Wednesday, May 22, 2013

From Candle Wax to Coconut Scrub!

     If you're a potential-craft-supply hoarder like me, you probably have one or two (or more. You don't have to lie, it's ok if you have like seven. I shan't judge you) of these sitting around.

     Yep, that's an old candle that I just couldn't get any more life out of. This is one of the medium sized candles from Bath and Body Works (the scent was Leaves, if you're curious) that I managed to make a right mess out of. What can I say, making a mess is one of my most finely honed skills. Since it was burned down to the point of uselessness, I figured it was time to do something with the jar. And obviously I wasn't just going to throw it away. No man, that ain't my style. I wanted to turn it into something shiny and pretty and fill it with something useful! I stared at the little jar for a bit, mulling over my options: too small for a pickled brain, too big for a collection of unwished-upon eyelashes. What's a girl to do? Then I remembered, "Wait, I'm not a witch and I don't have those things. Maybe I'll make a lip scrub!" Since fighting dry, chapped lips is far less labor-intensive than sorcery anyway, I did just that. Follow me, and I shall teach you how to re-vamp your old candles and turn your sad memories of nice-smelling things past into memories of nice-smelling things currently happening!

     Step one is to clean the wax out of the jar. There are lots of different methods for this: some people suggest putting the jar in the freezer, others suggest boiling or microwaving the jar. I started by using a butter knife to pry the wax away from the edges. That got the majority of it out, but left behind the small metal plate that holds the wick in place and all the messy wax around the upper walls of the jar. After a little soak in some soapy water, the glue holding the wick in place dissolved easily enough, and it could be lifted out with the butter knife. To get the last of the wax out, I used two simple ingredients: hot water and elbow grease. I just ran very hot water inside the jar and scrubbed the wax out with a steel wool pad once it had softened. The clear label on the front of the candle came off without a hassle, and the paper label on the bottom came off with soap and water. Leaving me with a nice clean slate!

     Now the fun begins! I decided to revisit the gold spray paint that I used to bring those bright orange sunglasses back from the land of Unwearables. Here's everything else you'll need.

     The tributes from District Garage were:  newly cleaned jar (I already painted the lid gold in this picture. Woops!), a scrap of lace long enough to wrap around the jar, stencil adhesive spray from approximately 1994 (a fine vintage, the age makes it extra sticky! Not really, you should probably use a newer can), spray paint in the color of your choosing, and optional clear coat for a protective finish. I always opt for a protective finish because I destroy the things I love.

     Painting the lid is really entirely optional. I painted mine because I knew I was going to use gold and didn't want the original silver of the lid to clash.

     I picked a piece of lace out of ye olde sewing supply stash and cut it to fit around the jar. If lace isn't really your jam, you could use any number of other masking/stenciling techniques: tape on some stripes, use star stickers, cut hole punch reinforcements in half and use them to make a scalloped edge! There are tons of possibilities. If you're using lace, or something that isn't already sticky, use stencil adhesive to adhere it to the jar. You really want stencil adhesive, not just spray adhesive, because stencil adhesive is designed to be repositionable, meaning you can pull it off when you're done. Spray adhesive? Not so much.

     Once you've got your lace -- or whatever design you choose! -- stuck on, you're ready to go! Spray the jar in quick, light strokes so you don't get any runs. You can always do a second coat if you're not getting the opacity you want; the stencil adhesive won't turn permanent on you or anything if you have to wait between coats.

     When it's good and dry, peel off your makeshift stencil to reveal your design!

     Woo, so pretty! I actually see little lion faces in the lace pattern, but then again I spend a lot of my time in clouds of spray paint fumes. 

     Now for the lip scrub to fill it with! You'll need...

     A container, coconut oil, brown sugar, honey, and flavorings of your choice. I opted for coconut extract (well, imitation coconut extract. My life is a lie!) to really take the coconut theme and run with it. It's a lip scrub, after all, you may as well be able to eat it. I like for my beauty products to also taste good on toast.

     Now the recipe for this is highly advanced, very skill-oriented complex chemistry type stuff. Not for the faint of heart. You ready? Can you handle it?

     Take some of each thing, and mix them together until it's a consistency and flavor you like. That's it. I can tell you you'll probably want the coconut oil and brown sugar to be about equal parts, and the honey is just to bind everything together. But mostly this comes down to spooning and stirring and cackling like a mad scientist while you experiment with the ratio. When you're happy with it, put it in the jar and refrigerate between uses. To use: slather all over you lips and rub them together like you're a cartoon old person missing their dentures.

     And you're done! 


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