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DIY Candle from a Thrifted Brass Canister

How to make a DIY candle out of any thrifted or vintage vessel like tea canisters, cups, bowls, jars, and dishes.

New mission: Find all of the cute vintage canisters, candy jars, cups, and bowls in thrift stores and turn them into candles.

I’ve found my life’s calling. Okay, not really. But it’s a heck of a good time.

The other day while out thrifting, I saw this perfectly patina’d brass tea canister and knew it was destined for greatness.

A week ago, I received a candle that had broken in shipping, so this was my attempt at turning lemons into lemonade. It totally worked!

broken candle

One of my favorite candle companies, Antique Candle Co., makes and sells these beautiful candles from vintage vessels, but they always sell out lighting fast. I’m never quite quick enough. So this was definitely a great Plan B.

antique brass canister candle

(You can find a bunch more thrift store DIY project ideas here.)

If you happen to have any old containers lying around you think could make pretty candles too, here’s how to do it…

Supplies Used:

  • Soy wax flakes or an old candle you don’t mind melting down (I used wax from a broken candle and a little extra from half-used candles I already had.)
  • Medium sized candle wicks
  • Hot glue gun or double-sided sticky tape
  • Optional: Candle fragrance oil (Or use essential oils, if you’d like.)
  • Wick holders (Chopsticks, pencils, pens or straws work too)
  • A microwave or double boiler
  • A dish towel or newspapers (to protect your work surface)
  • Metal butter knife (to stir with)
  • Candle vessel of your choice – in my case, a brass tea canister (candy dishes, tea cups, vintage bowls, jars, antique coffee tins, and the like would all be pretty too)
  • Scissors

The Steps

1. Start with your clean, dry canister (or whatever vessel you choose) and melt the wax in a double boiler (a heat safe bowl over boiling water can work too. Stir until completely melted.

melting candle wax

melting candle wax

2. Be sure your wick is straight and apply a little hot glue to the metal end of the wick (or use double sided stickers) and place in the center of the bottom of the canister.

3. Keep your wick upright by sticking it through a wick holder or taping it to a chopstick or pencil.

making a DIY candle

4. Optional: Using a dropper, add the fragrance (about 1/4 oz of fragrance per 8 oz of wax) to your melted wax and stir. My wax was already scented, so I skipped this step.

5. Pour the melted wax into your canister.

cutting wicks on a DIY candle made from an antique brass canister

6. Let the wax cool and harden for a couple of hours, cut the wick to half an inch above the wax, and then enjoy!

candle made from a thrifted antique brass canister

It turned out so cute! And they’d make the sweetest DIY gifts for friends, teachers, or hostesses.

antique brass canister candle with Chinoiserie vase and greenery

If you want more thrift store DIY ideas, you can find more here:

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7 Comments

  1. I absolutely love that tea tin candle! I have been saving old candles for years and just never made it a priority to do this. You have inspired me! thanks

  2. Even without the candle this is super sweet and cute! Great find… and great idea. Thank you for sharing 😉

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