Friday, December 13, 2013

DIY How To -- Mason Jar Candles from Recycled Candle Wax

Let's be honest. Candles are not cheap, and often times, you run out of wick before you run out of wax. Sure, you can use a candle warmer, but those can get a bit pricey. I absolutely love my Leaves candle from Bath & Body Works, and I feel a bit cheated every time I run out of wick prior to running out of the amazingly scented wax.

Mason jar candles are a cheap and easy solution!

For this project, you will need the following supplies:

  • Any candle that you want to salvage
  • A mason jar
  • Candle wicks with attached anchor
  • A pot deep enough to hold the entire candle

When I did this project, I used an 16 oz mason jar and 3.5 inch candle wicks, both purchased at my local Michael's. Mason jars can be found in many different stores -- anywhere from the grocery store to Walmart. However, Michael's was the only place where I could find single mason jars, for about $1.50. Candle wicks can be found at your local arts and crafts store, and I only paid $3 for my set of 12. As you can see in the photo, I already have some wax in the jar. I had two Leaves candles that I wanted to combine to create another candle. If you are only trying to salvage one candle, I would suggest using a 4 or 8 oz jar instead. 

Now that you know what you need, let's get started!

First thing's first. Fill up your pot about halfway with water, then place it on the stove on high heat. You will need to wait for the water to begin to boil. 

While you wait for the water to boil, take a strong knife and begin cracking the wax in your used candle. I would suggest sticking the knife directly into the wax and twisting. It doesn't have to be perfect. The cracks will just allow the heat to penetrate the wax more quickly.

Once your water is boiling, carefully place your candle into the water, and turn down your stove to medium heat. This will keep the water from boiling over. You may be wondering, "Why don't you just microwave the candle?" Well here is my answer! Candle wicks have a metallic anchor that is attached to the glass, in order to keep the wick in place. Because of this metallic anchor, the microwave will begin to spark. In extreme cases, your microwave can explode, but regardless, it's a dangerous thing to play with, and you may end up simply breaking your microwave. 

As your candle sits in the boiling water, it will begin to look a little bit like this:

See that melting? At this point, bring your stove to low heat, and then you can gently stick your knife back into the wax to start breaking it up again. This will speed up the melting process. The great thing about this method is that the boiling water will not only melt the wax, but also the glue that holds the wicks into the jar and the glue on the labels, making clean-up significantly easier. 

Once your wax is completely melted, turn off your stove, and use an oven mitt or thick towel and carefully remove the jar from the water. I cannot stress enough how important it is to be careful and protected! You can easily burn yourself, so please, be cautious. After you remove the candle from the water, slowly pour the melted wax into your mason jar. 

From here, you can place in your wick. There is no real method to how to place your wick, just adjust until you are happy with its placement! Make sure that the anchor is flat before you put the wick into the wax, otherwise you will not have a steady base for the wick as it burns. 

If you would like to recycle the jars your candles originally came in, take the same knife we used earlier and scrape the wick anchor from the bottom of the candle jar. It should come off pretty easily, since it has been melted by the boiling water. The labels on the candle should also slide off easily. If you are left with any sticky residue, take a cotton ball and some tea tree oil, and the stickiness will come off almost immediately! From here, just wash out the jar and you now have some new small storage containers! These are great for storing things like cotton buds, cotton balls, lip balms, pens, rings, earrings, etc.

The quickest way to solidify your new candle is to let it set for ten minutes. After ten minutes, fill up a bowl with cool water, and place your candle into the water. You will notice the wax will begin to set almost instantly. Be careful when doing this, because if you place the warm glass into the cold water too quickly, it may cause the glass to shatter. When it's all set, it should look a bit like this!

Don't forget to cut the wick down so that it can properly burn the wax. I cut my wick down to about 1/4 of an inch. 

This is a super easy project that only takes about half an hour to do, and it's a great money saver. Bath & Body Works 3-Wick Candles normally go for $20 each, but recycling candles by using mason jars is a great way to save a candle, and save a buck! 

- d. 


  1. Awesome Candles with Beautiful Fragrance. I love these candles!!! and I am definitely a repeat customer of these seller.