Friday, March 29, 2013

Recycled Candle Jar

There is never a shortage of candles in this house and with this winter dragging on, they have been a welcome luxury. They help fight off some of the stagnant winter air until it warms up enough to open some windows. I've seen random pins on Pinterest about how to re-use old candle jars and never really paid much mind, but as we've been trying to eliminate as much processed foods as we can, we have been in need of more containers for staple items in our pantry.

My three year old has his own chocolate (thanks Grandma for THAT one). We try to limit him to a cup or two first thing in the morning and he now drinks his "chocky mogurt" (yeah, I have no clue either) while we drink out coffee. Nesquik and the like aren't all that expensive but they are chalked full of preservatives and additives. I can't recall the exact number of ingredients that they use but in our homemade version we use three, sometimes TWO depending on who is making it. We've been making a batch and storing it in a small mason jar and then it dawned on me as I was getting ready to throw out some old candle jars....they are PERFECT for hot chocolate mix!

So, impatient as I am, I decided to clean out the jar, without consulting the oracle (aka Pinterest) for any directions. I mean, it can't be THAT hard right? This is what I started with...Ew

Surprisingly, I was was cake. I put some water in a sauce pan, brought it to an easy boil and then dumped the wax into a receptacle (in my case it was a red solo cup and I was PRAYING that it wouldn't melt through. I didn't thankfully). Then, very carefully and with silicone oven mitts I wiped out the inside with a paper towel and waited for it to cool a bit. Once I was sure it was cool enough that it wouldn't crack when I immersed it in warm water, I scrubbed it out thoroughly with dish soap.

Then it was time to do a little etching. I had done this a few times for some gifts and used the same process as before. I gathered my supplies:
  •  The candle jar
  • Some letter stickers
  • A palette knife (a Popsicle stick would work just as well)
  • Masking Tape
  • Armor Etch, etching cream
  • Some rubber gloves

During the etching process:

The made over jar next to an old jar...what a difference:

The end result:

A fancy new "chocky mogurt" jar. While you are washing off the stickers, at first it looks like nothing is happening but after you get it all rinsed off and dried, the magic is revealed!

Now that you have a new jar, why not ditch the store bought chocolate mix and make your own? It's super easy and old requires 3 ingredients:
Sugar, salt and cocoa powder.

That's it. Seriously. Its two parts sugar to one part cocoa powder, and when I make it, I throw in a pinch of salt (but my hubby swears it makes no difference, so the salt is optional.). Blend well and use in place of commercial chocolate milk and hot cocoa mixes. It's cheaper and you don't have to worry about artificial additives. My three year old can't tell the difference. It is a little harder to blend into the milk but that's a small annoyance compared to the benefits of making it yourself.
 A couple words of warning: 

Please use caution when using the etching cream, as it is very caustic. Gloves are a MUST.
I wouldn't recommend using candle jars to store foods that remain air tight as I'm not sure how air tight the seal is, but in this case, I'm not concerned about the cocoa mix spoiling. Just please be careful when storing perishables.

No comments: