Introduction: Altoids Tin Emergency Candle

Picture of Altoids Tin Emergency Candle

This is my first instructable and I decided to make an Altoids emergency candle, since I had a tin lying around and have not seen one. This is used if the power goes out or if you need a candle say when camping or if you are traveling. There are five wicks in the candle, matches and strikers within the Altoids tin.

Step 1: Materials

Picture of Materials

tin can/soup can
candles(mine were a little bigger than tea light candles)
matchbook matches
i used a red crayon for color
hot glue gun
duct tape

Step 2: Preparing the Tin

Picture of Preparing the Tin

I cut the top of the matchbook off and cut off the striker parts of the box. I then taped the matchbook into the inside top part of the tin. I used tape because if the matches ran out I could take it off and add another matchbook. Using hot glue I glued the strikers into the tin right next to the matches.

Step 3: Making the Candle

Picture of Making the Candle

I took the wicks from the candle and hot glued them into the tin.
Then I melted down the candles inside a soup can that was placed in a pot of water.
When it was melted I poured it in around the wicks in the tin.
As the wax was cooling I cut down the wicks to the right size, (about the top of the tin) and took the left over pieces to make more wicks.
I then melted some red crayon wax and mixed it into the candle wax to add some color to it.
To get the wax to cool faster I put it into the freezer for a few minutes.

Step 4:

Picture of

When the wax was cooled I lit one of the wicks and well it works, now I have an emergency candle any time I need it.


Natalina made it! (author)2016-06-24

I made two versions of this, one in an altoids mini tin and one in a large tin. Since these are camping candles I wanted something slow burning, so used a beeswax candle I already had for wax. For the smaller tin I used birthday candles for wicks, and attached them to the bottom with a drop of wax before pouring in the beeswax. For the larger tin, I cut up the wick salvaged from the candle, and kept them in place with alligator clips.

Thanks for the inspiration!

terry2432 (author)2016-01-16

this looks good and i will be making one.thanks

smbrown (author)2015-10-07


ERCCRE123 (author)2009-07-29

when i made mine i wanted to fill up the wax all the way. Forgot to cover the hinge holes with tape and had a huge mess all over my counter

TannerA1 (author)ERCCRE1232015-10-06

Same here

vastly11 (author)ERCCRE1232010-07-25

I had the same problem :(

frogmama (author)2012-08-23

That's a great 'ible. I like how the matches are included in it. I also like how the altoids tins would stack pretty efficiently, too. Do you think for long-term storage or heat concerns, one should protect the matches from the wax? Like with a piece of cardboard or something between them?

bogie4646 (author)frogmama2014-03-29

I'd just leave the cover on the pack of matches

cogni (author)2009-05-26

Good idea about the freezer. If you put any candles in the freezer for half an hour or so, they burn more evenly, even if the freezing happened a while ago.

The Locksmith (author)cogni2011-05-16

That is fascinating! How does it work?

I think you open the lid and light a match then light the candle.

TheREAL_Xman (author)2012-02-23

Great project! Instead of going out and buying the candles I used crayons for wax and twine for wicks. Good instructions as well!

lj0000 (author)2008-06-26

careful when u use this, especially if u accidently close the lid. the candle fire will ignite the matches and cause a nasty flash/fire.

munchman (author)lj00002008-10-29

Good idea! I'll do that when I make mine

l_skywalker (author)munchman2011-10-08

yeah but that would effect its portability, you could unhook the top of the lid and still have the stuff on the inside of the lid

but take off the lid entirely when in use. when not in use the candle wont be on (duh) and allow u to close it.

just saying... do what you want either way. :D

Bartboy (author)munchman2008-11-30

? You should win the nobel prize, you are genius!

tyler9 (author)lj00002008-12-31

if you closed the lid, wouldn't it snuff out the fire

awang8 (author)tyler92009-01-12

Well... Eventually. The air is 20% oxygen so it has to burn that out before it snuffs out.

dkfa (author)lj00002008-11-29

you could put the stuff on the top of the lid..

recycleholic (author)2009-01-26

This is great. I'm in the process of creating an emergency car kit and this would go perfect. Who doesn't have an altoid tin lying around?

njamspike (author)recycleholic2011-09-29

me i have a Myntz container though

cre814me (author)recycleholic2009-04-12

An emergency car kit sounds like a good idea, but I would think twice about using something like this. On a trip one time, I bought a candle and stuffed it in my suitcase, then in the trunk. The candle melted and ruined some souvineer tees that I also picked up. I would advice rethinking your idea, but it is up to you!

