Handmade shell candles

Leggi questo post in: Italiano

a few months ago i saw this post by creare scout on how to make candles with shells inside. this blog has all sorts of ideas on activities to do with kids, although this one really isn’t the best example because you have to heat up the candle gel. but the idea is that the kids collect shells and can choose which ones to put in.

i liked the idea right away because my daughter has a huge collection of shells that she’s picked up from the beach and i decided to make these with her for gifts from her for her teachers and the family. i didn’t have any cool jars to use, so i decided to buy some cheap ikea glasses. unfortunately i had to order the candle gel wax online and it wasn’t cheap. and then the container i ordered ended up being a lot smaller than what i’d expected, so in the end we only made 3 candles for family gifts.

sofia really liked picking out the shells, though we may have overdid it a bit (i think there are more shells than wax!). i found the technique of melting and pouring the gel (in layers) and inserting the shells much more problematic than i’d expected. more than once i realized that there was a big gel puddle on the kitchen table (which luckily comes off easily once it cools down) and the little bit of gel that got into the pot i used to melt it was almost impossible to clean. then i apparently didn’t wait long enough for the gel to cool before putting the shells in because they sunk down to the bottom of each layer.

perhaps it was so complicated because it was the first time i’d tried to make candles and i didn’t know what in the world i was doing! for example, i didn’t know how to keep the wick up straight while the wax gel cooled down, so i used a kitchen knife to keep it up. there must be some other more intelligent way to do that… (edit: use a clothespin!)

i’m not saying this to discourage you. not at all! i’m sure that you’re much less of a bumbler than i am and perhaps you don’t have a little boy trying to pull all the things off the table, either. but i did learn something very lucky when the little guy grabbed a candle and threw it on the ground: even though ikea glasses normally break just if you look at them wrong, they never break when full of wax gel and shells! 🙂

9 thoughts on “Handmade shell candles”

  1. oooo ma sono bellissime!
    ho giusto un paio di barattoli di sassi raccolti da Y nel giardino della scuola (me li porta a casa per ricordarmi che mi pensa sempre, ha qualche problema col distacco…) che non ho cuore di buttare, potrei usarli al posto delle conchiglie e farne delle candele, no?
    In fondo sono solo 12 anni che voglio provare a fare una candela con la cera gel… forse è ora di provare?
    Magari senza bambini intorno… 😀

  2. @claudia: sì, dai! sarebbe un modo molto carino per tenere i sassi in un modo un po più decorativo/pratico. e poi, se lo vuoi fare da 12 anni, mi pare proprio il momento, ma come dici tu: senza bimbi! tuo Y è proprio un piccolo poeta… che dolcezza!

    @moto: grazie! infatti, sicuramente sarebbe più facile ora che ho capito più o meno come funziona. ma non ho intenzioni di farlo ancora se non trovo il gel che costa di meno di quello che ho pagato io!!

  3. Bravissima! Sono venute davvero bene, mi fa piacere che tu abbia usato il mio tutorial 🙂
    Il modo "più intelligente" di tenere fermo lo stoppino è usare una molletta da bucato, che si appoggia al bordo del bicchiere 🙂
    A presto!

  4. Lisa I think this is a fantastic project to have the kids involved and I think your shell candles are superb!
    So far I have only received such candles (with flowers, little objects inside) and never attempted to make some.
    The idea to have the knife as a support is quite in place. You know the saying: "Necessity is the mother of invention"


  5. @pat: ora mi sento meglio, non sono io l'unica!

    @maya: yes, that saying is definitely an important one in my home! we're always trying to come up with solutions without knowing what we're doing!

    @papgena: you should try it! it was definitely an experience!

    @lo: sì, è molto coinvolgente! e ora vado a vedere il link!


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