A Fabulous And Unique Handmade Candles Gift Idea

How To Make Handmade Candles With Oyster Shells

At Christmas, I made a cute oyster shell ornament for my tree. However, some of the oyster shells I had were a bit too big to hang onto the tree. I kept them to one side and used them to make some handmade candles.

It’s amazing how glamourous an oyster shell can look once it is spray painted gold. The big shells look even more fabulous spray painted and used as candles on the table.

These handmade oyster shell candles would be a lovely gift for someone. Whether as a housewarming, dinner party or even a birthday gift. They are a unique gift for very little cost. The only cost really is for the wax and gift wrap. If you repurposed old candles, you could make them for almost nothing.

To make the gift even more special and to keep with the seaside theme of the handmade candles, they are presented in a DIY nautical themed gift box.

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What You Need to Make The Handmade Candles

What you need to make handmade candles

How to Make Hanmade Candles in Oyster Shells

  1. The first thing I did was to spray paint the outside of the oyster shells gold.
Oyster shell sprayed gold

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

Oyster shells for handmade shell candles.

3. To melt the wax to make the handmade candles you will need a “Bain Marie.”   That is 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/bowl and then place this bowl over simmering water in a saucepan. This is the same method you would use to melt chocolate over a stove.

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

Melting the candle wax in a bain-marie

4. Next, 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.

Molten coloured wax in oyster shell

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

Cutting the candle wick

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

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

These handmade candles would look fabulous as a center piece on the dinner table. Even though I have made these as a gift, I will be keeping some myself for the next time I cook a special dinner.

If you liked this post you should check out my scallop shell trinket dishes.
Keeping with the seaside theme you may like my repurposed denim fish pillow.

If you want some more affordable DIY gift ideas check out cheapandthriftyliving.com

24 Responses

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

  2. 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?

  3. 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.

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

  4. A wonderful idea for oyster shells ~ the candles turned out beautiful! Happily pinned. <3
    Have a great rest of your weekend,
    Barb 🙂

  5. I love the combination of rustic and elegant in this fun gift idea! Thanks for sharing at Vintage Charm–pinned!

    • Thank you, Cecillia. Yes the gold paint looks lovely on the gnarled shells.

  6. These are sooo pretty! I wouldn’t even burn, them I would just leave them for some pretty decor!

    • Thank you, Linda. They would look good as the tea lights you use for hot plates on the table.

  7. Claire, I adore these candles, so pretty! Thank you for sharing them at the Talk Of The Town party 🙂

  8. These are so cute and make me think of summer and beaches. A great thing to have around to help with the winter blues. Thanks for sharing.

    • Thwnk you. Yes they have a beach feel but with a warm glow when lit.

  9. These are gorgeous! I would be thrilled to receive these. I like the idea of adding essential oils to add a scent #handmademonday

    • Thank you. They do look good on the dinner table, I’m going to save mine for next time I have guests.

  10. What a fun & cute gift idea! Very creative! Thanks for sharing at Merry Monday!

  11. What a fun idea. Love, love, love how the gold spray paint looks on the shells. It’s sooooooo incredibly pretty and if there’s one thing we always have at home, it’s oyster shells. I’m a little addicted to them 😉

    • Thanks, Michelle. It’s amazing how a bit of gold paint can make something ordinary look glam.

  12. These reminded me of sand candles we made using a shoe box filled with sand and creating a shape and then filling it with wax in girl scouts when I was little. I may have to resurrect it for a blog post! Thanks for sharing with us at Creatively Crafty Link Party #CCBG

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