How To Make DIY Emergency Candles From Recycled Candles

DIY Emergency Candles

Stop throwing your old candle pieces away! Use all those candle leftovers and make some great DIY emergency candles for your homestead. As an added bonus, they may even make your home smell great too!

This is such a simple project and requires just a few supplies. It is a great project for a rainy day. And it gives you one more way of being prepared for an emergency, especially a power failure.

Some Tips Before You Get Started

The first thing you need to do is to gather supplies for your DIY Emergency Candles. Before I give you a list, let me mention a few things here. Candle wax can be poured into anything that is heatproof. I use half-pint canning jars, glass jars from the dollar tree, or even aluminum cans. You use what you have.

Second of all, you do not have to buy wicks already made. You can cut lengths of braided cotton string available from Amazon and soak them in hot wax until they are saturated. Lay them out flat on a piece of wax paper. Once dry, you can cut them to whatever length you need for the candles you are making.

Lastly, you can add scent if you want, but the purpose of these DIY Emergency Candles is to have a source of light, or fire in an emergency, so the scent is not really necessary. However, the choice is yours. Just keep in mind, these candles will be set aside until needed and will probably lose most of their scent anyway.

Gather Your Supplies

Gather the following items:

  • Melted, broken, or leftover pieces of wax from candles
  • Wicks and scissors to cut the wicks
  • Containers to pour your candle wax in
  • Double Boiler
  • Pick or something to help scrape candle wax from old jars
  • Sharp knife to cut your wax if needed
  • Hot glove or oven mitt
  • Second pot to warm new jars in
  • Wooden or metal spoon to stir your wax with
  • Newspaper, wax paper, or cutting board to work on.
  • Glass Pyrex measuring cup to pour melted wax (optional)
DIY emergency candles

Prepare your Work Area

Figure out where you will be pouring your DIY Emergency Candles so they can set up without being moved and disturbed. Lay out some wax paper, newspaper, or a cutting board in your area. Place your wicks, (already cut to the length you need) on your surface.

If you want to use the remaining wax in an old candle jar, follow these tips to make it easier. Fill the bottom of your double boiler up so that the top pot just rests on the surface of the water. Turn the heat to medium, and allow the water to simmer. In the meantime, fill your second pot up with 1 cup of water. Turn the heat to low.

Place the jar in the second pot directly in the pan. Allow the wax in the bottom of the jar to melt enough that you can use a pick or a spoon to remove the wax from the jar and place the wax in the top pot of your double boiler.

You will use this same ‘second pot’ procedure to warm up any glass jars you will be using. A cold jar may shatter when it comes in contact with the hot wax. By using this method you will prevent shattering, cracking, and breakage.

Once your jars are warm place them on a towel that has been folded to create 2 to 4 layers. Cover the warm jars with another warm towel to retain the heat.

Melting and Pouring Your Wax

Now that you have prepared the jars for your DIY Emergency Candles, your wax should be melted. Stir your wax until all wax pieces are turned to liquid. You can use a wooden or metal spoon for this.

There may be old wicks and debris in your melted wax and you don’t want that in your new candle. I use a small metal strainer that fits perfectly over my jars but you can also use an old t-shirt, cheesecloth, or a coffee filter to straining your wax. Just make sure if you are using a metal strainer that you dip it in hot water between each pour so the wax is removed.

Fill the jars up to just below the rim allowing about 1/4 inch of space. Place your wick in the center of each jar and hold in place for a few seconds. Let these candles cool where they are until they become solid.

Remember, these are DIY emergency candles, so their appearance shouldn’t matter too much. However, as your candle cools, you may find a ‘divot’ or air hole forming around the wick. If this bothers you, then re-melt a small portion of any leftover wax.

Once it is melted, gently pour the wax into the divot. Allow this to cool completely. Check for any remaining divot, and repeat the process until your candle is smooth. Be careful NOT to add so much wax that the wick is fully submerged. You need to retain at least a 1/2″ of wick in order to light your candle.

Storing Your DIY Emergency Candles

Once your DIY emergency candles have cooled completely, store your candles in a cool place within easy reach in case of an emergency.

Now it is time to pat yourself on the back. You have learned to make DIY Emergency Candles! No more worries about storms or power outages as you have plenty of candles to light your way.

You can watch me as I create my own DIY Emergency Candles for my homestead in my video below.

For other great ideas on being prepared on your homestead see Oak Hill Homestead’s post How To Be Prepared For a Disaster.

About the author

I'm a mama to four and grandma to six. Yankee born with a love of the south. I love old-fashioned ways with modern thinking. I'm a homesteader, gardener, blogger. I enjoy “from scratch” cooking, consider myself a crafty do-it-yourselfer, and animal rescuer.

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