Saturday, January 5, 2013

Candle clean up!

My candle collection is a little over board.  By a little overboard, I mean that I'm pretty sure I have the entire Yankee Candle collection at my house.  Maybe not the entire collection, but multiple sized jars of my favorites.  

When I found a pin with the description "What to do with those half used candles hiding in the closet? I might actually try this one!", I thought to myself, well it can't hurt to check it out.  

The pin links to Happy-Go-Lucky, a blog about inexpensive DIY projects, games and family activities.  Her post is from November 2011, and a number (146 at the time of this post) of people left positive comments, so I figured that if she could do it (as her profile says), then I could do it.  

First, I looked at what I was working with: 
5 + a couple more once I started
I had to run out to Michael's to buy wicks (and ended buying more than just wicks), and washed out the jars I planned to use.  I saved these over the course of a couple weeks, rather than recycling them.
Trimmed up and ready to go!
I used a shallow pan with deep sides to melt down the candles.  I kept the water a low boil and added more as needed.  Since these are glass containers, you need to paying attention so they don't crack during this process.  This pan fit two candles at a time:
Blueberry scone and pumpkin spice....
I tried to melt either the same or complimentary scents at the same time.  While the kitchen smelled nice, the smell did not make it through the whole house.  Well, maybe it did; I was probably super desensitized to smells as this project rolled on.   Most of the candles melted in about 15 minutes.  One of the deeper jars took about 25 minutes.  

The edges of the original candle glasses were not too hot; I was able to pick them up with a pot holder or tongs. I used the pot holder for the bottom, which made pouring way easier.  

I ended up adding ice to the bottom of the bowl to speed up the hardening process. 

The whole melt down took about a hour and a half.  Hardening took pretty much the rest of the day.  I melted down approximately 7 candles and ended up with four new candles.  It also worked out that I was able to upcycle two of the original candle jars.  The stickers pealed off easily after sitting in the simmering water.  I gave them a good rinse to rid them of the remaining wax, and now I have two new candy jars! 

Lesson learned about what types of (recycled) glasses to use: glass jars that stored garlic need a very thorough cleaning before use!  One of my new candles, the purple one in the photo below, that should be 'autumn fruit' has a slight hint of garlic to it.  
Tada! All new candles! 
This project turned out to be fairly inexpensive (only new cost was the wick at ~$2) and easy.  


  1. I love them! Come link up to The Pinterest Challenge and show off your candles:)