DIY projects

More candles, less destruction

I’m a big fan of Danny Seo. He’s an incredible phenom who glided through high school and skipped college to go directly onto conquering the world. He’s now THE eco-friendly lifestyle mogul with product endorsements, big corporate partnerships, regular TV appearances, a line of towel and beauty products, and a long list of published books.

Danny posted his attempt at making interestingly shaped candles using glass bottles as molds. His idea of making interesting shaped candles was cool, but I wasn’t sure about the whole breaking glass thing. I would want more than one candle of the same shape. I like tea lights, so I decided to make some little baby candles.

Of course you can scale up the materials to make big candles too. Here are the steps for making your own candles with less destruction and more replication.


  • 1 small aluminum take out container
  • 1 large frying pan
  • 1 small plastic bottle
  • utility knife, dremel tool, or heavy duty scissors
  • candle wax
    I just used little candle nubs I had lying around.
  • 1 birthday candle at least 1″ taller than the plastic bottle
  • masking tape
  • water
  • stove
  • fridge


Prep the mold

  1. Cut your plastic bottle in half . It should be a vertical cut starting at the lip of the bottle, down the side, around the bottom, back up the other side, and end at the top bottle. You’ll end up with the bottle cut in half. The lip of bottles will often be thicker especially if it had a screw on cap. This is where a little hack saw or dremel tool really really helps! But if you have a good amount of elbow grease in you feel free to have at it with your utility knife or heavy duty scissors.
  2. Strip the wax off the bottom of the birthday candle to reveal 1/2″ of wick. You’ll end up with a birthday candle that has exposed wick on both ends.
  3. Lay the birthday candle in one of the plastic bottle halves. The expose wick should extend beyond the bottom of the bottle.
  4. Tape the wick to the bottom of the bottle. Make sure to bend the wick and tape it a position that is perpendicular to the cut in the bottle.
  5. Tape the two halves of the bottle together. Try to use on seamless strip of tape from the one side of the lip to the other following the cut. Make sure to match the two sides as perfectly as possible. Rub the masking tape down to ensure a water tight seal. This will prevent the melted wax from leaking out.

Melt the wax

  1. Fill the frying pan 1/4 with water.
  2. Place the frying pan on the stove. Turn it on to medium to low heat.
  3. Put the wax into the take out container.
  4. Place the container into the frying pan. Let the wax melt completely.

Pour and finish the candle

  1. Pour the melted wax into the bottle. Try not pour down the center of the opening, other wise getting wax on the side of the bottles mouth could harden and clog the opening.
  2. Place the candle in the freezer till it has cooled down and hardened. If your bottle is small and your freezer is sufficiently cold, it could be read in as little as 15 minutes.
  3. Take the candle from the freezer. If it’s cold to the touch it’s probably ready to take out. If the bottle you used is clear then you’ll be able to see if the wax has become opaque signaling that it’s hardened.
  4. Remove the masking tape, and carefully pull the two halves of the bottle apart.

That’s it! Now you have one candle! And you have a reusable mold to make as many matching candles as you want.

2 replies on “More candles, less destruction”

This is brilliant. It gives me another idea: soap molds. I’m itching to make my own soap but the soap molds cost $20 apiece. It never occurred to me to make them from plastic bottles, but this would work just as well as purchased molds. Thanks.

Hi Allison! I’m glad you found it helpful. It’s wonderful that you can bend the tutorial to your own purposes. I am impressed! I don’t have a clue how to make soap, so I’m going to defer to you on this one! I have an aunt who makes homemade soap. I’ll have to ask her about it. Please share what you come up with. I’d love to see how they come out. Thanks for reading and for writing in!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *