10 Creative Ideas for Repurposing Candle Vessels

Just because the wax is gone, doesn’t mean it’s time to trash your candle vessel. We are big fans of reusing and repurposing candle vessels whenever possible, especially when it comes to gorgeous candle vessels.

If you do have the intention of repurposing candle vessels and you’re wondering what the heck you should do with it, you’ve found the right place!

Before you do any sort of repurposing with your candle vessel, you’ll want to be sure you have cleaned out any remaining wax residue thoroughly. Below we will explain how to properly clean out a used candle and then give you creative and fun ideas for how you can repurpose it and give it a new life!


STEP 1: Burn your candle the right way!

The first step actually begins with the first time you light up your new treasure. You can eliminate a lot of work cleaning out your vessel by burning your candle properly. Never burn your candle for more than four hours at a time and be sure to trim your wick after each time it is lit.

For candles with wooden wicks, trim the wick down to 3/16” height above the wax, and for candles with cotton wicks, trim the wick down to 1/4” height above the wax.

You’ll want to do this after each and every time you burn your candle. Use a pair of wick trimmers for easy candle care, or if you don’t have any, simply pinch off the burnt portion of the wick after the candle has completely cooled.

Trimming your wick after each burn will help to prevent any excess soot (black residue) from forming on the inside of your vessel.

Burn your candle until the wax melts to the edges of the vessel each time it is lit. For most candles, this will take approximately two hours. Burning your candle until a full melt pool is reached ensures your candle won’t tunnel. Tunneling occurs when wax builds up around the perimeter of the vessel. You’ll also get the most burn time out of your candle by allowing the wax to melt to the edges each time.

For safety, extinguish your candle when 1/2“ of wax is remaining at the bottom of your vessel.

STEP 2: Remove the excess wax and wick.

Fill a pot with water till the water level reaches about half of your candle vessel height. Bring the water to a low simmer over heat and place your candle vessel inside.

Within five to ten minutes, the remaining wax in your candle should be liquified. Once the wax is fully liquified, turn off the heat. Use an oven mitt or heat resistant glove to remove the vessel from the pot with caution.

Pour the liquid wax into a thick trash bag (not down the drain as it will harden again quickly) and discard. With your oven mitt or heat resistant glove still on, carefully remove the wick clip and any remaining pieces of wick from the bottom center of the vessel.

Rinse the candle vessel with warm, soapy water until all wax residue is removed. Pat dry.

Alternately, if you have a wax or tart melter and want to use the excess wax in it, you can remove the wax by placing your candle vessel into the freezer for a few hours. Once chilled, remove the candle from the freezer and use a butter knife to pop out the excess wax, wick and wick clip and put the wax aside to use in your wax melter.

Discard the excess wick and wick clip. Use acetone and a cotton swab or paper towel to remove wax residue.

Please note if your candle vessel has a label that you would like to keep intact, avoid any acetone from coming in contact with the label as it will cause it to fall off. Finally, wash with warm, soapy water until all wax residue is removed and pat dry!

STEP 3: Repurpose it! Here are our top ten picks for repurposing candle vessels:


We knew we would really wow you with this one! It’s genius…we know. Making a candle is actually a lot easier than most people would imagine, especially if you follow a guide like our How to Make a Wood Wick Candle blog. Check out this blog for a step by step instructional on how to make a gorgeous new candle from your repurposed vessel. Here’s a quick list of what you’ll need to get started:

If you’re a candle maker already and selling your candles to others, offering candle refills at a discount is a great way to keep customers coming back for more. Plus, what do you know, you just reused a vessel and saved it from heading to the recycle bin!

Our pick: All of them!


Ok, we really love this way of repurposing candle vessels. What better way to keep on enjoying your candle vessel than to have it continue fragrancing your space?! This revamp could not be simpler. All you need is:

Diffuser fragrance
Diffuser base
Diffuser reeds

Simply follow the steps above to clean out your vessel, pour in the desired fragrance to base ratio, and place your reeds in the oil. We suggest using about 16% to 25% fragrance. Voila, you have a diffuser!

Our pick: Gold Bauble 


Another easy, but wonderful way of repurposing candle vessels. Succulents are majorly having their moment and we cannot lie, we love them too! Grab your gardening gloves, some potting soil, and your flowers or succulents. Your candle vessel just became a chic planter.

Our pick: Graphite Geo 


Because we know you need somewhere to hold your makeup brushes, hairpins and cotton swabs. Add some organization and style to your bathroom counter with your upcycled candle vessel.

Our pick: Snow Marble


Office goals! Whether you work in a large corporate office or a small home based business, we all love to add a little style to our desk top.

Our pick: Gold Dip Cement


It just so happens that many votives and candle pots are the perfect size for your morning cup of joe. We suggest sticking with glassware or ceramic for this use as concrete or stone may become stained over time. Always hand wash after use for best care.

Our pick: White Bauble 


Bet you didn’t think of this one! We won’t tell your guests they are drinking out of a candle vessel if you won’t. If you have a favorite line of candles, you can even accumulate a set of cocktail glasses as you burn through more.

Our pick: Silver Hunk


This repurpose requires a fairly large candle vessel depending on your level of chef expertise. Some of us are good with just a spatula or two, but if you are a culinary wiz with lots of gear, you may need an XL candle to match!

Our pick: Frosted Aura


There are so many different routes you can take with this to suit your own personal home decor style. For a bright and timeless look, fill your empty vessel with faux flowers or greenery. A few other items we love which you could use to fill your empty vessel…

Our pick: Mod Waves


This one will put the candy dish at your grandma’s house to shame. Bowl shaped vessels work fabulously for this idea and the bigger, the better!

Staying away from sweets? Try filling your vessel with these tasty and healthy ginger chews. Not only are they delicious, but ginger is a nutritional powerhouse, most commonly known for reducing inflammation and easing nausea.

Our pick: Matte Black Gem Pot

This may have you candle shopping in a whole new light (yes, pun intended!), wondering what you might do with the leftover vessel before the candle is even first lit!

If you ever find yourself with a candle vessel that you just cannot find a way to reuse or repurpose, please recycle it for goodness sake! Our planet is precious, as are the resources it provides to us… so use them wisely and then use them again!

Did you discover new ideas for repurposing your candle vessels from this blog? We would love to see! Share your repurposed candle vessel on social media and tag us @woodenwick.

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