Hate to be wasteful in a world filled with needs!
June 26, 2015 3:22 PM   Subscribe

I have about 150 small glass votives with used candles leftover from my recent lovely wedding. I don't want to just throw them all out if there's a use for them, but can't think of a way to recycle/re-purpose--help?

These small glass votives have candles in them that are about 80% burned/used/gone. I am thinking the most obvious answer here is to just toss them all, but it pains me to waste things (not for the money, just for...well, wastefulness), and in the interest of due diligence, I wanted to see if anyone had any good ideas about what could be done with them.

I know some wedding blogs have marketplaces for people looking for gently used wedding decorations, but in this case I would have to qualify these more as "mostly used", at least in the capacity they were originally used.

Any outside-the-box ideas of why someone might want the leftover wax in them, or maybe the glass of the votives themselves? If I just toss, should I at least put them in the recycling bin?
posted by lovableiago to Home & Garden (17 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
You can always offer them on freecycle and/or CL's free page.

Another bride and groom could certainly put new votives in them.
posted by amandabee at 3:26 PM on June 26, 2015 [5 favorites]

You can absolutely sell them on Ebay or whatever for another wedding or event; a buyer can surely just put in new votive candles?
posted by DarlingBri at 3:33 PM on June 26, 2015

Most certainly put them on freecycle or like website in your area. Like amandabee said, others can just put new votives in them.
posted by patheral at 3:48 PM on June 26, 2015 [1 favorite]

Before discarding or recycling, these could be very useful to you still: as boudoir lighting for a special and memorable occasion. Maybe for your first anniversary?
posted by Snerd at 4:06 PM on June 26, 2015 [1 favorite]

I'm not sure why you would throw away glass votive holders at all? (Or are you just asking about what to do with the leftover wax? I'm confused.) The used candles will come right out; you can use a fork to loosen them, and there are easy ways to remove wax residue from glass. Simply donate the holders to a thrift store, or, if you have Facebook, trying giving them away there (used candles and all). I'd be surprised if they weren't snatched right up--it's wedding season.
posted by coast99 at 4:15 PM on June 26, 2015 [3 favorites]

If you're looking for someone to take them and, I don't know, do something with them, where do you live? I follow a Girl Scout leader's group on facebook and they're always swapping craft items back and forth. If anyone can find a use for 150 votive holders (even partially used candles), it's Girl Scouts. If you memail me your info I can post in the group for you and hook you up with an interested party.

But yes, freecycle/craigslist. Someone will want these.
posted by phunniemee at 4:35 PM on June 26, 2015 [5 favorites]

Freecycle. People love candles and votives are a frugal way to enjoy them. People will snap them up.
posted by rhizome at 5:30 PM on June 26, 2015

There are a few wedding websites that will let you list used decor for sale, like Weddingbee.
posted by Katie8709 at 5:48 PM on June 26, 2015

Don't overthink it - Freecycle/Craigslist is the way to go. You can even make some money off of these instead of just tossing them in a landfill.
posted by peanut_mcgillicuty at 5:59 PM on June 26, 2015

Is there a grief-support organization in your area, one that hosts support groups? They might like the votives -- used candles and all!
posted by Boogiechild at 6:49 PM on June 26, 2015

Facebook has a lot of buy- nothing groups specific to different neighborhoods. Maybe check out one in yours?
posted by tristeza at 7:21 PM on June 26, 2015

Perhaps you could donate them to a high school art program? Art teachers are great at repurposing things.
posted by christinetheslp at 12:07 AM on June 27, 2015

For votive candles a little heat to the glass and the candles will fall right out. If you don't want to use them for candles (!!!) You can fill them with colored stones for decoration, use as slightly bigger than normal shot glasses, paint and upcycle into better candle holders, use as a measurer for things like bath salts or laundry detergent.

Or give to someone obsessed with candles. There are tons of us out there.
posted by AlexiaSky at 6:32 AM on June 27, 2015

I have a wood stove and use old candles to start fires. So, yeah, craigslist or freecycle.
posted by theora55 at 11:18 AM on June 27, 2015

Our church has votives in small glass jars for when people want to light a candle in someone's memory. If you aren't a member of a church, maybe ask around your extended circle of friends and co-workers and see if they know of a church that would like them.

I imagine you could also find some interesting ways to re-purpose at least some of the materials on Pinterest, or even look to Etsy for inspiration.
posted by vignettist at 1:27 PM on June 27, 2015

Thrift store, especially one benefiting a cause you support.
posted by Pearl928 at 2:08 PM on June 27, 2015

Nthing Craigslist. When I got married last year I saw a lot of similar wedding stuff offered for free or cheap, and bought some of it. Very useful to other couples.
posted by Miko at 9:07 AM on June 28, 2015

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