Pot a plant in a glass jar

10 Weird and Unique Candle Vessels That Are Actually Genius

Discover unique candle vessels around the house to spark creativity—upcycle unconventional containers for safe, captivating candle-making adventures.

If you want to experiment with some unique candle vessels, you're in the right place. Whether you're looking to spice up your own candle game or come up with some distinctive candle jar ideas for your small business, here are some fun and whimsical ways to take your finished candles to the next level (and save the planet along the way).

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Benefits Of Upcycling Unique Candle Vessels 

It's good for the environment. 

Upcycling old items around the house or from thrift stores to use instead of new candle jars is not only creative but also environmentally responsible. According to the EPA, glass only has a recycle rate of 31%, meaning it usually winds up in landfills when we’re done with it. 

So rather than buying new glass candle jars, which require the production of new materials and energy consumption, upcycling allows us to repurpose existing items and give them a new life. Doing so reduces the amount of waste that ends up in landfills and reduces your carbon footprint. 

It saves you money. 

One of the great things about upcycling non-conventional candle vessels is that it can help candle-making hobbyists save money. Instead of buying expensive and often mass-produced candle containers, you can repurpose items you already have or find at thrift stores and flea markets. 

It pushes your creativity to the next level. 

Using non-traditional candle vessels can take your creativity to the next level by challenging you to think outside the box. You may find yourself inspired to experiment with different types of wax, wicks, and scents to create candles that perfectly complement the vessel. 

Top 10 Most Unique Candle Vessels (You Probably Have Around The House) 

1. Ceramic Teapots

Ceramic is a highly heat-resistant material, which means it can withstand the heat of melted wax without cracking or breaking. So next time you're out thrifting or raiding grandma's kitchen, keep an eye out for a teapot that's just begging to be repurposed into a luxury candle vessel. 

2. Concrete Plant Pots

If you like gardening, you probably have some of these concrete candle vessels lying around. Utilizing concrete plant pots as candle jars is a clever approach to revive a pot that's likely been idling in your home, half-filled with dirt. Bonus: you can also paint and decorate your plant pots before turning them into candles if you feel extra crafty. 

3. Christmas Cookie Metal Tins

The cookies might have been stale, but your candle-making prowess can help these old tins turn a new leaf. Cookie tin containers can just as easily become candle tins due to their sturdy, heat-resistant, and durable construction. The tight-fitting lids also make them perfect for turning your new candle tins into nifty-gifties. 

4. Vintage Ceramic Tea Cups

When was the last time you actually drank tea out of a delicate little tea cup with your pinky out like the queen of England? Instead of letting tea cups gather dust on the shelf, you can refashion them into enchanting, one-of-a-kind ceramic candle vessels. Search thrift stores, antique shops, or even source from your own collection. Note: it's important to ensure that your teacups are dishwasher-safe. 

5. Old Ceramic Coffee Mugs

You know those old, stained coffee mugs that are hiding in the back of your cabinet? They might not be suitable for drinking your morning joe, but they make for some seriously cute candle vessels. With their heat-resistant ceramic construction and built-in handles, coffee mugs are the perfect size for a small candle that'll add some ambiance to your living space. Of course, just like vintage tea cups, they must be dishwasher-safe. 

6. Empty Glass Wine and Liquor Bottles

Got a few empty bottles lying around the house? No shame—after all, they do say a glass of red wine a day is good for you, right? Turning those empty glass bottles into glass candle vessels is an eco-friendly way to craft creative candles. The result is an out-of-the-box, fashionable, and sustainable candle that says, "I care about the earth—and I'm having a good time while I walk the face of it." 

7. Ceramic Dessert Bowls

Who says dessert bowls are just for, well, dessert? If you're looking for an offbeat and artistic approach to candle vessels, quirky ceramic dessert bowls might just be your new obsession. Not only do they come in a wide range of shapes, colors, and patterns, but they also add a touch of whimsy and charm to your candle creations. 

8. Ceramic Ramekins

Psst...we won't tell anyone, but we heard that some people like to snag ramekins from restaurants. And while we're not condoning theft, we do have to admit that ramekins make fantastic candle vessels! These small ceramic candle vessels are perfect for making a small, romantic candle—just don't commit any petty crimes to get your hands on them. 

9. Enamel Butter Dish

Butter dishes aren't just for pairing with toast anymore. They make noteworthy, unconventional candle vessels. This unusual choice adds a touch of old-school flair and a playful twist to your candle collection. 

10. Enamel Serving Bowl

Reminiscent of childhood holiday gatherings, classic enamel serving bowls make amusing and nostalgic candle containers. Discover quaint, retro-patterned bowls at antique shops or flea markets, giving overlooked treasures new purpose. Turning bowls into candle vessels offers an interesting twist and a large surface area for longer-burning, atypical candles. 

Staying Safe: Candle Containers to Avoid

Candle fire safety should be front of mind when you’re crafting your candles. Note that not all endearing containers are good and safe ideas for candle crafting. The goal is to have fun—not start a fire! 

Many containers may look fireproof, but, in reality, they are not. You also want to avoid choosing containers that might leak. An easy test to check for leaks is to pour water into your container to see if water seeps through. 

On that note, here's a list of containers NOT to use as unique candle vessels: 

  • Wine glasses
  • Vases
  • Drinking glasses
  • Plastic containers
  • Thin or cracked glass containers
  • Metal containers with a painted or coated interior
  • Containers made of soft or porous stone

Upcycling Unconventional Candle Vessels: Frequently Asked Questions

Will using non-conventional candle vessels affect my candle burn time or quality?

Some vessels may have different heat-conducting properties, which could affect how quickly the wax melts or how evenly the candle burns. Therefore, testing your candles in the chosen vessel before selling or gifting them to ensure they perform as intended is always a good idea.

Can I use any type of non-conventional vessel as a candle container?

Ceramics, glass, and metal are typically safe materials for holding melted wax, but other materials like plastic or wood may not be suitable. 

Additionally, you'll want to ensure the vessel is sturdy enough to support the weight of the wax and wick. As for shape, you'll want to consider whether the vessel is wide enough to accommodate the size of the candle and whether it has a stable base to prevent tipping.

How do I clean and prepare non-conventional vessels for candle making?

Ceramic and glass vessels can typically be washed with soap and water and dried thoroughly before use. Metal vessels may need to be polished or treated to prevent rust or tarnishing. 

If the vessel has a strong odor (such as from holding food or drink), you may need to let it air out for a few days or use a baking soda or vinegar solution to remove the smell. Always make sure the vessel is completely dry before pouring in the wax.

Looking for More Pro-Candle Making Tips? 

We hope this blog post inspired you to experiment with some weird and unique candle containers. To learn about how to make your own candles at home, check out Kalamazoo Candle Company's Make Your Own Candle and be sure to also check out our Candle Dos and Donts, a list curated by our very own professional candle makers.