Saturday, February 18, 2012

From Candles to Canisters

I love candles.  Specifically, Yankee Candles.  I get them mostly at T.J. Maxx at a discounted price and I love the shape of the jars. So much in fact, that I have a hard time discarding them.   I hold on to them even when there's only a tiny bit of candle wax and no wick left. Recently, I decided I needed to re-purpose those jars into something useful... but all that wax!

Here's what I did.

I took out three jars and their lids.  One Walmart candle ended up in the mix, but it didn't come with a lid, so it didn't make it all the way through to the final stage...

First, I removed the labels from the jars using a paring knife.  Don't worry about any sticky glue residue, we'll tackle that later.  I took off all the lids and set them aside.

Using my candle warmer and three burners on my cook top, I melted the remaining wax in the jars until it was all liquid.  The cook top certainly was quicker, but once the candle got heated, I turned off the burners.  I didn't want to over heat the glass and possibly shatter the jars all over my kitchen.  Not a good thing! The warm burners continued to melt the wax.

The candle burner is something I have used often to get the last bit of scent out of a candle that has no more wick.  The wax doesn't burn off however, and eventually you get to the point where there's no more smell left, and the wax is useless.  In the case of these three candles, though, there was plenty of fragrance left and I wanted to reserve the wax for later.

I used condiment cups and a tin made especially for candle wax.  I don't remember where I got the tin... some country shop somewhere, but the cups you can get at Walmart in the kitchen department. I've used both on the candle burner with great success.  The bonus is that after they have cooled you can pop the homemade wax tart out and use the molds again.

You can see on one of the tarts to the left, I used different "flavors" to create  a layered look.
 Vanilla, Cherry and  Christmas cookie :)
Using paper towels, I cleaned out as much of the wax as I could.  I found it helpful to use one of my long candle lighters to heat up any wax that didn't get melted, and then wipe it clean with the paper towels.  It takes a few minutes, but it isn't hard.

Sticky film still on class

Now to revisit the stickies left over from the labels.  Goo gone is a great product... unfortunately, I have misplaced mine, so I opted to use WD40 instead.  This stuff is great for removing stickies... but it is flammable, so make sure you're completely done with the melting the wax because lighters and WD40 do not mix well!

Sticky film gone

From here put the cleaned out jars into the dishwasher for a cycle.  Don't forget the lids!

For Christmas I purchased a gallon sized jar at Walmart ($7.50) and painted a label on it using chalkboard paint.  I filled it with Resees's peanut butter cups and scrawled "Indulgences" on the label with chalk.  This was a gift for my husband... but I really liked how the chalkboard paint came out, so this was what I wanted to do for my candle canisters.

My experience with the candy jar taught me that many light layers of chalkboard paint is better than fewer thick layers.  I thought about where I wanted the label to sit on the jars and how big I wanted the label.  I wanted them to be the same for each jar, so I took measurements.  In the end, nothing homemade is ever perfect, and that's sort of the point right?  We'll call it "charm" :)

Background painting courtesy of my very talented niece, Moirah  :)

Start by masking off your label.

  I  like the "crosshatch" look that I got from alternating directions of brush strokes.  First layer horizontal strokes, second layer vertical... you get the idea.  After each layer, I used my embossing heating tool to dry the paint.  When applying second, third and fourth layers, I noticed that the former layer- even when dry- would pull away.  Using a bit more paint, a very light hand, and never stroking over the same area twice seemed to remedy the problem.  Again-- charm. :)  Don't even think about writing on this surface with chalk until it has had 24 hours to dry.  Trust me on this one.



So here is the finished product.  I'm actually quite happy with how they turned out. 

These will hold all my different baking chips and have labels
indicating what is what, but 24 hours hadn't passed, so you get the non-
labeled version :)


  1. Brilliant! I love the idea of using chalkboard paint on the jars!

  2. Well, if you're like me, you never keep the same thing in the same jar for very long. I need things to be flexible. Chalk is very flexible. :)

  3. Don't you EVER tell me you're not using your talents! This is brilliant, which, of course, is only expected from my beautiful, charming and brilliant daughter.:0) Love you.
    Look what I learned on Holly's facebook (\(\ Isn't it cute?

  4. Bummer! When it got published the ears got separated from the body. Well, it WAS cute.

  5. :) I saw it on Holly's page, Very cute!
    Thanks for the comments mom. :)


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