Last week-end arts and crafts activities… candle-making!
Candles never burn entirely, except for tea lights, so I kept all left overs and melted them again* to produce this layered homemade candle!
You can buy a wick from any craft shop, I attach it to the bottom of the jar with a little bit of sticky tape and at the top attach to a crayon or pencil which you rest across (so the wick stays nicely upright). Pour in the hot (liquid) wax, wait for it to cool and set then repeat. If you are feeling arty, lean the jar onto one side as you pour the wax, let it set, then lean it onto another side for the next layer, so you get a nice wavy effect. If you’re really creative, you can come up with all sorts of shapes…
Great if you have leftovers from fragranced candles, so each layer of your candle will smell differently as it burns. They usually also come in a very nice shaped jar, which you can keep and reuse for your own candle 🙂
* melting method, put the solid wax in a heat-proof bowl or other recipient, and then put it in a pan of boiling water. Like what you would do to melt chocolate.
With my beloved announcing a couple of days ago that he would be making a woodburning stove for the winter (I love a fire!), it didn’t take me long to start collecting all sorts of paper and cardboxes, whatever was destined to either the fire or the recycling bin.
I should probably mention that the end result will still be the same, burning all that paper material, however not the way you might think. This gathering phase precedes a processing phase.
So with my biomass material, scissors and a suitable bucket, outside I sat under the beautiful sunset.
The poetry kind of stopped there, I have to say the whole shredding process got slightly boring after 10 minutes. The bits of paper half way up the bucket are somewhat much larger than the ones at the bottom! For this reason, I will probably leave it to soak for a good ten days. If you have the luxury of working in an office (yes I did just say that) that has a shredder, you have no excuse whatsoever to not try this.
Otherwise, any type of paper/cardboard that you would have otherwise burnt would do, from scrap paper, to envelops (there are some window envelops in that batch, which may be best removed (the windows, keep the paper bit of the enbvelop) as not ideal to burn), junkmail (not the glossy type ones), cardboxes, letters from the Revenue (joke!), newspapers…
In hindsight, and once I have done my first batch to see if it really works (which I do not doubt, but rather try small and add afterwards, than having too much on your plate for no result), I will operate a two-bucket system whereby when one is soaking, the other will be used to gather the paper, which will be manually shredded when thrown in. That way you can save yourself a good hour of shredding (depending on how much material you have) and all you have to do is add the water, when you feel like it/the previous batch is about to run out. Which makes the availability of briquettes pretty much on demand.
I will also stir the content of the bucket a lot (everytime I walk past more or less), to help the breaking of the fibers.
As for the pressing process, I have thought of another way instead of a chaulk gun, which not everybody may own.
I’ll trial that, and will post the results, with a couple of updates probably in between.
For the moment, it’s only been soaking for less than 24 hours, it’s still looking very papery and not very sludgy 🙂
But I am very excited about the end results, fingers crossed it’ll work!!