Frugal or Tight-Wad--You be the Judge!!

Home Stager with Ready 2 Stage

I have always been taught to be frugal and not wasteful--my kids call me "tight-wad!"  For a while now, I have been stashing away the small bits of old candles that didn't completely burn--thinking that I would use them to make more candles.  I finally got to do ti!

I gathered all my supplies--most found at Hobby Lobby.  Wicking, metal wick holders and vanilla scent (one of my favorites) along with a metal coffee percolator--minus the inside--for melting the waxes.

Not quite sure exactly how to do it, but I was determined to give it a try.

Step 1   I first chopped the wax up into smaller pieces--@ 1 inch--and placed them in the metal container.  I used all the white/light colors together to produce a purer color.  I then set the metal container inside a sauce pan with @ 2 inches of water in it.  I turned the heat to low/medium.

Step 2   I prepared all those previously used glass candle jars. (To easily remove old wax from glass containers--just put them in the freezer for a few minutes--it will pop right out.)  After a thorough washing I placed a piece of wick--left long enough to wrap around a pencil into the small metal tab and squeezed it closed with a pair ofMelting Wax pliers.

Step 3   Use a hot glue gun to attach the metal tab onto the bottom of the candle container.  Wrap the wick around a pencil--keeping it tight-- and lay the pencil across the top of the candle container.

Step 4  When the wax is completely melted, add your favorite scent and stir.  Pour the hot wax into the candle jars, filling to your desired level--and it's easy as that!

**Do not remove the pencil until the wax is completely hardened!  I removed mine too early and it caused a well to form in the middle of the candle.**

Step 5  Remove pencil and trim wick to 1/4 inch.

I am pleased with my first attempt at candle-making and my conscience tells me:  "Way to be frugal--TIGHT-WAD!!" 

If there are some things that I missed or tips that I should know, please let me know for my future candle-making experiences!!Candle-making supplies          

                                                         ***DON'T FORGET TO PROTECT YOUR HANDS AND COUNTERTOP FROM HOT WAX!!***

Prepared candle jars      Finished product


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Home Staging Resource



Ready 2 Stage Home Staging & Redesign serves all of Southeast Tennessee

Lori Donegan--Founder & Owner

Crystal Clarey--Staging Assistant

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Lori & Crystal

Comments (24)

Leanne Zumbrunnen
Z Touch Design Services - Lenexa, KS

Hey Lori, I have saved leftover candle wax to do the exact same thing as you.  I was going to buy the molds so I could make some large pillars.  Maybe that's why I have been putting it off for so long.  Glad to see that yours turned out so well.

Feb 17, 2010 04:08 AM
Lori Donegan
Ready 2 Stage - Cleveland, TN

Bill--Thanks for your encouragement.  We need to take care of this earth, so our grands can enjoy it!

Leanne--I should try making some using molds also, because I am always needing pillar candles for staging.  Thanks for your comment and I hope your candle-making adventure is successful.

Feb 17, 2010 06:28 AM
Cathy Lee
CL Design Services Home Staging - Danville, CA

WOW_I am always so impressed when I get on AR! You did a great job!! Very green too!

Feb 17, 2010 04:46 PM
Lori Donegan
Ready 2 Stage - Cleveland, TN

Cathy--Thank You!  I'm trying to save the earth single-handedly!! ha

Feb 18, 2010 02:20 AM
Ginger Foust
Certified Staging Professional - Oakhurst, CA
Home Stager Oakhurst CA, Dream Interior Redesign & Staging

Lori, thrifty for sure!  I recently did the same.  Got all of the old wax out of those candle jars and ended up with 7 new jars.  The colors and scents are "interesting" AND I don't have to buy new jars for quite some time.  GREAT MINDS you know!!! 

The remaining empty jars will be used in kitchen stagings, probably with noodles inside.  Thanks for sharing. 

Feb 18, 2010 02:59 AM
Janice Ankrett
Burlington, ON
Staging Professional

Your post took me back in time! I remember my mother making her own Christmas candles. She frosted the outsides to look like snow and put them on the mantel. She made a round one that looked like a snowball for a table centerpiece. Good memories!

