Make New Candles from Old Wax

Reader Contribution by Anna Twitto
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by Adobe Stock/Pam Walker

From Your Own Hands: Self Reliant Projects for Independent Living

I love beeswax candles and, given the choice, this is the only kind I would make, but beeswax is pricey and, like many other things, out of my budget. So the candles I most often make consist of melted paraffin drippings and candle stubs. I collect these whenever I get the chance, sort them by color and, when I have a good quantity, get to candle-making.

To make homemade candles you will need, besides beeswax or paraffin:

Wicks. These can be bought very cheaply, or you can make your own by melting some wax, soaking a bit of cotton string in it and letting it cool until it sets.

Molds. I love silicone molds (like the kind used for small cupcakes), but I’ve also used empty yogurt containers. The tricky bit with using a plastic container is that it can melt, and therefore you must take care to pour the melted wax at just the right moment – after it cools off a bit but before it re-solidifies. Another option is to use small glass jars, like those used for baby food, to make a candle in a jar.

Make New Candles from Old Wax

1. Melt some wax or paraffin in a small pot or container, one that you set apart for this purpose, because scrubbing out wax traces is labor-intensive and annoying. I simply use an empty tin can for this purpose.

Do not overheat — the wax or paraffin should just melt. If it’s boiling hot, you might get bubbles trapped in your candle. You may blend colors and/or add a few drops of scented oils.

2. Affix your wick so that it’s right in the middle of the mold. I do this by the simple method of placing a pencil across the top of the mold and attaching the top bit of the wick to it with a small piece of Cellotape.

3. Carefully pour wax into mold. Don’t hurry, or you might make the wick sink, and then you’ll have to begin all over again. If you want the effect of color layering, don’t fill the mold to the top, but instead wait until the wax has set and then add a layer of a different color.

4. Let your candle cool completely before attempting to unmold it. If you hurry, you might ruin its shape.

These pretty, colorful homemade candles are wonderful as decorative pieces or gifts.

Anna Twitto‘s academic background in nutrition made her care deeply about real food and seek ways to obtain it. Anna and her husband live on a plot of land in Israel. They aim to grow and raise a significant part of their food by maintaining a vegetable garden, keeping a flock of backyard chickens and foraging. Anna’s books are on her Author Page. Connect with Anna on Facebook and read more about her current projects onher blog. Read all Anna’s Mother Earth News posts here.

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