If you love candles in glass jars as much as we do, you know the disappointment that comes when you burn your candle to the end. The delightful glow and lovely scent are gone, but the jar, itself, remains. It seems a shame to throw it away. Glass candle jars are gorgeous, and sometimes they're even part of the reason you bought the candle in the first place.

The good news is that there are plenty of ways you can use those glass candle jars to make amazing, DIY crafts, once you remove the wax from them. Read on for a list of our favorite ideas. As an added bonus, these candle jar craft ideas work for Mason jars, too!

1. Hanging Lanterns

diy hanging jar lantern

We've got a thing for hanging lanterns. They add a touch of elegance and magic to outdoor spaces, which is why we're excited to learn how to make your own hanging lanterns from Ideal Home. Although they use jam jars, candle jars and Mason jars work well for this project, too. We've adapted their instructions so you can make your own DIY hanging lanterns out of glass candle jars and Mason jars.

You'll need:

  • Three clean, rimmed candle jars or Mason jars
  • Wire
  • Optional decorative accents (mini pine cones, charms or beads)


  1. Wind the wire two or three times around the neck of the used candle so it sits tightly beneath the rim.
  2. Snip approximately 20 inches of wire to use for your handle. Make sure it's long enough to allow your lanterns to dangle without burning anything above. Run one end of wire under the wire wrapped around the rim of your candle jar and thread it back through to make a loop. Twist the ends to secure the wire and make a handle. Then repeat to make a second handle on the other end.
  3. Attach decorative accents such as miniature pine cones, charms, or beads to the wire. Give them a few twists to make sure they're secure.
  4. Fill the bottom of the jar with coarsely ground salt or white sand. Place a votive or tapered candle in the center and twist so it's secure and the candle remains upright. Add more salt or sand if necessary. Or, you can skip the fuss and fill your DIY hanging lantern with battery operated string lights.
  5. Enjoy your gorgeous, new hanging lantern!

2. Succulent Planter

collection of succulents in planters

Why buy an expensive pot for your succulents when you've got used candle jars on hand? Small candle holders are perfect for individual plants that you can show off on small shelves and window sills around your home. Larger jars are ideal for grouping plants together to make a mini succulent garden. Simply fill the old candle jar with fast-draining soil and plant your favorite succulent. These plants are easy to care for and thrive in these nontraditional planters.

3. Memory Jars

A jar full of pine cones

Glass candle jars are perfect for displaying all the mementos you saved from your favorite vacation, life event, etc. You'll need to use a large, clear candle or Mason jar with a lid to get the right effect. However, small jars can also work well, depending on how much space you need to display whatever mementos you have accumulated.

You can fill your jar with anything -- sand and seashells from a family vacation to a beach; small photos of your loved ones; small pine cones from your campsite; wine stoppers; or even just tickets to concerts, movies, or museums you've purchased. The possibilities are as endless as the results are beautiful.

4. Vases

A jar of gold glitter spills out against a pink background.

Whether you prefer fresh or artificial flowers, it's nice to have a variety of vases around to accommodate different stem heights, bouquet widths and even just to mix it up. The Beauty of Bliss has a great idea for transforming your used candle jars into vases. Unlike many of the other DIY repurposed candle ideas, this method can be used on non-glass containers. They make great vases, but you can also use them for storing pencils or make up brushes.

You'll need:

  • Clear craft glue such as Mod Podge
  • Glitter
  • Sponge brushes


  1. Use a sponge or brush to apply a thin coat of craft glue to a clean candle jar.
  2. Thoroughly sprinkle the glitter over your candle jar. Keep rotating it to make sure you get an even coat on all sides. Let the glitter dry for two to three hours.
  3. Once the glitter is dry, apply another thin, even coat of craft glue on top. This will seal the glitter.
  4. Let dry two to three more hours.
  5. Enjoy!

5. Canisters

glass candle jars used as canisters for ingredients

If you're looking for a way to organize your pantry, turning candle jars into canisters can be supremely effective. Tiny Pushes recommends Yankee Candle candle holders, but this idea would work equally well with large, wide candle jars with tight-fitting lids. Use them to store dry goods such as beans, pasta, and coffee. Use chalkboard paint to create labels so you can easily see if the jar contains flour or sugar, and you can easily change what ingredients the jars hold.

Go ahead, burn those candles without remorse. You've got plans for that glass jar.

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