How to make a travel candle

Repurpose used candy or mint tins into handmade holiday gifts

Give used candy or mint tins a second life with a bit of melted wax and a fresh wick. Here's how:

MATERIALS AND EQUIPMENT:

  • Small candy or mint tin with a lid, such as an empty Altoids container (recycle your own tins or buy them used on eBay)
  • Washcloth
  • Pencil
  • Ruler
  • Decorative paper, such as Japanese washi paper (from the Paper Studio)
  • Scissors
  • Paintbrush (we like Craft Smart’s 3-piece brush sets from Michaels)
  • 8-ounce Classic Mod Podge with matte finish for paper (from Jo-Ann)
  • Paper towels
  • Prewaxed medium bleached candlewick with wick clip (from Jo-Ann)
  • Microwavable soy wax (from Jo-Ann)

INSTRUCTIONS

1. Clean tin with soap and water. Dry with a washcloth.

2. Separate top and bottom of the tin, unhooking the hinge if it has one. Using a pencil, trace the top and bottom of tin onto decorative paper, and cut out each piece.

3. Measure the sides of both the top and bottom of the tin, and cut strips of paper to cover them. Allow about an inch extra in width if you will cover a hinge.

4. With a paintbrush, spread a layer of Mod Podge on the sides of the tin’s bottom half and wrap the designated strip of paper around it. Press down, and cut away any excess paper. Smooth edges with fingers, and wipe off any extra glue.

5. Spread Mod Podge on the bottom of the tin and place paper over it. Smooth out any bumps, and snip around the sides to clean the edges.

6. Repeat with the top of the tin. Cover any holes and bumps.

7. When all paper is adhered, paint a thin layer of Mod Podge over the entire tin. (This smooths the edges and seals the paper to protect it.)

8. Let dry completely. Reattach top and bottom if they’re hinged. Clean any glue off the inside of the tin with paper towel and soap.

9. Glue candlewick onto the base.

10. Heat the wax and pour in until it nearly reaches the top of the tin or, if the tin is hinged, until it’s just below the hinges.

11. Let wax dry. Trim wick to desired lengths.