homemade vintage candle

January 13, 2012  in diy craft projects, homemade

vintage tart tin candle

This is a simple idea I had that is easy to do and gave a result that I found pleasing – a candle made with common tea lights and a vintage tart tin.

On my monthly car boot sale trips I had been buying various old baking trays, pots and jars for use as props in my Sugar/Spice shoot with Uli Schade. After the shoot I left them out on display in my studio to see if they inspired any ideas for what to do with them, rather than hide them away in one of my cupboards.

I love the rich patina of the old, weathered cooking equipment and and the implied history this gives them. How old are they and how many times have they been used? Who were the cooks that used them? What did they bake and who was it for? These kind of questions always get my mind whirring imagining the answers to the life they had led.

vintage tart tins

As I was looking in one of my kitchen cupboards one day I saw a bag of Ikea tea light candles and that sparked the idea to turn these vintage tins into candles.

candle by sania pell

I took three of the Ikea tea lights and pushed the solid wax blocks out of their thin metal casings and then pulled out the wicks by their metal disks. I placed the wax cylinders next to each other in one of the vintage tart tins, then placed it on the smallest of my gas cooker rings and melted them on a very low heat. When they had fully melted I turned off the flame, placed the wicks with the metal discs at the bottom into the desired position, leaving equal space between them, and then left it to cool. The wax hardened and I was left with a new simple candle.

homemade vintage tart tin candle by Sania Pell

This idea could be extended to a whole tray of muffin tins with one melted tea light per compartment to make a great centrepiece to a table. The base may need felt, cork or wood under it to protect the surface it sits on and, as with all flames, never leave them unattended.

When the candles have been used up, the tin can be refilled in the same way to make another candle to enjoy.

Simple little lights to warm up these cool, dark winter evenings.


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  1. What a great idea! Especially the big centrepiece…lots of possibilities…thanks for the inspiration 🙂

  2. Gosia says:

    It’s the most inspiring idea I’ve heard since the beginning of the year, though blogs are full to the brim with concepts for new decorating. I love yours the most of all, and I’m sure the old bakeware has something to do with it. Thank you for sharing, Sania!!!

  3. This is just brilliant. I been thinking about doing something similar with some Maison jars but I think I like the tart tin even more! Have a lovely weekend. xx

  4. That is just the most brilliant idea! Love it! x

  5. Andrea says:

    So clever. Clearly leaving bits and bobs around your studio does inspire beautiful ideas!

  6. Anne-Laure says:

    Juste to say… brillant ideas and beautiful pictures!
    Thanks for your blog, Sonia. I love it! 🙂

  7. tina says:

    This is totally gorgeous Sania. Really brilliant idea and beautifully presented as always:)

  8. elisa says:

    those are such gorgeous objects! and a beautiful use for them. a good patina always seems to make my heart stop xx

  9. Marloes says:

    I love these! So gorgeous! I’m definitely gonna make one,or two, or three… or…

  10. Jennifer says:

    Wow, what a wonderful idea, so sweet and rustic!

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  12. […] Finally, an unusual and pretty tealight made with old tart tins by Sania Pell – see her instructions here. […]

  13. […] Homemade Vintage Candle Comments commentsPowered by Facebook Comments Filed Under: 00 s, Candle Projects, Decoration, DIY Projects & Crafts, General Tagged With: tea light candles Sign Up Now forFree Updates […]

  14. […] Vintage tart pan tealight: Blogger Sania Pell melted three tealights into a vintage tart pan to create a tart pan tealight. She pushed three tea lights out of their metal rings, and she placed them in a vintage tart pan. Over very low heat, she melted the tea lights in the tart pan a little bit, then pushed the wax flat into one soild candle. She then let the wax harden. It is a clever project that uses only things that she had in her pantry. […]

  15. Mary K says:

    What a great idea! I found a bunch of these in the basement of my old home. I was wondering what to do with some of the larger ones the others are going to be put in Etsy I think. Thanks for the great idea!!

  16. […] stumbled across this DIY and it was too good not to share – here’s how you can transform your tart tins into a […]

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Sania Pell freelance interior stylist London.

Sania Pell is a freelance interior stylist, art/creative director and consultant based in London. She is a Contributing Stylist at Elle Decoration magazine, with whom she has worked for over 20 years, and is well known for bringing a unique aspect to photographic shoots for national publications, leading international brands and retailers as well as style consultancy for architects and property developers. She is the author of best-selling book The Homemade Home and The Homemade Home for Children. A trained, former textile designer, Sania is also involved in many multi-disciplinary creative projects.

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