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How to reuse or recycle a candle container

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If you’re anything like us, you’ll have lots of partly-burned container candles lying around. They might have been failed experiments, nearly finished candles or have been simply tucked away in a drawer for ages. Or, as in our case, perfectly fine but you fancy making something new and don’t have time to pop down the charity shop to buy another teacup.

Here’s the easy way to reuse a tea-cup or similar container. You’ll need two saucepans  (one bigger than the other) or, as in our case, a porringer set. These should not subsequently be used for making food with so choose old or cheap ones. Part fill the bottom saucepan with water so that, when you place the smaller saucepan inside, the water just reaches the bottom (you don’t want it overflowing when you turn the heat on). Put your container inside the smaller saucepan and add water to the smaller one so that it reaches half way up the side of the cup – you can speed things up by using warm (not boiling) water from a kettle.

Turn the heat on – now the hob will warm the water in the bigger saucepan which will warm the water in the smaller one but prevent it from getting above 100C. This will gently melt the wax in the container. Once it’s fully melted, you should find you can carefully lift out the cup from the top (that’s why you don’t fill the water to more than half way) and pour the wax into a waste container – an old yoghurt pot for example (just do it gently to make sure the pot doesn’t melt!) – for disposal. If you’re feeling extra-adventurous, you could pick out the wick assembly and keep the wax to reuse in a recycling project.


Our candle making kit chooser is now live

We’ve created this short video to help you choose which of our favourite kits would make the ideal gift for Christmas (either for yourself or a loved one).

You’ll find all these kits in our online shop – click here,


Making heart shaped candles for a romantic night in!

2013-02-05 20.33.39Love is in the air, and we’re all fixed for a romantic night in here at Making Your Own Candles! We picked up some silicone moulds, intended for making cupcakes and ice cubes in, from our local £1 shop and made cute little heart shaped candles in them. 200g blended paraffin wax made 2 larger and 12 small candles. We used a blend of 2g Windsor red dye and 0.5g Plum Purple to create a warm rich red colour, and we scented our candles with a rich Cherry scent.

An alternative if you prefer a container candle, would be to use our lovely little range of heart shaped tins to make some candles in – our Pro-C container wax will give you excellent results! And when you have burned your candles, you can refill the tins in time for your Anniversary celebrations!!

 

Here’s what I used;

 

Here’s how I made the candles;2013-02-05 16.49.50

  1. Wash silicone moulds
  2. Melt 200g blended paraffin wax in a double saucepan
  3. Add 3g dye and stir
  4. When the wax is fully melted, add scent and stir
  5. Switch off the heat and pour your wax into the moulds slowly and carefully – remember with a small mould the wax will fill the space available very very quickly!
  6. Position a tealight wick and tab assembly in the centre of each candle soon after pouring the wax and allow to set.
  7. When the candles are fully set, gently remove them from the moulds and arrange on a suitable plate or tray to burn.

Happy Valentines!


How to make container candles – a child friendly candle making recipe

Kids like crafts and, for a while now, we’ve offered child-friendly kits for making candles with beeswax sheets. However, the candles we see all around us tend to be container candles. These are usually created by melting container wax in a “double boiler” and pouring it into the glass jar, tea cup or whatever. This is all very well, and we have some lovely kits for making container candles but until now they’ve not been suitable for children (except, perhaps, older children under very close supervision).

So, we’ve come up with this recipe for creating a jam-jar container candle without needing the double boiler setup or handling molten wax [remember to click the Print button top left to print them out]

Read more ›


How to make Egg Shell Candles

We had Ham, Egg and Chips for dinner last night and instead of throwing the egg shells in the bin I kept them to make cute little Easter candles in. I washed the shells and put them to one side to dry. Then I sat them upright in the old egg carton.

Meanwhile, I melted some Container Candle Wax but you could try recycled wax from used candles if you wanted to, although I haven’t tried this. There is probably only around 10g wax in each egg shell but they do vary as I didn’t take great care when cracking the eggs.

I didn’t add any dye to the wax but poured it carefully straight into the egg shells when melted, not quite to the top though. And I kept a little of the wax in the pan which I will come back to later.

After a couple of minutes, as the wax was just starting to set, I dropped a Tealight Wick and Tab into the centre of each egg shell.  One of them refused to sit up straight and I realised that the egg membrane had lifted up inside the shell when I poured the hot wax in so I gave it a poke with my stirring stick to break it.

Read more ›


How to make a spring bulb container candle

Making this container candle with a twist is pretty simple, as long as you follow the steps! This candle is actually two in one: a flower tart embedded within a container candle and you can experiment by adding one scent to the flower tart and a different one to the container.

Here’s what you need to make this (note- links are given to our shop for convenience, you can use your own supplies if you have them) :

  • A glass container – we bought ours from Wilkinsons in a pack of 6. You need to be careful if the container was not specifically designed for candle making (as in our case) as it’s possible it will shatter if the glass comes into close contact with the wick. So, if you’re using a pudding dish, for example, drop the wick size by one so that the heat is more gentle.
  • Container wax – Use our guide to calculating the amount of wax to use to help you work out the amount.
  • Wick and tabs – use our guide to calculating the wick size to work out which one to use. This is the right wick for a teacup width container. If you don’t have tabs you may be able to get away with using white tack instead.
  • Flower tart mould
  • Paraffin Wax for the flower tart mould
  • Dye and scent as required. Read more ›

How to make waxed wicks

You’ve probably noticed that many of the candles you buy in the shops have a wick that’s been prewaxed. This is because the vast majority of them are made on an industrial scale without a wick. They’re either made in a mould containing a spike which leaves a hole up the middle of the candle or the hole is added later.