HappyToBeAlive (author)cre814me2009-05-06

all you need to do is get some elecricians tape and tape round the tins lid. OR put it in a plastic bag and tape it up. It wont leak or get wet then. Think outside the Box!

thepelton (author)HappyToBeAlive2009-07-09

Or put the Altoids box in a ziplock bag.

iSmack (author)HappyToBeAlive2009-05-09

Think outside the Altoids tin ;)

pyrojunkie (author)iSmack2009-07-02




Dingostrategy (author)2011-05-17

Yep - absolutely brilliant. Well done.

I would like to propose adding citronella to your wax - nice smell and no mosquitoes, FTW!

baven (author)2011-01-24

i have built this one

rudycoaltrain (author)2010-11-16

Good job. You inspired me to make one with the remnants of one of my wife's yankee candles.

thepelton (author)2010-04-03

I found some metal boxes at the food store for christmas cookies. They were on sale because they're out of season now.  They were round, and about four inches across by half an inch deep.  I was thinking they could be used for a project like this.

zaarenoc (author)2010-03-14

If you are stranded in a snow drift and have to be there a while this kind of candle will provide enough heat in the car so you won't freeze.  Just keep a window cracked open about an 1/8 of an inch.

I used to carry one of those big candles about 4-inches in diameter in a number 10 can filled a quarter full with sand.



lieuwe (author)2010-02-08

 get some magnesium flakes and mix it in with the wax, should result in a bright white flame(more light=good)

EaKLondon (author)2010-02-01

Thanks for all the feedback, I plan on making an updated version of this with some improvements to the design.

blodefood (author)2010-01-31

Nice compact emergency candle, but what happens when it burns down to the hot glue?  Would you get toxic fumes?  I think I would keep it to only three wicks spread out, though.  The wax would melt and drown the flames if you used them all at once.

CybergothiChe (author)2010-01-03

 sweet! what a great idea! :)

bassclarinet23 (author)2009-11-08

Try making the wax out of assorted crayons. That might look cool.

the duck tape queen (author)2009-09-24

wow this is a great idea, I might try this. But, how cool do u think it would be to make is a multi colored candle by using more than one color crayon? :)

marken321 (author)2009-08-30

this is a great idea ,but I don't have an altoids box so I am going to use a nes box I got from a magazine

tonic4 (author)2009-08-23

I love it. I'll add this to my list of stuff to throw in the emergency kit for hurricane season.

tonic4 (author)2009-08-23

If the crayon isn't mixed in completely it causes weird areas that won't burn at all. I have had success using crayons and then some disappointments.

ginger snaps (author)2009-08-21

you could glue a ziplock bag to the outside and then put the matches in there then you might have room for a candle in the top and bottom of the tin.

dreamparacite (author)2009-07-03

Hey, your instructable got me to make my own, was fun and easy to make :D

EaKLondon (author)dreamparacite2009-08-19

looks good

thefoodman (author)2009-05-11

I like turtles p.s how do u make an image to come up on ur comments

kyannik (author)thefoodman2009-05-12

There's a settings tab on your profile page. In it you can upload a profile photo.

thefoodman (author)kyannik2009-08-17

ty although i figured it out before i read this comment

qballcat (author)thefoodman2009-05-16

lol that kids with the facepaint.. newscaster: so how are you liking the fair? kid: i like turtles newscaster....ok....... look up i like turtles

thefoodman (author)qballcat2009-08-08

yah thats 1 of my favorite vids

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