Creative Ways To Repurpose Your Used Candle Jars

Burning a candle in your home or office can be both uplifting and calming. According to the National Candle Association, studies have found that different candle scents can help reduce stress, boost your mood, enhance sleep, and even improve cognitive performance. With such positive effects, it's no wonder why so many people choose to light a candle when they want to relax, unwind, or focus.

But what do you do with all those used candle containers? Some of them are so carefully crafted and beautifully designed that you may not be ready to part with them — even when the wick is clearly on its last legs. The good news is there are many clever and useful ways you can upcycle your old candle jars to give them another purpose. From helping you stay organized to providing real functional uses, here's how you can make the most of your used candle containers.

Removing wax from a used candle container

When your candle has burned down but you want to reuse the jar, the first step is to remove the remaining wax and clean the container. Because most candles are made from paraffin, beeswax, or plant waxes, the remnants can leave an oily residue that can interact with whatever you plan to put in the container. However, getting all the wax completely out of the candle jar can be tricky. Some effective ways to do this include the boiling water method, the hair dryer method, and the freezing method.

Pouring hot water into the candle container will cause the wax to melt and float to the top. After the water cools and the wax hardens, you can easily remove it. This is the ideal approach if you have stickers or embellishments on the candle jar you don't want to damage. You can also use a hair dryer to carefully heat and soften the wax just enough to scoop it out with an old spoon.

The freezer method will cause the wax to shrink overnight, so you can pull out the wax, wick, and wick tab (per Martha Stewart). Expert Teri Johnson told the site you can "use a butter knife, nothing too sharp, to stab it a few times to create a few divots." Doing this will help release the wax that is still stuck in the container.

Use as a pen and pencil holder

One easy way to repurpose a candle container is to turn it into a cute pen or pencil holder for your desk. As explained by Harvard Business Review, keeping your desk organized and free of clutter can actually have a significant impact on your mood and productivity. Making sure that you organize your desk and keep your work environment in order can actually help you focus, influence decision-making and cognition, and reduce stress levels.

Solid-colored candle jars often work best as pen holders because they can contain the chaos without revealing too much. While clear candle jars provide a container for your pens, pencils, and other small office supplies, the transparency can defeat the purpose of trying to remove the appearance of clutter on your desk. Also, pens can leak and leave stains at the bottom of the jar, which will easily be seen in a clear container and distract you enough to inhibit productivity.

Choosing the right candle jar color is also important. According to Indeed, different colors can help you tackle your tasks in different ways. For example, red is associated with strength and energy, making it ideal for fast-paced work environments. On the other hand, blue is tranquil and soothing, which you may find helpful if you need to slow down and concentrate.

Plant your succulents

Used candle jars are often the perfect size and shape to reuse as a pot for your succulents or other small plants. Succulents are sturdy little plants that have fleshy, padded leaves designed to store water. Because succulents are drought-resistant, they're easy to care for and require minimal water to thrive. They're also diverse in color and shape, which gives you more variety to choose from to create the right atmosphere in your home or office.

When repurposing a candle jar as a pot, be sure to carefully remove all the wax before planting the succulent. The oils and fragrances from the wax may affect the plant and its roots. Next, you want to add a small layer of pebbles or drainage rocks to the bottom of the candle jar to give excess water a place to go and help prevent the succulent's roots from rotting (via Garden Tabs).

It's also essential to use the right potting soil for your succulent. According to HGTV, the best soil for succulents will hold some moisture but be loose enough to allow water to drain away quickly. Typically, you'll want to look for succulent or cactus soil rather than general gardening soil, which can trap a little too much moisture for these desert plants.

Organize as a makeup brush holder

Carefully organizing and storing your makeup brushes should be an important step in your makeup routine. When they become a jumbled mess on your vanity or in a bathroom drawer, it's more likely that they will pick up dirt, dust, and bacteria that can really hurt your skin and overall health. The American Academy of Dermatology shares that dirty makeup brushes can lead to fungal or bacterial infections such as E. coli or serious staph infections if you're not careful. It can also clog your pores and cause acne.

If you want to improve your skin care routine by organizing your makeup brushes, using upcycled candle jars is a creative way to do this. Choose candles that are on the taller side, which will provide a tighter hold on your brushes and prevent them from flailing out and taking up more counter space. Also, keeping your makeup brushes stored in an upright position will help prevent the bristles from bending, breaking, or getting caught on something. Just be sure to clean the candle jar thoroughly before using it to prevent your brush handles from becoming oily or waxy.

