Dollar day do over….candles.

“ The greatest wealth is to live content with little.”


Sometimes when out shopping on bargain days thrifting I will come across huge candles for $1. The candles are burned half way or a little beat up but they can be repurposed by melting them down and re-jarring them. This is the first time I did this project I am sharing with you all so I will be including my mistakes too. It’s all part of learning new things. These actually came out really pretty. I did this project for Easter gifts but they can be used for any holiday. A simply and pretty little hand made gift for friends and family.

You will need:

Wax from old candles to melt down.

Wicks- you can pick up wicks at most hobby stores.

Dried flowers & decoupage glue (optional)

Empty clean glass jars.

Scented oils.

Double boiler- ( I just used two pans with the smaller one in a large pan of hot water to slowly melt wax)

This is what I had before (photo below). Just piles of old candles to turn into something else. You will need to break your old candles up. That’s the hard part. I had my husband chop chunks from these candles because I was having the hardest time doing this. Remember this is my first time making candles from old candles so I am sure someone out there has a better way of doing this.  

Once the chunks were small enough to melt I got out a small pot and placed them into the pot then added that pot to a larger pot full of really hot water that was simmering on the stove. I bought the smaller pot that held the wax second hand too. It was also $1. When trying something new, please buy used items to practice on first. Don’t use your good pots and pans for crazy craft projects that may ruin them. I am sure you already know that but just in case, I’m just passing on some good old fashioned mom advice.

After the wax had melted I added it to empty glass jars. You can use any glass jar. I found some really pretty mason jars at the dollar store that had different colored flowers on them. Another jar I used was an old salsa jar. You can always paint your own designs on plain glass jars using acrylic paints or glass paints.

Before you pour the wax into your jars make sure you have your wick in place. To keep it from moving tie to a spoon. Or you can dab some hot glue to the bottom of wick to hold in place.

Also add your scented oils in when wax is melted so the fragrance is all through the candle when you burn it.

Another thing I experimented with was dried flowers from my garden.

I wanted to have some flowers showing through the glass so I decoupaged a row at the bottom of one jar and after it dried I poured wax into the jars.

I spent about $5 in old candles to repurpose and was able to make several candles, about ten candles.

I had a coupon for the wicks when I bought them new. The scented oils I already had here in my home. I used to work in a lotion shop that sold a lot of items for aromatherapy. As long as you store your oils in dark bottles inside they will last a long time. If they are pure oils that is.

All in all I spent less then $10 for several really pretty candles that I made in my kitchen. The fragrances I used were fruity fragrances. My daughter took one as soon as she smelled how pretty they were. We love scented candles in this house but they can run from $10 and up for each candle.

Okay, now for the mistakes…

You will have to keep adding wax as it dries and cools. The centers all were hollow after they cooled down.

It was a fun project but it had it’s difficult moments like cutting old candles into chunks to melt, that was hard. I suppose I could have just popped the whole candle into the pot to melt slowly but I got impatient…oh yeah, that’s another thing, it takes a long, long time to melt. Maybe I was doing it all wrong but it still turned out pretty. Here they are finished…Happy second hand repurposing everyone.

The smaller candles in this photo were from a kit that my daughter got for Christmas. It ran about $15 and there were small bags filled with unscented wax chips to melt. It came with an earing sized bag of dried flowers and a few drops of an oil of some sort. I doubt it was pure though, It also came with two small glass votive holders and a couple of wicks. Mostly the kit was a ridiculous amount of plastic packaging and stuffing. Reminds me of mass produced Easter baskets that look pretty but once taken apart are mostly just paper filler. Best to get your own supplies, save money and make things yourself.

14 Comments Add yours

  1. A wonderful project! I haven’t made candles for years, although I have quite a stash of nearly melted candles from the dining room!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Dorothy. I usually have half full candles too and lots of tiny bits of soap as well. I grew up in a frugal family so I always try to figure out ways to use up everything instead of throwing it away. My husband calls it a watered down life. I like watered down ketchup, thin pancakes, watered down lemonade. dressings and even shampoo and conditioner…this is what my family did when I was growing up to save money. Now when I drink anything too sweet from fast food places I always say it needs a little water and then it will be perfect. My kids always laugh.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Love it! I get teased about the shampoo thing, but when you think the bottle is empty, you water down the remnants and get quite a few more heads of clean hair!

        Liked by 2 people

      2. Exactly, so happy to see someone else out there gets it. Best to not waste anything.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Liz says:

    I love the candles and thank you for sharing your tips.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank Liz and I hope you are well as always.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. ourcrossings says:

    Breaking up the old wax, waiting for it to melt and pouring the melted wax into your container must be a very satisfying process. Depending on what type of container is used, you could either light the candle directly in the container or you could slip it right out of the container. Thanks for sharing and have a nice day. Aiva 🙂 xxx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It was nice making it all new again. There are so many old candles out there that can be made pretty again. I bought all unscented so it didn’t interfer with the scented oils. Have a nice day too.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Betty says:

    Nice project! I love candles and would like to try this project! Thanks!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You’re welcome and thank you.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Hello and very nice idea to share !
    Just one tip from a candlemaker …. the dip in the middle after drying can easily be fixed by just taking a hairdryer, holding it over the candle and the top will melt to a nice smooth surface. Just don’t burn the wick.
    Also be careful and really keep the dried flowers on the outside and watch carefully in case they start to float to the middle in the melted wax, as they can burn or even ignite like a wick and case a bigger light than you want 😉
    Last but not least, be careful with the aroma oils as if you take to much the diffusion can become dangerous not only for people with allergies, but especially pets. This happens even more often if you don’t take 100% essential oils, but scented fragrances, or try to add colors by using crayons.
    I’m making candles for so long and still am learning every day
    But it’s a great hobby and you know me….if there’s anything you can reuse…go for it !!!
    Hope you’re all doing well and staying safe….oh, and hope you’ll get to have a look a the video in my blog….that should be right up your alley 😉
    Big hug from still chilly Nova Scotia

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, I needed these tips for sure. I was worried about the dried flowers so I added them to the very bottom figuring that would happen with fires. I should have left a link to your site because I remember all those candles you made for your art/craft sales and markets, They are so pretty and your wreaths as well. With the prices of supplies going up everywhere you have a giant forest of art supplies right out your front door. Is wood going up in your area too because here in the US it is crazy expensive. We still need to build a chicken coop up north. Very hot here but not too bad yet. Just wish we would get some rain, I miss rain. i will have to check out your video later. I’m on an old computer in our kitchen right now because my laptop is acting up which is so frustrating. I saw you have a new video about a squirrel but I didn’t click on yet. Sundays are days when my husband and I catch up with our favorite vloggers. We watch it on the big screen in our livving room, so much better that way. Okay, off now, Hope you guys get some warmer weather soon but it must be nice to have cool days too, we are always hot here in sunny Arizona. Big hugs back.


  6. Thank you for the recipe of this project. I will get down to make my own candles. I had this plan for so long but never tried. I will now put more energy into it. You keep up with making your own candles too. Big hugs to everyone at Little Red cottage.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, that is so sweet of you to write. Have fun making those candles too. I also have many projects I still need to get too. Have a great week.

      Liked by 1 person

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