Inside: A tutorial for DIY craft beer candles and another 30 cool candle container ideas.
I was pleasantly surprised when I visited my eldest son’s new flat. There was no “floordrobe” in the bedroom, and a pleasant vanilla smell had replaced the Eau de smelly sports gear. For a mad second, I thought that he had turned into a neat freak and taken up baking too!
Then I spotted the scented candle. It was a gift from a girl, which also explained the tidy flat. He liked the candle and said he’d like some more but with a masculine smell, whatever that is! Then I remembered all the aftershave he wears contained Bergamot.
For Christmas this year, I thought I’d make homemade candles with a scent specially chosen for him. There are many different candle container ideas, from vintage tins, crockery, jars and wooden bowls. You can even reuse old candle jars.
But as these DIY scented candles were a gift for my son, I made them in his favourite craft beer cans. I know he loves the funky designs on these aluminium cans.
First, I’ll show you how easy it is to make homemade scented candles in the container of your choice using these beer/soda cans as an example. And then, you will find many more candle container ideas and the best tips on using scented candles.
I will also show you an unbelievable and nifty way to remove the top of cans without a tin opener or knife, and it leaves no sharp edges!
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How To Make Beer Can Candles
What you need
- Your favourite craft beer cans or other soda cans
- Wet/dry sandpaper
- A small pair of pliers or similar
- Wax beads – Soy or Parafin wax works well (there is an explanation of different candle wax types here). Another option is to remelt the dregs of old candles and use that.
- Wooden wicks are suitable for all types of wax and are easier to use than string wicks.
- The essential oil in the fragrance of your choice. I used bergamot, my son’s favourite. There is an excellent guide to candle wax fragrances here.
- Glass pyrex jug at least 500ml in size and a saucepan large enough for the jug to fit in.
The Unbelievable Way To Remove Aluminum Can Lids
I first saw this method for removing the lid of cans on a survival programme. The presenter managed to open a tin of tuna perfectly without a tin opener or knife; he just used rough hard ground!
I decided to tweak this technique for tin cans and couldn’t believe how easy and effective it was. Why not just use a tin opener? It’s a bit hit-and-miss opening aluminium cans with standard tin openers; they often damage the rim of the can and leave sharp edges.
Whereas this sandpaper method is foolproof. Please don’t ask me about the science behind it! I don’t know why this method works so well, but it just does!
Step 1: Wet your sandpaper with a bit of water. Then place the beer can top down onto the sandpaper.
Step 2: Set the countdown timer on your phone for three minutes. Then grab the can firmly enough to hold but be careful not to squash it; rub the rim on the sandpaper in circles for three minutes.
Step 3: After three minutes, turn the can back upright and then, using a pair of pliers, pull the lid off. The top will come away easily, and if you look carefully, you can see that the vibration has somehow dislodged the glue. It will still be smooth if you rub your fingers around the rim.
Wash out your craft beer cans, which will then be ready to turn into funky candles.
Melting The Wax For the Candle Container
For safety reasons, you must melt the wax beads in a “Bain Marie” double boiler. Just like how you would melt chocolate on the stove. If you have a chocolate melter, you can use this instead.
Step 4: Place the wax beads into the pyrex jug. The volume measurement marks on the pitcher’s side will help you determine how much wax you need.
Then place the glass jug into a saucepan of simmering water. Stir the wax beads until they melt entirely.
Step 5: Once the wax has melted, check the volume in the jug matches the volume in your container. Add more wax beads to the pitcher if needed.
Then remove the jug from the heat and let it cool for a minute before adding a few drops of the essential oil you’ve chosen. You can also colour the wax at this point if you want to with candle dye.
Step 6: Place the wooden wick in its metal stand into the centre of the beer can. The base of the beer can will be bevelled, so to keep the wick upright, add a bit of super glue to the floor or keep it between two chopsticks balanced on the rim.
Step 7: Pour the molten wax into the beer can, and make sure you fill it up to the rim. The wax will shrink slightly as it cools and hardens. You may want to top it up later if you wish for the candle wax to reach the top rim of the beer can.
