Clay Pot Candles and Candle Holders

Safety Precautions for Using Clay Pots for Candles

Terracotta flower pots ready for a busy spring garden
David Bukach / Getty Images

Terra cotta pots can be used for candles and candle holder if prepared properly. They can be painted or embellished to match any decor or help you celebrate any holiday or season.

Terra Cotta Flower Pot Candles or Candle Holders

If you want to use terra cotta flower pots you have bought rather than made yourself, there are a few precautions to know before you use them to make candles or candle holders. These pots are typically not glazed, which means that melted wax can get into the pores if they are not properly lined. That can result in an extreme fire hazard, with the whole pot becoming a large candle. A pot that has an unglazed interior but a glazed exterior must be treated just like a completely unglazed pot.

Note that this precaution also applies if you are using the pot as a candle holder for a votive candle or tea light, as wax can splash or drip onto the interior surface of the pot. You must seal the pot before you use it as a candle holder, just as you would if you were going to make it into a candle. You want to ensure any melted wax does not sink into the pores and create a fire hazard.

The pots also have a hole in the bottom which must be plugged before you use it to make a candle. You don't want to end up with wax dripping out of the bottom and causing a fire hazard.

To make the pot safe to use, coat the interior of the pot with a few generous layers of decoupage medium. Seal the hole using silicone caulk.

Once the interior and hole are properly coated and filled, you can use a low-shrinkage wax and wick to create a candle. Or, you can use it as the base for a votive candle or tea light. See further directions and advice at Bobby's Craft Boutique: making a flower pot candle. Container candle wax is a good choice as it has low shrinkage.

You can paint the outside of the pot as you desire to match the style of your project.

Decorating Your Clay Pot Candle Holder

Clay pots can be decorated in many different ways. You can paint the outside with acrylic paints, adding your own designs if you are artistic. You can make layered designs using a base coat and then laying painter's tape out in a design and painting over it, then removing the tape. In that way, you can make clean two-color or more designs. Or, spray over a base coat to create an ombre finish on the bottom of the pot.

You can also use stickers or decoupage on the pots to add designs. It may be best to avoid using contact paper on the outside as it could prove to be flammable. See many ideas for decorating your terracotta pots.