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Recycled Candle Jars


I had a bunch of good candles where the wicks had refused to stay lit, so it was time to make some recycled candles. A local restaurant gave me one of their large cans (those really big ones we sometimes see in groceries). After cleaning and flattening the top, just enough to make a "spout", this became my "candle catch-all". I tossed in my candles, wicks and all, including the leftovers from the little tea candles. Those emptied tea candle holders became the "anchors" for my new candles. To make the anchors, poke a small hole (careful, it's only aluminum foil and punctures easily), in the tealight "cup", pull some wick through the hole, far enough for your purposes, then flatten the little holder all around the wick. I did purchase wick at a local hobby store; be sure to read the details about how each size should be used, mine cost $2.49 for 18 feet.

Cut the wick to the length you need. My new candle holders are glass jars from jam, mustard, etc., cleaned and labels removed (WD-40 is great for removing glue residue). They must be sturdy enough to hold melted wax - no fragile glass here. I heat the candle "stew" enough to liquefy the wax, though it is not necessary to heat to an extremely high degree. After positioning my anchor, I pour the melted wax into the jar (have newspaper all around to catch any little drips). Looping the extra wick over a pencil, centered over the jar, will stabilize the wick until the candle is set.

Candle center will tend to need to be filled in as candle cools. I made some last evening, and they are burning well this morning.

By vbart from Columbus, IN


By Robyn Fed 394 1,240 11/02/2010 Flag

I love this! I saw a small shot glass sized candle when I was at the bank had paint on it in the form of a flower and there was a little wick in it and everything. I am going to buy some slightly larger shot glasses at the dollar general and fill them with wax at our antique store downtown who will fill containers with wax for a certain price, and I am considering making these for presents too for Christmas time. I always wondered how much candle wicks were, I never see them in the craft isle at Wal-mart.

Thank you for posting this and inspiring me!

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Archive: Craft Project: Recycled Candle Jars

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Save your candle stumps!

Here is an easy craft project to reuse the leftover wax from burned out candles. We use candles as secondary heat when the room is cold. They are also useful when the power is out. I find ugly/distorted candles at yard sales for free or next to nothing, at the dollar store or purchased with doubled coupons. Here are the directions for making the thriftiest candles!


  • Wax from burned out candles
  • Candle wick (you will need to buy this at local craft store)
  • Metal clip, salvaged from burned out candles (holds the wick in place)
  • Pliers (to get new wick in clip)
  • Scissors (to cut wick)
  • Large glass jar and saucepan OR double boiler for wax
  • Empty glass candle cups (you can use any glass, just be sure it is wide enough that open flame has enough room)
  • Pencil, pen or stick
  • Spoon/wax ladle
  • Old potholders/washcloths


  1. Get your wax gathered and break into smaller pieces (the smaller, the faster they melt) and removing the metal clip and any remainder wick or charred bits. Remember if you can't get the stump out of the holder: put it in the freezer for a bit and it should pop out relatively easy. If you must use a knife, be REALLY careful, using gentle pushes with dull knife.
  2. Boil water in your saucepan (make sure the jar will fit and not float) or double boiler. When it begins to boil turn heat to low-medium.
  3. You can now begin to add wax. As it melts add more, until the desired amount of wax is melted.
  4. While wax is melting, you need to prepare for the pouring: First take metal clip and open with pliers.
  5. Thread metal clip with candle wicking, pinch it shut again (tip: dip end in melting wax to make a "needle" to thread through hole). You should still have plenty of excess wick hanging off, do not cut yet.
  6. Hang your clip/wick in the candle jar to see what length you will need. Tie around a pencil at this length. Test the length: drop wick in again leaving the pencil to lay on top. Wick should be straight, not too loose or short. Once the correct length is found, you can clip access.
  7. Ladle a small amount of wax in candle jar. Take another pencil and press the metal clip into the fresh wax, being sure to center the clip. Once set, you are ready to pour!
  8. Be sure NOT to nudge the pencil (that wick hangs from)once you start to pour, this could remove it from base and lead to an uneven wick causing all kinds of problems. So POUR! Fill your candle jars up, being careful not to spill.
  9. Set aside to cool. Enjoy cheap heat!

By Starchild in VT


RE: Craft Project: Recycled Candle Jars

That's a very good idea. Thanks for sharing, good luck. (03/26/2009)

By kffrmw88

RE: Craft Project: Recycled Candle Jars

I've been making these for years too! It's amazing how much wax is left over from a candle once it has burned out. I use old jelly jars and such to pour the wax into. One note though--paraffin is extremely flamable, so be very careful. (03/27/2009)

By susanmajp

RE: Craft Project: Recycled Candle Jars

I use wax potpourri tarts. You could probably use the used cooled wax from them for your candles too. (03/27/2009)

By shana8577

RE: Craft Project: Recycled Candle Jars

I use an old crockpot to throw candle stubs etc into, then when I get enough, I just turn it on and let it melt. I have used to make other candles and also dip pinecones into it a couple of times. I use the pinecones to start fires either in my fireplace or at campground. The wax cones are pretty sitting in a basket by the fireplace in winter time. (03/27/2009)

By seachelle