Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Reclaim Scented Candle Warming Wax for Layered Candles or Fire Starters

My sister in law gave me a mason jar warmer, and I use scented wax tarts or votives in it.  After a week or so (if I am using it regularly) the scent is faint and it is time to dump it and get a new one.  I always feel bad wasting and I have come up with 2 uses for the wax!

Layered Jar Candles & Fire Starters

Both of these make use of other recycled materials.  

Layered Jar Candle


  • melted wax, from your warmer
  • smallish glass jar from the recycle bin, mine is a small jelly jar
  • candle wick, I try to use at least one votive in the warmer, and I save the wick.  You can also take a piece of 100% cotton string and dip it in the melted wax to make a wick, 
  • paper clip, if you are not re-using the votive wick with the metal piece at the bottom, this will be used as a little weight at the bottom of your wick to keep it from floating up.
  • thread
  • pencil
  • paper bag on work surface in case of spills
  • scrap of cloth, optional
  • decorative string, optional
Tie the end of the thread to the top of the candle wick ( put the paper clip on the end of the wick if there is not a metal piece there already), then place the wick in the jar.  cut the thread off about 3-4 inches above the rim of the jar.  Place the pencil across the top of the jar and tie the thread to it such that the wick stays upright without lifting off of the bottom of the jar.

You are now ready to pour the used wax into the jar.  I tuck my jar in side of a kitchen cabinet while awaiting the next layer of wax.  Continue to layer until there is only bout a 1/4" wick exposed. Now cut off the thread, if you would like to gift it cover it with a scrap of cloth and tie a string around it.
Finished Product

 Fire Starters

Fire Starter in progress


  • melted wax, from your warmer
  • paper type egg carton from the recycle bin
  • paper,grab non-glossy from recycle bin, best is more paper egg carton 
  • Dryer lint works great if youve been drying cotton materials, otherwise paper is fine
  • paper bag on work surface in case of spills
Rip the lid off of the egg carton, tear it up into smallish bits and place them in the bottom sections of the egg carton.  Use another egg carton, dryer lint, newspaper or whatever to fill all the sections.  Now you are ready to add the melted wax.  I have started the first two sections above. It will take several cycles of warmer melts to fill them all, so I will leave it in the cabinet in between.

To use simply break apart the sections once filled with wax.  Place them under your little wood bundle and light the egg carton with a match. It will catch easily and stay lit long enough to catch your tinder burning.

Reclaim: Paint and Repair Yakima Car Top Box

A little Paint goes a long ways!

We had been "going to" put struts in our Yakima box for about 5 years to hold it open.  Well it was windy at the mountain last week and its difficult to hold yourself up there whole holding box top up and putting skis in....the wind grabbed the lid and a hinge broke :(
Before: tried everything to remove paint

We have another, larger box that had a crack in the back and Loads of paint all over it.  But it has hinges! So here is the repair tutorial! We started by trying everything to remove the paint.  The magic sponges helped, but could not get into the depths of the textured surface and left a smooth haziness anyways.  Also tried citrus based paint remover, that was not happening either, and the chemical based were not so nice to plastic.

1. Fix crack
2. Make it appear passable
Warning: you need a lot of space and ventilation to use spray paint inside.

Crack: epoxy has been applied and sanded ready for paint

To fix the crack  I am going to use loctite epoxy.  This is a 2 part epoxy for use on plastic, a lot of epoxy doesn't work, even when it says that it will.

Before using the epoxy sand the area and use a degreaser to clean it. I sanded and cleans the whole exterior of the box because it needs to be done for the painting part.

With this epoxy I only waited about two hours to paint.  Now you can see the crack will still be visible if you're looking for it. If I cared, I would wait until tomorrow for the first epoxy to fully cure and then use a 2 part epoxy putty.  I would put this putty over the edges of the crack, wait ANOTHER day, and then I could sand it smooth so the crack would not show.  But as this will be high up on my van, and I want this huge box out of my house, and I want to be skiing, I am just going for decent and water tight.

If you want to keep your Logos you will need to tape over them.  we chose to keep them, they were in good shape, and did not want to have to worry about covering them.  Cutting nice scquare edges on the masking tape made it appear that we had applied Logo stickers!  I suggest using blue painting masking tape and remove as soon as you have finished painting!!  This will give crisp edges.  I was too lazy to go to my sewing room for the blue painters tape and used regular masking tape.  You cannot really notice in the pictures, but a few flecks of the Logo paint were removed with the tape, so just grab a roll at the dollar store.

