Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Why Don't You Make Sea Shell Candles

Last week, a friend of mine from South Carolina sent us the most amazing package of south east seashells you could imagine. The Boy was thrilled beyond words that so many BIG shells came to him in the mail. Thrilled!

We placed the seashells in a large glass vase while we waited for inspiration and free time to hit.Today we decided to make seashell candles!

For this project you'll need:

*A flat clam shell, or other bivalve shell without any cracks or holes.
* Scissors
* Wicking (Lead Free)
* A hot glue gun with glue sticks
* Beeswax
* A dedicated crock pot for wax or a double boiler.
* Something to hold your shell sturdy - we use an old bowl full of rice.
* Something to pour your beeswax with. I used an old plastic spoon.

Pick out your best bivalve shells and set them aside.

Snip off a piece of your wicking so that it is long enough to fit inside your shell and is 1/2 inch over the rim of the shell. Make sure when you're purchasing your wicking that you get the correct size. Mine was too narrow for the vary largest shells. I had to place them in a freezer after they were hardened so that I could pop the wax out and start over with thicker wick.

Using your hot glue gun, place a dab of glue in the bottom of the shell where you want your wick centered. You can see we coiled our wick a bit to allow for a larger gluing surface area.

Place your shells on a surface where they won't roll around on you. We use an old pyrex pan full of rice to keep them steady. Carefully pour your liquid wax into your seashell. We used an old plastic spoon to pour the wax bit by bit. I have a pitcher that acts as a double boiler - but usually I melt my wax on low in my dedicated craft crock pot. I find using a spoons works well for smaller pours.

Allow your seashells to cool and harden completely before using them. Ours look lovely on our mantel and scattered about our home. When we light them, we make sure they are securely propped up, using other shells, or on a glass fireproof surface to help prevent spills.

Aren't they beautiful? A special thank you to my friend, Sarah, for sending these special shells to us.

Simple Mama


  1. We are taking off in April for a 4 1/2 month road trip and a lot of that time will be on the Texas coast and Florida so I will make sure to take beeswax and wicks with us so we can make thes on the road :)

  2. Those are so adorable! I grew up on the coast of SC and never saw anything like this done with the shells there but it's such a great idea!

  3. Hi, when you made these candles did you have a problem keeping them lit or did they just burn in the center? I made a beeswax candle in a small heart shaped container this is what happened to me. I just love the way the beeswax smells and was so disappointed that they did not burn so well. What do you think that I did wrong? Thanks in advance for any help you can give me.

  4. Hi Cheryl,

    My candles burned all they way down. Perhaps your wicking wasn't large enough for the size of your shell? Wicking comes in different sizes.