This seashell project uses seashells and sand to create a candle craft for votive candles. The votive candles are small candles that are best burned while sitting in a glass votive candle holder. There are a variety of styles of the glass holders that can be used for this seashell craft and you, the crafter of this reef art, need to pick the one that pleases you the most. You could also use tea light candles inside the glass of this shellcraft.

Photo of Completed Seashell Project

Candle holder for glass votive with scallopCredit: photo by Shellcrafter PhotosCredit: photo by Shellcrafter Photos


  • 3” round wood base
  • 2 to 3” scallop seashell
  • a glass votive candle holder
  • 2 seashells about 2” tall
  • a few small seashells
  • small fish
  • sand
  • votive candle or tea light candle


  • glue
  • sandpaper
  • wood stain
  • pencil

Instructions for the Seashell Project

To begin this seashell project, prepare the wood base. Use a fine sandpaper to smooth over any rough places on the wood. Clean the base of any loose particles. If you want to stain the bare wood, apply the stain now. As you can see in the photo, the scalloped edges of the base are stained. Since the seashell craft sits on the flat top, it does not require stain.

Place the glass votive candle holder on the top surface. Check that there is enough room for placing the scallop seashell and glass fish in front of the glass holder, then mark the position of the glass holder with the pencil. Keep glue, sand and seashells out of this marked off area.

Glue the scallop seashell on the seashell project so that the inside of the shell faces outwards. Use the candle holder to prop up the scallop. There should be a small amount of room in front of the scallop for the fish.

To keep the scallop seashell in place on this shellcraft, glue some small seashells slightly behind the two outside edges of the scallop shell. Then place a couple of clam seashells behind the scallop, one on each side of the glass votive candle holder. You can use the candle holder to help keep the shells propped up until the glue dries.

Use smaller seashells around the scallop and the clam seashells on this candle craft decoratively and to provide support for the larger seashells. Just be sure to leave the area marked for the votive glass clear.

Once the seashells for this seashell craft are secured on the wood, and the scallop and clam seashells remain in place, it is time to add the sand.

Put a few drops of standard white glue on any exposed wood surface outside the area marked for the candle holder. With a small brush, spread the glue around and while the glue is still wet sprinkle sand over it. Too much sand is better than not enough. Any loose sand can be removed easily by tilting the seashell project once the glue has dried.

Add the fish and any other seashells you want to the shellcraft. Uniquely shaped seashells or those with some color can add visually to the seashell craft design.

Place your glass votive candle holder in its place in-between the seashells. Place a candle, votive or tea light, inside the glass. Light the candle and enjoy your project. Scented candles are especially nice in this project.

Seashell Project with Candle

Seashell Project Candle Holder with Scallop and a lit Tea Light in GlassCredit: Photo by Shellcrafter PhotosCredit: Photo by Shellcrafter Photos


Keep lit candles away from flammable materials such as curtains.

Be sure that small children cannot grab them.

Assure that children and pets cannot knock them over and spill the hot wax or start an unwanted fire.

This seashell project is not recommended for children.