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.


  1. says

    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!!! :)

  2. says


    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)


  3. says

    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!

  4. says

    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!!

  5. says

    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.

  6. says

    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)

  7. says

    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,

  8. says

    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

  9. says

    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.

  10. says

    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!

  11. says

    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.


  12. says

    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.

  13. says

    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!


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