For years I have been collecting those tiny bits of wax left over after burning a candle. When ever I go to someones house and see some they are about to throw out I ask if I can have it, then I take it home and put it in my "wax drawer". I even get them from freecycle on occasion. Every now and then, usually when it's gift giving season, I gather up all my wax bits, group them by similar colors and scents, then melt them down and make brand new candles. It's really easy, fun, cheap, and they make great usable gifts. You can even tell your friends/family to return the containers so you can refill them and make more candles.
To get started you will need:
*Lots of candle wax bits
*Wicks (easily found at craft stores, get the ones with a thin wire running down the middle)
*Metal or glass melting dish (anything you don't mind dedicating just to melting wax, a spout or squared edge helps for pouring)
*Small glass, ceramic, or metal containers to hold the candles (small mason jars, votive holders, juice/tea cups, etc.)
*Metal, plastic, or wood skewer to hold the wick in place
-Put all your wax bits in your melting dish and heat over low heat till everything has melted and is fully liquid. It helps to have something you can stir the pieces around a bit with so they melt faster and the colors/scents blend together well.
Measure out and cut your wick to just a little longer than the container you will be using. Curve the end and wrap around the skewer centering in your candle container. Once the wax is melted pour in to your container, re-adjust the wick as it will shift around when you pour in the wax.
It should take an hour or two for the wax to fully cool and solidify depending on the size of the candle. Once the candle has cooled you will notice a dip in the middle. To fix this simply melt down any left over wax you have in your melting dish and re-pour a thin layer on the top of your candle. When it cools it should look just like a normal store bought candle.
Don't let any of that wax go to waste, once these candles are done save whats left over and start the whole process over again. Your friends will think you are amazing, everyone loves handmade gifts.