The V Spot

Rants, observations and home decorating from a woman with no time for a blog.

Make your own Pottery Barn style Shell Candles

  • Pottery Barn has some adorable shell candles.

I want them.  I don’t want to spend any money.  So….

I love PB’s shell candles.
image credit: Pottery Barn

However, even at the relatively reasonable price of $15, I still saw no need to spend that much…

In a previous post, I explained how I can use every single bit of my candles.  I did the same thing here, using old candle wax, wicks from the craft store and a few shells that I already had.

shells, candle, wicks, wax

Take the wax and put it in a microwave proof bowl.

wax, bowl

In a perfect world, I would have had plain white wax for this project, but alas, it is not a perfect world.  However, some of the wax was my favorite Tuscan Basil scent, so at least my imperfect world smells like Tuscany.

Microwave the wax in 30 second to 1 minute intervals, gently swirling the wax in between heatings.  You will probably need to use a pot-holder to handle the bowl.

In the meantime, take the shells and prop them up/steady them.  I used rice on a plate to support them so they don’t tip over.

shells, rice

Since the bottom of the shell is curved, you might need to bend the wick at an angle when you place it in the shell.

candle wick, craft

Take the hot wax (carefully!) and dip the bottom of the wick in the wax to anchor it in place. Then pour in the wax into the shell. (Carefully!)
(I warned you guys a couple of times that this is hot, hot, hot.  Please be careful, and if you burn yourself please do not come crying to me, because I told you to be careful…mkay? Just sayin’.)
DSCN4081  DSCN4082   making candles, shell, wax

Let them sit and harden.  Clean off/scrape away any wax that might have run onto the outside of the shell.

I wanted to use sand like the picture in the Pottery barn catalog, but unless I wanted to vacuum my car’s interior to try and get some leftovers from our last beach trip (which I didn’t) or go over to the beach (which I didn’t) I opted to use sea-glass type filler instead.

sea glass, shell, candle

It’ll work.

shell candle

The best part?  That they were pretty much free.

shell candles

Give it a try.  Cheap, easy, and it smells good too!

These were featured on Knock Off Decor.



MiMi said...

June 18, 2011 at 10:28 pm
Personally, I like yours better than PB.
PB is so freaking expensive sometimes, I basically boycott them and their cuteness. :)

Susan said...

June 18, 2011 at 10:41 pm
I LOVE your candles and thanks for a great tutorial!! I can't wait to make some not only for myself, but as gifts!!

Sherry Smyth said...

June 18, 2011 at 11:08 pm
What a great idea...and easy enough to do, plus much less expensive than purchasing from Pottery Barn!! I love the disclaimer on hot, hot, hot....we've been forewarned!!! :)

Mary said...

June 18, 2011 at 11:31 pm
Oh my, how cute! :O)

Bobbi Jo said...

June 18, 2011 at 11:31 pm
What a fun and creative way to use shells. Thank you for sharing! Hugs, Bobbi Jo

Nicole@Thrifty Decorating said...

June 19, 2011 at 12:09 am
Gorgeous!! I love it!

katecreativesalvage said...

June 19, 2011 at 2:10 am

How clever, I cann't wait to try it, just perfect for summer, thank you for the nice tutorial, you did an awsome job, I'll try not to burn,( I hate hot wax or the glue gun oh well)


Kristin said...

June 19, 2011 at 2:12 am
Love these!

Sunshine and Lavender said...

June 19, 2011 at 2:13 am
You are so super duper creative. Now I'm going to go continue sitting on the couch rotting my brain watching trashy tv :)


Jennifer@JMDesigns said...

June 19, 2011 at 2:44 am
I have wanted to try this forever...maybe some day I'll get around to it!
I think your's is prettier than the PB one! I love the color your wax turned out to be, and I'm sure it smells great!

Andrea . Charcoal and Crayons said...

June 19, 2011 at 3:11 am
Great idea! They look so pretty and I love the beach glass.

Becca said...

June 19, 2011 at 3:23 am
Love it and once again you make it look so stinkin easy!


Mrs. Robinson said...

June 19, 2011 at 3:24 am
I love that your imperfect world smells like Tuscany!!! :-)) Even in all its imperfection, our world is pretty great, huh!! And your creative ideas make it even better!! Thanks for sharing!!

