Hanukkah may be over, but winter is most definitely still here, which means it is still a very good time to light candles, – lots of candles! I love candles! They just bring with them a special sort of relaxed atmosphere. There is something alive and beautiful about them. Somehow candles encourage us to enjoy the moment, don’t you think? And hello, – they literally LIGHT up our world a bit!
I can be found to light candles even in the middle of the summer. Here in Israel we have warm and dark summer evenings, and to then sit outside in the garden with a few candles, is a very nice experience! But there is no competing with how perfect candles are in the cold and dark fall and winter! To me, they add to the quality of life! So, yes, I go through a fair bit of candles during a year. But I am not a person to waste stuff, and in this post, I want to show you what I do with the left-over wax from large candles like the big one featured in the pictures above. I keep the left over bits of wax in zip lock bags in my large candle drawer, and once a year I melt the wax to make new candles from it. (This activity is ideally done during Hanukkah, but this year we just weren’t able to fit it in, and anyway, it was nice to have something fun to do the day after Hanukkah too!)
By the way, this is a GREAT way to use broken Hanukkah-candles too! Anyone who has put candles in a few hanukkiot night after night, knows how easily they break, especially when children try to “help”.
So, step one, – collect all your left-over wax from old candles.
Step two, – prepare the moulds, cups or glasses that you would like to make your candles in. Glue a piece of wick to the bottom of the mould, and tie the other end to a stick on top that will keep it in place. (At this point I also added various flavors and smells to my candles, but in retrospect I think the oils would have mixed better had I added them straight to the melted wax.)
Step three, – put the wax in old empty cans in boiling water, to heat and melt. Be careful not to let the cans fall over and get any water in them. It is helpful to use a pot that just fits your cans, and stay nearby to help keep them upright.
Step four, – pour your melted wax carefully into the prepared moulds. I didn’t get any pictures of this part, as I naturally needed both hands to pour… But I did get a photo of my children dipping candles into the colored can of wax, and thereby changing the color of their candles and giving them this handmade kind of look. (By the way, this is what I want to do to simple hanukkah candles before hanukkah next year! Writing it down here to hopefully help me not forget…)
Here are my new and homemade candles at the end of the night:
It is such a satisfying thought that all this fun and beauty comes from stuff that could have easily ended up straight in the garbage! Now I am going to enjoy those candles without feeling that I have to save on them, – because they are bonus anyway! And some I will give away as gifts. I love to give something that I have made, – no worries that someone else will bring them the same thing, right?!
Here is a picture of our breakfast-candle: