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How to Make a Barnacle Candle for Around $15

Updated on July 1, 2018
FlourishAnyway profile image

FlourishAnyway is a psychologist with a special interest in crafts as a way to relax, create, and connect with others.

Bring the Beauty of the Beach Inside

Make your own barnacle LED candle for about $15.  It's simple and will bring back memories of the beach for years.
Make your own barnacle LED candle for about $15. It's simple and will bring back memories of the beach for years. | Source

All Aglow with Beach Memories

Ah, the magic of summer! The sand between your toes. The smell of suntan lotion. The sound of the ocean waves crashing. What better way to celebrate the beach all year round than with a beautiful barnacle candle that you craft yourself?

What's even better is that your artful design is bound to last many seasons because this candle doesn't burn. Instead, it is a flameless LED candle.

Making a barnacle candle is the perfect way to incorporate finely crushed seashells into your year-round décor—especially if you have them left over from a beach trip. You may also buy them from a craft store like I did. Add some larger seashells and vacation photos and you have a decorative beach setting for your bathroom or bedroom.

This LED candle gives the appearance of a flame without the burning hazard of a wick candle.
This LED candle gives the appearance of a flame without the burning hazard of a wick candle. | Source

What Are LED Candles?

Light Emitting Diode (LED) candles have a wax outer layer but run on batteries rather than a lit flame. They create the impression of real candles.

You may not even notice the difference. LED candles provide the illusion of a partially burned, flickering candle flame, and they offer several advantages over traditional candles. Some of these include:

  • no hot wax to damage furniture
  • no black soot to stain walls and
  • improved fire hazard (safer around children and pets).1

Items You'll Need to Make a Barnacle Candle

Item
What It Cost Me
flameless LED candle
$3.99
crushed shell decorative filler
$3.99
Weldbond adhesive
$6.99
1-inch paint brush
$0.50
small disposable bowl
already on hand
disposable plastic spoon
already on hand
Crushed seashells can be obtained at craft stores, or you can collect your own at the beach.
Crushed seashells can be obtained at craft stores, or you can collect your own at the beach. | Source

Instructions for Making An LED Barnacle Candle

Here's how to make this fun and easy (but messy) craft:

Step 1: Protect your surface. Pour the finely crushed seashells into a small bowl that you do not mind discarding later if needed.

Add enough Weldabond adhesive to the bowl of crushed seashells so that they are the consistency of thick, lumpy oatmeal. Stir the mixture with a spoon to ensure that your seashells are adequately covered in glue.

Step 2: Working with only a small section at a time, use the paint brush to apply a coat of the Weldabond to the bottom quarter or so of the candle. Allow it to sit for 30 minutes to "set." Make sure you don't get glue on the bottom of the candle.

Step 3: Use the spoon or your fingers to apply clumps of seashells to the bottom of the candle where the glue is. Allow the glue to set for several hours undisturbed.

Some of the individual seashells may flake off as the glue hardens.

Step 4: Rotate the candle and repeat the process, working in small sections.

If you try to cover too much area at one time, you will encounter difficulty in getting the barnacles to adhere to the surface of the candle.

Step 5: When the barnacles are secure and have dried 24 hours or more, apply an overcoat of Weldabond to the barnacles' surface using the paintbrush.

To enhance your nautical décor theme, display the candle alongside a bowl of sand and seashells or beach vacation photos.

Weldbond 8-120125 Adhesive 4-Ounce Bottle
Weldbond 8-120125 Adhesive 4-Ounce Bottle

This is precisely the adhesive you want for this project. Wellbond dries clear, is free of fumes, and sticks to darn near anything, including glass, wood, plaster, metals, slates, tiles, cement, concrete, linoleum and fabric. Don't bother with anything else.

 
Add the barnacles in clusters, working with one section of the candle at a time.  Barnacles grow  slowly, so take your time in pasting the seashells to the candle.
Add the barnacles in clusters, working with one section of the candle at a time. Barnacles grow slowly, so take your time in pasting the seashells to the candle. | Source

What are Barnacles?

Barnacles are small sea animals with a crusty, shell-like covering.3 They are related to crabs, shrimp, and lobsters.4 Most barnacles are hermaphrodites, meaning they have both male and female reproductive parts.

