Jars for Things

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In addition to the cigar boxes, I had this idea of on-display storage for most of my Pet Shop items. With the studio housing white furniture and soft pink walls, my color-loving heart wanted my crafty supplies on display in clear vases, jars and the like, using the built-in shelves as the backdrop. Between my product packaging (shades of blue-green and goldenrod like our logo) and ready made art prints, I have plenty of color to show for.

Over time, we’ve stashed “dead” candles in our cupboards, saving the ones with the prettiest jars to use later. (For a vase, I would tell Scott. We have the cabinet space, I argue; this is an obvious lie.) To save pennies on the numerous clear vessels I have in mind, we finally have a use for them – upcycle the jars for on-display studio storage.

While in California, I asked Kalli for tips on how to get the hardened wax out, and she suggested placing the jars in boiling water, then scooping out the wax. A quick Google search confirmed her simple instructions, and I pulled up even more tips from Wikihow. Thinking that pouring or scooping out the hot wax could be messy (and handling the hot jars with oven mitts could get complicated), I opted to try Wiki tip #2: Pour boiling water into the jar.

The red candle is soy, and it immediately began to liquify. Very lava lamp-esque:

For the others, the boiling water allowed the wax to soften without separating, and I was able to gently lift the wax loose with a butter knife. It floated to the top, I cut it in two and easily pulled the halves out.

Now, here’s where I got ahead of myself.

If there’s one thing you take from this post, remember this: If you get the wax out before the water has completely cooled, do not pour the hot water down the drain. Stupidly, I did this. The water still had melted wax in it (although in my defense, it was clear, and I was excited), and it was no different than pouring warm, liquid wax right down the drain. I proceeded to spend the next 15 minutes scraping the mess before Scott found me, alternating my scrapes with hot water clean up.

There is no photo proof, as I had out-stunned myself. Sometimes I don’t know about me.

If you wait for the water to cool completely (as Wikihow instructs; I could not outsmart the Wiki, oh no), you can then pop all the cold wax out, dump the cold water and wash the jar in warm, soapy water – and be done.

After my initial mistake, I refilled the jars with hot water again and started over. Then I did exactly as the Wiki told me to. I actually let the water cool overnight, and the next morning, the wax floated to the top and hardened. At this point, you can cut it in two, and, well, look at that!

Tip: if there are still remnants of wax on the sides of the jar, warm water, a soapy brillo pad and patience helped me to dislodge the last stubborn bits.

Do you do this with your candle jars? (Clean them, I mean. Not the pouring-water+wax-down-the-drain thing.) What methods have you used? Scott insisted on saving the leftover wax to create a mega candle (yes, Scott insisted), and when I resisted, he made a hefty promise to make the candle himself. A man full of surprises, I say.

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