How to Make Shell Candles

Categories: Collections, Nature Crafts, and Whimsy.

Who can resist picking up shells while at the beach?  I know I can’t and have accumulated quite a lot over the years of collecting.   Then comes the question of what to do with them?

On our numerous visits to British Columbia I’ve been a shell collector while walking along the gorgeous beaches.  The shells in the top left photo didn’t come from BC but were either from garage sales or from gifts from friends from their vacations.  The broken ones get tossed back and only the whole ones get saved.

my shell collection at craftygardener.ca

This year I’m trying to use the shells in different way.  A nice big one holds some soap and another had a small candle in it.

the shell collection at craftygardener.ca

After using the candle and seeing how it melted into the shell I thought I would try a little experiment with tea lights and shells.  First remove the tea light from the protective cover. Cut the tea light so the wick comes out. Remove the wick carefully as you want to keep the little base attached to it. I set the candle bits aside for melting later on.

making shell candles at craftygardener.ca

Stand the wick into the deepest part of the shell.  In a double boiler or a jar in a pot of boiling water, melt the remainder of the wax from tea lights.  You could purchase candle wax and wicks from a craft store but I prefer to use what I already have on hand.  That’s me being thrifty!

making shell candles at craftygardener.ca

Once the wax melts, carefully lift out the jar and pour it into the shells.  Do this slowly else the wick will move.  Also be careful the wick doesn’t bend over and get immersed into the wax, as then it won’t burn.

making shell candles at craftygardener.ca

Let set and presto you have some cute little shell candles.

making shell candles at craftygardener.ca

These make lovely reminders of the time spent beach combing but would also make cute little gifts to give to someone.  I’ve got a couple in the bathroom and the biggest one on the dining table.  Now the evenings are getting darker that much sooner I’m back to using candles at dinner time.

Here’s a project that used a lot of shells (not collected from BC) and some copper wire to create a dangler for the garden.  I took advantage of a hole in the top of one shell as a hanger.  A few holes were carefully drilled around the bottom of the shell to add other dangly bits.  The wire was twisted around the shells to hold them in place.

a garden dangler made with shells at craftygardener.ca

This was made quite a few years ago and I’ve had it hanging in various places each year but it can be seen quite clearly hanging on the fence.  It hangs outside for 3 seasons of the year but I do take it inside over the winter.   I might just leave it out this year till the first snowfall as I love to get photos of the garden whimsy with some snow on it.

a garden dangler made with shells at craftygardener.ca

How do you use the shells that you collect?

 I’m sharing with The Really Crafty Link Party.

the crafty side at craftygardener.ca

More from the Crafty Side

knit & crochet …. sewing & plastic canvas … patterns

Crafty’s projects … craf-tea ideas … kids crafts … Christmas

garden whimsy  … collections

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