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!
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)
- candle wax (you can buy it, or if you have old, partially burnt candles laying around, you can melt those down instead)
- candle wicks and wick anchors
- empty tin cans
- hot glue
I used about 2-3 lbs of wax to make these four candles.
Start by cleaning out your cans. I used empty cat food cans, but any tin can will work!
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.
Attach the wick anchor to the inside bottom of the tin can using hot glue.
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.
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.)
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!
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P.S. if you liked this project, check out these other simple recycled projects!