$1.75 Bathroom Apothecary Jar Upcycle

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Apothecary jars are so delicate while still being usable. Due to their designs, they can cost upwards of $200. Two. Hundred. Dollars. Lucky for me, I have an excess of candles and candle jars. I cannot resist buying them on clearance, which has resulted in an entire shelf in the basement being dedicated to scented wax storage. Whoops.

I was scrolling through photos of amazing bathrooms when I realized that those empty candle jars I recycled could have a second life as apothecary jars. I already have one pretty jar that currently houses cotton balls, but I needed someplace for the cotton swabs to go. It is a dire emergency if this household runs out of cotton swabs…

So back to the candles: I found a Chesapeake Bay candle I loved at Marshall’s, and was so sad when it ran out that I kept the jar. It had a wooden lid and was perfect for my apothecary project. Voila! A new beginning for an old candle!

Prep the Jar

First, the old wax must be removed from the jar. I put the glass in the freezer for a few hours and then use a butter knife to pop the wax out. This trick has saved me more than one thrifted candlestick! Then, I had to remove the label. I soaked the jar in warm water after it had adjusted back to room temperature.  Putting a frozen jar into warm water could cause it to crack, thus ruining your entire project! If the warm water doesn’t completely do the trick, Goo Gone has always been my go-to.

Pick a Handle

You can working on the lid while you are waiting on the jar.  If you picked a jar that doesn’t already have a handle on the lid, you will need to pick out a knob for the top. I ordered these and LOVE them. They come in a pack of four and are just the right size.

Prep the Lid

I used a spade bit (slightly larger than the size of the screw) to drill the hole for the screw head.  I wanted the end product to look finished and the screw to be flush.  You can see some residue in the photo from a sticker on the wood, but I didn’t mind because it would not be showing during use.

After drilling the hole, I could attach the knob. I added the knob before painting because I wanted the knob to match the final color of the lid.  (If you like your knob as it is: drill first, paint second, add knob third.) The jars come with an o-ring to create a tight seal.  I removed mine and added it back after painting, but it made the jar too difficult to open so I left it off. Just make sure you don’t paint it because the rubber won’t hold the paint.

I used black Rust-oleum spray paint that I had left-over from a previous project to finish the lid. Be patient with the paint and don’t try to cover it all at once. The results are much better if you’re patient! (Note to self, note to self, note to self.) There was a painted brand on the lid from the candle company that was not visible after painting. After allowing the paint to cure the recommended amount of time, you can begin filling your jar with lovely treasures such as sea glass or diamond jewelry. I chose cotton swabs.

“Apothecary on, my wayward son.”


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