Handmade Candles, Sharing Economy Style

Handmade Marbled Wax Scrap Candle

Handmade Marbled Wax Scrap Candle

I love making something from nothing, or at least something that costs us nothing. Our friends are kind enough to endure our yearly candlemaking and candlegiving tradition, and we boast about the fact that these candles are all made from the wax scraps friends and neighbors share with us.

Here’s how it’s done:

  1. We take old candles, or the lumps of wax left over after you’ve burned yours out, and turn them into new candles, recycling the wicks and all.
Scrap Wax From Gifted Scrap Candles © Liesl Clark

Scrap Wax From Gifted Scrap Candles © Liesl Clark

2) Using a hammer on a wooden board is our preferred method for chunking out candle wax, but we also create our own colors of melted wax, pour it into a brownie pan, let it dry and then hammer the 1-2 inch wax into pieces.

Hammering Out Wax Chunks From Used Candles © Liesl Clark

Hammering Out Wax Chunks From Used Candles © Liesl Clark

3) We have candle moulds in many shapes and fill them with chunks we create out of the used candles. Be sure to remove the wicks from the old candles and any burned parts.

Place your scrap wax inside your candle moulds.

Place your scrap wax inside your candle moulds.

4) We use wicks from old candles that we melt down and recycle them as wicks for our new candles and string the wicks into our moulds.

5) We then melt down a contrasting color of wax from saved old candles to pour into the moulds around the colored chunks. A drop or two of an essential oil can provide some aromatherapy for those in the room when your burn your new candle.

Pour Your Melted Wax Over the Chunk-Stuffed Mould. © Liesl Clark

Pour Your Melted Wax Over the Chunk-Stuffed Mould. © Liesl Clark

6) Let your mould sit overnight to solidify and cool. In the morning, pull your candle free from the mould.

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Enjoy!

© Liesl Clark

© Liesl Clark

First Chapter in Our Book of Reuse

Chapter 1: An On-going Photo Essay of the Things We’ve Upcycled or Repurposed into New Iterations for Family Reuse

Repurposed window, now mirror

Repurposed window, now mirror

1) The old window turned mirror. This 6-pane window was found inside our 200-year-old barn and looked about the same vintage. Glass was broken on the floor and there was no caulking to speak of. I cleaned the cobwebs off, scraped the glass shards from the grooves, used a wire brush on the wood frame mullions to remove old paint and gunk, then took it to a window shop and asked them put mirror into the frames instead of glass! It was cheap and the results were exactly what I envisioned.

Sea Glass Frame

Sea Glass Frame

2) Sea Glass Picture Frames: The fun part was exploring our new beach when we first moved to our little island. The multicolored glass told a story of many inhabitants coming here long before us.

Home made candle

Home made candle from freecycled wax

3) A post on our local Buy Nothing group brought us an abundance of unwanted and half-burned candles. Added some of our own wax from our honey bees and, voila, new candles!

Pallet Playhouse

Pallet Playhouse

4) This pallet playhouse in the trees was built entirely out of 2 wooden pallets and branches from around the property. The “slide” access to it was left on the property by the timberframers who made our home: another reuse of construction debris.

Note, in the next picture how HUGE the tree trunk is on the right side of the frame. You’re only seeing half of it, too. This tree was cut down a century ago by loggers on the island who downed the first-growth trees to help rebuild San Francisco after its great fire.

Another view of the play palace/pallet in the trees

Another view of the play palace/pallet in the trees

5) A button valentine kid-creation for friends at school.

Buttons on clear plastic retrieved from trash = valentine

Buttons on clear plastic retrieved from trash = valentine