When creating candles at home, it’s not necessary to use waxed wick but the effect can be very nice and, fortunately, it’s dead easy to achieve. All you do is melt the wax for your candle in the usual way and, before adding any dye, drop your cut length of wax into the pan and hoick it immediately out again. It will cool and solidify almost instantly and you can now attach a tab to it. One benefit of this approach is that the wick is stiffer and easier to get perfectly straight and this, along with the fact that it looks appealing, is why all of our new kits use wick that’s been waxed in this way.


How to choose the right candle making kit

MakingYourOwnCandles offers a range of candle making kits – how do you choose which one to buy?

Here are a few questions that might help you decide:

1: Do you want a great general introduction to candle making?

If so, our Professional Candle Making kits are a good choice. With these kits you can make 10 “votive” sized candles with a 15 hour burn time. What’s a “votive” – it’s a candle often used in churches (hence the name), somewhat similar to 4-5 tealights stacked on top of each other. Looked at another way, they’re like mini-pillar candles. By using a Pro kit, you get 10 scented, coloured candles and you get to develop your skills using moulds.

Alternatively, our Flower Tart Candle Making Kit allows you to make 25 delightful flower shaped candles.

 

2: Are you interested in making container candles?

We have a range of container candle making kits: including mini jam-jars, plain glass and “supply your own” kits where you can use any heat-proof and non-flammable container. Container candles are a little simpler than moulded candles and the containers can be reused. Container candles can include scent and dye.

3: Do you want to make LOTS of candles? Do you want to make them for the lowest possible cost per candle?


Our bulk candle making kits have proven extremely popular since we introduced them in 2010. These kits allow you to make up to 40 container candles either using the glass containers we supply or you can provide your own. Tea cups, mugs, jars and tins make excellent containers and all our kits contain complete instructions.

4: Do you want the easiest to make candles? Kid safe?

Then choose our Beeswax candle kit. This kit includes pure beeswax sheets made in the UK which you simply roll up tightly around a wick and decorate.

5: Do you want to make Pillar Candles?

We have an easy to use pillar candle kit that creates candles that are 4 inches wide by 6 inches high. The kit uses eco-soya wax which gives a lovely lustrous finish and burns beautifully. Perfect for the mantelpiece.

6: Do you want to treat yourself or someone else?

Our Deluxe Candle Making Kits are the ultimate candle making experience. They include everything from the professional kit plus extra bits and pieces including a thermometer, extra scent and dye and containers. It doesn’t get better than that!

7: How about experimenting?

We have a range of projects you can try, from child-friendly hair dryer candle making (!) to wax applique techniques – the ingredients are listed in each project. If you want to make a candle using a home made mould, or by pouring into your own containers, you’ll find everything you need at MakingYourOwnCandles.co.uk.

 


Our first candle making craft fair

It started off so well. Peta and I had booked a pitch at the Summer Craft Fair at Port Solent on the south coast as our first attempt at selling direct to the public. We chose that one because it’s fairly local to us and we’d been as punters several times. It always seemed well attended with a reasonable range of crafts on show but, crucially, very little in the way of candles. We decided we’d sell candles we’d made as well as the kits we’d used to make them.

Our Candle Making Stall in all its glory

We arrived just before 8am to put up our gazebo alongside the marina, barely yards from the posh and expensive yachts. The sun was shining and all was looking good. We got set up pretty quickly and, in fact, had sold our first candles before the fair had officially opened. We met some nice people, including some Facebook friends who’d made a special trip (thank you!). Mind you, the weather had turned blowy and rainy by this point and it was only to get worse.

Let’s put it this way. The average attendance at a Port Solent craft fair is around 4,000. If we saw more than 200 people in the entire time we were there I’d be surprised. Despite this, we sold quite a few candles and a couple of kits- enough to make back the cost of attending. More experienced stall holders has started quietly packing up by 1pm – perhaps we should have followed them.

By 3pm, the organisers had told us to pack up. Sadly, there was no way to bring the car down to the pitch so I started lugging boxes up the hill to the car in the hope that we could get dismantled before further rain arrived.

Summer Fair my backside....

With most of our boxes in a trolley, we dismantled the gazebo. The weather gods chose that moment to unleash their fury. Peta took cover as I trudged up the hill getting soaked, quite literally, through to the skin. I slipped into Jim Royle as I shouted out “Summer Fair, my backside” at one of the security guards who was sheltering under a gazebo.

Soaked, exhausted and skint we made our way home. From a financial perspective, a complete washout but we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves and will be back!


Recycled candles: the first results

We’ve been researching and experimenting with creating new candles out of old by recycling the bits and pieces we all have in a cupboard corner. Once we’ve perfected the techniques and burn-tested the results we’ll be releasing a Make Do and Mend kit which will allow you to make candles by reusing old ones.

As a teaser, here’s one of the resulting candles, made using an old red candle. It burns beautifully with a red centre. Who’d have thought it would be possible to create something that looks this good out of an old candle that would otherwise have been thrown away?

If you haven’t already signed up to our list, this might be a good time as you’ll be amongst the first to hear when we launch this new kit along with tons of hints and tips on how to recycle old candles.


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