Posts tagged "wax"

What can I reuse or recycle as moulds for making new crayons from old ones?

We asked about stuff to reuse/recycle as homemade soup moulds not too long ago but Danell has messaged with a variation on that theme:

I want to melt old crayon stubs together to make new crayons for kids. I know I could use old muffin tins or ice cube trays, neither of which I have, but I was wanting them in a little more interesting shapes. I’ve seen them made in candy molds, but again, I don’t have any. Any ideas?

A lot of the soup mould ideas we had resulted in practical rather than interesting shapes – but I’m sure there are interesting shaped potential moulds out there too :) I’d look to kid-related packaging – sweet (candy) packaging or toy packaging which is formed plastic around a shape. With Easter coming up, there might be a few egg or bunny shapes floating around for reuse.

Another idea might be to make your own moulds: I suspect Danell doesn’t have all the time in the world for carving intricate shapes but — and this is a complete I-have-no-knowledge-about-this suggestion — could they be made from something like salt dough? Could you make a sheet of salt dough in a baking tray and press fun shapes into it – again toys or magnetic letters – then varnish it to use as a mould? Please feel free to correct me if that wouldn’t work!

One thing to remember – there needs to be a balance between interesting shapes and usability. I’ve seen some new crayons made in star shaped moulds but I imagine the pointy bits would hurt small hands and be a bit awkward to hold too.

Any other ideas? What have you used for interesting shaped moulds — whether for crayons, soap or sweets? Have you made your own moulds from anything in particular?

How can I reuse or recycle wax-lined paper cups?

waxed-cupWe’ve had an email from Brennan:

After a quick search on Recycle This, I noticed nothing popped up for paper-wax cups that are popular at fast food restaurants or 7-11 stores.

I was wondering if you had any recommendations on how to recycle or reuse these cups since local curb side programs refuse to collect them due to the wax lining inside.

Yes, we’ve covered plastic cups, sippy cups and even cardboard cup sleeves but not those oh so common waxed paper cups – it’s funny the things I forget about sometimes :)

There is, of course, a big argument for avoiding getting them in the first place but sometimes it’s pretty much unavoidable – so what can be done with them?

I know regular waxed paper can be used to lubricate things around the home, lightly protect wooden surfaces and help prevent rust/grime on garden tools etc – I wonder if the wax coating on cups is waxy/transferable enough for that… Anyone know?

How can I reuse or recycle old crayons?

CrayonsOn a random old post, Kinna asked:

how can I use old crayons?

On another random old post, I mentioned a great tutorial I found to melt down old stubs of crayons into fun shapes and someone else mentioned using wax crayons along with old candles to do encaustic painting.

If the crayons are still like new, just, say, an undesirable colour, you could follow in the footsteps of Herb Williams and use them for sculptures: I linked to his work on Things To Do Today a couple of months ago – very cool stuff.

Any other ideas for crayons and the annoying stubs of nearly used-up crayons?

(Photo by itshears)

How can I reuse or recycle wax from cheese?

Wax coated cheeseWe’ve had an email from Natalie:

We’ve been buying little cheese from our local farmers’ market which are covered in wax like Edam or Babybell, except they’re all different colours.

Can we use the wax to make candles?

I’ve never made candles so I’m not 100% sure but my research (reading Wikipedia) tells me that cheese wax is typically paraffin wax and that can be used for candle making (although some people prefer to avoid it…)

Apparently it can also be used for sealing jars, bottles and the like so that might be an option if you make your own preserves or pickles.

Anyone else know anything more about making it into candles? And what about other reuses?

How can I reuse or recycle paraffin candles without making them into other candles?

candle250.jpgWe covered candles and their wax about a year ago but Chris Petescia has emailled with a more specific query about paraffin-based candles:

I understand that they are not good to burn for health and environmental reasons, and have switched to beeswax and soy. However, I have a decent stock of what MAY be paraffin candles (they do not say what they are made from). I don’t want to give them/sell them to anyone, because I don’t want anyone else to have the negative elements affect them in any way. IS there any use for them? I’d hate to just trash them…

On the other post, Rene makes a possible suggestion about making them into wax pucks for skateboarders and the like – but anyone else got any other non-candle related suggestions for Chris?

(Photo by jilted)