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How to Make a Barnacle Candle for Around $15

Updated on September 14, 2021
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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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