Our Nova Scotia weather has delayed the planting of my flower bulbs this Spring, and I have been anxious to start gardening. It is no secret that I have a small obsession with Foxhound Collection candles, and since I had accumulated 33 empty candle jars in my closet, I thought it might be a good time to reuse them somehow. Bulb forcing in water and stones seemed to be the most logical use for the empty jars given that it would be easy to clean out the leftover soy wax, and then I wouldn’t be behind in my planting because the bulbs will have already been started, and then I can pop them in the ground once things warm up.
I am a huge believer in wasting little or nothing whenever possible. I was able to make use of the leftover wax, by melting it and poring it into a silicone mold that I had laying around (it was a Christmas tree mold, but given our recent snowfall, it seemed an okay move). I then popped the hardened wax out of the mold, and made little mini soy body bars that I can store in a cool place and use as a hand and body moisturizer.
I often use the wax from a burning candle anyway to give my hands some added moisture and cuticle protection. It rubs right in like coconut oil would, but lasts a little longer because of the natural wax properties.
Here is how I went about the task:
- I opened all of the empty jars and grouped them by scent, with LAVENDER + LINEN and PATCHOULI + MINT being the prominent jars (those are my favourite after all), then I popped out all of the metal wick circles out of each of them with a beer bottle opener (its all I could find that was small enough, and it had a bent metal edge that made it good to dig under the metal circle and wedge it out). I also picked out any left over burned wick so that it wouldn’t be hardened into my body bars ( you can’t get it all out, but when you pour the wax into the mold, these usually fall to the bottom, then can be scraped off the top of the hardened body bar once you pop them out). FUN FACT – if you trim your candle wick before each new light, then you can minimize the accumulation of the burned wick remnants, it also prevents the rim of your candle from getting black and full of soot;
- Once I had all of the metal circles and burned wick pieces out of the bottoms, I put them in the microwave (6 jars at a time) for 3 minutes, just enough to melt the wax, but not burn it (I still wanted the nice smell from the oils to remain so it would be nice in the body bars);
- I used a dish towel to remove each jar one at a time. I would peel off the label off of the front, and the warning label off the bottom (these come off really easy when the jars are warm), and I poured the melted wax into the silicone mold, then wiped out anything remaining with a piece of paper towel. I did one at a time, I found it easier to get all the wax out this way;
- Once all the jars were emptied and wiped, I filled each jar with aquarium stones that I bought at the pet store, and I had 6 left over, so I put a little bit of stones at the bottom of each and then filled with dirt, so that I could start some pretty lavender plants (my favourite);
- I had Lily of the Valley and Gladioli bulbs in my gardening box, so I used those. I placed each bulb on top of the stones, and gently pushed any roots down into the stones, then filled the jars with water 2/3rds of the way up, and out them in a sunny warm place (my front room with East and South East facing windows);
- Once the wax in the mold had hardened, I popped the little bars out, and now have them in a mason jars in my bathroom, under the sink to use after the shower, and under the kitchen sink to use after washing dishes.
I will keep an eye on the bulbs to make sure the water levels stay at 2/3rds, then plant everything in a month or so. I took some photos along the way to help visualize everything (which posed itself a difficult task at times), but my hands have never been so soft from all the wax yesterday.
Email me if you have any questions.