You spent $30 on a scented luxury candle.  You burned it every night for a week and it was the happiest week of your nose’s life.  But now it’s gone and you’re contemplating the fact that not only did you lose your best friend, you literally watched your money go up in smoke.  Insanely good smelling smoke that made your nose hairs do the tango.  Now what?

Most people do one of two things at this point in their candle’s life.  The true grown ups will throw the burned candle out right away.  These are the same people who throw out leftover Halloween candy.   Avoid them at all costs. These are not fun people.

Everyone else will stick the remnants of the candle in a drawer and forget about it until they have to open the drawer for something else. They will then stick their nose in the candle, sigh, smile, remember the good times and put it back until the next time they open the drawer.

We are the ones who are unwilling to part with the dead.  We are the Norman Bates of the candle world.  We are the fun ones.

My name is Karen and I hoard my used up luxury candles.  These are different from a regular scented candle (that you can pick up at a dollar store) because they actually scent a whole room when they’re burning. Plus they cost way more than a dollar.  Illume, Anthropologie, Thymes … they’re all luxury candles because their scents are complex and beautiful and because they actually do what they’re supposed to do; scent a room.

Here’s a bit about why some candles smell good when they’re cold but don’t seem to smell like anything when you burn them.

  • Candle scent is categorized as having either cold throw or hot throw.
  • Cold throw is when a candle smells strong when it’s cold (not burning)
  • Hot throw is when a candle smells strong when it’s hot (while it’s burning)
  • Creating a good hot throw (especially in a soy candle) is harder and more expensive process. (at least that’s what I’m telling myself to justify the $30 candles I sometimes buy instead of the $2 ones at Dollarama)

So it isn’t your imagination that your cheap (and sometimes even expensive) candle smells great when it isn’t lit.  It’s common and maddening. So when you shell out a whack of cash on a luxury candle you want to make sure you get all the money and scent out of it that you can.

I do eventually end up throwing those spent candles out by the way.  I just don’t do it until I’ve had at least a year of mourning.

Last week I couldn’t take it anymore and did something so simple I’m poking myself in the eye for not having done it sooner.

I made another candle out of my old candle.

I told you about one of my favourite scented candles, the Illume Woodfire scented candle. I burned through that sucker in a week and when I was done there was a ton of wax left in the bottom and around the sides of it.

So I dug out some wicks and a votive holder from my craft cupboard and made a new candle in about 4 minutes.  And you can too my luxury candle buying friend.

How to turn one luxury candle into two.

Reusing luxury candle wax to make a new candle.

  1. Leftover scented luxury candle.
  2. Wick.
  3. Pot.
  4. Old can.
  1. Scrape out the old wax from your candle and put it in a tin can.  An old coffee can, vegetable can … anything like that.  Make sure it’s clean and leakproof.  If your candle came in a can you just have to scrape down the sides.

Reusing old candle wax to make new candles.

2. Place the can in an old pot and fill it with a couple of inches of water.  Place it on the stove over low heat to melt.  ONLY use low heat otherwise you could burn off the scent you love so much.  Plus high heat is dangerous with wax around.

Reusing old candle wax to make new candles.

3. While your wax is melting  hot glue your wick base to the bottom of another candle container.  When you’re buying the wicks make sure you get the right size and type for whatever kind of wax and container you have.


4.  Remove the can of melted wax from the pot of hot water once it’s melted.


5. Pour the wax into the prepared container and let it cool for 8 hours before burning.  Trim wick to 1/8th of an inch.

NOTE:  I light my candle wick, let it burn for a minute or so, blow it out and then trim the wick to 1/8th of an inch.



If your wick is tippy, stretch a rubber band around the jar on either side of the wick to hold it steady.  You can also use a couple of pencils, or in this case a skewer.

I realize this looks like a lot of steps, and there’s instructions and a multitude of photographs, but seriously, you melt a candle and pour it into a new container.  That’s it.  Don’t be so lazy.  It’s way better to be cheap.

I’d love to stay and talk but my new best friend is waiting for me in the other room.


  1. SusanR says:

    My nose doesn’t allow for strong candle scents. There are some stores I can’t even go into because of the immediate and continued reaction of strong sneezing. There are some stores, that just passing them by causes a reaction.

    When I weighed less, some of my sneezes almost made me airborne, and the people around me were always so startled to hear such a loud sneeze from such a small human, and see my arms and legs fly out and about. Now that I’m older, I have to wear something to avoid wetting myself.

    Woe is me.

    I mention this to point out that not everyone can handle strong candle scents, so if you’re planning to burn some at a gathering, you might query the guests in advance to see if they’ll be able to tolerate them. Same with strong perfumes. Some people have noses that a sensitive to pretty much any particles in the air.

  2. Nancy Blue Moon says:

    I’ve been doing this for years Karen…I have a nice little electric pot for melting wax in and it even has a pour spout on it to transfer the hot wax into what ever container you are using to make your new candle in…very convenient!

  3. martha brown says:

    Where do you buy your candle wicks?

  4. LibrarianNancy says:

    Rather than make a new candle and spill hot wax all over myself and the dogs (I have klutz issues), I chisel the remaining wax out of the container when it gets to the bottom and melt the chunks in a wax melter/tart burner. There is a small lightbulb at the bottom that provides just enough heat to melt the wax. Usually I get another couple of weeks of fragrance out of the melted wax.

  5. Brenda says:

    Rather than scrape the leftover wax out of the original container, I just put the original in the pan with the water and turn it on low and keep an eye on it (usually these are glass containers of some type). Typically I do this to clean out the original container which I try to reuse, so the leftover candle goes in the trash. But this last time, I melted out the leftovers, put it in a container to hold it for the moment. I have more than one of the same scent, so when the others get to that same point I’ll dump them into my hold container as well. When it’s all stockpiled, I’ll remelt the whole lot together and put in a wick, I should have enough for a decent sized new candle.

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