DIY Recycled Tin Can Emergency Candles

With the stormy weather we’ve been having lately, I’ve been thinking a lot about emergency preparedness. Besides ice, snow, and strong winds, storms have the tendency to knock down power lines and cause blackouts in my area. So when I saw a few empty cat food cans on the counter, I knew exactly what to do with them: I upcycled them into emergency candles!

Fill empty tin cans with candle wax and a wick to make quick and easy emergency candles! Great addition to your emergency kit in case of blackouts!

These little emergency candles are a great thing to add to your emergency kit in case of a blackout! Just set one on a table, light it, and it will help light up the room for hours!

DIY Recycled Tin Can Emergency Candles

Here’s what you need: (affiliate links below)

I used about 2-3 lbs of wax to make these four candles.

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Start by cleaning out your cans. I used empty cat food cans, but any tin can will work!

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Once the cans are clean and dry, measure out a length of wick. The wick should be at least an inch taller than the can. Thread the wick through a wick clip and use pliers to pinch the clip closed.

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Attach the wick anchor to the inside bottom of the tin can using hot glue.

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Melt your candle wax in a double boiler. If you don’t have a double boiler, you can make your own using a glass measuring cup and a pot of water. Add the candle wax to the measuring cup, put the cup inside a pot of water, and heat the water to boiling. Let the water continue to boil until the wax is completely melted.

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While you wait for the wax to melt, clip the wicks so that they stand up straight when you add the melted wax. I used small clothespins and popsicle sticks, but you can use binder clips, paper clips, or any sort of clip to hold the wick to anything long and skinny enough to lay across the top of the can (bamboo skewers, pencils, etc.)

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Once the wax is completely melted, carefully pour it into your tin cans. Let the wax cool. If you get a divot in the center of your candle as the wax cools, you can just heat more wax and pour it in later to make the surface flat.

Once all the candle wax is cooled, your candles are ready! Unclip the wicks and trim them down to about 1/2″ tall, and they’re ready to be lit!

Fill empty tin cans with candle wax and a wick to make quick and easy emergency candles! Great addition to your emergency kit in case of blackouts!

Fill empty tin cans with candle wax and a wick to make quick and easy emergency candles! Great addition to your emergency kit in case of blackouts!

Want to share this tutorial with your friends? Just click any of the share buttons on the left to share with Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, etc.!

P.S. if you liked this project, check out these other simple recycled projects!

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Jessi Wohlwend

I believe that anyone can do crafts and DIY projects, regardless of skill or experience. I love sharing simple craft ideas, step by step DIY project tutorials, cleaning hacks, and other tips and tricks all with one goal in mind: giving you the tools you need to “do it yourself”, complete fun projects, and make awesome things!

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Reader Interactions

  1. Carol says

    6 years ago

    Re: catfood tin emergency candles. Use a dab of hot glue to attache your candlewicking to a penny. This is less expensive than using clips and you can reuse the pennies.

    • Jessi Wohlwend says

      6 years ago

      Smart! The wick I bought came with clips, but it will definitely save you money if you have wick and no clips!

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