Regular readers will know that we spend the long days of summer sailing off the southwest shores of the UK. Every time we return from our adventures our pockets and backpacks are stuffed full of beach finds. This year we have sun-bleached driftwood and handfuls of slippery seaweed. We have opaque, smooth-edged sea glass and pebbles full of crafty promise but, more than anything else, we have lots and lots of beautiful shells. So today I bring you this easy craft tutorial – how to make candles in seashells!
To Make Candles in Seashells You will Need
- Seashells which will stand flat (they can be a bit wonky but make sure they don’t roll about when you are making your candles by securing them to your counter with plasticine or by burying their bases in a bowl of sand – I prop mine up on bottle tops on their heavier side too, just for good measure)
- Soya candle wax
- Pre waxed tealight wicks
- Candle making dye flakes
- A small saucepan and a heatproof bowl (you can make these in the microwave but I don’t own one and have no idea how to use one so I can’t put instructions here!)
How to Make Candles in Seashells
The soya wax is melted in a double boiler as you would with chocolate, you will need a bowl which is large enough to sit over your saucepan without falling in! It needs to be heatproof and it needs to be one you don’t mind not using for food again afterwards. I have my own candle making bowl I keep for this purpose, it has a pouring spout which makes transferring the wax to the moulds very straightforward.
- For a large shell put 4-5 tablespoons of soya wax into your bowl, place it over a saucepan of hot water and heat gently until the wax has melted
- If you want a coloured candle break off a small piece of dye and stir into the wax (still over a gentle heat) until melted (the dye comes with instructions so you can work out how much you need depending upon how much wax you are using)
- put a drop of wax in the bottom of your prepared shell and put your tealight wick onto the wax. Hold until set (just a couple of seconds)
- Carefully pour your hot wax into your, carefully prepared and stable, shell and leave to set.
They looked very at home out on the patio in the sunshine and would light up a late summer garden party beautifully – I think I may need to organise a party just so I can light them out here!
They also looked very lovely in front of the fire on a lazy Sunday afternoon. I curled up in the chair you can just see at the edge of this shot with a cup of tea and a cat and dreamed of beach meanders and chips for lunch.
And, of course, they really come into their own on these darker late summer/early autumn evenings when it’s not quite cold enough to light the fire but I’m in need of some flickering light.
Candles are easy to make at home but do take care with flames and hot wax. We made these candles from scratch with eco soya wax, prewaxed candle wicks and candle dye flakes, you can also make them using ready-made tea lights and my friend Liz has a fab tutorial on her blog showing how to do just that.