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Recycled candles and painted mugs tutorial

Posted by Elizabeth on April 28, 2009

I actually meant to post this tutorial several months ago, but somehow never got around to it…

In trying to save money for Christmas, I decided to make many of my Christmas gifts.  In the end, I am not sure if I spent any less over all, but I had SO much more fun.  (And the recipients really seemed to enjoy their gifts that much more). I will definitely say that I plan on making at least some of my Christmas gifts EVERY year now. 

This gift was for my sister.  I had a candle that Grant had pulled out of the cupboard and broken the glass on.  The candle was OF COURSE, new.  I didn’t know what to do with it at the time, but couldn’t bring myself to throw it out.  Luckily I came across several ideas on the web that I put together and eventually came up with this.  (Two main sites that I remember using were HowAboutOrange and Martha Stewart)

How to make:


You can either buy something you like at a thrift store, yard sale, TJ MAX, etc.  OR you can design your own mugs which is way more fun!


  • These mugs from IKEA. (I picked these because they were only .59 each)
  • This paint pen from BLICK (although you may be able to find it at other art stores).
  • An oven.

1. Paint design on mug (If you mess up, or don’t like the design, you can wash it off easily before it drys.  If you do allow it to dry, it can be scrubbed off with a green scrubbie if you haven’t set it yet.)

2.  Let paint dry.

3. Place in oven at 300 degrees for 30 minutes.

4.  Turn oven off and allow mugs to cool gradually.

5.  Move on to step 2…making them into candles OR these can be used just as regular mugs for cocoa, tea, coffee, etc. 



1. Stick candle in freezer. This helps to contract the wax away from the glass and makes it much easier to get out.  (Obviously if you buy wax from the craft store you could skip over this step…)

2.  Put wax in glass jar or pyrex measuring cup ( I will warn you, though, that it might be best to put it into something that you can throw away when you are done.  It was a pain to get all the wax residue out of my big measuring cup when done…luckily Chad did that for me:) )

3.  Put container of wax into a crockpot full of water.  This melts the wax easily, but not quickly.  Plan on it taking several hours depending on the size of the wax.  (The house sure smelled great through this process, though).

4.  Hot glue wicks (can be found at craft store) to center of bottom of mug/ tea cup. 

5.  Pour wax into mug leaving probably 1/2 inch at top. 

6.  To keep wick standing up straight, I used a piece of paper with a hole in it.  Put the wick through the hole, and put it where i wanted it.  I’m sure there is a more techinal and efficient way to do it, but this worked for me!

7.  Once wax is dry, cut wick down to desired height. Then ENJOY!

3 Responses to Recycled candles and painted mugs tutorial

  1. Rachel

    The candle mugs are super cute! Good job! Oh and I just thought I would point out… only 11 days to go ;)

  2. jessica olsen

    oh I LOVE these! What a fun craft :-)

  3. Tina Carlson

    Great! Where’s mine?