Introduction: Cheese Wax Tea Lights

About: Head of Science in a busy High School, Web 2.0 geek, husband to a wonderful wife and father to two lovely kids.

Having two younger children and teaching in High School, I come across these little red cheese wax cases on a daily basis.  So I decided to see if we could reuse the wax to make a servicable candle.

From other Instructables, the candles that are made end up with small flames and reasonably random burn times.  I wanted a commercial grade product that was "as good as new".  So we decided to reuse those little aluminium tea lights.

Step 1: What You Need...

The kit list for these are all freely available:

1)  x2 cheese wax shells
2)  x1 used tea light container
3)  5cm / 2 inch of cotton string
4)  Source of heat / pan or plastic bag to melt wax
5)  Pliers / pincers & a blunt knife

First things first - remove the wick holder from the bottom of the tea-light.  It's not glued in, just held down by the melted wax.  Use the end of a butter knife to tease it out.

Step 2: Melting the Wax - Making the Tea-light

The first step is to prepare a source of melted wax. 

Place the solid wax into a food/freezer bag and drop, seal the top and drop into a pan of boiling water.  Let the wax melt


Using an old, washed out food tin - remove the paper labels first - place the solid wax inside and place carefully onto the hob.  Heat until wax is melted.

Now, carefully pour the melted wax into the empty tea-light.

Let it cool slightly before adding the wick 

Step 3: The Wick

Assembling the wick is next.

Take the string and carefully poke it  into the wick holder.  Use a pair of pliers / pincers to squeeze the holder to secure the wick.

Now dip the wick into melted wax. Dip, remove, dip, remove, dip, remove - three times.

The wax will solidify in seconds.

Step 4: Finishing the Tea-light

Finally, carefully push the new wick into the still liquid wax in the tea-light.

You might need to hold the wick down for a few second until it solidifies enough to hold it tight.

Step 5: Burn the Candle

When the wax has totally solidifiied - I'd give it a few hours, trim the wick to about 2cm and you're ready to enjoy.

Instructable prepared by:
Glen Gilchrist (
Newport High School