A trio of glass candle jars in different sizes. Sourced from NI Candle Supplies

7 Ways to Repurpose Glass Candle Jars

6 mins read

There's a bittersweet moment that every candle lover knows all too well: reaching the end of your favourite scented candle. Whether it's one you've picked up from your favourite store or lovingly crafted by hand, watching the final glow of the wick can be a little sad (especially if you’re candle-obsessed, like us). 

But before you toss that empty candle jar into the recycling bin, consider this: our world is already cluttered with too much waste, and every little step towards upcycling can make a significant difference. 

Upcycling isn't just a trend; it's a conscious choice to reduce our footprint and give old items new life. Those glass candle jars, with a bit of creativity, can find a second purpose in your home or workspace. For eco-savvy customers who cringe at the thought of adding more to landfills, upcycling candle jars is a fantastic way to align your lifestyle with your values. 

Candle brand owners, take note: sharing these upcycling tips can be a great addition to your marketing content. Not only does it show your commitment to sustainability, but it also provides added value to your customers. They'll appreciate the tips on giving their beloved candle jars a new lease on life, reinforcing the idea that your brand cares about cultivating a sustainable, creative community. 

We’re sharing seven creative ideas to reuse your used candle jars, but first, check out our cleaning tips.

How to clean used glass candle jars

A candle that has melted all the way down, leaving just a bit of wax at the bottom. Sourced from <span data-mce-fragment="1"><a href="https://www.wikihow.com/Clean-a-Candle-Jar" data-mce-fragment="1" data-mce-href="https://www.wikihow.com/Clean-a-Candle-Jar">wikiHow</a></span>.

Before getting stuck into the fun part of upcycling, you’ll want a clean slate––literally. No one's keen on reusing candle jars with old wax and a layer of soot. Let's get those jars looking brand new with two simple methods: the freezer trick and the hot water hustle.

The freezer method

Step 1: Chill out

Pop your candle jar in the freezer and leave it there for a few hours. The cold makes the wax contract and harden, which means it'll be way easier to remove. It's like giving the wax a little cold shoulder so it knows it's time to part ways with your jar.

Step 2: Wax out

After a few hours, take the jar out and use a butter knife or spoon to gently nudge the wax. It should pop out easily now. If it's being stubborn, a little more freezer time might be needed. Patience is key – treat it like coaxing a sleepy cat off your lap.

Step 3: Wipe away

With the wax out, there might be some residue or soot left. A good old wipe with a paper towel or a soft cloth should do the trick. If it's still looking a bit grimy, a dab of rubbing alcohol can help get rid of those last stubborn bits.

Step 4: Label off

Now for the sticky bit––removing the label. If it’s peeling off easily, great! If not, soak the jar in warm, soapy water for a while. This should help loosen the adhesive. Any remaining residue can be gently scrubbed off with a mixture of baking soda and cooking oil. It's like giving your jar a final touch-up before its makeover.

Hot Water Method

Step 1: Boil and pour

Start by boiling water (careful now, no burns!). Pour the hot water into the jar, leaving some space at the top. The heat will soften the wax, which will then float to the surface. It’s like giving your jar a mini spa treatment.

Step 2: Cool down and remove wax

Let the water cool and the wax harden on the surface. Once it’s cooled, you can remove the wax layer. It’s kind of satisfying, like peeling glue off your fingers in school.

Step 3: Final clean

Empty the jar and wash it with soapy water. A sponge or brush will help get rid of any final wax or soot marks. Rinse it well, and voilà––the inside of your jar is ready.

Step 4: Farewell to labels

Labels can be pesky, but warm, soapy water is usually a good persuasion tactic. Soak the jar to loosen the label. For any stubborn sticky bits, a mixture of baking soda and oil can work wonders. 

All spick and span? Now, let’s put those candle jars to good use!

7 ways to repurpose your candle jars

Jo Malone candle vessels, repurposed as bathroom storage to hold cotton pads. Sourced from <span data-mce-fragment="1"><a href="https://www.realhomes.com/design/how-to-reuse-a-candle-jar" data-mce-fragment="1" data-mce-href="https://www.realhomes.com/design/how-to-reuse-a-candle-jar">Real Homes</a></span>.

In a world where reducing waste is more important than ever, finding new uses for old items isn't just clever, it's crucial. Those glass candle jars you love so much? They're not just containers for wax; they're vessels of potential waiting to be unleashed. Whether you're eco-conscious or just love a good DIY project, repurposing candle jars is a creative and environmentally friendly way to reduce waste. 

Here are some of the ways you can breathe new life into your glass candle jars:

Make a new candle

Yes, it’s the obvious choice for candle enthusiasts, but it’s a classic for a reason. Your old candle jar is the perfect vessel for a new, homemade candle. It’s a chance to experiment with new scents or wax types. Plus, it’s satisfying to see a once-loved jar come back to life with a flickering flame. Simply rinse and repeat.

Grow your plants

Turn medium-sized candle jars into tiny terrariums or homes for small plants. They’re just the right size for succulents or herbs. Not only do they add a touch of greenery to your space, but they also create a mini ecosystem. It’s a stylish way to bring a bit of nature indoors and save some money on pricey plant pots.

Store makeup brushes

Candle jars make chic and practical holders for makeup brushes or any other slender beauty tools. They keep your vanity organised and add a touch of elegance. Plus, you can customize them to match your décor––a little paint or some decorative ribbon can go a long way.

Desk organisation

Launching a candle business? You'll need a well-organised desk. Repurposed candle jars are great for holding small items like paperclips, rubber bands, or even business cards. They help keep your workspace neat and tidy, ensuring everything you need is within arm’s reach and beautifully displayed.

Bathroom organisation

Smaller candle jars feel like they were also made for storing round cotton pads and buds. Utilise these jars to Marie Kondo your bathroom, creating a neat, joy-sparking space. They not only organise your essentials but the transparent look also adds a touch of minimalist elegance to your bathroom shelves or counters.

DIY body scrub

Wanting to expand your crafting repertoire? Transform a candle jar into a container for your homemade body scrub. Who knows, it could be something you add to your market stall one day? Simply mix your favourite natural ingredients like sugar, coconut oil, and essential oils, then store in the jar for a chic, eco-friendly bathroom accessory––perfect for keeping your skin smooth and conscience clear.

Christmas snow globe

While we all love Christmas candles, we can use the candle jars in other festive ways, such as a magical snow globe! Simply glue a miniature tree or festive figure to the inside of the lid, add some fake snow, and turn it upside down. If you’re trying to visualise it, check out ideas on Pinterest for inspiration.

From old jars to new crafty beginnings

Upcycling your old candle jars is a practical step towards a more eco-friendly crafting practice. It’s about making the most of what you have, and when you start with jars from NI Candle Supplies, you’re beginning with quality that lasts. Once their candle life ends, they're ideal for your next upcycling project. 

Browse our selection of durable, high-quality jars, designed to be a part of your crafting journey from the first pour to their eventual repurposing.

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