Introduction: Altoids Tin Candle

Picture of Altoids Tin Candle

A simple instructable to teach u how to make an easy candle for camping or surviving in the wild.

Step 1: Items Needed

Picture of Items Needed

All u need is a glass jar or anything else to melt your wax,four to six tea light candles,an empty Altoids tin,and either super glue or a hot glue gun.

Step 2: Removing Metal and Wicks From Candles

Picture of Removing Metal and Wicks From Candles

Remove the metal from the tea lights and also CAREFULLY remove the metal base and wick and save them for later.

Step 3: Preparing Altoids Tin

Picture of Preparing Altoids Tin

Glue down the wicks for the tea lights into the bottom of the Altoids tin.  You can either put one in the middle or one on the left and right(i prefer to put two wicks) but in the picture i tried it with only one.

Step 4: Melting the Wax

Picture of Melting the Wax

to melt the tea lights place them all in a safe,thick canning jar and place the jar in a pot.  Fill the pot up with enough water to cover enough of the sides of the jar but not to much that it will go into the jar.  Heat the water on your stove gradually until all of the tea lights melt.  Once the wax is in liquid form pour it into the Altoids tin and either let it sit out disturbed to harden or place in the freezer to let it harden quicker.  And that is all u need to do to make a cool camping or emergency candle.


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. I used a flowered 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!

stinkybob1965 (author)2016-01-07

You could also use a Citronella candle for wax. I only camp once or twice a year and we wind up buying citronella pots every year and tossing them after using only a fraction because they get gross with all the dead bugs and debris. Plus you'd have plenty of Citronella wax left over to make them again and store for next year without the smell of Citronella in your house.

rcalkins made it! (author)2015-06-13

this was a really super fun and easy build, I took the extra metal from the tea lights and lined the bottom. I also added three wicks (two up one buried I the wax) and a tooth pick, finally about three feet of aluminum foil so I can make a small heater. this was a perfect addiction to my ultra light camping gear.

Degga_D (author)2014-07-06

Gonna use the wife's old Yankee Candles. I'll just have to steal a tea light from her for the wick

nathanya (author)Degga_D2014-07-08

haha sounds good to me

missie_1999 (author)2012-12-25

If you melt down the wax from an emergency candle it will last longer, about 5 hours or so.

smiledr (author)2012-03-28

the glue in the container might not hold if you heat it up wa7jos

Archemedes54 (author)2011-10-22

I always try to find shortcuts even if they are simple. Could you just get some tin foil and make it into a cup and just heat the wax like that?

nathanya (author)Archemedes542011-10-22

Ya u could use tin foil just make sure you make a good cup because it will get pretty hot.

Suzanne in Orting (author)2011-09-19

Has anyone had difficulties with the bottom of the can getting hot when the wick burns down far enough, or is that little metal disk on the bottom of the wick a sufficient insulator?

I was thinking about trying these with the Boy Scouts since I have a bunch of candles that could be recycled.

Thank you,


also try lining the bottom with tin foil

Usually the bottom doesn't get to hot. That is a great idea to build them for boy scouts

Korndog (author)2011-10-04

This is a great idea, I'm glad you thought of this I just got done using a bunch of bug repellant candles that wickers burnt out, now I can use the wax. Great idea!

nathanya (author)Korndog2011-10-05

Thanks they are great for bug candles.

apretzel (author)2011-10-02

cool i love this post a final picture hey umm how long does the flame last till?

nathanya (author)apretzel2011-10-02

The flame last a good amount of time.

frogmama (author)2011-09-25

This is cool, and practical - it has a holder and is self-contained. You even could glue some paper matches and strike paper on the inside lid. I'd love to see a picture of the finished product burning :)

I wonder if the pan ideas people are suggesting would work. Hopefully it wouldn't warp the tin. Might be worth trying if you are just making one or two.

nathanya (author)frogmama2011-09-26

Ya I will post a picture soon of the final candle

Avatar_I_Am (author)2011-09-11

We have been making these for years as survival lights, but we call them Zombie Candles.
Remember that the more wicks you use, the brighter the output, and the more heat you end up with on a cold day.
Larger tin, more wicks... big enough and you can heat water over it.
If you use the mini Altoids can with one wick, you get a 'Warning Light' you can put out around corners of stairwells, etc., so you can see the Zombies coming...

nathanya (author)Avatar_I_Am2011-09-12

Ya the more wicks the more light you have. However I don't use them for zombies???