So now on to painting. I hate VOCs but love spray. The family is freezing right now, as we have all the Windows open.

I used the paint shown below, and it has a primer in it.  I prefer it separate, but I just want this done. Time will tell how it holds up. On the whole I have been very happy with Rustoleum's claims, so charged ahead.

I did a couple thin coats with the first can all the way around twice. Then waited 15 minutes, and put on a few more coats.  One can would have done it off it weren't for that bright paint, so I did about 6 light coats with 2 cans of paint.

I really enjoyed using this paint.  I had one complaint, one out of the two cans and an issue with having a dribble build up as I was spraying.  When it first happened i was above the box and it dripped onto the box, 3  spray layers later I could still see the drip marks.  In this case I am fine with it, I am not looking for perfection, but there are times that would have really irked me.  And i really didn't need to sport black paint on my fingers.

I will let it cure for another day and  then it goes on the van!!!!

Monday, February 17, 2014

Add Your Own Thumb Holes Tutorial

I bought my girls some extra long sleeved sweaters. They are super soft and stretchy, they are brightly colored and also have some sequins!  The only way that I can make this any better is to add some thumb holes.  They will take this from a great sweater to a sweater that they will reach for as often as I will let them reach for it.

I pinned a piece of scrap tear-away stabilizer to the inside of the sleeve where i wanted the thumb hole  so that it would feed nicely on the feed dogs, and not get pulled down into the machine.  I then set my machine to sew a button hole that was 28mm long (this is for a child, and i find this hole to be a little snug.   I actually did a few test runs on a piece of scrap fleece to get an idea of the size).

I had to hold open the sleeve, as in the picture below, in order to put it on the sewing machine.

 After the button hole is sewn it is opened with a seam ripper.

 Kids are asleep so I  am modeling

This will work on any shirt with long enough sleeves!!! 
I long sleeve t-shirt or a sweatshirt or knit sweater.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

One Thing Everyday! Thread Organization Today

I am going to try something new.  I am going to try do  one thing everyday.  Something that is not an everyday thing.  This could be a new organizing project, Or moving something out of the house, or even going out and doing something with the kids that we don't frequently do.  Anything that changes up my day and improves our lives.  Very broad, shouldn't get bored with this any time soon LOL!  I will try to post here especially with tutorials on projects.  Today's is actually a project that started yesterday, that was interrupted by an important family matter (so i guess that was yesterdays thing, although I will not blog about that ;)

Thread Organization : Hanging Thread Racks Using Monkey Hooks!

I found these racks on sale at Joann Fabrics.  I had them standing on the table surface behind my machine, but could only fit 2, I need at least four for all of the thread.  Also they leaned up against the wall and were taking off the paint.  Frustratingly they would sometimes get bumped off.  

Solution, hang them on the wall.   It frees the work surface and doubles storage!  I could even triple it, but this is all I need for now.  Though I may add two more for my serger thread a later date.

The racks do not come with a way to hang them.  I have one other rack that is for the smaller thread spools.  that one i was able to hang using 3M velcro strips!  It has been up for a couple of years.  This thread is heavy though.  so i first mounted picture hangers on the thread racks.  i used tape to hold it in place while hammering in nails

Note the placement of the hanger mount, one 35# hook is sufficient so I am placing one in the middle on the surface that will be vertical when the rack is on the wall.  I might consider using 2 mounts one on each side if there is any issue with that top wooden bar of the thread rack torquing.  I will edit this post if that occurs, but i think that this will be fine, and lead to fewer holes in the wall.  The hooks I am using are the Monkey Hooks, also called Incredible Hooks, and a few other things, you can buy all over the place.

After determining where you want to place the rack,  use a stud sensor that senses electrical to determine if there is electrical in the wall there.  You may have to move it if there is (if you are mounting light weight thread use the Velcro option) .  Then use a finish nail with a similar diameter to the hook and pound it in.  If there is a stud there, simply finish pounding in the nail and hang the rack on it, chances are there will not be a stud there though, so pull out the nail, and put your monkey hook in the hole!  Voila hang your Thread rack and arrange colors in a pleasing manner!