This particular DIY project was inspired by a similar candle found on Etsy, which repurposes a Starbucks Frappuccino bottle into a candle. Since the Etsy user, WineWix, is currently out of commission, and since there was no tutorial on how to make one, my lovely friend Kelli Mosher had to get creative in order to make it work. She let me tag along and watch the process, and below is the documented account of what finally worked for us after much tweaking.
This DIY consists of two parts: cutting the glass bottle and making the actual candle. If you already have a container you would like to use that does not need to be cut, feel free to skip down to part two.
PART 1: CUTTING THE BOTTLE
This process does involve fire and breaking glass, so parental supervision is highly encouraged.
Make sure to do this outside or in a safe environment where an open flame can be easily extinguished. Have lots of water or a fire extinguisher nearby just in case, too. You can never be too careful.
- bucket of ice water
- lighter (preferably with a long handle)
1. Tie string around your bottle at the point where you want to cut the glass. Cut off excess string, and then slip it off.
- After many failed attempts, the project finally worked for us when we used twine instead of string and wrapped it around the bottle 3 times.
2. Soak string in acetone, and then slip it back on the bottle.
- You may want to wash your hands at this point so that they don’t have flammable fluid on them when you light the fire.
3. Hold the base of the bottle, and hold the bottle horizontally. Light the string and continually turn the bottle in your hands.
4. Right before the flame is about to go out completely, quickly plunge the bottle (bottleneck first) into the ice cold water.
- At this point, the quick, extreme temperature change should break the bottle where the string is. The colder the water the better.
- My friend finally got results by gently pressing the bottleneck into the bottom of the ice bucket. The added pressure was the last element needed that finally caused the bottle to break.
- If needed, sand down the edges of your now cut bottle so no sharp points are left.
This process definitely consisted of a lot of trial and error. I’ve shared with you how it eventually worked for us, and now I want to share with you the video tutorial that helped us get there: How To Cut Glass Bottles With String
PART 2: TURNING YOUR BOTTLE INTO A CANDLE
- wick and pencil
- wax chips
- vanilla extract
- coffee beans
- metal/wood spoon
1. Center wick in bottom of bottle and tie it to a pencil to hold it up.
- The pencil in this scenario can of course be a pen, a popsicle stick, or any other skinny, short, and balanced item.
- You can also use adhesives to keep the base of your wick in place.
2. Put coffee beans in bottom of jar for effect.
3. Put pot of wax on stove.
- We put the stove top on at medium temperature, and the wax only took about 10 minutes or so to melt.
4. Stir the wax and add a spoonful of vanilla extract.
- At first we thought the vanilla extract had slightly changed the color of our wax, but once it hardened, it had returned to its original white color.
- We had two jars to fill, so we kept adding wax chips once the initial wax had begun to melt and there was more room in our pot.
- Each time we added more wax, we added an extra dash of vanilla extract as well.
- When the wax is good and melted, it will be completely liquid with few to no chunks left.
5. Pour melted wax in bottle.
Warning: Coffee beans FLOAT!
- You may notice that the coffee beans are at the top of our finished product. This makes it difficult, however, for the wax to melt properly when the candle is lit, causing the wick to run out and for there to be coffee beans stuck in its path.
- Here’s how to fix this problem: When the wax is ready, pour only the slightest bit in at first. The amount should be just enough to fill in the gaps between the beans. Let the wax sit and harden (throw it in the fridge if you want for time’s sake), and then your beans should stay fixed at the bottom once you pour in the rest of the wax.
- If you’re concerned about the rest of the wax hardening in the pot while you’re waiting for the small amount to harden in the bottle, never fear. If the wax ever hardens, just heat it up over the stove again. It will melt like before, and you’re back in business.
6. Let it dry.
- If some bits of wax are smeared on your bottle in places where you don’t want it, this is the time to clean it up before it completely dries. (You can still clean it once it’s dried, but it may be more difficult)
- Once your candle has hardened, let it sit for at least 24 hours before lighting it so it has time to completely set.
7. Cut wick to about 1/2 inch.
Now that you’re done with your candle, you can either give it as a gift or keep it as a decoration! And now that you see how easy making a candle can be, go out and discover just how many containers can be repurposed as candles (mugs, vases, mason jars, etc). Share some of your fun candle ideas in the comment section below!