How to Reuse Candle Jars: 8 Ways to Upcycle

Modern scented candles are more than just some wax and a wick.

They are thoughtfully made and sustainably sourced. They are beautifully packaged and neatly gift wrapped. They are works of art as much as they are home fragrances. 

When you buy a candle these days, it’ll most likely come in a gorgeous glass jar. Sizes range from mini 30g varieties and slim 60g sets, up to the standard 380g and supersized 760g candles, which can burn for up to 4 hours at a time.

Once you’ve finished your candle, you’re left with a perfectly good jar that can be used for so many different things, from organising rooms in the house to holding loose change or growing indoor plants.

Keep reading for 8 of our favourite tips and tricks on how to reuse candle jars…

1. Coins

When you were young, piggy banks and money boxes were all the rage. They were cute, useful items for gathering up pocket money from odd jobs and chores and for housing excess loose change.

As adults, however, we tend to either have our wallets packed to the brim with coins, or we stack them up in little piles on tables and bench spaces around the house, making them easy to lose or get muddled up.

When it comes to thinking about how to reuse candle jars, this is a good place to start: use it as a money box. Not only is it a handy size, it’s also see–through, so you can quite easily gauge what kind of coins are in there and whether there’s enough for what you need to buy.

2. Toiletries

Another place where cleaned out glass jar candles can come in handy is in the bathroom.

Even if you have a vanity cabinet with plenty of drawers and cupboard space, keeping all your bits and pieces together and in good condition is important.

You can store a jar beside the sink and put your toothbrushes and toothpaste in it. You can put one next to the bath or shower and fill it with hairbrushes and combs, face and body shavers, blocks of soap, cotton balls, nail files, nail clippers and pretty much anything else in the bathroom that will fit.

3. Stationary

Keeping your home office – and even your office, office – neat and tidy is critical to maintaining your focus and productivity levels. A messy workspace often leads to a messy mind, and it can be hard to find what you need just when you need it. This is where recycled glass candle jars are great.

Instead of having multiple pencil holders stashed away in drawers where they and their contents can’t be seen, you can use jars to keep everything on the surface of your desk and easily accessible.

You can use one to stand up your pens, pencils and stylus’, one to keep staples, paper clips, bulldog clips, rubber bands and drawing pins together and one to hold your scissors, rulers, glue sticks and more.

How to reuse candle jars stationary ideas

(Photo by Carson Downing)

4. Art Supplies

When thinking about how to reuse candle jars, and in the same vein as in the office, the art studio is another place where they can get a second life.

No matter what type of artist you are, a glass vessel is always a nice and simple way to hold and display your craft equipment and accessories. 

You might be a painter who uses brushes and tubes of acrylic paints, a sketch artist who uses coloured pencils, graphite pencils, charcoals and blending tools or a graphic designer who uses felt tip pens and copic markers. Whatever you do, an ex–candle jar will work for you!

5. Pantry Products

The kitchen is packed full of all kinds of raw ingredients, packaged foods, cookware and utensils, and you can spend a pretty penny at a homewares store getting pantry storage sets and organisers.

If you’ve accumulated candles over time this is where you can save some money and make cooking and baking a breeze. You can use jars to store pantry staples – and to make them easy to identify sans packaging, you just need some handwritten or printed labels to finish them off.

You can seal up loose ingredients like tea, coffee, flour, sugar, salt, pepper, baking powder, biscuits, snacks, cereals, spaghetti, oats, lentils and chickpeas, as well as herbs and spices like allspice, star anise, bay leaves, basil, coriander, cumin, mustard seeds, cardamom, chili flakes, cinnamon, clove, curry powder, ginger, nutmeg, oregano, parsley, paprika, poppy seeds, rosemary, saffron, sesame seeds, tarragon, turmeric, thyme, vanilla beans and more.

6. Jams & Preserves

If you want to know how to reuse candle jars in other ways in the kitchen, think jams and preserves.

Chutneys, compotes, curds, fruit spreads, jellies and marmalades are almost always stored in glass jars, whether you buy it from the supermarket or you make it yourself at home. The most important thing, however, is to be hygienic about it.

Jams and preserves should only be put into jars and under lids that have been sterilised (washed in hot, soapy water and dried in the oven or put into boiling water on the stovetop) and then sealed tight while still hot. Make sure your upcycled candle jar doesn’t have any cracks or chips in it either.

7. Succulents

If you’re a green thumb looking for a project with an old candle jar, you’ve come to the right place. Succulents like Aloe, Cacti, Echeverias and Kalanchoes make great indoor plants and double nicely as home decor elements.

As candle jars obviously don’t come with drainage holes, you’ll just have to be mindful of using the right potting mix and not overwatering your plant.

Succulents usually need to be watered once every week or two and most like to be exposed to lots of sunlight, but not directly.

8. Flowers

In keeping with the flora theme, an upcycled glass jar also makes for a pretty good flower vase.

Whether you pick them straight from the garden or get a bouquet from your local florist, a glass jar can very easily double as a vase. Think of varieties with small stems that don’t need lots of water or even fake flowers. 

You can use them to arrange little centrepieces for the dining room or lounge, as gifts for friends or family members, or to place on and pay your respects at the gravesite of a dearly departed loved one.

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