Bug and Bird said...

June 19, 2011 at 10:20 am
this is genius, i love your DIYs. you make the crafts possible that i love in the store but don't want to risk doing myself, but having you do them first gives me a guide.

thank you.

Christie in Dallas, TX said...

June 19, 2011 at 11:10 am
What a great idea! I love how yours turned out!

Susan @ said...

June 19, 2011 at 12:01 pm
Love these V! I've got some shells and I'm going to give it a try! Visiting from It's So Very Cheri blog hop!
Have a great day.

lisbonlioness said...

June 19, 2011 at 12:12 pm
Me likey! Really beautiful, and I just happened to buy a load of shells that need to be put to good use. Thanks for the inspiration!

slommler said...

June 19, 2011 at 12:21 pm

Jane said...

June 19, 2011 at 1:49 pm
Great ideas...I once taught this craft in a class.Wish I had thought of the idea of balancing the shells in rice. Brilliant!!!
Thank you so much for sharing...
Jane (Artfully Graced)

ritajoy said...

June 20, 2011 at 12:39 am
Love, Love, Love this idea! Thanks for showing us how to make them ourselves.

Lauren @ My Wonderfully Made said...

June 20, 2011 at 12:57 am
SO pretty! Thanks for the information and especially smart of you to prop them on rice to fill them!! Love the sea glass and the way you've displayed them too!

Kim @ Too Much Time said...

June 20, 2011 at 1:00 am
You are too smart lady! These are great. My daughter just collected bunches of shells from her first trip to the beach and we can totally make these one afternoon while little bro naps! Thanks for the idea.


Natasha said...

June 20, 2011 at 9:47 am
Wow, what a brilliant idea! Thanks so much for the excellent instructions and tips. I am definitely trying this asap!

Best wishes for a lovely week,

Connie Weiss said...

June 20, 2011 at 4:59 pm
WHat a fabulous idea!

Somewhere in a box....I have a whole bunch of candle making supplies. I wonder if I will ever see that box again.

Kelli said...

June 20, 2011 at 6:15 pm
Niiiiice. I love that you added the sea glass. You have amazing talent.

Screaming Sardine said...

June 20, 2011 at 7:55 pm
Very pretty! I have a lot of candle wax (also make candles), but haven't thought of putting wax in sea shells. Thanks for the idea!

Tracy Screaming Sardine

Delaney said...

June 20, 2011 at 9:04 pm
Very cool! Following you from the hop.

KAT said...

June 20, 2011 at 9:40 pm
I am visiting you from "It's so Very Cheri blog hop

Your candle in a shell idea is genius! Did you think it up yourself wow how creative are you? Fantastic idea
Ill have to do this sometime

Madigan at madiganmade said...

June 21, 2011 at 12:47 am
These are darling! I love pretty much free! Great idea to reuse up old candles, too.

Rebekah said...

June 21, 2011 at 2:19 am
Very pretty

Honey at 2805 said...

June 21, 2011 at 4:46 am
Great knock-off and so pretty!

Desiree @ The 36th Avenue said...

June 21, 2011 at 7:43 am

I'd love for you to share it at my link party on Wednesday evening...


Jan@southernjunkin' said...

June 21, 2011 at 2:36 pm
What a fun idea! Love the use of sea glass more than sand!
Thanks for sharing!!

Holly said...

June 21, 2011 at 3:49 pm
Aren't you smart? :) Seriously, that's a really awesome idea to use up your candles, and I love your shell candle knock-off.

Shawn said...

June 21, 2011 at 4:47 pm
My summer decor is out and it just happens to include a tone of shells. This will be a perfect project for the girls!

{nifty thrifty things} said...

June 21, 2011 at 6:31 pm
What a fun idea! Love it!

Johnnie said...

June 21, 2011 at 7:07 pm
Cheap, easy and smells good... that is priceless!

Richella said...

June 21, 2011 at 9:00 pm
What a GREAT idea! And now I know how to use up my scraps of candles, too! Thanks for sharing this!

Annalea said...

June 21, 2011 at 9:22 pm
i have a little shop nearby that sells shells of all shapes and sizes very inexpensively. i'll definitely have to go by and pick up something pretty so i can make this craft. perfect for us as we live by the beach.

