How to reuse a candle jar: 10 ways to upcycle your wax containers

These DIYs are lit

An assortment of feminine decor including candle jar planters and hardback books
(Image credit: Swoon Worthy Blog)

If you're as candle-obsessed as we are and find yourself with a lot of empties around your house, learning how to reuse a candle jar is going to change the game. There are countless ways to upcycle these cute pieces of glassware, and all you need is a nearly-empty scented candle

When you're buying from the best home fragrance brands, the vessel is usually just as gorgeous as the scent itself. Once you've splurged on a candle, getting rid of the jar seems criminal, so we're here to show you how to give it a second life and get sustainable.

If you've collected a couple of empty candle containers and your space is feeling cluttered, we'll show you how upcycle and reuse them around the house. From plant pots to cosmetic canisters, these are the best ways to repurpose your old favorite candle jars.

1. Create another candle

A variety of candle making equipment including jar, wax, wicks

(Image credit: Getty / Bohdan Bevz (#1342122861))

The most obvious use for an old candle jar is to make a new candle in it. Combine soy or beeswax pellets, or that last bit of leftover candle wax, with your favorite essential oil. There's no need to visit specialist stores because candle-making supplies like wax pellets are readily available on Amazon. Find everything that you need to make your own candles below.

2. Store your makeup brushes

An assortment of designer candle jars containing cosmetic make-up brushes

(Image credit: @lundaasen)

We all know how stressful mornings can be, and having to scramble around for your makeup and brushes is the certified worst. Make sure your cosmetic tools are kept within reach and save yourself some precious minutes during your makeup routine.

Having your makeup storage in clear sight in your getting-ready space means you're less likely to chuck out used equipment in your make-up bag. It'll also remind you to wash your tools regularly to keep your skin clean and free of bacteria (a total win-win).

We particularly love used Diptyque candles for this DIY.

3. Use the vessel as a vase

A bouquet of seasonal flowers in Yankee candle jars with Yankee Candle Tangerine and Vanilla candle in forefront

(Image credit: @sugarandcharm)

Bring your candle's former fragrance back to life with a fresh bouquet of flowers. For example, if you had the (v cute) Boy Smells Restart Pillow Candle, you could fill the empty vase with violets or roses to emulate the scent's notes even, after the wax is long gone. 

"I upcycle my candle jars when they’re finished burning and use them as vases to hold my seasonal flowers," says Eden Passante, the person behind the Instagram account @sugarandcharm. "After doing this for a while, I have a wonderful collection of empty candle jars to use as vases that are all different heights."

4. Get the job done with a pretty pen pot

Ever been on the phone scrambling to write down important information, but you're stuck without a pen? We've all been there, drawing squiggly signs in the air and trying to get a friend to grab you something to write with.

If you're sick of seeking out stationery in drawers around the house, this home office organization idea is a great way to stop playing hide and seek with your pens, and def beats a boring pen pot. Combined with your other desk organizers, you can get super productive and know your papers and pens are in their rightful place.

5. Upgrade your bathroom containers

Two Jo Malone candle jars filled with cotton balls and cotton pads

(Image credit: @diamondcleaningontario)

The versatile Q-tip (our team buys big packs on Amazon) can be used for a multitude of purposes, from removing makeup to cleaning to crafting. But if you're not feeling the look of the basic paper box they come in, or a plastic sleeve filled with cotton rounds, pop your essentials into a candle jar for bathroom storage with spa-like appeal.

6. Grow your own salad ingredients

You don't need a big backyard or a farmer's market nearby to access homegrown food. You can actually revive your lettuce, celery, leek, and spring onion stumps on your windowsill, reusing a candle jar to create an adorable balcony garden for veggies, seed sprouts, and more.

7. Get smooth skin by turning it into a body scrub jar

A selection of beauty products with dry brush scrub on wooden table

(Image credit: Getty / Alina Nechaeva (#1221211711))

Candles are great for adding ambiance to any area, but if you want to be what lights up the room, get your skin glowing with a DIY body scrub. You'll need a candle jar for this one. The key is that it needs to have a tight lid.

After removing and rinsing the wax from your candle, mix granulated sugar (brown or white) with coconut oil and a few drops of essential oil to create a coarse product to use in the shower. You could even use instant coffee (as pictured) as a morning shower scrub to wake you up.

8. Store your toothbrushes and toothpaste

A bathroom with reused candle jars as toothbrush and toothpaste holder

(Image credit: Kimberly Duran / Swoon Worthy)

The morning rush might mean that you leave your toothbrush on the side of your sink or bathroom shelf, which can attract bacteria. Even worse? It could fall on the floor (gross).

Keep your items secure by reusing a candle jar as a toothbrush holder. This budget bathroom organization idea looks better than some retail offerings out there, and chances are you already love the look of the jar you picked out when you bought the candle.

9. Create a DIY planter

A DIY plant stand made from candle jar

Discover @black_moon_design's other crafts available on Etsy

(Image credit: @black_moon_designs)

Being a plant parent is great, and choosing the best indoor plants to cultivate in your home is one of the best parts. But let's be real: housing your babies can get a little on the pricey side. If you want to move your adorable succulents out of their default plastic containers, reuse a candle jar and repot them. 

These DIY plant stands are a lot sturdier and will blend in perfectly with your decor.

10. Store loose tea and coffee

An amber colored candle jar filled with freeze-dried instant coffee

(Image credit: A Little English Garden)

A hot drink is a WFH and lazy Sunday staple, so if you want to enjoy preparing your teas and coffees as much as drinking them, swap out your cardboard tea boxes and coffee bags for a candle jar to put together a cute coffee bar. Plus, you can take your jars to stores where you buy bulk refills. Just pick a candle that comes with a screw-on lid.

How to remove the candle wax from the jar

If you've burned your candle to the max but still have a little bit of wax left, this method is a serious lifesaver, and it's a must-do before you try any of our candle jar upcycling ideas.

"A tip for getting the last bit of wax out of the bottom of the jar is to put the candle in the freezer overnight," says Kate Crofton-Atkins, founder of Cochine. "This causes the wax to contract so it should just pop out."

Christina Chrysostomou
Former acting head ecommerce editor

Hi, I'm the former acting head ecommerce editor at Real Homes. Prior to working for the Future plc family, I've worked on a number of consumer events including the Ideal Home Show, Grand Designs Live, and Good Homes Magazine. With a first class degree from Keele University, and a plethora of experience in digital marketing, editorial, and social media, I have an eye for what should be in your shopping basket and have gone through the internal customer advisor accreditation process.

With contributions from