Upcycled Candles

Yankee Candle is one of my happy places. Anybody else? Unfortunately for my bank account, it’s also one of Dante’s circles of hell. Those stupid email coupons used to get me EVERY. TIME. By the time the next semi-annual sale would come around, I would have a cabinet full of candles that didn’t have enough of a wick left to burn, but too much wax in them to justify throwing away. I hate wasting things, ESPECIALLY expensive candles that I got at a fabulous deal. So when I found this project on Pinterest, I knew it would become a favorite, and it has! It is super easy and makes your house smell awesome! Around the beginning of fall each year, I gather all the leftover candles I have and spend a couple of days melting them down and making new ones (it only takes that long because I usually do it around nap/bed times and I let the layers cool for a long time). I got an early start this year and did my candle project before I started my blog, so I kind of cheated and went out and bought some small votives to have enough to do a couple of different candles. It also occurred to me that these would be cute gifts for teachers, neighbors, etc. so I’ll probably be doing that this year. You can pick whatever scent theme you want, find a bunch of small votives and jars and go to town! I found some small votive holders at Michaels, but they don’t hold much at all, so I would get something a little larger and just melt some additional scents.

Upcycled Candles


  • Candles
  • Candle Wicks (I found mine at Michaels and I prefer the ones that aren’t braided. The package in the picture didn’t stay wrapped up very well.)
  • Empty jars
  • Spatula
  • Pot(s) of water (you can do multiple candles at once, but remember you can only do one layer at a time for each candle)
  • Potholders
  • Fork or spoon (or wick cutter if you already have one, but there’s no need to go buy one specifically for this project)


  • Prep your clean jars for wax by placing the metal plate of the wick on the bottom of the jar and wrapping the excess wick around a spoon or spatula. I usually end up making multiple candles, so I like to plan out which scents are going together ahead of time (summer scents, spring scents, holiday scents), but that’s just me. Feel free to wing it and it’ll smell just as great either way.

  • Place one of your candles in a pot and fill the pot with enough water to melt the wax. The larger candles with more wax in them will melt faster if you have more water in the pot, but the small votives only take a couple inches of water. Once the water starts to boil, it only takes a few minutes to completely melt the wax.

  • When the wax has melted, remove the remainder of the burned wick using either a fork or spoon, or a wick cutter if you have it (to get the wax off your utensil after removing the wick, dip it in the boiling water and the wax will come right off). Very carefully, use your potholders to lift the candle out of the pot and pour the wax into one of your clean jars. The jars are super hot and slippery so don’t rush it! This also creates nice clean lines in your jar once it cools.


  • Let the wax sit and cool COMPLETELY. I’ve gotten into too big of a hurry before and tried to rush this part. The colors ended up mixing and it’s just not as pretty. I actually did that this time too and my nice white vanilla wax ended up pink. Thanks Apples & Berries. Luckily, I like pink and it still looks nice so, oh well. You could try putting them in the fridge once they’ve cooled a bit to speed this part along. I’ve never tried it, so I don’t know if it messes things up at all. If anybody tries it that way, let me know how it goes!
  • Once the wax is completely cool, begin melting your next layer.
  • Repeat these steps until you have finished all your layers. When your final layer has cooled completely (I prefer to let it sit overnight), trim the wick and you’re all done! If you’re giving these as gifts, you can decorate the jars, but that’s totally up to you. I used some twine for a couple of the jars that I’m giving away, but you could also do ribbon or paint.

And you’re all done! This is always a fun project for me, and I hope you like it too. I would love to see what you come up with so tag me in your posts (#prekandprosecco) and follow me on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter!

Let's chat! Let me know your thoughts!