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Kinkajou Project #20

Soy candles in craft beer bottles by Josh Steele


1. I like to try a lot of different craft beer and always seem to have a lot of bottles with interesting labels lying around. When you like drinking craft beer, you tend to make friends who are into craft beer too. With Christmas fast approaching; I decided to make my friends soy candles in upcycled craft beer bottles, as presents!

2. Score the bottles about 5mm above the label – don’t worry about making them all the same height, it adds a level of complexity that doesn’t improve the end product.


3. Once you’ve scored, separated and sanded your bottles, you’re ready to start making candles in them. 

4. TIP: some craft beer labels are quite porous and can absorb water during the separation phase,which makes it easier to accidently rub the label off during sanding. To overcome this, wrap some cling wrap tightly around the label before the separation phase.

5. Cut lengths of paper core wicks to size, so that they are about 4cm too long.


6. Hot glue the wick to the inside bottom of the beer bottle – try to get these as centered as possible!

7. TIP: you can buy wick tabs, that you thread the wick through, to provide a large flat base which is easy to center and hot glue to the bottom of the beer bottle.

8. Once the wicks are fastened and cool, melt your wax in a double boiler (the same way you would melt chocolate when baking). You might have to do this in batches, depending on the size of your equipment.

9. Once the wax is completely melted, you can pour it into your beer bottles. Pour the wax about 5mm below the top of the label (which should make the final level about 10mm from the rim).

10. While the wax is still liquid, center the wicks and fix them in place – you can put a slit in a piece of card and then thread the top of the wick through the slit.

11. Leave the candles somewhere warmish to cool – if they cool too quickly, the wax can sink in the center around the wick and you’ll need to melt a little more wax to top it up. 1

12. Once totally cool – cut the wicks to size!


1. 10 beer bottles
2. Kinkajou
3. Sand Paper (Finishing Kit) 4. 2kgs of soy wax
5. 2m of paper core wicks
6. Wick tabs (optional)
7. Hot glue gun + glue
8. Pieces of card

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