I’m obsessed with Volcano candles from Anthropologie. In my opinion, they are the best smelling candles out there. If you’ve never gotten one, go treat yo’self!! You won’t regret it. Scouts honor. Second biggest perk of these amazing candles? They come in the CUTEST jars. So cute, in fact, that I’ve been hoarding all of my empty jars wondering what in the world I should do with them. Finally, I’ve come up with the perfect use.
I’m not sure if you are aware, but succulents are all the rage. I know, new news, right? JK, I know I’m a little behind on the succulent trend, but I’m finally catching up! Thanks to my plant-loving husband, I’ve finally gotten on board with house plants. So, without further ado, here are my lovely candle jars turned succulent containers. Burn through those candles of yours and make your own!
- Empty candle jars
- Cactus potting soil
- Leather cord for jar decorating *optional*
Gather your supplies, and lets get started.
I looked high and low for cactus soil and everywhere was out!! Normally you should be able to find it at a local nursery or Lowes, but I must have terrible timing. Luckily, there’s a lovely website called Amazon, so I took to the web and ordered some cactus soil to arrive on my door two days later. Holl’a! If you want to save yourself the running around hassle, here’s the soil I bought.
You should be able to find succulents at your local nursery, and sometimes even at your grocery store! I found one of mine at Jericho Nursery in Albuquerque and the other two at Whole Foods. I’ve also seen them at Trader Joe’s, and was just at Jackalope (for the Albuquerque locals) and they had a ton! If you are just completely out of luck, go to a friends house that has succulents. Word on the street is, you can plant a succulent leaf and it will grow an entirely new succulent. So, when your friend isn’t looking, just quickly rip a leaf off and voila! You have yourself a succulent plant. Then act totally cool. Just kidding. I bet if you kindly ask your friend, they’ll give you a succulent leaf. Think of it as a friendship plant! Hmmm… friendship succulents, I like it.
If you still have wax in the jar, its super easy to remove! Just pop your candle in the freezer for a couple of hours (I left mine for about 4). After taking the candle out of the freezer, take a butter knife and chip away at the wax. It works best starting at the edges. Sometimes you can pop the whole piece out. Otherwise, try to break it into a few large pieces. It should come out fairly easily, so if it isn’t coming out, put it back in the freezer a bit longer. I’m new at this blogging thing, so I forgot to take pictures of this process. I promise to get better! There’s also a spiffy boiled water method on Pinterest. I haven’t tried it, but here is a tutorial.
I am not a succulent expert, so I found this great blog on how to plant succulents and keep them healthy! Refer to this for all of your planting and care questions. I’ll just be going over the basics.
Since candle jars don’t have drainage holes, I threw some small rocks in the bottom of each jar to help with the drainage. Luckily, I’ve got a ton of rocks in the yard (perk of being a New Mexican), and just went outside and grabbed a handful. No need to get fancy, they’re going to be covered in soil anyway.
Next, I took each plant out of the original pot from the nursery and tried to brush as much loose dirt off as possible. Then I rinsed it in the sink to try to expose the roots a bit more. I divided the Jade plant up so it would fit into the candle jar. I replanted the rest of it in the original container and the hubs will be taking it to work.
Once you’re done brushin’ all the dirt off of the succulents, place them in the candle jar of your choice and fill in the extra room with soil. –I put a hearty scoop in prior to placing the succulent in the jar, then just did a top off at the end.
The jars that normally had a lid sitting on the top needed a little something extra. I love mixed media, so I decided to add a little texture by hot gluing some leather cord around the top. For the purple jar (that’s actually a tin) I used the lid as a pedestal to give it some extra height and to better show off the jar design.
Once you’re thoroughly happy with how they turned out, lightly water your plants, and enjoy your handiwork! You’ve successfully re-purposed your lovely smelling candle for some lovely greenery! Mine are now our dining room table centerpiece.
For continued maintenance of your succulents, refer to the blog I linked earlier because I’m pretty much winging it here and will not be a good resource! I’ll report back in a month to let you know if my plants are still alive. Fingers crossed that this isn’t my first “flairy fail”. I mean, they say these plants are easy to keep alive, so I figured they’d be a safe place to start. Let’s hope that’s true!
If you decide to re-purpose your old candle jars for succulent containers, I’d love to see them!