If I’m being honest with you, there are few things I love as much as I adore crafting, especially if what I’m making is in the vein of home decor. With that being said, however, I’ll also admit that I love candles more than just about anything. They look good, they smell great, and their warm glow makes me feel calm and comfortable, adding beautifully to the atmosphere no matter what room I put them in. I’m sure you can imagine, then, just how excited I get any time I come up with a new way to combine my love for both of those things in one place! That kind of thought process is what lead me to using my beloved DIY concrete skills to make myself a new candle holder. I found a cute plastic heart-shaped bowl at the dollar store and I knew immediately that it would make a great mould.
I was actually so pleased with my finished product that I decided to make more! I’ve made all kinds of concrete heart candle holders by now, leaving some of them plain for an industrial chic look, painting some of them bright colours, and so on. My favourite version, and the one I simply knew I had to outline for other craft and candle lovers to see, was a version covered in glitter. I just couldn’t help myself! If you’d like to see the written version of my instructions, complete with pictures, check it out below. If you’re more of a video tutorial person, scroll to the bottom to find exactly what you’re looking for!
For this project, you’ll need:
- Fine particle cement
- Heart shaped plastic bowl
- Wooden stick
Gather your materials!
In a disposable plastic container (or one that you’ve saved specifically for crafting rather than eating from), put your DIY cement powdered mix and water. Use your spoon to stir them together until the consistency is right and the mixture is free of clumps. Read the instructions on the package of the mix you bought to get the precise ratio of powdered mix to water, as it can vary from brand to brand.
Cover the entire inside surface of your heart-shaped bowl, including all across the bottom and all up the sides, in oil. Any kind of cooking oil (like canola, olive, or vegetable) will do fine. I just used my finger because I have sensitive skin, so I wear gloves any time I work with DIY concrete anyways; while most crafting types are not actually abrasive enough to really hurt your skin, I get dry and irritated very easily. You might use a paintbrush if you prefer.
Once you’ve coated the entire inside of your heart-shaped bowl with oil, pour your wet concrete mix into it. Fill it with a layer about two inches deep (you can do more or less, but I wanted my piece to be quite shallow and low to the tabletop). When you’re happy with how filled your bowl is, use your spoon to smooth the surface or lightly tap the bottom of the bowl on your work surface to even it out and get rid of any air bubbles.
I wanted my piece to have three candle wicks, so I used three tea light candles. Lightly place them into your concrete mix so they stay at the surface, sinking only slightly into the wet mixture. The mix is thick and viscous enough that they won’t sink down any deeper if you’re gentle and don’t push them. I made sure to put them in well enough that they’d actually dry into the mix and become a solid part of the candle holder, but not so much that any concrete mix spilled over the edge onto the actual candle. Arrange them so they curve around one side of your heart; I chose to arc my three candles on the left and leave the right side for other details.
Pour glitter onto the other side of the heart, across from where you put the candles. You can sprinkle it lightly all over or concentrate it here and then use your wooden skewer as a stir stick to spread it around the heart from there. I chose the latter technique. Pour as much glitter as you please into the concrete mix and then gently use your stick to trail it through other parts of the surface, between the candles, and however you please. When you’re happy with what you see, leave the whole piece to dry.
When your concrete mix has dried thoroughly and all the way through, free it from the bowl. I did this by bending the edges back from the dried concrete suddenly until it loosened and I could just tip it out. This should be fairly easy thanks to the way the layer of oil you applied to the inside of the bowl earlier will have prevented the concrete from sticking to the plastic as it dried.
You’re all finished! Choose a spot for your new candle holder and light your candles. Of course, you can feel free to get creative with colours and how you choose to embellish your candle holder, but if you’d like to at least see these basic techniques in action, check out this video tutorial.