DIY: Leftover Candles

DIY leftover candles upcycling tutorial

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For this method you’ll need:

  • TP cardboard tubes
  • masking tape
  • wicks (and scissors to cut it to the right length, of course)
  • those metal thingies from burnt-down tea lights
  • pliers
  • a thick needle or an awl
  • a pot with water for a bain-marie – I have an old, beat-up one that doesn’t need to be cleaned thoroughly anymore because I only use it for things like this
  • pegs
  • old newspaper to cover your working spot
  • and wax leftovers, of course (old candles, stumps, broken ones, the leftovers from tea lights, or actual store-bought wax drops – I used those for the beeswax candles)

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Use the masking tape to cover one side of the tube. I prefer four strips plus a longer one fix them all up together.

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I used a deodorant bottle to press the layers of tape together, but everything that fits into the tube will do, obviously.

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Use the awl (or needle) to widen the small hole in the weight again. You don’t necessarily need those, but it makes it easier to make the wick stick to the tape later.

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Somehow wriggle the wick through…

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… and squeeze the weight thingie shut around the it with your pliers.

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Melt the wax in a bain-marie. As always with things like these, the water shouldn’t boil but just be hot. Don’t let the full glass with white leftover deceive you, by the way – they melted down to about two centimeters of actual wax.

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Cover your working spot with newspaper lest you want to scratch wax off that surface for ages. Fix the wicks with pegs after you pressed them against the masking tape bottom to make them stick in place.

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And then pour. The closer you work to your bain-marie, the better. Use an old towel to grab the glass with the melted wax, it’s hot. Don’t burn yourself.

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These dents occur every time I make cast candles, and it lately dawned on me that they probably are because I didn’t soak the wicks in wax before the casting. So, you should probably do that. If you don’t there’s always the possibility of pouring a little more wax on top (I did that. But next time I’ll try the soaking thing first. Damn.).

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Peel off the TP tubes. Don’t throw them away, paper soaked in wax makes great firestarters for your next bonfire.

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Done. The beeswax flaked a little, but overall I’m pleased. Of course you can cast candles in mason jars or teacups or Altoids tins or what ever strikes your fancy, too. Or you can scent them, with essential oils. Or put little treasures in them to come out as the candle melts. Or let layers off differently coloured wax set separately to make striped candles.

Should the opportunity strike and I’ll have lots of wax again I’ll make a how-to on candle dipping.

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