last summer, when we were vacationing in emerald isle, nc, the family and i took a boat trip out to their local "shell" island. this is something i vow to do every year, it was amazing. you would not believe the quantity of shells these islands block from reaching the main shoreline. seriously, whole intact conch shells found only a few steps in the water. not sure what the shells pictured above are called, but they are clam like, and vary from 6 inches to 3 inches across. i collected a ton of them and planned on making them into candles for christmas gifts. they were made, but then christmas came and i already had gifts to give, so i ended up keeping the whole lot of 20 or so for myself.
making candles is so easy to do and doesn't require any new tools, just things that you have lying around the house. the only supplies you need to buy are candle wax and some wicks. i bought a 3x10 inch block of wax from michaels. it is a bit expensive, but with a 40% off coupon, totally doable. you can also get wicks there and some candle scents if you wish.
to begin, i took a metal can i had lying around the house that held soup and placed it into a pot of boiling water to create a double boiler. then i chopped up the wax and dropped the pieces into the can. i used a can rather than another pot because the can can be thrown out when you are finished. next, i dipped the bottom part of the wick into the melted wax, then pressed the wick down into the center of the shell base. it held perfectly! next, using tongs, i picked up the tin can and poured wax into each shell. when the wax dries, it forms a dip around the wick so i applied wax once more to each shell before i was finished. that's it, a beautiful and simple homemade gift for a friend or, ahem, yourself!