Easy Homemade Candle Lanterns Tutorial

by Olia

If you like using candles to create a cozy romantic atmosphere at home, chances are you have a lot of half-burnt or almost finished candles. You can give them a second life creating a beautiful candle lantern like the one you see above. The candles or lanterns are very easy to make, and though in this tutorial I am making floor lanterns, you can apply the same method to do smaller jar candles as well.

You will need:

  • Thick glass jar (s) for making pickles – I selected the 4l jars with covers
  • Old candle leftovers. As I was making big lanterns, plus to old candles of all sizes, colors, and shapes I got two big new candles because the leftovers were not enough for the big jar I’ve chosen for this project. You can decide how many candles you might need depending on the capacity of the jar you have chosen and how tall you want your candle to be.
  • If you like to make a scented candle, you will need essential oils or some dry herbs. I had a few old scented candles leftovers, so I skipped adding this “ingredient.”
  • Decorating elements: small dry silk flowers or herbs, seashells, lemon slices or orange pieces, etc. But honestly, the big jars lanterns will look fabulous even if you don’t add anything!
  • Old saucepan and heat resistant pouring pitcher to melt candles (keep in mind that you will not be able to use them anymore for cooking or other crafts – just for candles melting)
  • Candlewicks – I took the ones from 2 big new candles, but you can find them in any craft supplies store
  • Craft sticks or wooden spoon to mix the melting candles
  • A knife to cut candles into pieces
  • Clothespins to hold the candlewick
  • Jute, ribbon or rope if you want to make a handle or a bow on the top

My general advice is – use all that you already have on hand because this kind of crafts is a great way to recycle old things and give them a new life. You can use wax flakes instead of candles, and any simple elements you have at home – even coffee beans or little stones will add a stunning effect. Instead of the jars, you can use vases, old cups, or any clear and thick glass containers. Important that they can resist the heat.

Cover your work area because when you cut candles and pour the melted wax into the jar the surface can get dirty or damaged. And wax can be tough to clean after the work is done.


Cut the candles leftovers into small pieces, place them into pouring pitcher, and melt over a double boiler set up with the saucepan.

When the wax melts, add essential oils to the mixture, stir to combine, and remove from the heat. While the wax is melting, cut the new candles into big “rocks.” Make sure not to damage the candlewicks if you plan to use them for your lanterns.

Spruce a bit of hot wax on the inside of the jar and roll it on sides covering a small bottom area. Place some decorating elements to glue them on the sides of the jar a bit above the bottom.

Put the jar up and place inside the candles “rocks” you’ve made before on the bottom. Place the candle wick, fix it with clothespins above the jar, and pour the melted wax into the jar. My wicks did not touch the candle “rocks,” so I made an extension from a jute cord to fix them at the desired distance from the top. I wanted the candles part to occupy not more than 1/4 of the at space. If you are making a candle, you will add it to fill the area up to the 2- 3 cm before the top line of the jar.

Wait for 15-20 minutes, and when the hot wax will start to be firm, but not cold sprinkle in some dry flowers, petals, or small shells on the top. Allow your candle lantern to dry for a few hours or overnight. Remove clothespin and snip the wick.

Tie a ribbon, jute strands at the top line to add a romantic touch. Or tie up the rope around the jar top to create a handle. Your candle lantern is ready!

These lanterns will look gorgeous in your patio, garden, living room, or master bedroom – options you can use them are endless. They also will make a beautiful prop for photoshoots, especially if you make them on sunset.

I would love to see how your lantern or candle turns out – let me know in the comments below or tag me on Instagram to share the images. Happy making!

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