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DIY Black Speckled Concrete Tea Light Candle Holders
Use our simple step-by-step guide to create a stylish candle holder your friends and family will enjoy. However, you should absolutely keep one of these chic pieces for yourself! For this DIY art project, you will need tea lights, a power sander, Vaseline, clear varnish, white concrete, black mortar dye, a silicone mold and a sponge brush.
Choose your silicone mold shape. This is one of the most important steps as it really influences the entire look of the piece. You’ll need to consider size, shape and purpose. As a general rule, a well-sized tea light holder should be able to fit in the palm of your hand, and the most popular shapes include ovals, squares and heart shapes. Ask yourself what you want to do with your finished piece. Do you want your candle holders to rest on the side of the bath to create a relaxing spa-like haven? Are you planning on using them as a centerpiece for a romantic home-cooked dinner? Will they form an eye-catching arrangement on a sideboard or mantlepiece? Or are they going to be given as a present?
The amount of white concrete you will need depends on how many candle holders you want to make. Estimate how much concrete to use based on how many silicone molds you plan to fill up. Then, slowly add water to the concrete, mixing gently, until you’ve made a smooth cake-batter type of consistency. Be sure to clean out your mixing bowl as soon as you can as this material is tough once it's set.
Using a teaspoon, add the black mortar dye slowly until you have a bold, black color. If you add too little, you risk creating a gray shade rather than a stunning midnight black.
Generously rub Vaseline into the silicone molds to create a barrier between the concrete and your reusable mold. Now, carefully pour in the concrete. Be sure not to overfill it; you want to leave space for the candle and to avoid any overspill. For health and safety purposes, it is best to keep your arts and crafts silicone molds separate from the ones you use for cooking.
Rub Vaseline over the base of your tealight and firmly push it into the concrete. Be generous with the Vaseline; concrete is a tough material, and you want to be able to remove and replace the tealight once it’s finished. To share a secret crafter’s trick, place two dimes on top of the tealight. This will keep it weighed down nicely. Remember, LED tea lights are widely available if you would prefer a safer option. They give the same flickering flame effect with none of the risks.
Now you need to leave your candle holders to harden. For the best results we recommend you wait a full 48 hours. You don’t need a kiln; just allow it to air dry naturally. For the next step, the candle holder needs to be rock hard. However, if you’re really in a hurry, they may be ready in 24 hours. You should notice that the color will have intensified nicely during the drying process.
Once your candle holder is completely set, you will need to smooth down the rough top and sides using a power sander. You don’t need a specialized arts sander; the same type you use to sand wooden furniture will do the job. Remember, you only need to remove a very fine layer of the exterior to give your holder a brilliant sheen. The sanding process will also draw out the richness of the candle holder’s two contrasting colors.
Now you need to glaze your candle holder with a clear varnish using your sponge brush. You will want to apply a thin, even layer of varnish to prevent it from getting cloudy and clumpy. The varnish will keep the candle holder protected and really bring out the intensity of the midnight black color.
Once the glaze is dried, your gorgeous black speckled concrete tealight candle holder is ready to gift-wrap and give away. If it’s one you’re keeping, it’s ready to light and display! To create a truly eye-catching arrangement we recommend that you continue the monochromatic aesthetic by teaming it up with other candle holders in black and white. Why not pair it with an elegant white piece, such as this sponge calcite candle holder?