No-Mess Candle Making

Filed under: Recycling — Savvy Housekeeper at 7:08 am on Wednesday, November 12, 2014

I went to Target the other day with the intention of buying some candles. I was surprised to discover new candles were so expensive–$5-$15, depending on size.

On the other hand, I’ve been thinking about making my own candles for awhile now. In fact, I just so happened to have several used candles lying around, with enough wax to recycle into a new candle.

What stopped me? The mess.

I’m notorious for getting candle wax all over the place, so trying to make candles sounded like an experiment in ruining my kitchen.

Then I realized that all I had to do was melt the wax in something I could throw out afterward. I decided to use a milk jug.

I cut the milk jug in half, cleaned it with soap, then melted the wax by floating it in a pot of simmering water. Next, I poured the melted wax into the tin and let it set. Voila! A brand new candle that cost me nothing to make.

Not one drop of wax spilled.

NO-MESS CANDLE MAKING

Equipment:

    Tin
    Old Candles
    Embroidery Floss
    Paperclip
    Milk Jug
    Pot
    Plastic Fork
    Paper Towel Or Newspaper
    Scissors
    Magnet Or Clothespin

Directions:

Gather your old candles.

Make the wick. I used cotton embroidery floss, but you could use any kind of cotton string. I took three pieces of floss, tied them to a paperclip, and braided them. When it was done, it looked like this:

Clean out the milk jug with soap and cut it in half so you have a plastic tub to hold the wax. Put the old candles inside the jug.

Fill a pot with water and float the jug in it. Turn the heat on medium, bring the water to a bare simmer, and let the wax slowly melt. It takes about 10 minutes.

When the wax begins to run, dip the wick in the wax so that it is thoroughly coated. Fish the wick out with the plastic fork and lay on a paper towel or newspaper to dry.

When the wax is completely melted, it’s time to make the candle. Set the wick in the middle of the tin. I secured it in place by putting a magnet on the underside of the tin. Alternately, you can secure the wick to a clothespin or stick and lay it across the tin, as the below image demonstrates:

Now it’s time to make the candle. Remove the jug from the water, and carefully pour in the hot wax. I used the plastic fork to keep the old wicks from the other candles from pouring into my new candle.

Let the candle sit undisturbed for 24 hours until the wax has set up. Trim the wick with scissors. Enjoy your new candle.

How To Make A Rag Rug

Filed under: Recycling — Savvy Housekeeper at 6:39 am on Sunday, November 2, 2014


[New England Quilter]

I’m considering making a rag rug. The idea is that you use strips of fabric to make a rug. I’ve never made one before, but it seems like a cool project and a great way to re-use old (read: baby) clothes.

There are all kinds of ways to make a rag rug. They can be made with a loom, a sewing machine, braided, crocheted, knotted, and so on. After some research, I’ve narrowed it down to a few techniques:

1. Braided.


[Home Things Past]

There are two types of braided rugs. In one, fabric strips are braided together until it forms a rug, usually a large oval or circle. Here is a tutorial.

Alternately, you can braid the fabric in one long rope and then sew it together as a rug, like so:

This last method is a lot of work, but it also gives you leeway for manipulating the rug to look the way you want.

2. Crochet.


[Debs Crochet]

You use a crochet hook to crochet the rug. This video shows how:

I’m not very good at crocheting, but this method seems to yield consistently attractive rugs.

3. Knitted.


[Mandy Gerth]

This technique uses knitting needles. It seems to work well for square or rectangular rugs. Here’s more on knitted rag rugs.

4. Loomed.


[Old and Interesting]

As you might expect, you use a loom to make the rug. Most commercial rag rugs are made with looms. But as I don’t have a loom, I’m probably not going to go this route.

5. Woven.

The fabric is criss-crossed the same way thread is woven to make fabric. Usually these rugs are rectangular or square and have tassels at the end. Here’s a tutorial.

6. Latch Hook.

With latch-hook rugs, the cloth is cut into 1 X 5 inch rectangles and knotted onto a non-skid rug mat, like so:

According to this site, “for a thicker rug, knot along every line or knot along every other line for a thinner mat.” (Reminds me of these t-shirt rugs.)

Have you ever made a rag rug? Tell me about it.

Turning Old Sewing Machines Into Furniture

Filed under: Recycling — Savvy Housekeeper at 7:39 am on Tuesday, October 14, 2014

RecyclArt has a round-up of examples of people Turning An Old Sewing Machine Into Furniture. I see these old machines in thrift stores all the time, and there is something captivating and lovely about them. So why not turn them into furniture?

Like this:

And this:

And this:

See the rest here.

Great Gift: Cookies In A Can

Filed under: Recycling — Savvy Housekeeper at 7:48 am on Monday, July 28, 2014

Here’s an inexpensive, but cool, gift idea: homemade cookies in a revamped Pringles can.

I don’t speak French, but it looks like Marcia Tack cleaned out the can and covered it with paper and decorative tape. Then she filled it with cookies.

It looks quite chic.

Just make sure that Pringles can is clean. You don’t want your recipient eating Pringles-flavored cookies.

Refashioning Thrift Store Clothes

Filed under: Recycling — Savvy Housekeeper at 7:55 am on Monday, July 14, 2014

Check out Refashionista, a blog where Jillian takes ugly thrift store clothes and turns them into new outfits.

She even shows how she does it.

So far, she’s done about 700 new outfits from thrift store clothes. She even donates some of them to charity. Where not everything is my taste, some of her “refashions” are pretty cute.

I love it when people take ugly things and make them into something new.

5 Ways To Recycle A Dresser

Filed under: Recycling — Savvy Housekeeper at 7:57 am on Friday, July 11, 2014

Turn It Into A Desk

Or A TV Console

Hide The Printer In It.

Or The Cat Box.

Last But Not Least, Use It As A Bird Aviary.

Make A Reading Lamp Out Of A Water Jug

Filed under: Recycling — Savvy Housekeeper at 7:30 am on Tuesday, June 24, 2014

I am very curious to see if this works.

Supposedly, if you slap a headlight onto a jug of water, it illuminates the water and makes a reading lamp/lantern for your tent when you’re camping.

Seems plausible. Has anyone tried this?

Old DVD Mosaic

Filed under: Recycling — Savvy Housekeeper at 7:39 am on Friday, May 23, 2014

This is the best use of old CDs or DVDs I’ve ever seen: break them up and use them to make a mosaic. This would make a great gift.

3 Recycled Yard Projects

Filed under: Recycling — Savvy Housekeeper at 7:40 am on Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Here are 3 Recycled Yard Projects I found around the web:

Got an old trampoline no one is using anymore? Turn it into a hammock.

Hoses tend to break a lot. Why not turn it into a rug for the workshop or garage?

Or try this: use an old PVC pipe as an ingenious chicken feeder.

From Grocery Bag To Easter Basket

Filed under: Recycling — Savvy Housekeeper at 7:45 am on Wednesday, April 16, 2014

I was looking at Easter baskets and thinking how I just don’t need one more useless thing hanging around my house that I will have to store or donate or throw out.

That’s why I like this tutorial on how to make a basket from a grocery bag. It looks like a little bit of work, but the end result is pretty–plus, it can be recycled when you’re done.

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