Step 8: Leave the candles a good few hours, preferably overnight, to ensure the wax has cooled and hardened fully. Then trim the wooden wick with scissors.
I have three sons, so I made three craft beer candles, one for each. I hope they don’t argue over who gets which one! You’ll find another 50 fabulous gift ideas for guys here.
Unique Candle Container Ideas
First, if you have an existing candle container, it’s easy to repurpose and use it again. Just pop the old candle holder in the freezer overnight, and then you can pop out the residue wax. Sometimes you might need the help of a butter knife around the edge.
You can then wash it out and refill it with wax and a fragrance.
Uses for Old Candle Jars
When I buy a scented candle, I’m easily swayed by the container. I can’t resist a pretty candle container and love to repurpose and upcycle them around my home. Here are some of those old candle container ideas:
- Use them as succulent planters.
- Many glass containers can be reused as drinking glasses.
- Candle containers with lids repurpose into storage for food or the craft room.
- Larger open candle containers make good desk organisers.
- The watertight containers make lovely bud vases.
- Pretty candle holders make lovely make-up brush holders.
- Clear glass containers can be reused as tea light holders.
What To Consider Before Choosing A Candle Container
As well as craft beer cans, you can use many other things around the home as containers for homemade candles. Before deciding whether something would make a candle jar, here are some things to consider.
- Ensure the container is more or less even in height for an even and safe burn. You don’t want something much broader at the bottom.
- Another safety consideration is to ensure that the container is stable. You don’t want something that will topple over.
- Watertight containers; check beforehand.
- Heat-resistant containers such as tins, ceramics, glass jars, enamel, sea shells & coconut shells
Porous materials such as terracotta, wood and unglazed ceramics can be sealed to make them waterproof before turning into candles.
Candle Container Ideas
One of the most exciting things about making homemade scented candles is deciding what container to use. The right container can make that candle a special gift. It's also a great way to repurpose and upcycle old tins, ceramics and glassware. Here are some of the best DIY candle container ideas with complete tutorials.
DIY Spice Candle in a Copper Mug
Somebody spotted similar candles at a Joanna Gaines event which inspired these copper mug candles. The candles smell of cinnamon and cloves for a beautiful festive fragrance.
Oyster Shell Candle Containers
Oyster shells make lovely candle containers for table displays. You can add glamour by painting the shells gold and using coloured wax. They would also make a beautiful hostess gift.
Candles with Flowers Inside
The clever thing about these mason jar candles is not the container but the pressed flowers visible through the glass. These lavender candles would work in any glass jar, but Mason jars look cute.
How to Make Scented Beeswax Candles
These autumn candles are made with beeswax, cinnamon and cloves and set in small wooden dip bowls.
Homemade Orange Peel Candles
Use scoped out peel as a candle container for orange-scented candles.
Lavendar Candles In Tea Cups
Make lavender candles in vintage blue and white tea cups. The lavender sprinkled on the top matches the candle container.
Easy DIY Candles In Granny's Candy Dish
What a gorgeous way to reuse a vintage candy dish. Somehow using it as a candle holder makes this old item trendy again. And the amber colour of the glass is beautiful.
Hidden Crystal Candle DIY
Not just any candle: one infused with beautifully scented essential oils and topped with a handful of artfully faceted crystals. The finished product is a decorative art piece and a mood enhancer. Plus, it’s super easy to make!
Food jar candles
I now know what to make my son for Christmas. He is a colossal Marmite fan, and I know he would love me to repurpose one of his old jars into a candle.
Chinese Teacup Candle Holders
About once a month, we have a family Dim Sum meal. And these gorgeous candles would look lovely on the table. They are also an excellent decoration idea for the Chinese New Year.
DIY Citronella Candle
A functional container for a practical candle, drive away mosquitos with the citronella candle in an old loaf pan.
DIY Teacup Candles
There is no shortage of pretty vintage tea cups at the thrift store. Also, once the candles are finished, you can go back to drinking tea out of the cups. These are always fabulous handmade gifts.
