Burning bright.

In the winter we burn a lot of candles. It is relaxing and comforting to watch the flickering flames and feel the warmth they emit when the rain and snow hammer the dark windowpanes.

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It does however leave us with a lot of wax odds and ends, when the huge block candles we like only burn through the middle and go out, leaving thick sides. We do not like waste, so we use all of this to make new candles.

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It is a very easy process while stirring, melting, pouring and swirling the wax makes for a very meditative and relaxing time.

You can re-use any jars and containers you might have bought candles in before or any other solid glass or ceramic container that can take the heat.

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Start by cleaning all your containers and sorting your old wax into colours.

We melt our wax in a heatproof measuring jug inside a small saucepan of boiling water. Small pieces will melt a lot quicker and it is also good to stir the wax as this speeds up the process. It does get quite hot so is not a suitable activity for small children.

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We bought some pre-waxed wicks with a small metal piece attached as they make the process so much easier. Just attach them to the bottom of your container with a small amount of wax and let set before you add more.

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We always take it easy and pour in a small amount at first to heat the container up slowly and prevent it from cracking.

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Tilting the jars with the half-melted wax makes for a decorative finish inside the glass jugs, but also prevents them from cracking when you pour in the next colour.

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use a few pens or pencils to keep the wick upright and in the middle as the wax hardens.

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If you are anything like us, you are likely to have an array of colours and it is fun to add them to your candles in any combination that takes your fancy.

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When you reach the top of your container all you have to do is wait for the wax to set, trim your wick and light your masterpiece. Homemade candles also make perfect gifts for family and friends.

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From our candle remnants for the last year we made four large jars, three small green glasses and three iridescent apple candles. We will get hundreds of hours of enjoyment out of something that was destined for landfill. You can also use your old wax to make firelighters, by melting your wax and dipping dry pine cones into it. Have fun!

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