We recently moved into an apartment that doesn't allow us to burn candles or incense however, we're more than welcome to use the wood-burning fireplace. Go figure.
I had a bit of a dilemma because, well, I'm a girl, girls like to burn candles, and I have a whole stock of vanilla and pecan pie candles. Luckily, the management office provided us with a wax melter and a starter tart. I picked cinnamon (planning ahead for Christmas). I also happened to have a candle warmer I'd bought back in college (because we couldn't light candles in our dorm rooms either).
I decided to see if I could I melt my candles down to little tarts so I wouldn't just have a bunch of useless candles taking up space. I found a Scentsy DIY on Our Little Coop. I didn't have any of the little Scentsy packs to use to shape my tarts in, so I decided to use my silicone pans.
I gathered my supplies, and Googled how to make a make-shift double-boiler instructions, since I didn't have one. Pretty easy, a pan on top of a pan with water in the bottom pan to create steam. My wax wouldn't melt, though. The top pan wasn't creating a seal and the steam was getting out, so I tried a few different methods.
1. Make-shift double-boiler - this made the bottom mushy.
2. Candle warmer - really slow and not worth the wait.
3. Double-boiler with crockpot - this just didn't work.
*Note: DO NOT try to melt your candle in the microwave unless you know for a fact that there's not a metal circle on the bottom of your wick. Thankfully I thought of that and didn't try it.
After doing some more research to see how other people melted their candles I figured out that it was safe to just set the jar straight into the water. I probably wouldn't recommend waiting til the water is boiling to put it in; I put it in at the beginning to start melting as the water heated. I was so afraid the jar would break but it was fine. I kept it on medium/hi heat. I was in another room waiting for it to start melting and heard an odd noise. I thought the jar was breaking but discovered it was dancing with the boiling water.
It seemed like once it started to melt it would slow down and after a bit, so I occasionally took the jar out to pour the melted wax into my molds. It worked great!
*Note: I used two potholders to pick up the jar. I gripped the top with one then held another underneath to pour. It's hard to get a good grip so be really careful not to drop your jar.
I didn't fill the molds full because the tarts don't need to be that big. I actually could have filled them a bit less.
They only took a couple hours to cool and harden. Once they did I loosened the edges then flipped the mold over and popped them out. They're so cute!
I think this was one and half candles, but they were also already half gone from last year. The second one down from the top right is a bit spotty. I didn't think to clean the black off the inside of the jar and the candle before melting it so it all sunk to the bottom and poured out at the end. You also want to make sure to pull the wick out when it's lose enough so it doesn't end up in a tart.
I melted my Cranberry candle in early anticipation of Christmas. I only ended up with 4 tarts because the candle was so low, but that should last me through Christmas.
I have an issue with bugs. They love me. I hate them. Now that I have a balcony I spend a lot of time outside reading, so I needed something to ward off the bugs. Since lighting a Citronella candle wasn't an option (and I hate the sound of bug zappers), I melted it instead! The citronella wax didn't have to be pretty, just super useful, so I poured a thin layer of the melted wax into a silicone pie pan.
Once the Citronella wax was solid I broke it up like a brittle and put it back into the ceramic pot it came in. So it's sorta decorative. I've been using my old candle warmer on the balcony to melt it. It smells really good outside, but, just a warning, after you melt the Citronella the scent will take over and not go away until you melt another candle. Our apartment smelled of it strongly for several days until my husband complained enough that I started melting my vanilla candles and keeping the melter on (I bought oatmeal cookie wax to use until I started working on my candles).
The other tarts, if they fit, I'm putting back into their original jars. The pecan pie wax is displayed (top of post) on the counter next to the melter. It's Fall-y looking so it's a decoration. I decided to break the vanilla into small brittle pieces and powder and put it into one of the larger jars left empty from the pecan pie. Several melted candles fit into one jar that way.
Okay, so, want to try this? It's super easy.
2 potholders or oven mitts
Molds - whatever you like, but I recommend silicone so you can pop the tarts out easier.
1. Set your candle jar in the saucepan and fill the saucepan with water to about halfway up the side of the jar. If your saucepan isn't big enough to fill it that full, just make sure there's enough space between the water and the edge of the pan so the water doesn't boil out.
2. Set it on the burner and turn it on to medium high. If you're not sure how hot your stove gets start with medium and turn it up as you go/as needed.
3. It's going to take a while, so it's okay to leave the room while it's melting. Maybe come back and check every 10 minutes. When it's melted pick the jar up with a potholder (making sure to leave a space to pour the wax. Carry it with another potholder underneath so you can hold it easier when you pour.
4. Pour into your molds. It's up to you how thick you want it. If you want to make a brittle it's better to do it thinner. If you run out of molds and still have melted wax that's okay. Just set the wax aside to remelt later after your first molds are done. Let your wax sit for a couple hours to harden. The thinner it is the quicker it hardens.
*Note: Some of my candles didn't come in jars so after melting the ones in the jars, while they're still warm, I used a paper towel to wipe out any residue so I could put jarless candles of other scents in them. I have some extra-large candles I haven't melted yet, but I'm thinking I'm going to have to chop them up a bit to fit them into a jar.
Right now I have plenty of candles and don't need to buy more, but in the future I want to try layering some different scents. I think it would be fairly easy. Just layer it with different candles, letting each layer harden a bit before adding the next so they don't remelt and mix.