Upon hatching from eggs, barnacles resemble tiny crabs and swim freely. As they age, they morph into jellylike creatures about the size of marbles. They attach themselves permanently to the underside of ships, docks, other marine animals and to rocks by secreting a substance to form a shell of lime. While their heads are "glued" down, barnacles use their feathery feet to sweep in meals of plankton from the surrounding water.

Barnacles are eaten as a delicacy in some European countries (e.g., Spain and Portugal).

Barnacles on the Beach

These large barnacles found a home by attaching themselves to this piece of ocean debris.
These large barnacles found a home by attaching themselves to this piece of ocean debris. | Source

This Video Shows Barnacles Are Living Organisms

Notes

1wiseGEEK. "What are LED Candles?" Accessed June 28, 2013. http://www.wisegeek.com/what-are-led-candles.htm.

2National Candle Association. "Fire Safety - Fire Safety & Candles." National Candle Association. Accessed June 28, 2013. http://candles.org/fire-safety-candles/.

3 HowStuffWorks. "Barnacle." Accessed November 17, 2014. http://animals.howstuffworks.com/marine-life/barnacle-info.htm.

4Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. "Barnacles." Accessed June 28, 2013. http://www.whoi.edu/science/B/people/kamaral/Barnacles.html.


© 2013 FlourishAnyway

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    • FlourishAnyway profile imageAUTHOR

      FlourishAnyway 

      3 years ago from USA

      Patricia - Thank you for reading, sharing, pinning, voting. On this cold wintry night, oh how the beach sounds lovely. I hope it is warmer in Florida. Have a wonderful weekend!

    • pstraubie48 profile image

      Patricia Scott 

      3 years ago from sunny Florida

      Oh I do like this very much. I will be giving this a try. I collect tons of shells each time I go beaching.

      thanks for this clever idea.

      Pinned voted up +++ and shared

      Angels are on the way to you today ps

    • FlourishAnyway profile imageAUTHOR

      FlourishAnyway 

      3 years ago from USA

      Tamirogers - Thanks! I appreciate both the read and the follow. Have a great day!

    • Tamirogers profile image

      Tami Rogers 

      3 years ago from Seattle, Washington

      This is beautiful. I love your writing (went back and looked at some of your other hubs!) I am following you now!

    • FlourishAnyway profile imageAUTHOR

      FlourishAnyway 

      3 years ago from USA

      DreamerMeg - The LED candles can really give the impression of the real thing, they're so convincing. I hope you find the time to enjoy your crafting. Take time for you! Thanks for reading.

    • FlourishAnyway profile imageAUTHOR

      FlourishAnyway 

      3 years ago from USA

      ezzly - Thanks very much! It was a fun craft.

    • DreamerMeg profile image

      DreamerMeg 

      3 years ago from Northern Ireland

      What a great idea, LED candles. I cannot use ordinary candles in my house because a frequent visitor suffers asthma if candles are burned, so LED ones would give me the beauty of candles without the soot and fumes. I like crafts, it's just getting the time to do them!

    • ezzly profile image

      ezzly 

      3 years ago

      This is a really awesome idea and safer than real candles ! Voted up and sharing !

    • FlourishAnyway profile imageAUTHOR

      FlourishAnyway 

      4 years ago from USA

      Rebecca - Thanks for stopping by. Glad you liked this. I appreciate the share and pin.

    • FlourishAnyway profile imageAUTHOR

      FlourishAnyway 

      4 years ago from USA

      Dolores - Thanks for stopping by. I imagine you could do the same with a regular candle. I chose to use an LED candle because I wanted to make sure it lasted a long time. (I didn't want it to burn down to where the barnacles were too early.) Thanks for reading and commenting.

    • rebeccamealey profile image

      Rebecca Mealey 

      4 years ago from Northeastern Georgia, USA

      Awesome! Very beachy and creative. Shared and pinned!

    • Dolores Monet profile image

      Dolores Monet 

      4 years ago from East Coast, United States

      These candles are so pretty and beachy! They certainly would make a lovely gift. I imagine you could do the same thing with a regular candle?

    • FlourishAnyway profile imageAUTHOR

      FlourishAnyway 

      4 years ago from USA

      ologsinquito - Thanks for the compliment and the pin. Have a great day!

    • ologsinquito profile image

      ologsinquito 

      4 years ago from USA

      This is a very attractive candle. I'm pinning this to my "Things You Really Need to Know" board.

