reducing waste

Easy Upcycled Coffee Candles

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You can make this DIY Coffee Candle about as upcycled as you want by using spent coffee grounds, the leftover odds and ends of wax from used candles, and an old mug no one uses because it’s chipped or simply does not hold enough coffee. If you’re going full eco-Macgyver with your Coffee Candles, then you’ll also want to check out these handy tips on how to remove that half-inch of wax from the bottom of your old candle jars. 

Makes 1 candle

Easy DIY upcycled coffee candles


  • 1 coffee mug 
  • 1 natural candle wick
  • Spoon or popsicle stick  
  • Recycled candle wax (from old candles) or new soy wax flakes (You’ll need enough wax to fill your mug to 1 ½ amount)
  • Superglue
  • 2 tbsp used Imperfect Foods ground coffee, dried 


  1. Clean and dry your coffee mug. Use super glue to glue one end of the wick to the bottom of the mug and let dry. 
  2. Rest a spoon or a popsicle stick on the top of the mug. Tie the other end of the wick to the spoon or stick so the wick stands up straight.
  3. Place wax in a glass measuring cup and set in a saucepan. Fill the saucepan with water until the waterline reaches halfway up the measuring cup. Heat the water at medium-high heat and melt down the wax.
  4. Carefully remove the measuring cup from the saucepan and pour a thin layer of wax into your mug. Sprinkle a light layer of coffee grounds around the edge of the mug and add the rest of the wax to the mug. Add the remaining coffee grounds, making sure to not get too close to the wick as they will burn when lit. 
  5. Let dry, about 1 hour. 
  6. Untie wick from spoon or popsicle stick and trim the end of the wick so it’s only ⅛ – ¼ inch long above the wax.

Notes and Variations

  • Save this DIY Upcycled Coffee Candle tutorial so you can make a big batch to gift to friends and family over the holidays.
  • Drink a lot of coffee? Check out our 7 Ways to Use Your Coffee Grounds.


  • McMaster
    December 2, 2021 at 9:20 am

    Where do I order this?

    • Imperfect
      December 2, 2021 at 12:01 pm

      You can order coffee through us by heading over to our website to get started and all signed up with us! 💚

  • Elizabeth G Johnson
    December 2, 2021 at 4:13 pm

    don’t need super glue- just tie a washer to the end of the string. you can also do that, then dip the string and let it dry straight, then pour the candle wax.

    • Imperfect
      December 6, 2021 at 9:55 am

      Very cool!

  • Keri Wagner
    December 4, 2021 at 1:28 am

    I love this, but I need a visual. In step 4, do you coat the inside of the cup with wax, then sprinkle/distribute the coffee grounds so they are on the outside edge of the candle? Thank you!

    • Imperfect
      December 7, 2021 at 2:38 pm

      You can pour just a thin layer and then sandwich the coffee grounds into the candle between layers or wax. Just remember not to get too close to the wick with these as the coffee grounds will burn 💚

  • Wendy
    December 6, 2021 at 7:07 pm

    Will it smell like coffee? Would it make sense to also scent it with something complimentary like vanilla or chocolate?

    • Imperfect
      December 7, 2021 at 2:35 pm

      Adding a scent like vanilla or chocolate would be wonderful with this! 💚💚💚

  • Selene
    December 31, 2021 at 3:25 pm

    I’m not much of a coffee drinker- would this work with tea leaves?

    • Imperfect
      January 8, 2022 at 2:34 pm

      We’ve never tried that but never hurts to try! 💚✨

  • cas
    February 6, 2022 at 10:31 pm

    you can use a candle stumb instead of a wick


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