Candles are beautiful and often a great way to decorate and a great way to relax. However, they can get expensive and once they have been burned through they are no longer any good. The wax gets thrown in the landfill and that's the end of it. However, a simple project is to turn you old candles into beautiful new ones for more enjoyment. This is a great way to reduce your waste and to continue to enjoy the things that can cost quite a bit of money.


  • Chunks of old wax. Gather up your leftover candle wax and store in a large Ziploc bag. You can use all of them at once or group them by color or scent.
  • New wicks. Available at many craft stores are wicks. They either come with a metal tab hooked to the bottom of them or they come on a roll and you will need to buy metal tabs to hook on them. If you are cutting your own you will want to cut them about an inch taller then you need and attach the metal tab by placing the wick in the hole and using pliers to flatten the metal tabs around it to hold it tight.
  • Molds and or jars. You will need something to form your new candles in. The easiest thing to do is to melt it and pour it into a jar. You can then decorate the jar and use it that way. The other option is to use candle mold and make new candles such as votive, pillar, or other shapes. You will want to spray your molds lightly with cooking oil before use to aid with releasing of the candle.
  • Fragrance and color (optional). Depending on the fragrances and colors of the candles you are recycling you may want to add additional color or fragrance. Remember that mixing a lot of colors will lead to icky brown colors. On the other hand mixing similar colors will lead to similar colors. Fragrances should be chosen to match what you already have.

  • Melting pot or double broiler. You need something to melt your wax in. Many craft stores have pitcher type pots that are made just for that purpose. They go on the stove and melt your wax quickly and easily. You can also use a double broiler or a small pan in a medium pan of water. If you are using either of these be prepared not to be able to get the wax all the way out of it.
  • Stirring spoon. You will also need a spoon to stir with. You can use a wooden one as long as you won't want to use it for food again.
  • Knife. You will want a small to medium size parring knife. It is best if you use this for wax only.

Notes on Color and Fragrance.
While this project can produce beautiful candles with wonderful scents, it is also possible to make ugly candles with horrible scents. There are some good tips to making beautiful recycled candles.
  • Group like colors together. Add all your pink candles to one batch and all the tan ones to another. White can be added to either or keptseparately , but don't mix a lot of colors together. Similar colors can be mixed together for interesting results. Examples can be blue and purple candles or green and blue candles. But if you mix colors that are across from each other on the color wheel you are likely to get something that looks bad. Examples would be red and green together or purple and orange.
  • Consider your fragrances carefully. You can mix some scents together really well. For example vanilla, sugar cookie, and hazelnut will go together well for a sweet smelling dessert like candle. Cinnamon, apple, and pumpkin spice (which really just smells of spice) will go together for a spicy dessert smell. Citrus smells can also be mixed together with success (orange, lemon, and grapefruit for example). Many flower fragrances can be mixed well with vanilla and some of them together. Think on it before you just throw them together.

  1. Gather all your wax and cut it into smaller chunks. Place it into your melting pan.
  2. Turn your stove onto medium heat and melt the wax. Be careful to do this slowly and to stir it often.
  3. When it is completely melted add any fragrance or colorant that you want. Remember that a little goes a long way. Start with tiny amounts (a few drops or a tiny pinch), stir, and check the results before adding more.
  4. Let the wax cool a little bit. Then stir well and pour it into your jar or mold.
  5. If you have put it in a jar you are all done (if you choose to be) or you can decorate the jar to make it more appealing to the eye.
  6. If you have put it in a mold you have to let the wax cool completely (usually best if it is for 24 hours) and then remove it from the mold. You can then use it or decorate it as you choose.

Decorating Molded Candles.
Molded candles aren't always easy to decorate once you have them made, but you can add stickers, ribbon, lace, and even pressed flowers. You can glue them into place or you can use a hot spoon to melt a little wax and add them that way. Another thing you can do is to use glitter glue pens or permanent markers to draw on your decorations.

Decorating Jar Candles.
Decorating jars is often a lot easier. You can add lace, ribbon, bows, and silk flowers to the outside of the jar. Use a hot glue gun to put them there forever. Stickers and scratch on decals can also be added to the jar to make it pretty. Decorate it to match your space or to match someone else's style. Get creative and use your imagination!

Gifting Them.
You can even give your recycled candles as gifts to friends and family. Either give your candle in a pretty jar or include a candle holder with it. It is also a nice touch to include a card that lets them know it is a recycled candle and earth friendly for the love of Mother Earth and people every where. Get creative with this as well as with the rest of it.

Making recycled candles is easy to do and doesn't have to take a lot of time or energy. Kids can help with the project giving them an easy craft that they can then give to others. You can have fun making them into beautiful designs and wonderful candles. Plus you save money, help out the earth, and have a little fun with it in the process. What could be better then that?