Easy Striped Candles


I’ve posted before about recycling candles (here) by scraping out the wax from candles that have burned too low to light. Here’s another method that is much easier and you don’t even need a pour pot! With this method, you can make your own candles without buying wax, dye, scent, or even jars. All you need are a few fresh wicks.

Start by cleaning up the candle jars–if there’s any dust, wipe it out. Scrape out any sooty bits. Wipe soot off the rim of the jars, too.

Cut out the burned tip of the wick.

You don’t want anything dirty in there. Place the jars in a double boiler. I always fix up a makeshift double boiler.

I find a trivet that fits the pot. (For smaller pots, sometimes I use several canning rings.)

Pour in the water.

You’ve got a double boiler! Start melting.

I don’t recommend placing the jars in the oven because you can’t watch over them as carefully. I double don’t recommend placing wax in the microwave! Never leave melting wax unattended. The best way to attend your wax is to have it visible to you at all times–in a double boiler on the stovetop. Plan some other tasks to take up your time in the kitchen while you’re melting wax. Clean out a few drawers or bake something. Don’t leave your wax alone.

If you have candle dye, you can add dye if you want to change the colors, but it’s not necessary if you choose candles that are already different colors. You could also combine part of one jar into another jar after it melts to change the colors.

You can start with a clean, fresh jar, or melt down the wax in one jar that’s pretty low and start with that one. The way to do that is to melt it, remove it from the stove and fish out the old wick, then let it firm up enough that you can push a new wick down into it and stand it up.

Now you’ve got your first layer of wax stripe! As you go, clear out more jars and you can have several jars filling at once.

Be sure to let each layer firm up before adding more wax or the colors will mix. If your candles already have scent, you may not need any more, but you can add more scent if you like.

It takes a little time to do this as you have to wait between pours. I turn off the heat between pours then reheat again so my wax isn’t cooking the whole time (which can damage the scent). You can go off and do other things beween times while the wax is setting up in the jars and not heating on the stove, so you don’t really have to attend it all the time. (Just when you’re melting.) It’s a good lazy day project and you come out with nearly-free new candles.

Everything that’s old is new again!

P.S. If you’ve never made container candles, see How to Make Container Candles and see all my candlemaking posts here.

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Posted by Suzanne McMinn on March 27, 2011  

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12 Responses | RSS feed for comments on this post

  1. 3-27

    What a great idea!!! And no need to find extra pot, or can to melt wax in. Or no need to scrape the wax out of the old jars. That is the hard part. lol.

  2. 3-27

    That’s purty cool!!!

  3. 3-27

    I love this idea….combining old pieces of candles. Thanks for sharing this! :sun:

  4. 3-27

    Suzanne, you made my day. I counted 7 candles that are sitting around that will make at least two new candles. My project for the day. Do have to get some wicks. Thanks for such a great idea.

  5. 3-27

    Great post! I have a ton of candles that I need to do this with. Thank you for sharing.

  6. 3-27

    The picture of your jars of striped candles hadn’t appeared as I clicked on “Easy Striped Candles”. I envisioned striped taper candles and thought “how can they possibly be easy to make?” When the site opened up I saw that I had been thinking of totally different candles. You do get full use out of everything, Suzanne!

  7. 3-27

    Awesone idea!!!!!youa re soooo clever…..I have a whoile box of used candle wax…I am saving (?)…..for this!!!!



  8. 3-27

    Oh so pretty and unusual. Thank you for sharing. Is it possible to get an update on those baby blankets?

  9. 3-27

    I love how you varied the depth of the layers! Your toots are always so easy to follow! Don’t have any candles to do with just yet….

  10. 3-28

    Reminds me of when we use to melt momma’s wax with our crayons. Good thing we didn’t have any wicks or we would have probably burnt the house down.

  11. 3-28

    Sadly, I’ve never made candles before, and being married to a fireman, I don’t burn them. For some reason he gets excited about me lighting a fire in our home. :)

  12. 3-28

    This is a wonderful idea! I always end up with a whole shelf of my freezer taken up with candle jars waiting to have the wax popped out of them. It ends up feeling like a chore. This skips that whole step, I never thought I could melt the wax right in the glass. Thanks!!

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