Arrange as a flower vase

Using an old candle jar as a small flower vase is a unique way to add some personality and character to your space. According to 1-800-Flowers, there are several benefits to having fresh flowers in your home. Natural blooms can make a statement to your guests, enhance your décor, and create an overall mood in the room with just a simple arrangement. You'll also add a pop of color that can trigger positive emotions and tranquil feelings of relaxation.

Candle containers generally work best for short or full flower arrangements to keep the flower stems from leaning too far over the edge or bending under the weight of the blooms. Again, you'll need to completely remove any remaining candle wax and clean out the jar before you start arranging your flowers. To keep your flowers looking fresh, you don't want any oils from the wax to get into the water. Also, consider placing a piece of chicken wire or something similar into the candle jar to provide structure and help hold the flower arrangement upright and together.

Arranging fresh-cut flowers for your candle jar vase may seem intimidating if you haven't really worked with flowers before. However, keeping it simple and focusing on placement more than the type or color of the flowers will help you get off to a good start without becoming overwhelmed.

Build a creative centerpiece

Are you planning to host a holiday or dinner party? One way to really make a lasting impression on your guests is to get creative with your centerpiece. The right centerpiece can deliver that wow factor by creating a palpable ambiance in the room and enhancing the dining experience. If you have some used candle jars lying around, here are some ideas on how to transform them into a memorable accent piece for your table.

First, it's a good idea to use candle jars that are varying heights and sizes to create depth and texture (per Eye-catching colors are great, but you also don't want to overwhelm the table with a busy array of different shades. Next, it's time to add a unique focal point to your candle jars. Some twinkle lights are a fun and easy way to light up the table. You can also fill them with water and top them with your favorite bloom to create a floating flower centerpiece. If you have clear candle jars, consider filling them with seasonal accents, like pine tree sprigs, cranberries, mistletoe, or pine cones.

Also, you want to think about the mood and tone you want to set for your gathering. Is this an intimate dinner or a fun get-together? Is the occasion more formal, or are you hosting a casual potluck? Keep the reason for your event in mind as you explore candle jar centerpiece ideas.

Use it for spare change

Outside of aesthetic ways to repurpose old candle jars, they also offer more practical uses. If you're constantly finding spare change lying around your home, office, or car, your used candle containers may be the solution you need to get organized for good. Knowing that you have a designated place to put your change can help you avoid leaving your coins in all those random places.

While it doesn't seem like much, saving your spare change does have some financial significance. The simple act of putting those coins into the jar can help you develop a habit and mentality of saving and actually start to change your mindset about money (per Rent). Also, it can add up more quickly than you might expect. In just a few months, your accumulated change could be enough to treat yourself to lunch!

When choosing a candle container to use as a spare change jar, pick a sturdy one with a lid that is easy to remove and replace. You don't want it to chip or crack as you toss in those coins. Also, being able to pop the lid off with one hand means you're more likely to keep up with organizing your change.

Serve drinks in cute cocktail glasses

While stunning formal glassware is always good to have in your cupboard, you can also make a statement with some quirky cocktail glasses made from repurposed candle containers. Small candle jars might not be the best option as a vase or makeup brush holder, but they are often the perfect size to hold a chilled cocktail.

You will need to completely remove the wick, wick holder, and any wax residue if you plan to repurpose the jar as a cocktail glass. Also, be sure to give it a thorough washing with dish soap before you serve anything edible in the candle jars. Once they're clean, look them over to ensure there are no chips or cracks in the glass that can leak liquid. You may have accidentally damaged the glass while removing the wax.

These unique and mismatched cocktail glasses are sure to be conversation starters and help your guests keep track of which glass is theirs as they mingle. However, because the shape of glasses does matter, you probably shouldn't use these candle jar cocktail glasses for wine, Champagne, or any other drink that you want to be served in a glass with a stem.

Create a utensil holder for parties

When hosting a party that involves buffet-style appetizers or dishes, you want to make it easy for your guests to get what they want without having to deal with messy finger foods or scrounging for silverware. This means having your plates, napkins, and utensils organized, accessible, and ready to go.

One way to do this is to repurpose festive candle jars as holders for your forks, spoons, and knives. Whether you are using plastic utensils or real silverware, candle jars are sturdy enough to hold them and weigh enough not to shift all over the table as your guests remove the flatware. While the candle jars are a good height to contain the utensils, they also leave enough of the flatware exposed to easily pull them out.

