Experimenting with cement is something that we were not used to, so we decided to pick some up and see what we could make. We decided to create our own Cement Tealight Candle Holders from everyday containers we have around the house, like an empty Nyquil bottle, a butter container, etc. The results were fantastic!
We purchased Quikrete Anchoring Cement from Lowes in a 10 lb. bucket for about $9.00 and started mixing it in a small empty sour cream container with a wooden spatula. We used a cement to water ratio of 5 tablespoons of cement to 2 tablespoons of water. The cement consistency should be like a thick pancake batter. If it is too soupy, add a little more cement. After your cement is mixed up well, you need to work really fast with this cement as it dries quickly (within 10 minutes), and make sure you wear rubber gloves when working with cement as this cement actually gets hot when working with it.
Take the container of your choice and pour the cement into the container very carefully, then take your “cap” (laundry detergent cap, milk bottle cap, etc.) and place it in the center of your container and push down. (the cap is making the “indent” to hold your tealight candle) Now hold the cap steadily in place as the cement hardens.
Once you feel that the cement is getting harder around your cap, start slowly turning your cap around in a circle motion so your cap does not get cemented in. Once you feel that the cement has hardened enough around your cap, slowly lift the cap up. (we found that by drilling a small hole in the center of the cap makes it easier to lift it out of the cement. The reason being is that while the cement is curing, there is still water in the cement that sucks the cap into the cement, so the having a hole in the cap makes it easier to release it) Once the cap has been removed, the cement is pretty much hardened, but you can still smooth out some rough spots (if any) in the cement with your fingers, but make sure you touch the cement only with gloves on. Let the container sit for a few minutes, then try to release the cement from your container.
If you use a container where the cement does not come out, you might have to use an exacto knife to cut down the side of the container carefully to remove the cement candle holder. Or, you can use those waxy containers they have for chili or soup and just peel the waxy paper away from the cement for removal. Once your candle holder is completely hardened, you can use sandpaper to lightly sand it if there are any rough edges.
IDEA: You can also use your different containers and not make an indent in them and create some cement coasters too!
That’s all there is to it, but after you make your first one, you will understand completely the steps above and you will be on your way to making your own cement candle holders. Now, for the fun & creative part…. you can head on over to your favorite Dollar Store and pick up a glass shade for about $1 to set on top of your cement base! I actually had a small glass shade that I took off of another candle holder and placed it on top of the cement holders I made, and it looked great! But wait! If you know me, I had a creative thought and went one step further – I went to my computer and made a small patriotic design to fit the inside of the glass shade, printed it out on a transparency, then inserted it into the glass. WOW, instant patriotic charm! But, if you were worried that the tealight would melt the transparency, use a battery operated tealight candle!
If you make any cement candle holders with my instructions above, please send me your photographs of what you made and I’ll add them in a follow-up post! Good luck & be creative, the results will amaze your friends and family that you made something this fabulous!