8 Hour Mini Recycled Survival Candles in 10 Steps!





Introduction: 8 Hour Mini Recycled Survival Candles in 10 Steps!

About: Woodworker, Photographer, Camper, Hiker, Canoeist, Hunter, Gardener, Bee Keeper and general outdoorsman. I enjoy teaching myself new things and learning from others.

8 Hour Mini Recycled Survival Candles

This Instructable will show you how to make 8 hour survival candles out of everyday items. These candles can be made for next to nothing, bring light in dark times, and bring warmth to you and your family when survival situation takes place. Just follow the following steps and you will become hooked on recycled survival candle making!

1. Find, pick up, ask for used candles:
Used Candles are found all over the place, from your own home to friends family and even businesses. Just ask for them most people are looking to get rid of them or have no use for an old candle. Their loss your gain!

2. You will need to buy wicks: I found the most cost effective way was from buying them from a certain online retailer that rhymes with Blamazon dot som.

3. Find yourself some glass jars: I used baby food jars but I have also experimented with mason jars for larger longer lasting recycled candles.

4. Break up those candles!:First you have break something down before you can make it into something useful again. I used a chisel and hammer to break up all the used candles into easier to use/melt pieces. Be sure to take out old wicks and metal sinkers out of old candles while you are breaking them up.

5. Start boiling that water:Fill a pan about 3/4 the way full of water and bring it to a boil. Then fill a mason jar with pieces of broken candle to weigh it down. If you don't do this step your mason jar could tip over due to the boiling water rising around it and making it unstable and causing it to break or splash hot water all over you, and ending your fun candle making afternoon on a bad note.

6. Get a stir stick!: I cut a piece of wooden rod to use as my stir stick. It works great for moving pieces around and stirring the hot wax. Once again be careful not to mix to quickly or force a piece to move inside the mason jar this may result in the jar falling over and you losing your knuckle hair due to hot wax, trust me.

7. Carefully Add Wax as you go: Keep adding wax to your mason jar until it is the melted wax reaches the 3/4 of the way full mark. keep cooking in the boiling water until completely melted.

8. Stick Wicks into jars:Be sure to fasten a toothpick to one end of the wick to keep it straight inside the jar during pouring of the hot wax and cooling of the wax as well.

9. You guessed it, pour the hot wax!:Pour all the wax into as many of the small containers as you can. Double check the wicks and make sure they are straight, then refill the mason jar with pieces of broken wax until full and set back into boiling water.

10. Check mini survival candles: Once cool check the candles, you may notice that the wax has made a "crater" in the jar. That happens because the wax takes up less space once it solidifies and because the outside of the jar is becomes cooler faster that tends to be where the wax holds it position first. Easy remedy is to add more wax into crater until full.

That's it your done! feel free to mix and match candles types and smells. Enjoy feeling secure that even if the power goes out you will always have a heat and light source that you can rely on!



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    For wicks use 'party cake candles' people often have spares as they buy a pack of ten and only use the number for the birthday
    Also if you use 'stiffish' plastic sheet rolled round to make a tube held together by 2 or 3 elastic bands as a mould when the wax has cooled down the plastic can be took off and the crater in the top can then be cut away with a hot knife.
    The plastic sheet 2L bottles are a good source just cut bigger piece than needed

    Been doing this for years with baby food bottles and left over/garage sale candles. As you state, I have also found that the wick needs to be in the center of the candle, all the way up, or it will burn unevenly. Nice job.

    1 reply

    Thank you very much! I was hoping to win the "be preparred contest" but to no avail. o well until next time!

    Thanx for the reminder... I have lots of "old" candles around and they would even be nicer in baby food jars! Your article is about something so necessary in times - well, like NY and east coast are having... but so simple to do, that it shows most survival preps do not have to be costly!

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    People lots of normal prepping stuff does not need to come from some kind of expensive "survival store" most of the "stuff" is already available at your finger tips!

    Thank you for the post!

    What a great idea and so clearly set out. Thanks for the tip on the candles and to the other person who suggested the fire spindles as wicks. Will now start asking friends with toddlers to save their baby food jars and all to save any old candle bits.
    Am a great lover of ANY tips on recycling.

    1 reply

    If I have the metal wick-holders from tea-lights I reuse them with a little gum to hold them in place, if not just the gum (it makes little difference to how effective they are but the metal holders look better IMHO). You can just dangle the wicks as outlined above, but if they are secured at both ends you can keep them straight and in place easier.

    Also don't bother with buying wicks to use, I've found thin string works equally well, just make sure it hasn't been treated with fire retardant chemicals LOL

    1 reply

    Very true about the "fire retardant chemicals" part, I was too worried about not knowing what exactly was burning so thats why I settled with normal wicks.

    Also those metal bottoms work great with the smaller candles but if you go bigger I will pour about an inch of hot wax into each mason jar with the wick suspended in it. I do this just to get the wick secured in place once the rest of the wax melts on the stove.

    Thanks for the reply!

    Thanks redbadger. I have been thinking about making some candles and this sounds fairly easy. I was wondering if an easy alternative to adding more wax in the cooling depression would be to leave them sitting in the hot water until they finish cooling.

    1 reply

    You could I guess, but I didn't want to have to keep reheating the water again to make more candles. This way you only use one large Glass jar to fill up multiple smaller jars and keep the cycle going until you run out of wax or jars!

    Thanks for the input!!!

    Just had a thought as I posted my last comment..........would a screw work as a wick holder if using the traditional wicks? If anyone has tried this would appreciate knowing before I have a go once I've gathered enough candle bits and jars.


    this is a GREAT project to do with your kids! it's important to teach kids that there IS life without hydro.

    Put all the old candle wax pieces into an old teapot. Put the teapot into the oven after doing some baking, or on the dashboard of a sealed-up car on a hot day. You could also put it on the charcoal grill after cooking is done. This way you will not be paying for the energy used to melt the wax. All of the leftover wicks & sinkers usually stay in the teapot when pouring.

    This is also something fun to do at a campfire. Just be careful with that hot wax.

    I have found that I love the store bought candles with wooden wicks. One time, I had a candle soften on the stove and the wick fell in. I improvised by using one of those extra wide fireplace matches as a wick. It worked great!

    Simply put and good idea for old candles! Bravo

    It's a great way to use up leftover pieces of candle.