Introduction: Different Ways to Reuse Candle Cups and Jars + Self Watering Plant Technique!

In my instructable, I'd like to share my plant shelf and how I keep my plants happy, healthy and gnat free! I have used old candle cups from Bath and Body Works, old candle holders that I had just lying around the house and old soap dispenser to keep some of my plants in. I'll also show you how you can easily readjust your house plant to self water itself and leave the top soil dry so that you don't have to deal with too many pesty bugs. Lighting is also very important. I have an eastern facing window so I have my plant shelf facing a north western wall. This allows my plants to get extremely bright INDIRECT lighting which is what keeps them happy!


  • Candle jars
  • Marbles
  • Small Rocks
  • Sand/gravel
  • Decorative Sand
  • Soap
  • Cooking Oil

Step 1: Different Size and Shape of Candle Holders

In this step, take 2 different size candle holders. You can use them separately or use them together. I used one candle holder as the base and the other as the display. I also used decorative sand so that I can adjust how the cup should be positioned. You can use anything that will fit your aesthetic, regular sand can work, rice grains, small rocks, whatever you should like to see at the clear base.

Step 2: Old Candle Jars

These cups were formerly old candle cups from Bath and Body works. If you love candles from bath and body works, chances are, you probably have a ton of glass jars lying around the house. Here's what you need to do to properly clean these cups easily:

After the candle wick has fully burned off, you'll probably have about 1/2" of wax left in the candle. The trick is to cleanly remove the wax without getting frustrated with wax all over your hands. Pour tap water into the jar halfway to the top, letting the wax at the bottom of the jar soak in. Doing this for a few days would be best to easily remove the wax. So soak it and forget about it. After a few days, take a spoon and break it into the wax and try to spin the entire wax block, it should pop right off! Now comes the easy part in removing the wax off. Proceed to rinse the jar/cup in warm water with a dish scrub.and warm water and scrub will easily melt away the wax and scrub any residue left. If you decide to remove the sticker label and there are sticky residue left, take your cooking oil and spread it all over the jar. Let it sit for about 15 minutes and rinse under warm water with the scrub as well! You should have a nice clean jar by this time.

As for what to use this cup for afterwards, the rest is up to you. I used these jars for my lucky bamboo plant, I used small rocks to hold the plant in place and used twine to tie the bamboo together. It creates a nice rocky looking cup for my plant!

Step 3: Soap Dispenser

The clear bottle in this photo is an old soap dispenser. The pump was getting a little rusty so I decided to ditch the up and use the bottle as my propagating jar. It works well because of the narrow opening that will hold my wandering jew in place and avoid any leaves sitting in the water that will most likely rot. Make sure to rinse rinse rinse these jars completely! You don't want any soap residue left in the jar!

Step 4: Self Watering Plant

When the roots of your plants gets long enough to weave through the bottom of your pot, pick a few roots and pull them right through. Put them in a planter pot that will allow the original pot to have some room before touching the base/bottom. Measure how far the roots will go to reach water, you'll find that over time, the roots will start to grow more roots. Measure how far you'll have to fill the water and do just that! And all you have to do is check every so often to see if you need to add more water for the plants root. This also help eliminate a wet top soil and have harbor pesty bugs like gnats and gnat larvae. Once in a while, do give your plant a full top soil water to control any salt build up!

Step 5:

I hope you enjoyed my instructable on creating my plant shelf. I think that using different jars and holders gives your plant set up a nice variety and some character. Thank you!

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