Upcycled Candles

Yankee Candle is one of my happy places. Really, I’m a sucker for any store with a killer candle selection. 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. I would end up with a cabinet full of candles that didn’t burn anymore, but had too much wax left to justify throwing away.

I hate wasting things, ESPECIALLY expensive candles that I got at a fabulous deal, so I upcycle them!

I found this project on Pinterest and I knew it would become a favorite! It is super easy and makes your house smell awesome. Every fall, I gather all the leftover candles I have and spend a couple of days up-cycling them. It doesn’t have to take that long, but I’m working around nap times here. Upcycled candles are great to have around the house, and they are awesome gifts so next time you’re out shopping, look for some great scents to have on hand for the holidays and add them to your lineup. I’ve given these away to family, friends, and even Hayden’s teachers! They are a hit, plus it’s fun creating my own scent mixtures.

The homemade touch is always nice, and it’s an easy way to keep your holiday budget down.

Pick whatever scent theme you want, find a bunch of votives or jars and go to town !

upcycled candles

Upcycled Candles

Keyword: craft, diy, homemade


  • Candles
  • Candle Wicks (I found mine at Michaels and I prefer the ones that aren't braided. These didn't hold up very well)
  • Empty jars
  • Spatula
  • Pot 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)


  • Place the metal plate of the wick on the bottom of a jar and wrap 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 amazing either way.
    upcycled candles
  • Place a candle in the pot and fill 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, so stay close!
  • Once the wax has melted, remove the remainder of the burned wick using either a utensil or a wick cutter (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! A slow pour will also create nice clean lines in your jar when the wax cools.
    upcycled candles
  • Let the wax sit and cool COMPLETELY. I've gotten in 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! I love these upcycled candles and this is always a fun project, so I hope you like it too. I would love to see what you come up with so leave me a comment below or shoot me a message! For updates on new posts, follow me on Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest.

For another great gift idea, check out this post!


Let's chat! Let me know your thoughts!