle and some food-grade cinnamon oil I had stashed away for cinnamon popcorn), and the remaining two are vanilla. After the second candle, I was tired of trying to layer the colors and just dumped it all in together.

(I haven’t trimmed the wicks on the vanilla candles yet.)

One word of warning! If you are doing this with a strong scented candle, most likely it’s strong because there are a lot of essential oils mixed in with the wax. This means you could end up with wax AND oil all over the place if you suck at pouring hot wax as much as I do. The upside is that right now, I smell very nice.