the art of candle making

burnt tealights

Or how to reuse all that leftover wax from the borders of tealights after the wick is gone.

We buy scented ones in packs of way-too-many when we go to IKEA (so that we don't have to go there again unless we need something else), and usually have 3 lit up in our room. I like the scent, bf likes the candles. REALLY likes the candles. And that leftover wax is one of his favourite toys in the world - I learnt that when I tried to throw used candles away, which never happened again. Instead, one of our candle holders (we use the glasses from big candles) is now a candle graveyard. When a candle stops burning it goes in the glass, and when the glass can't hold more dead candles I tell bf he has things to do. The last time I photographed and asked about the process, and I can show you how you can become a candle recycling maniac too!

recycling tealights

recycling tealights

Method 1 is to simply reuse the wax to make regular candles last longer. This requires dead candles from your graveyard, and new ones. You will be blending the old wax into the new ones, so it's your choice if you want to use the same types of candles or make some mixes.

  1. Squish the bottom of the dead candles, the wax should pop right off
  2. Place the wax pieces carefully on top of a living candle, as many as you think is safe and won't drown the wick after it all melted. Remember it will start melting from the center, and if it's too high it may fall on top of the wick and extinguish the flame. You might also have to be pushing the bits farther from the center to it so that they will melt as well;

recycling tealights

recycling candles

  1. After you made sure the flame won't die by something falling on it, and that everything will melt, just grab some tea and enjoy your new super candle.

recycling tealights

Method 2 is to create new candles, or to store the wax in less space than 10 separate old candles, see brown block below.

storing wax

Again, you can use only leftover wax of the same kind or make a real mutant out of everything (it's what happens when he's not in the mood to be careful). You will need dead candles with a wick that can still be brought back to life for a significant amount of time if you give it more food (ie wax).

storing wax from burnt candles

  1. Find a heat source, another candle works great, and something to hold the candle with that won't burn your fingers, bf uses a scissor;

storing wax from burnt candles

  1. Melt the wax still in the candle, add small bits of the leftover wax, let them melt, add some more, stop before the wick is covered, or until it's all in if you're just storing for later;

storing wax from burnt tealights

  1. Once it's done, remove the candle from the heat, let it solidify, and you should have a new candle/wax storage ready to use!