Reusing Old Jelly Jars to Make Jar Candles

Jar candles have become very popular with candle lovers. They are safe to use because the flame is enclosed in the glass jar and you are less likely to have wax drips or spills with a jar candle. Many times these can be very expensive to use, so try making your own from old jelly jars. Most supplies are easy to obtain or you may have them around your house already.

Tools and Materials Needed:

  • Old glass jelly jars
  • Wax
  • Old pan to melt wax
  • Candle scent oil
  • Candle color
  • Candle wick and anchor
  • Votive candles
  • Stubs of used taper candles

Step 1 - Prepare the Jars

Gather a lot of old jelly jars. These jars have a lot of character and come in many shapes and sizes. Some may have designs painted on the glass. If there are any labels on the jars, soak them in a sink of warm water with a bit of dishwashing liquid to remove the labels. They will slide right off with little work. Let them dry or dry them with a towel. Be sure all dirt and water spots are gone.

Step 2 - Melt the Wax

High quality candle wax can be purchased at most craft supply stores and regular wax can be purchased at many supermarkets. Be sure to read all instructions for melting your specific type of wax as different waxes melt at different temperatures. Wax can become flammable at temperatures that are too high, so be very careful.

If you wish for your candles to be colored or scented, while the wax is melted is the correct time to add both. Be sure, once again, to read the manufacturers instructions on the specific oil or color you purchase.

Step 3 - Make the Candles

There are several ways that you can make very nice candles using old jelly jars. One way is to put a votive candle into the jar, then pour the melted wax in around it to fill it over the top of the votive, but with some wick still sticking out. This is a good project for an inexperienced candle maker.

Another way to make your candle is to use stubs from left over taper candles or other types of candles. If the piece is too long for the jar, cut a bit off the bottom. Pour a bit of wax into the bottom of the jar, then stick the taper in and let the wax harden to hold it in place. Then pour in more wax to cover the candle. If the candle happens to be too tall still, light the wick and let it burn down to wax level.

If you are starting from new, then you will need to use a wick and anchor. Cut a piece of wick the height of the jelly jar and attach a wick anchor to the end. Put a bit of wax in the bottom of the jar, and put in the wick and anchor. Let it harden a bit, then pour in the remaining wax to the height you want.

Step 4 - Decorate the Jar

If these candles are gifts, try putting a ribbon around the jar and a sprig of artificial flowers or a holiday tag.