We love the hunt for the perfect vessel or jar to use for candle making. In our humble opinion, it's one of the most fun aspects of our Clean Candle refill kits. While our Forever Vessels of course have a special place in our heart, there's something deeply gratifying about repurposing a found vessel as a beautiful candle. Whether it's the 'treasure hunt' feel of browsing the thrift store or an antique shop to make an old vessel new again, or the joy of being able to reuse a vessel you already had that had long since lost its function — there's a satisfaction in getting creative and taking on a little DIY project with your own hands.
Where to start?
We often start by thinking about the purpose of the candle we're going to make in the refillable vessel. Is it a gift? Is it meant fit in with a certain setting or certain interior style? How big of a space should the Clean Candle refill be scenting — perhaps a wide vessel capable of holding multiple wicks makes most sense in large rooms. Maybe you have a specific scent in mind that you're going to fill it with and want to make sure the vessel matches the vibe of the scent.
Go ahead and let your needs and personal preferences guide you as you get started on your refillable candle jar finding mission. But keeping a few key factors in mind like size, shape and style will help you to narrow your search.
Where to look?
As they say — everything old comes back in style — and we couldn't agree more. Rather than shopping for a newly made vessel, try finding something vintage that can be given a new life. Below are a few of our favorite places to look
You never know what you're going to discover in the thrift shop. Most stores have a dedicated section filled with pre-loved houseware and decor. You can find everything from unique vases to jam jars to quirky mugs, teacups and glassware. You might even be so lucky to find a piece of handmade pottery that has made its way to the secondhand store.
For a possibly more upscale or curated collection of vessels, take a peek in the local antique shop. Or better yet, if you happen to live near a town known for 'antiquing' you can make a day of it and go visit several stores. Just like the thrift shop, an antique shop can be hit or miss. But if the selection is good, you might find sparkling cut glass, high-quality china or beautiful vintage bowls or vases that would be suitable to hold one of our Clean Candle refills.
Spring and summer are the seasons for yard or garage sales. Often times a block of families will coordinate and have a big sale on the same weekend — this is prime time to spend a sunny morning walking the neighborhood browsing for your new favorite vessel. After all “one man's trash is another man's treasure”. Want to step it up a notch? Search for moving or estate sales in your area too.
Imagine if all of the above recommendations came together. Though some may find flea markets a bit overwhelming, if you're up for a busy marketplace type situation, a flea market could be a fun adventure to take on with a friend or (patient) family member to hunt for your next refillable candle jar. Pro tip — flea markets can be especially interesting in foreign countries where you could find a truly one-of-a-kind piece. Make a point of looking up what the locals call a flea market next time you're traveling and go check it out.
Artisan / pottery shops:
Though not secondhand, we're big fans of supporting makers and small business. A pot by a local ceramic artist or a handblown glass vase can become a special piece that you'll be able to refill again and again and enjoy for a long time.
Don't forget, safety first…
Have fun, get creative — but stay safe with your candle making. Choose materials that are durable and will not catch fire — glazed ceramic, thick glass, sealed metal and enamel are all good options. Make sure the vessel is sturdy and is not going to easily tip over.
Check for heat-resistance as well. If you're unsure if a vessel is in fact heat-resistant, run a quick test before making a candle in it. Simply fill the vessel with near boiling water, let it sit a few minutes and then carefully pick up the vessel with an oven mitt and pour out the hot water. Immediate refill the vessel with cold water and observe for any signs of cracking or damage. If nothing, the vessel is likely heat-safe and able to hold a Clean Candle refill.
Last but not least, consider your size and shape. Our wicks are intended for vessels around 3 inches in diameter. If your vessel is larger than that or oddly shaped, you'll need multiple wicks to ensure the candle wax burns evenly and doesn't tunnel (wax left along the vessel walls). You can add extra wicks in the web shop. And if you need tips on how to make a multi-wick candle, give our article about those a read here.
Finally, the big question — what scent to fill with?
When the time comes to fill (and refill) your vessel, we're here for you. While it's hard to recommend the perfect scent when we don't know what kind of refillable candle jar you'll find, we have a few thoughts on what can go nicely in a variety of vessel styles.
Of course the combinations are endless and you can't really go wrong with your candle making DIY project! Just remember to have fun with it, try to repurpose and refill old jars over buying something newly produced, and always make safe choices. Reach us anytime at email@example.com if you have any questions about vessels or scents.