15 Ideas to Reuse Empty Candle Jars

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Are you a candle addict like me, but wondering how you can reuse empty candle jars? Well, you’re in the right place!

I love to light candles to add scent to my home. From fresh florals in the spring to spicy aromas in the fall, I enjoy how the right candle can set the mood.

But, I always feel guilty when I come to the end of a candle. Candle jars come in beautiful designs so it seems wrong to toss them out. Plus, adding a hunk of glass to the trash isn’t environmentally friendly. To avoid throwing them out, I have come up with 15 ideas to reuse empty candle jars.

old candle jar - how to reuse empty and old candle glass jars

How to clean old Glass Candle Jars

Before we can jump into any fun ways to upcycle old glass jars, we need to remove the leftover wax.  Clever from Architectural Digest teaches a few easy ways to get stubborn wax out of the bottom of the jar.

Freeze the Used Candle Jar

The first, and neatest, method to clean an old candle jar is to pop the candle jar into the freezer for a few hours. Then, use a butter knife to pop the frozen wax out for the jar. This trick works well because freezing causes the wax to shrink slightly, which makes it easy to remove. Once the wax is out, it could be reused to make a new, small candle.

Bonus tip – this is also a great way to get wax melts out of the dish of your wax burner!

Add Boiling Water

Another simple way to remove old wax is to melt it again. First, scrape out as much of the wax as possible. Boil water in a kettle or pot and place the used candle jar on a heat-safe surface. Pour the hot water into the jar, leaving roughly an inch of space at the top. The melted wax will rise to the surface and then solidify as the water cools. Since wax should never be poured down the drain, strain all of the wax bits out of the cooled water.

Soften the Wax

The third way to remove used wax from a jar is to soften it, without completely melting it. Start by placing a pot, with the candle jar inside, on a heat-safe surface. Then, pour boiling water into the pot, around the candle. Be careful not to get water into the candle jar. Let the heat soften the wax, then use a butter knife to remove it.

No matter the method used, the jar should be cleaned after the wax is removed. Just give it a wash with warm water and soap, and the jar is ready to be reused.

What to do with Used Glass Candle Jars

Once cleaned, there are many ways to give used candle jars a second life.

Since some candles come in colorful, decorative jars, they are ideal for adding pizazz to shelves and spots where a little interest is called for.

Plus, large clear glass candle jars are perfect for storing and sorting odds and ends. With a little creativity, candle jars can be reused all over the home.

The Best Ideas for Reusing Candle Jars

Use as Plant Pots and Vases

Using an empty candle jar for flowers or plants

If you have a green thumb but don’t want to overspend on plant pots, put your old candle jars to work. Succulents and cactuses pop perfectly into candle jars. Clear jars are especially fun for this because you can see the plant’s roots. (Just remember to put a layer of rocks at the bottom of the jar, so the roots don’t sit in soggy soil when you water them.)

Or, if cut flowers are more your style, trim the stems to the correct length and reuse your jar as a vase. You can even float flower heads in water in the old candle jar for a stunning and simple centerpiece (why not throw in a floating candle too?!

Use in Craft Projects

Empty jar used for Halloween decoration

Get creative and use your empty candle jars as art supplies. There’s literally hundreds of ways you can paint and repurpose empty candle jars in craft projects.

In the fall, why not try my tutorial to create a glass jack-o-lantern by painting the jar orange and drawing on a face.

Organize Your Desk

If your desk is always cluttered, empty candle jars are your new best friends.

Use a tall, slim jar as a pen and pencil holder. Fill lidded, wide-mouth jars with paper clips, rubber bands, and pads of sticky notes.

Not only will your office supplies stay organized, they will also be lovely to look at too!

Corral Your Make-Up Brushes

If you have eyeshadow and blush brushes scattered across your vanity or dressing table, a used candle jar can calm some of the chaos in your morning routine.

Stand brushes in a jar with the bristles up. Not only are they organized, storing brushes upright can protect the bristles.

If you’re jar is a wide one and the brush fall over, try putting some glass beads or rocks in the bottom of the jar to hold the brushes upright.

