If you’re anything like us, you have at least one candle lit at all times. But what do you do with all of those beautiful vessels after you’ve burned the candle to the very end? Rather than throw away your favorite glass candle jar after it’s spent, transform it into a pretty accent piece or functional furnishing for your home.
To get it ready for repurposing, start by freezing the candleholder for at least two hours, and then use a spoon or butter knife to pop out the wax. Wash the vessel with warm soapy water to remove any remaining residue. If you’re hoping to preserve a pretty label, you can instead pour boiling water into the jar and let it sit until the wax melts and floats to the top. Once the water has cooled, you can remove the wax — but don’t pour it down the sink, since that could clog your drain. Once the wax removal is out of the way, you can start on the real fun. From a miniature herb garden to a workplace hold-it-all container, here’s a detailed guide for how to transform your old candle jars.
1. Grow a Miniature Herb Garden
Always having fresh dill, cilantro and thyme on hand will add flavor to your favorite foods and an extra dose of fun to your go-to cocktails. So why not use leftover glass candle vessels to turn your kitchen into an herb garden? Fill the containers about three-quarters of the way with potting soil, add your preferred herbs and top with more soil. Because the jars will have no drain holes, you’ll want to water the herbs frequently — but make sure to use only a little bit of water at a time to avoid root rot. Line your kitchen shelves or counters with the tiny herb garden for a decorative yet practical touch.
2. Pot Your Own Plants
You can also use glass candle holders as chic alternatives to traditional terra cotta pots by planting succulents and other small plants in the glassware. These plants can need a bit more TLC than the herbs mentioned above, so if the plants require drainage, simply use a glass/tile drill bit to drill a small hole through the bottom of the jar and place a small plate underneath to catch any excess water. For a simpler alternative, fill the objects halfway with stones or perlite and top with a tiny pre-potted plant. You can even create a makeshift vase for that gorgeous new flower bouquet you just picked up from the farmers market.
3. Create a Hold-it-All Jar for Your Desk
Organize your workspace by dedicating old glass candle jars for pencils, pens, highlighters, staplers and other work supplies. The candleholders can also be easily repurposed to stow spare change, matches and other miscellaneous items. If you want to personalize the jars so they match your workspace aesthetic, consider painting them or lining them with patterned paper.
4. Store Bathroom Supplies
Glass candle holders can also be put to use to bring order to the cluttered corners of your bathroom. Organize your counters by stashing cotton balls, tweezers, fingernail clippers and other toiletries in old candleholders. You can also use the jars as a place to store all of your makeup brushes or as a chic toothbrush holder.
5. Stow Homemade Bath Scrubs
In addition to keeping your existing toiletries and beauty products organized, you can also repurpose glass candle jars for DIY beauty projects. Make a simple version of body scrub by combining 1 part granulated sugar, 2 parts coconut oil and a few drops of your favorite essential oil. Spoon the scrub into the jars, screw the lid on top and place it in your shower. You can also use the jars to hold homemade bath bombs or shampoo.
6. Add Pretty Stones and a Tea Light
Give a small candleholder a new life by filling it with pretty stones or perlite and topping it with a tea candle. It’s a simple yet striking way to make a centerpiece for the dining room table or living room bookshelf. Of course, you can also buy a DIY candle-making kit to convert your old holders into brand-new candles.
By conserving and recycling old jars, you’ll reduce waste and find new uses for your favorite glass vessels. If you’re looking for a durable, beautiful candle jar that can be reused, check out our selection of one-of-a-kind candles.