Feb 18, 2010 05:42 AM
Debra Valentine
Designing Details ~ Staging & Design, LLC - Bountiful, UT
Utah Home Staging for, Bountiful, Salt Lake & Surrounding Areas

Another creative, budget friendly idea Lori. The turned out perfect!

Feb 18, 2010 09:18 AM
Lori Donegan
Ready 2 Stage - Cleveland, TN

Ginger--It's rewarding to use up every bit of something, isn't it?  That's the thrifty side of me coming out! ha  Can't imagine just tossing out those things to end up in the landfill!  Uggh!  Thanks for your comment.

Janice--That sounds like a great idea too.  What did she use for the "frosting?"  That would make an interesting blog as well.  Thanks for your comment.

Debra--Thanks for your comment and give it a try--it's really easy!

Feb 19, 2010 02:42 AM
Janice Ankrett
Burlington, ON
Staging Professional

Lori she whipped the wax into sort of a meringue.

Feb 19, 2010 10:44 AM
Lori Donegan
Ready 2 Stage - Cleveland, TN

Thanks Janice!  I will have to check that out!

Feb 20, 2010 01:24 AM
Deena Cottingham
GreenApple Staging & Images, Calgary Staging & Photography - Calgary, AB
Home Stager & Photographer

A rose by any other name would smell as sweet!

I don't think it much matters what you call it, the results speak for themselves.

Feb 20, 2010 12:44 PM
Sandi Gerrard
Toronto, ON

I would just say "creative" and "practical".  Good for you !  I could never imagine myself doing such a thing - not because I'm wasteful, it just seems like it would take up a lot of time.

Feb 21, 2010 02:30 AM
Lori Donegan
Ready 2 Stage - Cleveland, TN

Deena--Thanks for your comment!  I am enjoying the "sweet" smelling rewards!

Sandi--The candle project was not terribly time consuming.  It did help to fill a cold snowy/rainy afternoon.  Thanks for your comment.

Feb 21, 2010 10:14 AM
Sheila Kennedy
J29 Project - Rochester, NY

I love it when you share your creative ideas with us.  Frugal or not - I appreciate that you use what you have to make beautiful things!  Great job and thank you for sharing!

Feb 22, 2010 10:37 PM
Debby Langford
Altitude Designs Home Staging of Colorado - Glenwood Springs, CO
Garfield-Western Slope Home Stager

We make alot of homemade frugal things,my girls love to spend time doing art. Most things turn out wonderfull and best of all we get to spend time together being creative. My first Christmas with their dad before they were born we made homemade candles and he used stair ballisters for the candleholders. He had a woodworking shop(we met by him crafting custom furniture for my clients) so he taught me how to run the lathe and we worked on the project together. Everyone in both our families loved them and I still see them in family homes after 16 years.

Thanks for sharing!


Feb 26, 2010 09:47 AM
Lori Donegan
Ready 2 Stage - Cleveland, TN

Sheila--Thank you for your continued encouragement.  We must meet up and be creative together!

Debby--That sounds fantastic!  Working together to create something beautiful can definitely create some lasting bonds.  Thanks for your comment.

Feb 26, 2010 11:16 AM
Annie Pinsker-Brown
Stage to Sell - LA Home Staging - Los Angeles, CA
Stage to Sell, Los Angeles Home Stager

I am SO impressed! I never in a million years would've gone to the trouble, and yet you came out at the end with a great new set of accessories. Awesome example of eco-friendly recycling. :)

Mar 12, 2010 09:42 AM
Lori Donegan
Ready 2 Stage - Cleveland, TN

Thanks Annie!  I appreciate your comments.  Love to burn candles, so this helps keep the cost of that in check!

Mar 13, 2010 06:40 AM
Leanne Allen
Center Stage, LLC - Burlington, IA

Very clever, Lori.  And the finished products look brand new.  No longer will I toss out those not-quite-used-up candles - thanks!

Jul 28, 2010 02:26 PM
Lori Donegan
Ready 2 Stage - Cleveland, TN

Leanne--thanks for your comment.  Since I have begun recycling more things, I find it almost painful to actually throw something away that could possibly be recycled.  I appreciate you stopping by!

Jul 28, 2010 02:52 PM