Avatar_I_Am (author)nathanya2011-09-12

Well, you don't NEED to use them for Zombies, but since they are for our survival kit [Read: BugOut Bag] and for camping, or whenever the power goes out for more a than a few minutes- and you end up going stir crazy- "Zombie Candles".
I have made them in candy tins, up to 5"x3"x1", with 10 wicks. And with the silver lid at 90 degrees it produces anopugh light to read by for over an hour, and, with the lid folded completely down, enough heat to warm your tea.
Fun stuff, Zombie Candles! 
With the Mini Altoids tin and one wick, if you are camping replace 'Zombie' with 'critter', and if you add juice from a lemon or orange peel, it helps keep away bugs, too.

nathanya (author)Avatar_I_Am2011-09-13

Oh now I understand that is a good idea to make bigger ones

planethalia (author)2011-08-28

I've been saving emergency candle stubs for firestarters; this is going to be a great project!

nathanya (author)planethalia2011-09-03

ya and a very simple project

gbeltrao (author)2011-08-28

An idea is to use 2 wicks so we can have more light.

nathanya (author)gbeltrao2011-08-31

Ya I always use two wicks

gbeltrao (author)nathanya2011-08-31

I could see this in the picture, but you instructed to glue one wick in the middle of the box. Thanks for sharing your idea!

gbeltrao (author)gbeltrao2011-08-31

Oops! My bad! Yes, you mentioned to place one in the middle and the other surrounding it... sorrey! :)

nathanya (author)gbeltrao2011-09-01

That's ok I miss things reading all the time too.

colemancoleman (author)2011-08-28

If you can get a hold of Citranella oil or mint oil and add that to your survival candle it will help to keep bugs away. And make your survival smell a bit nicer.

nathanya (author)colemancoleman2011-08-31

Ya that is a good idea

poppet2 (author)2011-08-28

Don't forget to wax the ends of a few wooden matches and tuck them inside the container. If everything else you have gets wet, the matches will work. Gently scratch off a little of the wax and strike as usual. Actually, you can work the wax off just by lighting them normally.

nathanya (author)poppet22011-08-31

Ya I put matches in a little air tight container inside of it also

grey_starr (author)poppet22011-08-29

great tip!

Fred82664 (author)poppet22011-08-28

The wax scrapings placed on your tender will make it light up even better. it add a little bit of petroleum to the tender for a hotter and faster fire starter

poppet2 (author)Fred826642011-08-29

Absolutely. Can't have much of a fire (outside the altroid container) without some very flamable tender.

Jiggsy (author)2011-08-27

Excellent instructable! I made two of these last night while prepping for Hurricane Irene. Hopefully I won't have to use them any time soon!

nathanya (author)Jiggsy2011-08-27

ya i made one for hurricane too

StuNutt (author)nathanya2011-08-29

Hopefully "Irene" passed by all of you guys, and the emergency lights weren' needed - until the next camping trips ;-)

(posted from Hurricane-free UK)

Dr. Who (author)nathanya2011-08-27

me too

dbennett (author)2011-08-28

Why not just pour the bacon grease from breakfast into the tin? ☺

StuNutt (author)dbennett2011-08-29

That would be SACRELIGE!

You use bacon grease to cook your sausages or eggs in. And if you have any left over, you make some lovely Baconey Fried Bread!

robin1953 (author)dbennett2011-08-28

Bacon Grease is a liquid at room temperture. Bears would be coming for your pack just for breakfast.

Fred82664 (author)dbennett2011-08-28

that would work and give you a nice BACON smell

DIY Dave (author)dbennett2011-08-28

Have you tried this? I've always wondered if that would work.

Remag1234 (author)2011-08-28

Why bother with all the unnecessary work. Just put tea candles in a ziplock bag and use as many as needed. Any type of container can be used.

wa7jos (author)2011-08-28

I think I can save you some time, steps and mess.
Glue down two tea lights without disassembling them.
Put the Altoids tin in the pan and melt them in place.
Add 2-4 tea lights (as needed) and melt them into the tin.
Remove the extra wicks while it's still hot.
Same result, but no wick removal, and no jar to wax up.

sbinkley (author)wa7jos2011-08-28

sounds like a plan, but how do you melt them in the tin?

wa7jos (author)sbinkley2011-08-28

Just put the tin in the pan of shallow water, the same as you did with the jar. Something large like a flat-bottom frying pan would be about right
The water is only to allow heat transfer, so you don't need much. If there's just 1/4" or so, the tin won't float.

park47 (author)2011-08-28

Thanks, will do it for camping trips ...:)

About This Instructable




Bio: I always looking for new things to build, I like to build stuff that is different than normal or something that is useful that I ... More »
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