Decorate with Vase Fillers

Repurpose empty candle jar and fill with decorations.

For all the places in the home that need a little something extra, reused candle jars are an easy way to add to home décor.

Fill a jar with vase fillers, like wine corks, seashells, artificial fruit, or potpourri. Add one jar to a bookshelf or small space. For larger spaces, create a display with a group of three jars of varying heights.

Use as Hair Accessory Holder

If you are anything like me, you likely have hair ties in every drawer in the house. And, still, you are always searching for one.

Give hair elastics a new home in a small candle jar tucked into a vanity drawer. Larger candle jars are perfect for storing headbands and clips.

Set Up a Halloween Candy Display

Candy jars - reuse empty candle jars for halloween candy

Halloween is prime time for cute candy, so why not put it on display.

Housewives of Riverton shows us how to use various sizes and styles of jar to create a cohesive display. When you paint the lids and elevate a few jars on stands, the result looks so chic you will want to use it all year long for Christmas treats, movie-night snacks, and Easter sweets.

Organize Your Pantry

This is a great way to reuse empty candle jars. Small items like sugar packets, wrapped snacks, and seasoning mix envelopes are the bain of any tidy pantry.  Set up a pantry organization system that is equal parts beautiful and practical by storing small items in glass candle jars.

Not only will all the small items have a home, but you can also see when you need to make a trip to the grocery store.

Make a Tea Station

Chilly winter evenings are just right for a cup of tea. Turn tea time into an elegant affair by setting up a tea station with reused candle jars.

Find a corner of your counter to turn into a tea station and stow tea bags, sugar cubes and sweetener packets in jars to make brewing a fresh cup a breeze.

Organize Craft Supplies

Use empty glass candle jars to store craft supplies.

Hunting for the right button or bead can suck the fun out of craft time. If you or your little ones enjoy crafts, you need organizers for all the bits and bobs.

Empty candle jars are a cost-effective, attractive, and easy answer to craft organization. And you can even turn decorating the jars into a craft project of their own!

Use as a Candle Holder

reuse old candles as home decor

It might seem obvious, but it is often overlooked. An empty candle jar is easily reused as a holder for a new, smaller candle.

Fill the jar with sand, glass beads, or coffee beans and add a votive or tea light. Small candles are also a good way to sample a scent before committing to a new, large jarred candle or changing out your scents more frequently.

Store Pet Treats

This is a favorite way to reuse empty candle jars in my house! If you have a dog or cat, you probably reach for a pet treat several times a day.

But, pet treat packaging isn’t very pretty, and homemade or bulk-purchased treats can be tricky to store. Repurpose a leftover candle jar as an attractive, easy-to-access holder for pet treats.

Create a Vacation Memory Jar

Create a memory jar from an old glass candle jar

Skip the cheesy vacation souvenirs and create a vacation memory jar inside a glass candle jar.

During a beach getaway, scoop up a handful of sand and a few shells or pieces of beach glass. Or, on a vacation in the mountains, collect rocks on the trails you hike.

Layer it all inside a candle jar and add a label with the place and year. For an added touch of personality, you can pop in a photo taken on the trip or a postcard.

Store Homemade Sugar Scrub or Lotions

Making your own beauty products, such as body lotion and exfoliating scrub, is fun and surprisingly easy. But, you will need storage containers for your creations.

Rather than purchasing something new, reuse candle jars for all your homemade lotions and potions. They make great gifts too!

Display Seasonal Décor

Seasonal decoration in an empty glass candle jar

Decorating for the holidays has never been easier, thanks to empty candle jars. Fill jars with small, seasonal items, such as mini pumpkins, Christmas ornaments, or Easter eggs.

One jar is cute on a coffee table, or line up jars of varying sizes down the center of the dining table.

So there you have it! 15 ways you can reuse empty candle jars and make your home more organized and gorgeous at the same time! What’s not to love about that!

Now excuse me, while I go to Target, I need to buy some more candles… after all, how can I reuse them if I don’t have them to start with?!