Recycled Glass Containers for Candles

Using recycled containers for candle making is both thrifty and eco-friendly.
Using recycled containers for candle making is both thrifty and eco-friendly.

Whether you're interested in making candles for yourself, as a gift for a loved one, or as part of a home-based business, using recycled glass containers for candles is a great way to save money on your creations.

Using Recycled Glass Containers for Candles

In addition to being a frugal way to enjoy candle making, using recycled glass containers for candles is good for the environment. With every candle you make, you're helping to keep a bit of trash out of our nation's landfills.

Candles can be made in almost any type of glass container. Here are a few ideas to consider:

  • Baby food jars
  • Glass jars from pickles, spaghetti sauce, or other food items
  • Jelly jars
  • Old drinking glasses
  • Pantry storage containers
  • Candy dishes
  • Butter dishes
  • Flower vases
  • Containers once used to hold commercially made candles

If you don't have easy access to these items around your home, ask friends and family to start saving containers for you. Many people hate to throw away potentially useful items, even if they have no personal use for them. Garage sales, thrift shops, and consignment stores can also be good sources of glass containers for your candle making projects.

To use recycled glass containers for your candle making, just follow these simple steps:

  1. Inspect the container carefully to make sure it doesn't have any cracks or chips. Flawed items can represent a serious safety hazard if they are used to make container candles.
  2. Clean the container thoroughly. Most glass items should be dishwasher safe, but you can hand wash them if you prefer.
  3. If needed, remove the label by soaking the container in boiling water and dish soap. Goo Gone also works well for removing messy adhesive residue.
  4. Paint the jar lid with acrylic paint, if applicable.

If you're new to candle making, check out the LoveToKnow Candles article on Container Candle Making Instructions for tips on getting started with this fun craft.

Decorating Your Container

While a simple glass jar can be attractive all on its own, sometimes you may want to add a few extra embellishments to your container candles. Here are a few easy ways to spice up your recycled glass containers for candles:

  • Tie a ribbon bow around the base of the container.
  • String small beads and/or charms onto craft wire, then wrap the wire around the container.
  • Glue a ring of silk flowers to the base of the container.
  • Use tissue paper and Mod Podge to make a faux mosaic look for your candle container.
  • Add words, phrases, or colorful designs to the container using your favorite scrapbooking rub ons.
  • Experiment with glass etching techniques to design a sophisticated looking candle container.
  • Use special glass paints to add dots, swirls, stars, or simple flowers to the candle container.
  • Cover the container in paper mache, then press in small items such as dried flowers, buttons, or bits of broken jewelry.
  • Design a unique candle label using free fonts and clip art. Print onto self adhesive sticker paper, then add to your candle container.

More Frugal Candle Making Ideas

While using recycled glass containers is a great way to make eco-friendly candles on a budget, there are plenty of other frugal candle making tricks you may wish to try. For example:

  • Instead of buying candle making scents, use pure vanilla extract from your pantry to make sweet smelling candles.
  • If you have children, recycle their broken crayons by turning them into pretty Crayola candles.
  • Learn how to make homemade candle wicks instead of buying commercially manufactured wicks.
  • Search eBay for bargains on used candle making equipment. Many crafters who decide candle making isn't for them will try to unload their supplies on this Web site.
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Recycled Glass Containers for Candles