DIY Seashell Candles (With Beeswax)
Making your own beeswax candles is one of the most common ways of using this natural wax. If you love natural things in general and candles specifically, I have just the project for you. It is really easy to make your own seashell candles using beeswax and a bit of wick. These tiny candles give off a beautiful light and can be used much like any tealight.
How to Make Seashell Candles
I dearly love searching for seashells at the beach. While we do not get down to the ocean as much as I would like, I always plan some time alone looking for shell treasures. Perhaps, you do the same?
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Honestly, my husband teases me and says that we get worse gas mileage headed back up to the mountains because of the weight of my latest shell collection.
No matter, I love them. Now, once we get our seashells home – what can we do with them? There are various crafts you can enjoy using seashells.
But, one of my favorites is making little beeswax tealight candles using the seashell as the container.
If you are not lucky enough to have a shell collection on hand, no worries. You can purchase sea shells to use in your candle making crafts. Of course if you want larger candles, conventional beeswax candle molds are another good choice.
Choosing the Best Shells
The only two things required to make a candle is an amount of wax and some candle wicks. I find that little tabbed tealight wicks are the perfect size candle wicks for this project. Just trim them down to a smaller size. Once you have your materials – let your imagination run wild.
If you are a shell collecting nut, like me, your collection probably has some of every size and shape. The weirder-the better.
However, for making beeswax tea lights, the common ark shells are some of the best. We want a candle that is small enough to only require a small amount of wax but large enough to burn for a bit.
The process is the same as when using metal tins or other small containers. However, shells tend to rock a bit and not have a flat bottom – so keep that in mind.
As outlined in the tutorial below, there are many options for choosing beeswax to make your own DIY seashell candles. You can purchase wax pellets or candle flakes online.
The cheaper option is to buy a larger quantity of beeswax from a local beekeeper. But, keep in mind that for candle making beeswax must be clean.
Not only look clean but be free of substances that might clog the wick during burning. If there is any doubt, take the time to clean your beeswax again before using it for candle projects.
The best way to melt beeswax is to use a dedicated saucepan to create a double boiler and heat it on the stove. Do not boil the wax – we only need to melt it.
I love these little inserts and have several of different sizes. They are only used for wax projects – that keeps my other kitchenware clean!
Optional Step – Scenting Your Candles
Often when making candles with beeswax, crafters choose to forgo added scent and enjoy the natural odor of the wax. However, if you want to add scent – a few drops of essential oils or fragrance oils in the mix will work very well.
Enjoy Homemade Seashell Candles – Your Vacation Memories
Now, doesn’t that sound easy? You can make some beautiful decorative candles that can be used for any occasion. They are a wonderful addition to summer table settings giving a beach-inspired touch.
And, this is a great way to preserve and use some of those seaside treasures. Of course, as always, take care when using any type of candle as unwanted fire or burns can result.
Another easy peasy project is using craft sheets of beeswax to make hand rolled beeswax tapers. If you have never tried it – you really should.
For those of you looking for a more traditional approach, creating hand-dipped beeswax tapers is a special project to enjoy. These solid candles burn for a long time and look nice as part of a farmhouse decor.
Inexpensive Small Gifts
Beeswax seashell tealights make great gifts or wedding favors too! And what about those end of the year teacher gifts?
Older children can help make these with a bit of supervision and have a lasting memory of your beach vacation.
Beeswax is very easy to work with and can be used to make many different projects. I enjoy preserving Fall leaves with Beeswax and making garlands for the holidays.
Traditional beeswax Christmas ornaments can be made using cookie molds. Or for a very simple project – create Christmas tree shaped candles with rolled wax sheets.
And for Summer, what about using that left over beeswax to make citronella candles for your next outdoor party?
Now if you really want to create a unique elegant project – try using dried flowers in your jar candles. They are very impressive and one of a kind. So much beeswax and so little time – what can you create?
DIY Seashell Candles Tutorial
- double boiler (pot to melt wax) (or equivalent)
- 3 ounces beeswax
- 3 pieces tealight wicks
- 3 pieces seashells small (any size)
- Select the right size seashellChoose a shell that when sitting level will hold a bit of wax. I honestly never measure but let’s say a tablespoon of melted beeswax.
- In general, I always use cotton core wicks of the appropriate size when making beeswax candles.However, the pre-made tealight wicks work so well with this seashell candle that I am recommending you stick with them.You will need one for each candle. Take them out of the bag and make sure the wick is secure on the tab and straight before you proceed.
- There are many different ways of cleaning and melting beeswax. You do want clean wax for a clean burning candle.If you are purchasing beeswax, it will most likely be ready to use. For those of you using raw beeswax, you may need to clean it a bit more to ensure any excess honey is removed etc.The best and safest way of melting beeswax is always using the double boiler method. You can make your own with a mini-double boiler insert. I have 2 or three that I use for my wax projects.If you choose to add a few drops of essential oil for scent. Stir it in just before pouring into the shell.
- Pour wax. Carefully pour a small amount of melted beeswax into the deepest part of the shells. I suggest you make one at a time. If you are not steady and a bit nervous (like me) you may overflow the candle. That is okay – you can wipe the excess off.However, will the wax melt and pool out of the candle when you light it? Take care to leave a bit of shell on the rim.
- The wax cools rather quickly but you have a few seconds to work. This is why it is important to have your wick ready before you start and to only pour one candle at a time.Set down your cup of melted wax and quickly but gently insert the prepared tealight wick and tab into the melted beeswax. The tab should help anchor the wick.Let your candle cool for a couple of hours. The time needed will depend on the ambient temperature of the room. Trim the wick to 1/4″ and you are ready to enjoy.