DIY Apple Spice Candles
These Easy DIY Apple Spice Candles are incredibly simple to make and smell! It makes a great DIY gift idea for teachers.
DIY IKEA Wood Bowl Candle - Anthropologie Inspired
Transform a basic Ikea wood bowl into a stunning giant Boho candle. This is made by reusing old candles you may already have in your home.
Candle in a Can Gift Idea
I'm a sucker for pretty packaging. If you have a tin you like the look of, then give it a second life by repurposing it into a candle.
Pretty Yoghurt Pot Candle Containers
I've used those posh little yoghurt pots to make stamp tea lights before. But they could just as easily be used as candle containers, like with these lemon-scented ones.
Caramel Latte Tea Cup Candle
I love the smell of fresh coffee; with these candles, you can have the aroma without overdoing the caffeine.
DIY Eggshell Candles
These dainty eggshell candles would look great on any Easter tablescape.
homemade beeswax candles DIY
Vintage jello moulds for traditional beeswax candles.
Cement Christmas Candles
This tutorial shows you how to make small hollow round balls out of cement and then fill them with wax to make cute candles.
DIY Dollar Store Tin Christmas Candles
The perfect hostess gift for Christmas is a candle made in a festive tin.
Super Easy Pumpkin Spice Latte Candle DIY
It smells JUST like a Pumpkin Spice Latte and will make your house smell like Fall in no time. This a great gift idea for coffee lovers, who can use the mug once the candle has finished.
Easy DIY Pineapple Candles
.A fun summer candle container idea. These easy DIY pineapple scented candles are super cute, and they’re a cinch to make!
Enamel Coffee Mug Candle
This a lovely handmade gift idea for coffee lovers. I know I would love to receive one of these. The pun on the side is a fun added touch.
Candle In A Dough Bowl
I often see old dough bowls at flea markets and have been tempted to buy one but wasn't sure what for. Now that I've seen this gorgeous candle, I'm going to get the next one I see.
Marble Bowl Candles
These colourful candles will brighten up any table. They go with the clay marbled candle holders I made.
Pumpkin Beeswax Candles
Perfect for Halloween and fall, pretty pumpkin candles.
Mini Pie Tins Beeswax Tealight Candles
Mini pie tins come in many beautiful shapes, perfect for filling with wax-like these star-shaped candles.
DIY Terracotta Votives
Mini terracotta votives! Aren’t they adorable for fall and summer entertaining?! You can make any size (even large!) and add any scent to them! I have some old Victorian mini plant pots that would look great as candles.
Tea Infused Scented Candles In A Tin
It would make a lovely gift idea for tea lovers. I have the perfect English tea tin to make one of these quirky candles.
Candle Burning & Safety Tips
- The first time you light a new candle, let it burn until the melted wax reaches the sides of the container. This will give the candle a burn memory and prevent tunnelling.
- To avoid heat damage to the candle container and the surface, stop burning the candle once it is about 1cm from the base.
- Store candles away from direct sunlight and heat
- Place candles on heat-resistant surfaces
- Burn them in well-ventilated rooms
- Never leave burning candles unattended!
Pin for later!
Other Homemade Gift Ideas For Men
Check out these posts if you are looking for more DIY gift ideas besides beer candles for the men in your life.
- Map rock keychain
- Denim bow ties
- Cool nightstand caddy
- Lightbox sign
- Map trinkety tray
- Repurposed denim coasters
There are also many more tin can Christmas crafts here.
Monday 14th of November 2022
Claire, I love making homemade candles and your beer can version is so fun! Great lid removal tip, too! Thanks for sharing at Vintage Charm!
Tuesday 15th of November 2022
Thank you, that removing lid technique still amazes me!
Friday 11th of November 2022
What a good idea! I Recently bought some Chinese cans with drinks in a Chinese supermarket because I liked the cans. Now I have an idea what to o with them! Thanks!
Friday 11th of November 2022
Oh, that sounds like a wonderful idea and a great Chinese New Year decoration. Next time I'm in Chinatown, I will check out the cans!