You spent $30 on a scented luxury candle. You burned it every night for a week and it was the happiest week of your nose’s life. But now it’s gone and you’re contemplating the fact that not only did you lose your best friend, you literally watched your money go up in smoke. Insanely good smelling smoke that made your nose hairs do the tango. Now what?
Most people do one of two things at this point in their candle’s life. The true grown ups will throw the burned candle out right away. These are the same people who throw out leftover Halloween candy. Avoid them at all costs. These are not fun people.
Everyone else will stick the remnants of the candle in a drawer and forget about it until they have to open the drawer for something else. They will then stick their nose in the candle, sigh, smile, remember the good times and put it back until the next time they open the drawer.
We are the ones who are unwilling to part with the dead. We are the Norman Bates of the candle world. We are the fun ones.
My name is Karen and I hoard my used up luxury candles. These are different from a regular scented candle (that you can pick up at a dollar store) because they actually scent a whole room when they’re burning. Plus they cost way more than a dollar. Illume, Anthropologie, Thymes … they’re all luxury candles because their scents are complex and beautiful and because they actually do what they’re supposed to do; scent a room.
Here’s a bit about why some candles smell good when they’re cold but don’t seem to smell like anything when you burn them.
- Candle scent is categorized as having either cold throw or hot throw.
- Cold throw is when a candle smells strong when it’s cold (not burning)
- Hot throw is when a candle smells strong when it’s hot (while it’s burning)
- Creating a good hot throw (especially in a soy candle) is harder and more expensive process. (at least that’s what I’m telling myself to justify the $30 candles I sometimes buy instead of the $2 ones at Dollarama)
So it isn’t your imagination that your cheap (and sometimes even expensive) candle smells great when it isn’t lit. It’s common and maddening. So when you shell out a whack of cash on a luxury candle you want to make sure you get all the money and scent out of it that you can.
I do eventually end up throwing those spent candles out by the way. I just don’t do it until I’ve had at least a year of mourning.
Last week I couldn’t take it anymore and did something so simple I’m poking myself in the eye for not having done it sooner.
I made another candle out of my old candle.
I told you about one of my favourite scented candles, the Illume Woodfire scented candle. I burned through that sucker in a week and when I was done there was a ton of wax left in the bottom and around the sides of it.
So I dug out some wicks and a votive holder from my craft cupboard and made a new candle in about 4 minutes. And you can too my luxury candle buying friend.
How to turn one luxury candle into two.
- Leftover scented luxury candle.
- Old can.
- Scrape out the old wax from your candle and put it in a tin can. An old coffee can, vegetable can … anything like that. Make sure it’s clean and leakproof. If your candle came in a can you just have to scrape down the sides.
2. Place the can in an old pot and fill it with a couple of inches of water. Place it on the stove over low heat to melt. ONLY use low heat otherwise you could burn off the scent you love so much. Plus high heat is dangerous with wax around.
3. While your wax is melting hot glue your wick base to the bottom of another candle container. When you’re buying the wicks make sure you get the right size and type for whatever kind of wax and container you have.
4. Remove the can of melted wax from the pot of hot water once it’s melted.
5. Pour the wax into the prepared container and let it cool for 8 hours before burning. Trim wick to 1/8th of an inch.
NOTE: I light my candle wick, let it burn for a minute or so, blow it out and then trim the wick to 1/8th of an inch.
If your wick is tippy, stretch a rubber band around the jar on either side of the wick to hold it steady. You can also use a couple of pencils, or in this case a skewer.
I realize this looks like a lot of steps, and there’s instructions and a multitude of photographs, but seriously, you melt a candle and pour it into a new container. That’s it. Don’t be so lazy. It’s way better to be cheap.
I’d love to stay and talk but my new best friend is waiting for me in the other room.