Making Candles from Old Candles
Reduce, reuse, recycle. Almost everyone knows that phrase, but not all kids understand what it means. If you need a fun way to teach your kids about recycling, try this project that transforms leftover candle stubs into a brand new candle, making new candles from old candles! This activity is perfect for Earth Day, but the importance of conserving resources is a valuable lesson to learn, and one that can be taught during any time of the year.
What You Need:
- Candle stubs (they can be any colors, just be sure there's no glitter or pressed flowers, etc. in them)
- Metal can such as a pineapple or coffee can
- Large saucepan
- Wicks or kitchen twine (available at craft stores)
- Molds (like glass jars, little glass cups, old tea cups, tin cans, etc.)
- Non-stick cooking spray
- Dye and/or scents for candle making (optional)
What You Do:
- Use the hammer to break the candle stubs into smaller pieces. Fish out any old wicks, burned bits and debris. Watch out for tiny fingers!
- Invite your child to plop the pieces of wax into the metal can.
- Fill the saucepan halfway with water and place it on the stove.
- Put the can into the saucepan and melt the wax over low heat. Do NOT try to melt the wax in the microwave or over direct heat! This is unsafe and the wax could get too hot and burst into flames.
- Have your child pick a mold and help her cut a stretch of twine. It should be long enough to reach the bottom of the mold with at least one extra inch. Tie one end to the pencil and knot it tightly. When the pencil is lain horizontally across the rim of the jar or can, it will keep the wick in place as the wax cools.
- If you want to add a fragrance or dye to the wax, do it now!
- You don't have to spray the molds with cooking oil, but it will make it easier to remove the finished candles. Carefully pour the melted wax into your mold. Be careful because melted wax is very hot! Make sure the pencil holding the wick is in place and doesn't get bumped and roll off.
- Let it cool thoroughly at room temperature. Leave it in the mold, or flip it over and tap it out! You've got instant mood lighting and you didn't have to pay a thing!