I’ve posted before about recycling candles (here) by scraping out the wax from candles that have burned too low to light. Here’s another method that is much easier and you don’t even need a pour pot! With this method, you can make your own candles without buying wax, dye, scent, or even jars. All you need are a few fresh wicks.
Start by cleaning up the candle jars–if there’s any dust, wipe it out. Scrape out any sooty bits. Wipe soot off the rim of the jars, too.
Cut out the burned tip of the wick.
You don’t want anything dirty in there. Place the jars in a double boiler. I always fix up a makeshift double boiler.
I find a trivet that fits the pot. (For smaller pots, sometimes I use several canning rings.)
Pour in the water.
You’ve got a double boiler! Start melting.
I don’t recommend placing the jars in the oven because you can’t watch over them as carefully. I double don’t recommend placing wax in the microwave! Never leave melting wax unattended. The best way to attend your wax is to have it visible to you at all times–in a double boiler on the stovetop. Plan some other tasks to take up your time in the kitchen while you’re melting wax. Clean out a few drawers or bake something. Don’t leave your wax alone.
If you have candle dye, you can add dye if you want to change the colors, but it’s not necessary if you choose candles that are already different colors. You could also combine part of one jar into another jar after it melts to change the colors.
You can start with a clean, fresh jar, or melt down the wax in one jar that’s pretty low and start with that one. The way to do that is to melt it, remove it from the stove and fish out the old wick, then let it firm up enough that you can push a new wick down into it and stand it up.
Now you’ve got your first layer of wax stripe! As you go, clear out more jars and you can have several jars filling at once.
Be sure to let each layer firm up before adding more wax or the colors will mix. If your candles already have scent, you may not need any more, but you can add more scent if you like.
It takes a little time to do this as you have to wait between pours. I turn off the heat between pours then reheat again so my wax isn’t cooking the whole time (which can damage the scent). You can go off and do other things beween times while the wax is setting up in the jars and not heating on the stove, so you don’t really have to attend it all the time. (Just when you’re melting.) It’s a good lazy day project and you come out with nearly-free new candles.