Sunday, January 31, 2016

What Passes For Activity On A Saturday Afternoon

Yesterday, I put on my candle and I sat down to knit. Three minutes later it went out and I knew it was done, in that way when the wick gets all drown-y with wax at the bottom of the jar and you can see a bit of metal from the wick. It's not like I didn't know the end was near.

This particular candle didn't burn as evenly as my first. I did keep it going for 2 hours on its first burn and all of the wax at the candle surface melted well, but somehow it was always veering to one side. Eventually it tunneled that way. Which means I was left with quite a lot of soy wax candle and no way to enjoy it.

A while ago I bought some wicks with the intention of making candles. I haven't done so, as yet, because I just can't seem to get into it. I guess I'm not adequately motivated. But damned if I was going to throw away 25 per cent of a candle cuz it burned wrong.

Which is how I came up with this:

The wax hardened to a pure, milky white colour when it set... just like the original.
I realize that this photograph isn't art work but there was no way for me to move the subject to a more attractive spot (than the hideous kitchen counter) once I'd poured the wax and precariously set the wick. BTW, the thing holding the wick upright is a moose cocktail pick. Those things are endlessly useful and they work for martinis too.

This project wasn't rocket science. The soy wax ejected from the original candle jar quite easily with a knife. It's much softer than beeswax, btw. I carefully removed the old wick and stuck the wax into a short mason jar which I then put into a pot with water (filled half way up the height of the jar). I set the heat on medium low and watched the pot carefully, occasionally stirring. In 10 minutes I had melted candlewax which I poured it into a smaller jar, fitted with a wick of the correct height. That part was more accidental than anything. Next time I buy wicks, I'm getting really long ones. They're easier to work with because you can cut them to the appropriate size. In the background of the photo, you can just see the one other candle I produced from this recycle project - a little tea light version.

Even if you never intend to make a candle, you should most definitely have some wicks on hand. That way you will be able to eke out every last moment of that candle you spent 60 bucks on. It'll take less time than frying up some eggs and even the most craft-challenged person can manage it.

I for one am very impressed with myself. Have you ever tried this?

10 comments:

  1. I admit to having thrown away a lot of candles that still had plenty of wax. I didn't even know you could buy wicks. Where in the world did you buy them?

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    1. I bought them at Voyageur Soap and Candle (a place in BC that I get some of my skin care components from). But I believe you can find them locally quite easily. Any Michaels should stock them.

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  2. No, but I'm impressed too:).

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    1. Thanks - make the most of your great new candle with this technique!

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  3. I haven't tried that yet - but we've been saving dryer lint and egg cartons so my son's Cub troop can make fire starters. I don't think I'll give them any of my nice candles for the wax component of the project though. :)

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    1. Ha! You should really give it a try. So easy and it makes you feel so productive!

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  4. Good job! I have been doing this for years. Note: if you have beeswax, make sure you get the proper wicks for it, as it will never burn properly without them-ask me how I know...As well, beeswax is incredibly hard to clean up, so melt in an old tin can, not your good pot-again, ask me how I know this...ackkk! Voyageur is awesome. I get stuff for my soap and candle making there all the time. Barb

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    1. Good info. I'm very newbie and I don't love the wicks I got (but I don't know if they were meant for different wax than soy). And I learned about beeswax in a pot the hard way! Now I use mason jars in the pot. Voyageur's great - glad to know you agree.

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  5. I am very impressed, also.
    And, no, I have not tried it but I certainly will now that I have seen your example!!
    I know exactly where to find wicks, which is on Aisle 8 of the craft store that I am working in, post-retirement.
    Thanks for the tip!

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