How to Make Coffee Candles

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Candles make an elegant and timeless gift for everyone. Quality candles can be expensive, and you are usually left with a bunch of wax that gets tossed in the garbage. Instead of wasting all of that wonderful wax, combine it with some fragrant coffee grounds to create dazzling, coffee-scented candles at home. Watch the video here!

How to Make Coffee Candles
(Maya Marin)

Things You'll Need

  • 1 glass jar
  • 1 candlewick
  • Used candles, unscented
  • Heat-safe container (such as tempered glass or aluminum)
  • 2 tablespoons used or fresh coffee grounds
  • Scissors
  • Ribbon, optional
Step 1

Gather all of your supplies so everything is nearby when you begin making your candle. This will be a layered candle, with three layers of wax and two layers of coffee grounds.

Maya Marin
Step 2

Place the anchor of the candlewick inside the center of a glass jar. Wrap the excess wick around a pen or pencil to keep the wick upright when it's time to pour the wax in the jar. Make sure you position the wick in the center of the glass jar.

Maya Marin
Step 3

Place the used candles in a heat-safe container. Heat 4 cups of water in a saucepan. Do not bring the water to a boil. Low-medium heat is a good heat setting for melting the wax.

Maya Marin
Step 4

Put the container with the candles into the hot water. The wax should melt within 7 minutes. If you want to bump up the aroma of your candle, add a few drops of coffee or vanilla extract to the melted wax.

Maya Marin
Step 5

Carefully pour a layer of the wax into the glass jar, about 1/2 - 1 inch thick. Reposition the wick to the center if necessary.

Maya Marin
Step 6

Sprinkle 1 teaspoon of coffee on top of the melted wax, making sure to create an even layer of coffee grounds.

Maya Marin
Step 7

Pour another layer of the melted wax over the layer of coffee grounds. Follow with another layer of coffee grounds.

Note of caution: Make sure that your candles contain at least three times more wax than coffee, as your coffee grounds may catch on fire if not enough wax is added. Never leave burning candles unattended.

Kenzie Mastroe
Step 8

If the wax has hardened, dip it back in the hot water until it melts again. Once the wax has melted, pour the last layer of wax on top of the coffee layer and let it harden completely, about an hour.

Maya Marin
Step 9

Trim the wick to one-quarter inch.

Maya Marin
Step 10

Light it up!

If you plan on gifting it, gather up some scrap fabric and ribbons and use them to dress up your new candle. Old holiday ribbons make excellent adornments. If you are keeping it to enjoy at home, decorate it as you wish and find an area to proudly display your new coffee ground candle.

Maya Marin

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Tips & Warnings

  • If you only have scented candles, they will work just as well, but make sure the scent pairs well with coffee. Vanilla or peppermint works best.
  • Two used candles were used in this project. You may need more or less depending on how much wax is leftover in your used candles.
  • Soy wax, beeswax or paraffin wax can be used to create a coffee ground candle.
  • This project uses hot water and hot wax so watch children carefully while making your candle.
  • Use caution when handling the melted wax. Be careful to avoid dripping wax on skin as it may burn.
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