Recycled No Wax Candles

By Home Decor Contributor Alyssa

No Wax Recycled Candles

Why are candles so expensive?? I love having tons of candles lit throughout my home at any given time, but I also have anxiety about lighting them because I’m afraid to use them up too quickly, and what’s the point having nice things if you can’t use them? Right? Right??

Well, I have found a solution to all our candle woes, especially when it comes to the gorgeous Anthropologie candles your mother in law gets you twice a year since, if you’re like me, you’re not willing to spend the money on them yourself. They smell great, but the best part is the beautiful votives they come in. And then the worst part is throwing them out when they’re gone.

But gone are those days.

What you will need:

  • Old, sad, used up candles
  • A butter knife
  • Dish soap
  • A sponge
  • Crisco
  • A large spoon
  • Candle wicks or cotton string
  • Scissors
  • Washers or something else small and heavy (if using cotton string)
  • Small dowel (if using cotton string)
  • Essential oils or candle scent
  • Optional:
    • Crayons
    • Mason jars

We’ll start out by getting rid of the used up candle wax inside your old candle votives. Just pop your candles into the freezer for a few hours until the wax is nice and frozen. Take the candles out and begin breaking the wax apart with a butter knife.


My chilly candles


It should come out really easily once it’s broken up. Throw away the old wax or, if you’re feeling fancy and have enough to make a small candle, keep the old wax for later. Clean the votives out with hot water, dish soap and a sponge. Viola! Clean, empty candle holders



Next, you are going to spoon the Crisco into a votive and put it in the microwave, melting in 60 second increments and adding more Crisco as it melts down until all of it is fully melted and the votive is full. It gets super hot. Handle with care (at oven mitts).




Carefully remove the votive from the microwave and, if desired, melt a crayon (color of your choice, of course, and paper wrapper removed) into the Crisco by dropping it into the hot vegetable shortening and stirring it in until it is fully melted and the color is incorporated throughout. I didn’t do this, as I prefer white candles, but it would be fun in a mason jar with some pretty colors!

Add a few drips of essential oil or candle scent and stir again.


To add a wick using the premade candle wicks:

Add a drop of glue to the base of the wick and put in the melted vegetable shortening, sticking it to the center of the bottom of the votive.

(I don’t have a picture of this because I didn’t use premade wicks, although I’m sure it would be super easy to do). Leave to harden.

To add a wick using cotton string:

Cut a piece of string about four inches longer than the height of your votive. Tie a washer to one end and drop it into the melted Crisco, trying to get it as close to the center as possible. Fun story: I went out to get supplies for crafts several times over the past few weeks, always with the intention to get some washers. And I forgot them EVERY TIME. So I used some beach glass because it was small and heavy and a good shape for tying around, and it worked just fine.



Grab your small dowel and lay it across the top of the votive. Wrap the string around the dowel several times and leave to harden.


Once the Crisco has hardened (you can put it in the freezer to speed up the process if you’re feeling impatient), you’re done! All you need to do is cut the string (make sure you don’t cut it too short!) I’ve heard Crisco burns for a really long time, so these are great for things like power outages and long winter nights. Never buy expensive candles again. Unless, of course, you covet the gorgeous votives they come in. ?

DIY No-Wax Recycled Candles

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