Sea Life Candlesticks

Last month I was asked to be a Creative Guest and share a tutorial on the fabulous blog Ucreate. I shared how to make easy sea life candlesticks and I thought I would post it here today, just in case you missed it on Ucreate. This is one of my favorite projects so far. So many of the gorgeous sea life accessories are so expensive, this is a very inexpensive way to incorporate the sea into your decor without having to spend the high dollars. So let’s just jump right in.

Sea Life Candlesticks

I have been busy making these gorgeous sea life candlesticks that I’ve been seeing in high end décor stores in Houston and Dallas. Of course the ones I have seen are not cheap and sell for up to $400.00. Yikes! The candlesticks in the stores are usually either crystal or silver plated and the sea life/shells are attached by way of melted metal (solder). Since I do not metal solder YET, I am however practically certified in hot glue and know that if there is enough space in the hole of the candlestick for the hot glue to be filled and cooled, it will turn to clear and strong solid form and practically ANYTHING will stay!

Ok, so I know you’re thinking hot glue? That will never work! Yep, it sure will! Stick with me here (no pun intended)! Again, if there is enough space like the hole in a candlestick or anything with a hole that you can fill with hot glue that can pool and cool to become a solid form, we’re in business! Think about a solid glue stick before you use it, it’s clear and solidly strong, almost like Lucite. The hole gives us enough room for the glue to become a solid form while strongly adhering to inside of the candlestick itself. As an example, look at this close up of my sea biscuit in a crystal candlestick attached with hot glue (notice the solid form of the hot glue in the hole of the candlestick).

Take a look at this very heavy piece of octopus coral that I attached to a crystal candlestick, you can hardly see the solid hot glue and that coral is there to stay!!

I can pull on it hard and even turn it upside down!

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With this project, the possibilities are endless! Think about all of the cheap candlesticks at your local thrift store or maybe just hanging out in your junk box. Ross and Marshalls always has great and inexpensive candlesticks as well. Think about possibilities of using fabulous items other than candlesticks. I turned a small silver plated container over and had lots of room for glue below:

I used an old perfume bottle that I used metal clippers to clip off the tip of the sprayer, which revealed a hole perfect for glue:

Also, think about other things to attach other than sea life too!

So how do we do it? It’s as easy as it looks!

Here are the materials that you will need:

1) Hot Glue Gun

2) “High Temperature” glue sticks (they are less cloudy in solid form)

3) Candlesticks (or anything with a somewhat of a hole to pool the hot glue)

4) Sea Life/ Shells (if you do not have access to purchase shells, you can easily buy them online either on a shell website, Etsy or Ebay)

5) E6000- Just for peace of mind, I do put a small amount in the candlestick hole before I fill with hot glue (I have done some without E6000 and it works as well but for heavy pieces I like the extra insurance).

Step 1

Heat your glue gun up and play around with your shells and candlesticks to determine how you want to attach. Keep in mind, you’re going to have to be able to have a small part of your shell set in the hot glue pool on your candlestick in order for it to attach like these below:

Step 2

Determine how much glue you will need in your candlestick hole. The goal is to have the solid glue formed right at the top of the hole and flush. If you’re using a star fish with a leg to dip in, this is easy to do. However, if you have a heavy piece of coral that the end will slide down the hole, fill hole half way and top off with glue because the glue will rise when you add your coral.

**If you have a heavy shell, you may want to add a small amount of E6000 to the hole before filling just to be safe.

If you have something like a sea biscuit or a mushroom shell that has nothing to stick down in the hole, fill your hole 2/3rds full of glue, rest and hold your shell over hole and fill in the rest of the hole with glue adding enough to that a small part of your shell has glue on it.

Wipe away with a tooth pick or Q-tip and excess glue that may have seeped out.

Step 3

Hold, hold and hold…. We’re still holding.. and holding…. Hold your shell in the exact place that you want it. Your hot glue will take about 5-10 minutes (depending on shell) to set up enough for you to let go. It’s worth it, keep holding… (It will help if you have a ceiling fan).

And your done!

Your hot glue will appear cloudy until it completely cools. Of course it will not be completely clear but if you have good clear glue sticks, you will notice it lighten after about 12 hours. I do not recommend pulling on it until it has completely cooled, which can be several hours!

I hope you all had a fabulous Valentine’s Day and look for a fun new project coming up shortly. Thank you for your sweet comments, notes and emails! I so appreciate your feedback. Have a fantastic week!


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20 Responses to Sea Life Candlesticks

  1. WobiSobi says:

    These are so great!!! They look beautiful!!

  2. Nicole says:

    What an original idea! My favorite has to be the big corral.

  3. Awesome-so pretty. You have talent girl! I have seen these on bottle tops before, but yours are way more elegant. I would love to feature you on my blog sometime!

  4. Donnie says:

    They are so pretty. I can see how you could use this idea for all kinds of things. Great tutorial.

  5. Aghhh! I love this idea! I've seen these in catalogs only yours are better! You did a fabulous job… Thanks for the inspiration!

  6. Judy says:

    That is really beautiful. What an amazing inspiration for a project. Thanks so much for linking up to the party. Hope to see you again next week.

  7. Jamie says:

    So beautiful! Following you from These Creative Juices Blog link party. Please stop by my blog when you can.

  8. Hi! I just wanted to let you know that I featured your spray painted sticker art on my blog today. I absolutely LOVED the idea and can't wait to run to town to make some art for myself! Thanks!!

  9. Catherine says:

    Love the idea! Thanks for sharing!

  10. Brilliant! I have a boxfull of starfish for an upcoming wedding…
    Off to the dollar store!
    A friday's favorite for sure 🙂

  11. Wow, what great pieces, very upscale and classy! Thanks for linking up to Beyond The Picket Fence.

  12. shabbylisaw says:

    Those pieces are beautiful. Who would have thought these would be such a great look?

  13. Hi Cyndy, I can't believe it has taken me this long to find your fabulous blog! I have been going through the archives and I love your style. The sealife candlesticks are beautiful and you have such wonderful shells and fans. I am now following.

  14. Mary says:

    This is so beautiful! I would like to invite you to share this post on my link party, Masterpiece Monday, at my blog, Boogieboard Cottage. The link will be up all week. I hope you can join in! Have a nice week, Mary :O)

  15. Jane says:

    Great idea and easy instructions. Do you have a recommendation for gluing a flat sand dollar? I have some painted "fish" I'd love to showcase. Thanks.
    Jane (artfully graced)

  16. What a fabulous idea! This is great and so easy. I can't wait to try it.


  17. What a wonderfully beautiful and great idea!!! Thank you so kindly for sharing.

  18. I've seeing these in store and they are super expensive. Thank you for sharing the tutorial! They all look great.

  19. I have been dying to make something like this and always wondered how I would do it! So glad I found your blog!

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