Tuesday, November 18, 2008
Don't look now, but the gift-giving Holidays are just around the corner.
But it's okay, because you can make candles. Cheaply (or for free!) with your crockpot.
I love candles, especially inexpensive ones, and scented with food: vanilla, cookie dough, pumpkin pie, apple cinnamon, coffee, and gingerbread. I am the happiest after lighting a yummy-scented candle.
For a while, I was getting up at 4am, and drank coffee in the dark with a few lit candles before beginning the day. It was quite peaceful.
Because of this love, I have quite a few candles that don't light anymore, but the jar/glass container still has trapped wax.
Yesterday, I took the wax out of 9 of these candles, and made 3 new ones. Al Gore would be so proud of me.
I also used some soy wax that I got at Michael's to make 3 others. It was a fun project, and now that I know how, one I will do quite often.
The Ingredients. --old candles in glass containers
(or empty glass containers and wax suitable for candle-making from the craft store)
--3 inch wicks (this size works well for the tiny candles sold at the dollar store, the Glade candles, etc.)
--candle fragrance, essential oil, or cooking extract
--candle coloring dye (not food coloring, sigh.)
Freeze the jars with the leftover trapped candle wax. Use a steak knife to pop the wax out of the jar/glass container. If your container is tapered, you'll need to chop the wax up with the knife before it can fall out.
Cut away the old wick and discard. Chop the wax into small pieces--about 1/2 inch square or thereabouts.
Wash the containers well in soapy water and dry completely.
Fill each glass with the chopped up wax. I put the wick in, but you don't need to until the wax has melted. If you are going to use soy wax, or another store-bought wax, fill the glass container the same way.
Nestle the containers into your crockpot. I got 6 to fit nicely in a 6.5 quart oval.
Cover and cook on high for 2 hours, checking every 30 minutes.
When the wax is completely liquidy, add your color and scent. Food coloring doesn't work. I tried it. Mix with a wooden skewer, and lower in the wicks.
Unplug the crockpot. Let the candles sit in the cooling crockpot for about 4 hours, or until they have set enough to move.
Do not use for 12 hours.
Light and enjoy.
I wish I could say that this was a fun project I did with the kids, but I'd be lying. One was at school, and the other was in the backyard. She poked her head in a few times but I shooed her back out. This was my art project. I'm looking forward to trying this again, and getting some of the different colors and scents they have at the craft store. The peppermint extract worked, but I think I'll use an essential oil next time for a more pronounced scent. I'm very pleased with the results--even the splotchy ones made with food coloring.
updated: anon just reminded me about crayons! I agree that they might work quite well to create a color. I learned from the crayons-in-the-crock experiment that Crayola melt the nicest.