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DIY Hobnail Milk Glass Candle

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Turning a thrift store hobnail milk glass vase into a hobnail milk glass candle is a fun craft project. I love the vintage charm of milk glass and turning it into a candle makes it a great addition to add room in your home.

diy hobnail milk glass candle

What is Hobnail Milk Glass

Maybe you’ve seen beautiful hobnail glass in your local thrift stores. Hobnail is the raised, dot pattern that you can see on this little vase I found. Vintage milk glass is creamy white glass. I was thrilled to find this gem and then inspiration hit to turn this little vase into a quaint candle. Hobnail milk glass vases have a timeless appeal with their delicate raised dots (hence the name “hobnail”) and milky-white finish. They’re versatile pieces that can complement various decor styles, from vintage to modern farmhouse. Plus, you can often find them at thrift stores for a steal! Here is the one I found.

hobnail milk glass vase

Anthropologie Inspired

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I was browsing Anthropolgie’s site when I came across this gorgeous candle they are selling for $98! I had this little vintage hobnail milk glass vase in my thrift store stash, so I knew I wanted to create my own inspired version. My vase is about half the size that they are selling, but since I scored my vase for only $1 at my thrift store, I’m making this project for under $5.

Materials Needed:

Prepping your Vase

If your thrift store vase is dirty, give it a good cleaning. I just soaked mine in some soapy water, and then gently used a paper towel to rub it clean. I then let it airdry before moving on to turning it into a beautiful candle.

cleaning the vase

Step-by-Step Guide:

Prepare Your Workstation:

Set up your double boiler or makeshift wax melting setup. I used an old pie tin, and placed it over a saucepan with about 1 inch of water in the pan. I created a pour spout in my pie tin to make it easier to pour the hot wax. I highly recommend purchasing a candle wax pouring pot if you haven’t done this before or don’t have a steady hand. Make sure to place the hobnail milk glass vase on a heat-resistant surface.

Creating pour spout with pie tin.

Melt the Wax:

Add your desired amount of candle wax flakes or blocks to the double boiler or heatproof bowl. Heat the wax gently over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally with a wooden skewer or chopstick. I eyeballed how much wax I would need for this little vase, and used about 4 ounces of wax.

melting the wax

Prep the Wick:

While the wax is melting, prepare your candle wick. Cut it to the desired length, leaving a few inches extra to anchor it to the bottom of the vase. Secure the wick to the center of the vase using a wick holder or by wrapping it around a pencil placed across the opening.

Attaching wood wick to clip

The wood wick I used come with an easy clip that you press the wood wick into and then you can place the clip at the base of the vase and it holds upright.

mark where you want to cut the wood wick

Add Fragrance (Optional):

If you’d like to scent your candle, once the wax is melted, it’s time to add a few drops of fragrance oil or essential oils to the melted wax. Stir gently to distribute the scent evenly. I used some lavender essential oil. I put in about 4 drops. How strong you want is completely up to you.

Pour the Wax:

Once the wax is fully melted, carefully pour it into the hobnail milk glass vase, taking care not to disturb the wick. Fill the vase to your desired level, leaving some space at the top.

pouring in the wax

Set the Wick:

Allow the wax to cool slightly until a skin forms on the surface. Then, gently adjust the wick to ensure it remains centered in the wax as it solidifies. You can use wooden skewers or chopsticks to hold the wick in place if you are using a regular rope wick.

Customize (Optional):

Get creative and customize your candle further by adding decorative accents like dried flowers, herbs, or spices to the surface of the wax before it fully sets. Press them gently into the wax using a skewer or chopstick.

Final Touches:

Once the wax has cooled and solidified completely, trim the wick to about ¼ inch (6 mm) above the surface of the candle (if using rope wick). This helps ensure a clean and even burn when you light it.

make your own athropologie inspired candle

Tips and Tricks:

  • If you’re candle sinks, don’t worry. Mine did the same thing. I let it set up over night and the next morning I just added a little more wax on top to fill in the hole and to create a flat top.
  • Experiment with different fragrances and decorative accents to create unique candles for different occasions or seasons.
  • If you’re using essential oils for scent, be sure to research their proper usage rates to avoid overpowering or irritating fragrances.
  • Always supervise candles while they’re burning and keep them away from flammable objects and curious pets or children.

So, the next time you spot a charming hobnail milk glass vase at your local thrift store, snatch it up and give it a new purpose as a stunning candle holder. Happy crafting!!!

turn a hobnail milk glass vase into a vintage candle
thrift store hobnail milk glass vase turned candle


  1. This is so pretty Maryann! I love how you turned it into a candle! I have that exact one from my mom, whenever I have roses from the garden I put them in there.

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