The only tricky part in learning how to make a rock candle is getting the hang of drilling a hole through a flat rock. Once you've mastered that skill, it's easy to create these wonderful, natural-looking candles that will quickly become conversation pieces.
What is a Rock Candle?
A rock candle is actually an oil-burning wick that is placed through the middle of a flat rock or piece of slate. This gives the illusion that the rock itself is providing and feeding the flame.
Rock candles look gorgeous outdoors, adding to the ambience with a warm glow that doesn't look out of place. Each rock candle is as unique as the rock itself, so you'll be able to create a distinct look with every candle.
How to Make a Rock Candle
Learning how to make a rock candle isn't all that tricky once you've got the requisite supplies and a knack for drilling holes in the rocks.
Start off by selection the rocks and stones you want to use. You'll need to choose your rocks carefully, considering these tips in mind:
- Look for sturdy, solid rocks that can stand up to the drilling without splitting
- The rocks should be fairly flat and thin
- Try to get rocks that are relatively flat on at least the bottom side so that they will sit on the oil reservoir without tipping
Drilling the Hole
In order to drill the hole through the rocks, you'll need a functional drill press. If you don't have one of these at home, ask around to see if friends or family members might have one. If you end up borrowing or using someone else's drill press, try to do several rocks at a time so that you don't have to keep going back for each candle you make.
You'll be using a glass wicking tube to create these candles, which come in a variety of sizes and are generally used to make oil lamps. Measure the tube before drilling the hole to ensure that the hole is wide enough to allow the tube to fit through it. You can drill multiple holes in larger rocks to create a multi-wicked candle too.
Drill a second, thinner hole near the first one so that the candle will be vented.
Once the hole is created, it's a simple procedure to set up the rest of the rock candle.
- Flat rock with a hole drilled through
- Glass wick tube (available at candle supply stores)
- Candle wick suitable for oil candles, such as braided fiberglass
- Lamp oil or citronella oil (citronella oil should only be used outdoors)
- Small, shallow glass bowl or container
- Heat-resistant glue
- Glue the glass container to the bottom of the rock using the heat-resistant glue. Allow the glue to dry completely before continuing.
- Using the funnel, fill the container with lamp oil.
- Place the glass wick tube into the larger hole in the rock. Feed the candle wick through the tube until the end is sitting in the oil; trim the top end of the wick to about 3/4 of an inch above the face of the rock.
That's all there is to it, so you can now light your new rock candle. When the oil runs out, make sure the tube has had time to cool off before removing it and adding more lamp oil with the funnel.
Rock Candle Making Kits
If the idea of gathering all of these supplies and drilling through a rock isn't appealing, but you'd still like to try making rock candles, consider purchasing a rock candle making kit. These kits come with everything you need to make rock candles. They can be purchased at many craft stores, or online at places like Rock Candles Rock and Essoya.
Safely Enjoying Your Rock Candles
Rock candles are safest outdoors, where an accidental spill won't cause as much damage. Keep pets and children away from these oil-burning candles, and make sure you don't place them anywhere they could be easily tipped over. Always keep an eye on burning candles, no matter where they are placed.