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DIY Oyster Shell Candles: Coastal Home Decor and Gifts

Elevate your home with DIY oyster shell candles. Learn to craft these natural, luxurious candles using gold-sprayed shells and fragranced wax—ideal for nautical centrepieces or the perfect handmade gift.

This holiday season, transform the ocean’s treasures into a sparkling array of gold oyster shell candles, perfect for elevating your home decor or gifting a piece of the coast. While decorating my Christmas tree, I discovered some oyster shells were too big for ornaments. Instead of discarding them, I envisioned a more luxurious addition to my decor—handmade candles crafted from these shells.

Spray-painting the larger shells gold, I filled them with vibrantly coloured and fragranced candle wax, turning them into exquisite nautical centrepieces. These natural oyster shell candles, when lit, not only enhance the ambience but also boast an impressive burn time, thanks to the high-quality organic soy wax used.

Ideal for any occasion, from housewarming to dinner parties, these oyster candles represent a thoughtful and perfect gift. Presented in a DIY, nautical-themed gift box wrapped in tissue paper, they evoke an ocean of love and appreciation. Moreover, by utilizing recycled oyster shell dishes and free fragrances, this project aligns with eco-friendly practices, making these candles beautiful and kind to our planet.

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What You Need to Make Oyster Candles

What you need to make handmade candles

How To Make Oyster Shell Candles

Step 1: The first thing I did was to spray paint the outside of the oyster shells gold.

Oyster shell sprayed gold

Step 2: Next, I worked out roughly how much wax I needed to fill and make the handmade oyster shell candles. To do this, I filled each shell with water, tipped it into a jug, and measured the amount of liquid.

Oyster shells for handmade shell candles.

Step 3: To melt the wax to make the handmade candles, you will need a “Bain Marie.”   You don’t want to melt the wax directly as it is a fire risk.

To make your own “Bain Marie,” put the wax in a Pyrex jug or bowl and place this bowl over simmering water in a saucepan. This is the same method you would use to melt chocolate on a stove.

As soon as all the wax has melted (it will clear), add a few drops of dye to colour your candles. To keep with a seaside theme, I dyed my wax blue. You can also add a fragrance such as bergamot oils at this point if you want smelly candles.

Melting the candle wax in a bain-marie

Step 4: Carefully pour the molten wax into the oyster shells. Place a wick in each shell and use two wooden skewers to hold it upright as the wax cools and sets. You may find using a wooden wick cut to size easier.

Molten coloured wax in oyster shell

Step 5: Leave the handmade candles for a couple of hours to harden the wax. Once the wax has set, cut the wicks down to size.

Cutting the candle wick

Step 6: Finally, as these candles are a gift, I made a lovely presentation box for them. I covered a cardboard box with nautical map wrapping paper and laid the oyster shell candles on shredded tissue paper.

If you can’t find any nautical wrapping paper, there is a large collection of wonderful free vintage nautical images for print and use.

Handmade candles in oyster shells
Handmade candles oyster shells in gift box.

These handmade candles would look fabulous as a centrepiece on the dinner table. Even though I have made these as a gift, I will keep some myself the next time I cook a special dinner. These other unique candle container ideas make a lovely homemade gift.

They are also a great craft to make and sell and a fun summer craft too.

If you liked this post, check out my scallop shell trinket dishes. Or these map seashell gift ideas.
You may like my repurposed denim fish pillow with the seaside theme.

For more tabletop light decorations, check out these stylish air dry clay candles and cute mini Chinese paper lantern tea light jars.


Sunday 10th of September 2023

Lovely idea I can’t wait to try this ❤️

Claire Armstrong

Monday 11th of September 2023

Thank homemade candles are an easy gift to make.

amy Johnson

Thursday 17th of September 2020

how did you pain the "rim" part of the oyster (the outline of the shell...the part that shows when you see the wax candle). spray paint as well? if so how did you not get it into the middle (where the wax is?)

Claire Armstrong

Thursday 17th of September 2020

Hi Amy, I sprayed a little paint onto a plate to create a small puddle of paint. I then dipped a fine paint brush in the puddle and painted the edge of the shell with this paint. I hope that helps. Thanks Claire.

Lins @ Boo & Maddie

Monday 4th of March 2019

I love this and how natural it is without any of the nasty chemicals that some candles have, fab idea X

Claire Armstrong

Monday 4th of March 2019

Thank you, yes very natural.


Wednesday 27th of February 2019

What a brilliant idea on how to reuse the shells, I would love to make my own candles. Do you put essential oils for the scents?

Claire Armstrong

Thursday 28th of February 2019

Thank you. Yes you can add essential oils for scent.


Wednesday 6th of February 2019

Claire that is one beautiful candle. I can imagine it being done with all sorts of seashells too. It's too bad I'm not in Greece anymore where they were plentiful.

Claire Armstrong

Wednesday 6th of February 2019

Thank you. I miss being beside the sea too. You'll have to pick some up next time you visit.