Shell candles are some of my favorite coastal party decor, and I’ve made a lot of oyster shell candles the last few years. Until this point I’d stuck to using oyster shells since they are abundant in Charleston, but my friend Meaghan brought me a huge bag of clam shells from the northeast, and I knew they’d make great candles because of their shape.
Clam Shell Candles
What you’ll need:
- Clam shells
- Fake pearls
- Hot glue
- Aluminum foil
- Tea lights
- Shallow pan (one that you don’t use for cooking)
- Soy wax
- Candle pour pitcher
The process is basically the same as the oyster shell candles, but I’ve learned a valuable lesson about wicks and updated my process again. First, clean your shells and set up your candle making space.
Next you’ll want to make sure all your shells are sitting upright. If they don’t on their own, then add pearl feet to the bottom with hot glue to keep them upright so no wax would spill. Then bring these over to your candle making space so they’re ready to become candles.
The metal bottom that holds the wick is crucial to keeping the wick up while the candle burns so it doesn’t go out, and I’ve found it’s easier to use wicks from tea lights that already have this rather than getting all the parts and putting them together and cutting the wicks for each candle… so you’ll want to extract the wick & metal bottom from the tea light. It’s easy to just pull it out from some tea lights, but the ones I always manage to find require me to melt the tea light away from it. Put the tea lights in a shallow pan and melt the wax on low heat. When the wick is extracted, place it in the bottom of the clam shell with the wick standing straight up.
While you’re melting the tea lights to get the wicks, melt your soy wax in the candle pour pitcher, also over low heat. When the soy wax is melted, pour it into the clam shells, a little at a time to make sure it doesn’t spill over.
Finally, just let them sit so they harden, and then you have some clam shell candles!
You can see a few of the clam shell candles used as part of the centerpieces at our reception. Sadly the wind blew a lot of them out, but that means I can use them at decor elsewhere! I also gave these out as part of my hostess gifts for friends & family that helped with the wedding festivities.
If you like these, but don’t have any clam shells laying around, you can now find these in my Etsy shop! Use the coupon code CKBLOG for a discount 🙂