Thursday, February 7, 2013

Making New Candles From Old Candles

As far as I'm concerned, Yankee Candles have no competition. No other affordable candles are so fragrant, with such great smells. I hate to toss large candles that have burned down to the bottom, but still have enough wax for a few more hours of burn time. So I needed to do something about my growing collection of mostly-empty candle jars. Naturally, I took to Pinterest, and found a layered candle tutorial with basic instructions. If you also want to try this, here's what I did!

candlemaking (1)

candlemaking (3)

You will need:
Old candles with compatible fragrances (use your own judgment)
Candle wicking, and metal wick clamps if needed (available at Hobby Lobby and other craft stores)
A pencil or something to hold up the wick
A new container for the new candle

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. The water should be around the level of the wax, but obviously, not high enough to overflow the candle jar. When the water is boiling, place a jar into the pot. Start with the one that has the most wax in it (I didn't think about this ahead of time). Leave it in the boiling water until the wax has fully melted inside the jar. Your time will vary, but it probably won't take more than five minutes. It's safe to do this - as long as your jar started at room temperature, it will not explode in the pot. I looked it up!

Meanwhile, prepare your new candle jar. It should be smaller than the existing one. I used a small canning jar that I already had. Cut off a length of candle wick and fasten one end to the metal wick clamp. Tie the other end of the wick to the pencil (or whatever you're using). Place the pencil across the mouth of the jar so the wick is roughly in the middle, and the wick bottom is hitting or near the bottom of the jar. It doesn't have to be perfect.

candlemaking (2)

Once your wax has melted, carefully remove the jar from the pot (use oven mitts!) and pour the melted wax into the new container. Try to keep the wick in the middle. The wax will cool while your next candle remnant is melting. The tutorial said it would be set by the time the next one had melted, but I wish I'd waited a little longer, because the final product was a little sunken in the middle. Place your next old candle in the pot, and repeat the process until your new candle container is full! Then trim the wick to your desired length. If you have pets, a pet nail clipper is perfect for this job.

candlemaking (4)

I highly recommend this reuse project. It's SO easy to do, and you can enjoy your good candles for a little longer!


  1. I was doing something similar this weekend too! After my brother's rehearsal dinner I snagged all of the candles from the table. They are small about a 4oz canning jar, but there is wax left in them. They are all the same scent, so I removed the wick and clip from the bottom, which was easy once there wasn't any wax around it and microwaved it just enough to melt the wax (probably risky) and poured it into another candle.

    They are all the same scent so it wasn't a big deal. This is a great idea for when they are all different scents.

  2. This is a great idea! Maybe I'll do it sometime--thanks for the tutorial!