When choosing the right candle containers to use as utensil holders, clear jars like these shown in DIY Inspired may be your best bet. This will help your guests see which utensils are in which container. However, you can also use colored candle jars that match the theme of your event. For example, blue or pink candle jars for a baby shower or an orange container for a Halloween party are great ways to incorporate some color.

Organize hair accessories

Because chic luxury hair accessories quickly became the go-to trend this year, you may find your bathroom counter or vanity a little busier than usual. Embellished headbands, statement hair clips, designer scrunchies, and other Y2K hairstyle throwbacks mean you suddenly have a lot more hair accessories to keep organized. Here's where recycled candle jars can help.

Repurposed candle containers are ideal for many accessories for several reasons. Choosing the right size means the jar is small enough to hold the right amount of hair accessories without it becoming jammed with too many items. Also, they are big enough for you to reach your hand in and easily get to the perfect hair barrette for your business meeting or a night out.

When organizing your hair accessories, you can choose to divide them by type of accessory, colors, or type of embellishments or simply separate the ones you use most from those you save for special occasions. However you decide to divide them, you'll keep your counter clean and save time when getting ready.

Declutter your nightstand

Much like keeping your desk or bathroom neat and tidy, organizing your bedroom can make a big impact. As explained by Houzz, a clean bedroom that is carefully designed can help improve your sleep. In particular, a clutter-free nightstand that only has your essentials can contribute to a relaxing atmosphere that is conducive to good-quality sleep.

If you find your nightstand is quickly becoming a catchall for all the things you don't know where to put, you're not alone. It's common to find headphones, electronics, hair accessories, sunglasses, and jewelry somewhere on a person's nightstand at any given time. However, it's important to remove distractions and unnecessary items from this space if you want to get the rest you deserve.

Rather than tossing these things on your nightstand, put an empty candle jar next to your bed to keep things organized and out of sight but still easily accessible. For example, pop your headphones or unused charging cords into the candle jar to instantly transform your space from being cluttered and busy to clean and cozy.

Make a terrarium

Making a terrarium is another creative way to upcycle used candle jars. A terrarium is a glass bowl, jar, or container that acts as a miniature greenhouse to grow small plants. The key to making a successful terrarium is being able to condense water, which creates a little ecosystem that nourishes the plants (per Home Depot). Because of this, they usually require very little maintenance.

When using a candle jar to make a terrarium, you need to be selective. Candle jars that have a glass lid that pops on and off, like the original Yankee Candle jars, work perfectly as a terrarium because they can create the condensation necessary to keep the plants moist. You can choose to make it as an open terrarium, which allows for more air circulation, or a closed terrarium with the lid on, which you'll need to open periodically to add a little more water and let fresh air into the environment. Which option is best will depend on the type of plants you add to your terrarium.

Small terrariums are a great way to add a pop of color and character to any space. It may also help to relieve stress and reduce blood pressure, according to an article published in the Journal of Physiological Anthropology. You can keep one on your desk, in your living room, or in the kitchen to get all the benefits of an indoor plant.

Use as kitchen storage containers

With all the stuff that goes into our kitchens, it's important to utilize storage space to keep food and kitchen supplies organized. A clean kitchen means you can always find what you're looking for when you need it and know if it's time to restock any of your essentials. Recycled candle jars can help you organize your pantry by keeping dry items together, such as tea bags, herbs, or sugar, and keeping other supplies together, like cooking utensils, straws, or measuring spoons.

The best candle jars for kitchen storage are clear glass containers that have lids that screw on or a silicone sealing ring to help keep dust or pests out. Also, if you have used candle jars that are the same height and design, the uniformity of the containers can help your pantry look tidier. Even if you keep these repurposed candle containers on your kitchen countertop, they can add a unique design element that makes the space your own.

Create unique gift packaging

When giving a gift to someone, the way you present it matters. As shared by Craftom, beautiful gift packaging tells a person that you put time and effort into wrapping it, which can impact the mood and attitude of the gift recipient. Although it's really what's inside that counts, it doesn't hurt to put some effort into a creative or unique gift presentation if you can.

An empty candle jar can be an unexpected and really stunning vessel for smaller gifts, such as gourmet chocolates, handmade cookies, or even a gift card. Or you can fill it with bath bombs, hand cream, lip balm, and other fun stocking stuffers that you know your friends will love. You can also gift a repurposed candle jar to family and friends after transforming it into one of these creative ideas, including a terrarium, succulent pot, or flower vase.

Using a candle jar as a way to wrap your presents is also eco-friendly. Rather than having to buy gift bags, tissue paper, and wrapping paper, you can recycle a beautiful candle container that can make even more of a statement.