New Beauty from Old Candles

February 12th, 2013 posted by Amanda Formaro

rock craft bugs

Everyone loves the smell of an aromatic candle. They bring comfort during a relaxing soak in the bathtub, fill your living room with the scrumptious smell of baked pie, and are lovely on the porch on a warm summer’s evening. But what happens when the candle is too short to burn or the wick has disappeared, and you still have plenty of wax left over? Do you just throw it away? No! Here are a few ideas for making great use of that precious candle wax.

Make More Candles

You can recycle old candle wax and make new candles from it by melting them down. Here are a few methods you can try. Stovetop method – To melt a candle that is already in a glass container, simply place the glass container into a pot of water on your stove burner. Water should reach no more than halfway up the glass sides. Heat the glass container in the water over a medium flame until the wax is pourable. You may also remove the candle from it’s container and place the wax chips into an old coffee or tin can to be heated. Microwave method – Remove the metal wick base from the candle by carefully prying out with a butter or steak knife, be careful! Heat the wax in a microwave safe container on high power until softened. Times may vary depending on the amount of wax that you have, so heat in 30 second intervals until you get a feel for the amount of time needed. Electric frying pan method – Remove wax from its original holder and place in electric frying pan. Heat on 200-250 degrees watching constantly. Remove when wax is pourable.

Tips for Making Candles

  • Designate labeled containers or storage bags for your candle scraps. Store similar scents together and melt when you have enough to make another candle.
  • Use a birthday cake candle as the wick. Simply pour your melted wax a glass container, allow it to cool a bit, until tacky, be sure it’s not too warm. Insert the birthday cake candle down into the middle of the melted wax allow it to cool completely. Also a perfect way to recycle partially used birthday cake candles!
  • Molds for your new candles can be devised from several household items, just use your imagination. Some examples are small glass containers, plastic storage containers, empty glass jars, or even juice glasses or tea cups.
  • Create multicolored candles by melting different colors separately then pouring into molds or containers in layers.
  • Create a more uniform color by combining different colored candle scraps and melting them all together.
  • Create custom scents of your own by combining complimentary aromas. Vanilla will mix nicely with any fruit or spice scent, combine cinnamon and apple, or perhaps try lilac and a light herbal scent!
  • Candle wicks, in several different forms, can be purchased from your local craft store.

Other “Scent-Sible” Ideas

An alternative to creating new candles is to chop up your old candles and enjoy their scent as is. You can place your candle scraps in a decorative pot and enjoy their aroma for a long time to come. For a more decorative look, mix the scraps with potpourri and place in a pretty basket or bowl. Another option is to place a taper candle into a glass container, and pack the candle scraps around the base of the taper inside the glass. You can also melt the scraps as mentioned above and carefully pour the melted wax around the base of the taper. If you have a potpourri pot, this is a perfect way to get the most out of your used up candle with very little fuss. Place your candle scraps inside the pot and turn it on. There are also potpourri burners that use a small tea light candle under the pot. These work wonderfully as well.

Really Frugal

Create your own tea lights out of your larger leftover candles. Melt the wax according to the instructions above and pour carefully into empty, used tea light candle holders. Another very frugal alternative to tossing out old candles is to make your own firestarters for your fireplace or wood stove. To make firestarters you will need empty cardboard egg cartons, dryer lint and old candles. Tuck the dryer lint into the egg cups of an old egg carton. Drip candle wax over the tops of the dryer lint, enough to cover the lint. It does not have to be a thick layer, and it is not necessary to cover it completely. To use your firestarters, simply break off an egg cup or two, light, and put it in your fireplace. So the next time your candle wick burns down and you are considering the garbage can, think again!

Amanda Formaro
Amanda Formaro (345 Posts)

Amanda Formaro is a freelance writer, editor, craft designer, and recipe developer. She loves multi-tasking and has been writing and working on the Internet since 1997. You can find her at AmandaFormaro.com. You’ll find her craft projects at CraftsbyAmanda.com and her recipes on AmandasCookin.com.


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Cindy Rowe
Cindy Rowe (7 Posts)

Cindy Rowe is the owner/editor of Crazylou Creations blog. On the blog, you will find a little bit of crazy, and a whole lot of fun! As a FT working mother, she still finds time to create crafts, play around in the kitchen, plan parties and exercise. You'll find all of this and more on her blog!


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