Throwing you a curveball here and bringing you a DIY this week! This one’s inspired by the dozens of candles sitting around my house that are too low to burn anymore. So they’re basically just dust collectors which I don’t necessarily consider good style. Time for a change. Most of these burnt out scents are reminiscent of fall and winter evenings spent with our fire roaring, cuddled up in blankets and watching our favorite shows (I just got SO excited for fall). Pumpkin Spice, Warm Apple Pie, Balsam Fir, Winter Berry…don’t they just make you want to hang some stockings and grab a mug of hot chocolate?
Well too bad. It’s summer and there are no candles burning in this house. However I don’t like the idea of tossing a perfectly good glass jar so this simple DIY project is perfect for converting your old candles into decorative pieces. Here’s a quick five step tutorial on how to get the look.
First things first. You will need:
- A dull knife or the handle of a fork or spoon
- A teapot or something to boil water in
- A rag or paper towel
- White vinegar
- Painters tape
- White spray paint (or your color of choice with your finish of choice; I used flat)
- A cardboard box or a large piece of cardboard
Find an old candle in a glass jar that you can no longer light. Put it in the freezer for at least two hours to allow the remaining wax to shrink away from the sides. Remove the candle from the freezer and using a dull knife (kitchen knife) hit the wax a few times until it cracks into a few pieces. Throw the wax away or you if you’re super awesome, reuse it using this great tutorial from Live the Fancy Life.
Boil enough water to fill your jar. I just fill my whole teapot or electric kettle full so I have enough. After it has boiled pour it into the jar to the top. Let it sit for 15 minutes. If there wasn’t much residual wax in the jar, pour the water outside. If there was quite a bit, use a paper towel to sop up the now melted wax from the water then dump it. NOTE: THE JAR WILL BE HOT.
Use a rag or paper towel to wipe out the jar, removing any black soot around the rim. If the black soot is stubborn, pour a little bit of white vinegar on your rag, then wipe it out. You can also use white vinegar to remove any sticker residue from the outside if your candle had a label. Thoroughly dry the jar with a clean rag.
Now that your jar is shiny and clean, use painter’s tape to mark off the area you are going to paint. I like the look of a “dipped” jar so in this tutorial I taped off the bottom section of the jar. Using newspaper, magazines or junk mail, cover the part of the jar you DO NOT want to paint. Be sure your covering goes above the rim so no paint gets on the interior as well. See picture.
Take your jar outside and place inside a large cardboard box or on a large piece of cardboard. Evenly spray the taped off portion with one coat, holding the spray paint can about 10″ from the jar to prevent drips. Allow to dry completely before adding a second coat. Continue until you get the coverage you like. I did three coats. (Apparently my spray paint had ‘texture’ in it which I wasn’t expecting, but it turned out alright. You could use a gloss finish as well for shine.) Once the paint has dried, remove the painter’s tape and admire your work! Use it to hold new candles, knick knacks, flowers, candy, etc. DO NOT put through the dishwasher to clean; the paint will get ruined. Instead, use a damp rag with water to gently clean the interior and exterior.
These jars make a great DIY gift. Fill them with anything from a homemade cookie mix, candies, a fresh new candle, flowers, etc. I turned a few smaller candles into jars to hold our bathroom trinkets like fingernail clippers, tweezers, bobby pins, q-tips and bracelets. The sky’s the limit, so have fun!