How to Re-purpose Old Candle Jars

The fact that we are a throw-away society drives me crazy. Everything feels like it is good for one use, then in the trash it goes! If you think of the amount of things we throw in the garbage on a daily basis, it actually is quite overwhelming.

Well, in my quest to live a more environmentally conscious life, one item that was bothering me recently were one use candle jars. I love candles. I like to relax and unwind by candlelight just like all the other basic chicks out there. However, it was coming to my attention how wasteful these beautiful candles we spend so much money on really are.

Just think about it. You pick up a nice glass candle from a boutique candle store for $30. You throw out the bag you carried it in, the tissue paper, receipt, and packaging. You take it home, burn it 15 times, then into the trash it goes as you run out of wick and wax. I think a lot of people simply toss them out with the wax in the bottom, and into the landfill they go.

The $3 bin at Target is one of my main places of offense with one-use candles. They have these absolutely adorable, seasonally appropriate in color and scent glass votive candles that I had been grabbing by the handful over the past few months. As you would guess with their price tag, they didn’t burn all that long, and I was faced with the decision to either scrap them or purpose them. They sat in a stack in my pantry for a few months, and I continued to accumulate more candle holders burnt down to wasted wax in the bottom. Staring at the waste finally bothered me enough that I decided to do something about it!

candle jar repurpose before
The before picture – a batch of glass candle holders waiting for wax to melt in their water bath. I had enough to do this 3 times! 

I re-purposed a stack of them, and now have a beautiful set of candle holders… not just one-use candle jars. I have stacks of other glass and ceramic candle jars sitting in my craft closet waiting for this to be done. Some I think will become a vase or holder for a little succulent… others I will transform back into multi-use candle holders just like this one!

Candle holder repurpose
One of my Target $3 one-use glass votives coming out of the water bath nice and clean
how to re use candle jars
My candle jars burning new votives. I have almost a dozen more in different colors for all the seasons that I can now use again! Glad I took on this easy project.

Here are the easy steps to re-purposing old candle jars:

Assemble supplies: tea kettle, large baking pan with at least 2 inches of depth, toothpicks, damp paper towel, and a pot holder

Step 1 – Boil water
Step 2 – Pour about an inch and a half to two inches of water into your pan
Step 3 – Place your glass candle jars in the hot water bath. Let sit for about 5
Step 4 – Remove the glass candle carefully (use the pot holder if too hot), and
use the toothpick to pry the wax out. Use the paper towel to wipe down
any extra melted wax.
Step 5 – Fill with a new wick and wax, or a tea light and use again!

I hope this post inspires you to think more on the one-use candle jars in your house, and what you can do to re-use them once they have burnt down.

Happy green living everyone!

X.O. – Abbey Co.

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