We try to be very careful about fire and flames in our house, but we’ve still always been avid candle burners. The scent and the lovely glow cast by the little flame is just so comforting! Burning them a lot, however, means we often have leftover candle bits, pieces of wax, and jars or tea light holders that aren’t usable anymore at first glance. Instead of throwing them out, however, we’ve started saving them and wondering whether we might repurpose or reuse them!
Just in case you’d like to make use of your old candles and candle holders in more eco friendly ways as well, here are 15 of the best ideas for making use of old candle jars and wax that we’ve come across in our search so far.
1. New candle from old candle pieces
One of the simplest ways to reuse what’s left of your old candles is to, in short, just make new candles! Of course, we’d urge you to be very careful any time you’re working with heat or melting things in your DIY process, but luckily for all of us, WikiHow is here to show you how to combine the pieces of old candle to give yourself a whole one again.
2. Old candle ends into layered candles
Did you know that there are ways to combine your old candles in slightly more interesting visual manners than just making a solid, singularly coloured candle like the one you saw above? Of course, that’s nice too, but sometimes it’s fun to shake things up a big. Do It and How shows you how to melt and hand pour the wax from your old candles one at a time in layers to create a colour fade.
3. Cleaned and refilled coffee bean candle jars
If you’ve got a stash of those little tea light jars lying around from small candles you’ve already burned, then you have almost everything you need to make a new, different kind of tea light display! You could just fill the glass cups with wax again, or you could do what Ms. Taylor Elyse did and fill them with fragrant coffee beans, nestling a metal encase tea light right on top.
4. DIY block candles
Circular or jarred candles aren’t the only kinds you can make when it comes to harvesting and combining your old candles’ wax ends! If you’re up for a slightly bigger challenge, try doing some shaped candle making, just like Sparkles in The Everyday did here to make these fantastic square shaped block candles. It’s easier to do than it looks!
5. Re-jarred stripe candles
Instead of just making solid or ombre effect candles when you melt and re-pour the old wax you have, would you rather make distinctive stripes on purpose? Then we have a feeling you’re going to get along very well indeed with this fantastic (and rather simple) tutorial outlined step by step on Sandpaper and Glue! This project takes a little more time and patience, but it’s worth it.
6. Letter wax from old candles
In addition to being a DIY lover, are you a big fan of old fashioned and vintage things? Then you just might be the perfect person to give these fantastic DIY letter sealing wax sticks a try! Bob Vila shows you step by step how to make them yourself from a candle wick and wax end harvested from your old candles.
7. Seashell tea light candles
What if you’d like to use every last little bit of wax you have up but, after a couple of projects, you only have a very small amount left? Then making yourself a couple new miniature tea light candles might be the best way to go! Check out how Yes Missy did just that but gave them a pretty seaside twist by pouring the wax into a seashell to make their candles.
8. DIY Easter egg candles
We know Easter time isn’t here quite yet, but we’re the kind of eager crafters who like to find crafts surrounding all kinds of holidays and themes, no matter the time of year, and bookmark them until we need them so we have them later when the time comes! That’s what we did with these super fun little Easter egg shaped candles that Happy Happy Nester made from leftover wax and candle ends.
9. Re-moulded and re-wicked candles
What if the candles you have to work with actually have quite a bit of their own wax left but the wick has broken down too low to burn or the shape of the candle has deteriorated badly enough that you don’t think it’s safe to light anymore? In that case, we think you’ll really enjoy the way The Gardening Cook outlines the process of reshaping and re-wicking their candles so they’re just like new and ready to be burned again.
10. Grubby candles
Have you found yourself very interested indeed in the ideas that involve hand pouring the old wax but you can’t help wondering whether you might use that as an opportunity to create new textures because of how quickly wax dries, rather than just created smooth candles poured into jars? Then we’re convinced you’d get along much better with a tutorial like this one from Eyeballs By Day, Crafts By Night that shows you how to pour melted wax in deliberately messy and textured layers to make grubby candles.
11. Jar lanterns from old candles
Rather than simply refilling and reusing the jars that your old candles used to burn in, would you rather upcycle them a little bit in a way that’s slightly more crafty or gives them a new style and function? Then we’d definitely suggest taking a look at how Howcast used simple crafting wire to add handles and transformed their jars into little lanterns before filling them!
12. Scented wax melts from old candles
Believe it or not, candles aren’t actually the only thing you can make for scent and burning when it comes to upcycling your old candle wax! StefyTalks guides you step by step through the process of making pleasantly scented wax melts instead, which you can find adorable novelty burners to use with at most stores. Thanks to your favourite essential oils, they let off a subtle, nice smell as they melt.
13. Candle wax on stubborn wooden drawers
Maybe you’ve got a bit of excess candle wax that isn’t enough to make anything fancy with but you’d still like to put it to good use if you can? Then here’s a strategy for using it to help yourself out around the house instead! Check out how Almanac used dried candle wax rubbed along the edges of wooden drawers to make them a lot easier to open and close and also reduce squealing.
14. Acorn top tea light candles
Did we catch your attention when we started talking about the idea of making miniature novelty tea light candles in small things like the seashells, but you’re not sure the actual shells themselves are really up your alley? Then perhaps you’ll get along better with this slightly more woodsy idea from Hew & Sew! They show you how to make tea light candles from the tops of dried acorns.
15. Bottle cap candles
If you’re going to make miniature novelty tea light candles, would you rather make some that are even smaller or possibly a form of upcycling something besides just the candle wax instead? Then we think you’ll get a real kick out of the way Craftaholics Anonymous made these adorable bottle cap candles! These particular ones are made with colourful melted crayon wax, but you can easily follow the same instructions just using your leftover candle wax from previously burned candles instead.