Nicole@Thrifty Decorating said...

June 23, 2011 at 1:30 am
Love these! I'm going to feature them next week! :)

Christie said...

June 23, 2011 at 5:59 am
Fantastic idea!

Chris said...

June 24, 2011 at 4:40 am
Oh my word. You are way more clever than me. Brilliant! I have so many "scrap" candles lying around the house. I never want to throw them out 'cause I just KNOW that some clever lady will show me a way to continue using them! Great idea. Thanks for sharing!

Donna@Conghaile Cottage said...

June 24, 2011 at 5:27 am
I LOVE yours much better than Pottery Barns! They are So Sweet! I will definitely make these! Thank you so much for the inspiration AND instructions!
Have a wonderful weeks end,

Delaney said...

June 24, 2011 at 12:59 pm
I've given you the Fabulousity Friday award at Sweet Tea Serendipity!

Michele said...

June 24, 2011 at 6:15 pm
I'm with MiMi, like yours better than PB. Thanks for sharing!

Jenn Erickson said...

June 24, 2011 at 6:47 pm
Viv, I absolutely LOVE this project! Beautiful, and so well put-together!


Tanya@takesix said...

June 25, 2011 at 12:03 am
This is a wonderful tutorial! Thanks so much Vivienne!! They are just the sweetest, and perfect for summer decorating!!

Ami w/AliLilly said...

June 25, 2011 at 6:41 am
ACK!!! This is fantastic!!! I am seriously gonna have to try this!! Great job! :)

Would LOVE for you to stop by and say hello! :)

Michelle @ Sweet Something Design said...

June 25, 2011 at 3:07 pm
Great project! They look fantastic!

Jenna said...

June 25, 2011 at 11:42 pm
I saw these at PB and loved them! This is so fun! I never thought about making them myself. Definitely on the to make list.


Michelle said...

June 25, 2011 at 11:45 pm
What a fun idea!!! I am visiting from Tatertots and Jello and I would love if you would link this up this weekend to my Delicately Constructed Fridays linky party!!
Have a great weekend!

Laura @ Our House Of Joyful Noise said...

June 26, 2011 at 3:27 pm
I swear I'm not kissin' up to you for any reason. 'Can you HANDLE being featured at my place AGAIN?' My daughter voted on the links first's fair. I just agreed > it's feature-worthy. As your stuff always is.

Lyuba @ Will Cook For Smiles said...

June 26, 2011 at 3:34 pm
This is beautiful! Wonderful job!!

Hope you can come see me at

Thumper said...

June 27, 2011 at 6:05 am
Awesome!!! We live at the beach and I have been finding whole shells lately! I was thinking of doing the same thing. I love how you displayed them.

Crystal said...

July 1, 2011 at 7:50 pm
Another AMAZING project, Viv! After seeing all of your "beachy" decor crafts, I want to decorate my master bath in a beach theme! Thanks so much for sharing! I have looked at the ones in PB so many times and I never thought of making them myself! Thanks so much for linking up! :)
Have a great weekend!

Amanda said...

July 14, 2011 at 11:29 am
What a great knock off! I've featured this post on Copy Cat Crafts today, you can view it here

We'd love it if you'd like to display a featured button! You can grab your button on the right hand side of your post. Thanks!

Laura Ingalls Gunn said...

July 18, 2011 at 4:41 pm
What an absolutely adorable DIY! Well done.

I hope that you will stop by and enter my giveaway.

Happy Monday!

Carolyn said...

July 21, 2011 at 6:31 am
They look fantastic. Excellent table decoration.

Zenifer Dsouza said...

August 8, 2011 at 12:16 pm
Lovely blog on Candles and supplies
Keep up the good work.
Thanks for sharing.
Good job
Keep sharing more and more.

Kim Wilson said...

April 9, 2012 at 11:37 pm
I'm having fun going through all your beach inspired posts! I love this one! It's now on my to-do list!

mbdang said...

June 4, 2012 at 2:47 am
What a cute and clever idea! I need to go and dig through my seashells so I can give this a try! :)

Crafts for the Home Using Natural Elements - Dukes and Duchesses said...

August 27, 2014 at 4:01 am
[…] seashell candles […]

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[…] Shell Candles | The V Spot […]

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