    • FlourishAnyway profile imageAUTHOR

      FlourishAnyway 

      4 years ago from USA

      DDE - Thank you for the visit and the compliment. It is an enjoyable way to make beach memories last.

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 

      4 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      How To Make A Barnacle Candle for Around $15 awesome useful and you have such a creative mind with a less cost effective idea. Brilliantly thought of and well advised

    • FlourishAnyway profile imageAUTHOR

      FlourishAnyway 

      4 years ago from USA

      Marie - Thanks for reading and commenting. It is indeed a fun way to make the memories last all year round!

    • profile image

      mariewj 

      4 years ago

      We always bring back mementos from the beach when we visit and I like to arrange stones, pebbles and shells in vases and bowls. But I never thought to use with a candle like this and it is beautiful.

    • FlourishAnyway profile imageAUTHOR

      FlourishAnyway 

      4 years ago from USA

      CraftytotheCore - Thanks for reading and commenting. It's a fun craft to make that reminds me of the beach no matter what time of year it is.

    • CraftytotheCore profile image

      CraftytotheCore 

      4 years ago

      This is stunning! Thank you for showing us how to make this.

    • FlourishAnyway profile imageAUTHOR

      FlourishAnyway 

      5 years ago from USA

      The Dirt Farmer - Thanks for your comments. It was fun to make and reminds me often of the beach.

    • The Dirt Farmer profile image

      Jill Spencer 

      5 years ago from United States

      What a great idea, and the look of the finished product is really elegant. Lovely!

    • FlourishAnyway profile imageAUTHOR

      FlourishAnyway 

      5 years ago from USA

      Thanks you for the visit and comment, Rajan. Best wishes to you.

    • rajan jolly profile image

      Rajan Singh Jolly 

      5 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA.

      Very interesting craft and beautiful indeed. Voted up.

    • FlourishAnyway profile imageAUTHOR

      FlourishAnyway 

      5 years ago from USA

      Peggy W, thanks for the read, comment and votes. I am just discovering how lovely and useful LED candles can be. We love the beach, so combining the two is perfect!

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 

      5 years ago from Houston, Texas

      I love those battery operated candles! We have quite a few of them in our home. This is such a clever idea to create a crushed seashell base for the candle. Very pretty! I have used shells to make a seashell wreath and wrote about it, but this is another great idea of how to use those pretty shells gathered at a beach. Up and useful votes.

    • FlourishAnyway profile imageAUTHOR

      FlourishAnyway 

      5 years ago from USA

      ishwaryaa22 - Thank you for commenting, voting and sharing. This was an enjoyable craft that brightens my décor and reminds me of the waves and the water.

    • FlourishAnyway profile imageAUTHOR

      FlourishAnyway 

      5 years ago from USA

      Suzie HQ - Thank you for reading, voting and commenting. It is a very easy craft and a fun way to bring the beauty of the beach inside where you can enjoy it year-round.

    • ishwaryaa22 profile image

      Ishwaryaa Dhandapani 

      5 years ago from Chennai, India

      An amazing craft hub with clear instructions, wonderful photos & detailed information on barnacles. Your creation is indeed stunning! Well-done!

      Thanks for SHARING. Useful & Awesome. Voted up & pinned

    • Suzie HQ profile image

      Suzanne Ridgeway 

      5 years ago from Dublin, Ireland

      Hi FlourishAway,

      Lovely idea and as a candle and shell fan this is right up my alley! Thanks for showing this in cost layout and your photos make it nice and clear! Voted up, useful and interesting!

    • FlourishAnyway profile imageAUTHOR

      FlourishAnyway 

      5 years ago from USA

      jabelufiroz - Thank you for reading and your vote. Glad you enjoyed this craft idea.

    • jabelufiroz profile image

      Firoz 

      5 years ago from India

      Interesting hub. Voted up.

    • FlourishAnyway profile imageAUTHOR

      FlourishAnyway 

      5 years ago from USA

      purl3agony - Thank you for reading and commenting. It was a fun craft to make -- very easy.

    • purl3agony profile image

      Donna Herron 

      5 years ago from USA

      Great idea! I love how this candle looks. Such a clever idea to use crushed seashells. Thanks for sharing this :)

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