What to Do with Old Candle Jars: Crafts and More
You’ve burned every last drop of wax of that dreamy, scented candle — now what? If you’re a serious candle-lover like me, there’s a pretty good chance you’ve got a growing pile of these empty candle jars lying around the house. Often, they’re made with sturdy, interesting or colored glass, maybe even in a unique shape, so it feels like a shame to throw them away. Luckily, we can help you figure out what to do with old glass candle jars so you can preserve them and display them in beautiful new ways!
To Reuse or Recycle?
If you don’t feel like you have any good use for your stash of empty candle jars, you can certainly just recycle them, as long as your recycling program accepts glass items. If you’ve got a little bit of creative spirit and some DIY know-how, though, we say go the repurposing route and transform them into something special!
How to Clean Out Candle Jars
Before you do anything with your old candle jars, make sure that every last drop of the good stuff is melted away and you’re left with a clean vessel for crafting.
The simplest way to clean out old candle jars is to gently pour hot water over the jar until the excess wax melts away.
This method works best with wide-mouth candles. Place your spent candle on a protective surface, like a dish towel or a potholder. Boil enough water to fill the candle jar, then pour into the container, leaving an inch of space at the top. The water will melt the candle wax, causing it to float to the surface of the container. Let cool completely before removing the wax. Strain the water and remaining candle bits, and avoid getting wax in the sink drain.
Another strategy for getting leftover wax out of a candle jar is to let the jar soak. Put in a drain stopper and fill your sink with warm water. Remove the lid, if it has one, and let the open candle jar sit in the sink for 30 minutes. The warm water will release the wax at the bottom of the container and make it easy to pull out. Keep in mind that this method will likely remove the label on the jar.
Mable O. Essentials Tip: Be sure that all wax remnants are out of the sink before releasing the drain stopper, as wax will clog a drain.
Many people also swear by the freezing method. All you have to do is stick your old candle jars in the freezer for a few hours and then use a butter knife or another strong tool to pop out the old, hardened wax. Don’t forget to remove any old wick or metal pieces from inside the jar before you start crafting.
Fun Uses for Candle Jars:
Turn Them Into Vases for Centerpieces — An ideal choice for taller glass candles without lids is to turn them into vessels to house your pretty, seasonal centerpieces.
Turn them Into Miniature Planters — Old candle jars can make excellent new homes for greenery whether you’re planting an indoor herb garden or an elaborate, live centerpiece. You can get extra crafty by drilling small holes in the bottom to allow water to pass through.
Turn Them Into Desktop Lights — With solar-powered LEDs, you can basically turn any vessel into a sweet, light-up desk display, night light or decoration. String a few self-contained, LED twinkle lights in your jar for a dazzling light show.
Use Them as Storage Containers — Nothing serves as a more fitting and useful storage container than an empty candle with a lid. In fact, our large jar candles are among the very best candles-turned-storage-containers out there! Use them for literally anything — craft stuff, pet treats, cotton balls, makeup brushes, whatever.
Make Them Into New Candles — Nothing compares to the heavenly scent of a long-burning candle that’s been expertly mixed for your enjoyment, but you may appreciate the craft of making your own candles too. Repurposing your old jars gives you a convenient place to pour your fun new scents.
Create Your Own Apothecaries — Body scrubs, creams, balms, you name it. Mix it up and package it in your small, empty candle jars and you’ve got yourself a pro-looking apothecary worthy of praise! These little mixes make perfect small gifts and favors for parties, weddings and showers too.
Turn Them Into Pen/Pencil Organizers — Empty candle jars make excellent pen and pencil holders. Just place it on your desk and fill with your favorite writing utensils.
Turn Them Into Toiletry Organizers —Quickly organize it and make it look really officials by designating a jar for cotton swabs, one for cotton pads or cotton balls and one for your manicuring items like scissors, nail clippers and tweezers.