I love that there are so many fun DIY projects that involve clay (these ring dishes are still some of my favorite things to make). It’s easy to find, rather cathartic to work with, and if you mess up, you can just smash it back into a ball and start over. It’s very forgiving. I also love having a few candles lit around the house for a little atmosphere, but sometimes I worry a bit about having open flames around the pets, and I’ve definitely forgotten to blow one out more than once before leaving the house (whoops!). That in mind, I thought I’d use some clay to make quick and easy votive holders that I could put an LED votive into so it would be pet-friendly (and forgetful-friendly) but still give me that flickering ambiance I’m looking for.
–oven bake clay
-non-stick mat and non-stick rolling pin
-clay knives or X-Acto knife
-round object or circle cookie cutter
This votive is made up of two pieces—a round bottom and a rectangular shape that is wrapped around the circle bottom to create the cylindrical sides. Find a circular object (or round cookie cutter) that you want to be the size of the bottom of your votive (a can or jar would work well). Measure the circumference of the circle to determine how long your rectangle will need to be (so if your circle is 8″ around the edge, your rectangle will need to be 8″ wide). I made two votives that were both 8″ around, but different heights for a staggered look (so one rectangle was 8×3″ and the other was 8×4.5″).
Using a non-stick mat and rolling pin, roll out your clay so that your rectangle is about 1/4″ thick and slightly bigger than your rectangle measurements. To keep your thickness consistent, you can place two flat objects of an even height on either side of your clay as you roll it out. A stack of equal numbered playing cards is good for this, but I like to use two clear rulers that are about 1/4″ thick.
Use straws to punch holes into your clay. You can do as many or as few as you like, but just keep in mind that if you have more holes than clay, you may have a tough time getting it to stand up later.
Once your holes are punched, measure out your final rectangle dimensions and use a clay or X-Acto knife to cut the rectangle. You can cut the rectangle before punching the holes if you want your hole placement to be more exact, but it does stretch the clay a bit as you press into it. So your rectangle may be a bit warped if you punch the holes second.
Roll out more clay the same thickness and use your circle cookie cutter or trace around your round object to make your votive bottom.
Wrap your rectangle around the clay circle until the sides meet together. Gently press the two edges together where they meet all the way up the side, and lightly smooth the clay in one direction over the meeting line until the seam disappears. A gentle and soft touch goes a long way on this step, so take your time and don’t rush it.
Bake the clay according to the instructions on the package and allow the clay to cool completely. Add an LED tea light to the bottom of the votive, and you’re ready to see your new project twinkle!
I think the white votive is fresh and clean looking, but if the color and dot pattern remind you too much of Swiss cheese, you can always use a colored clay instead. You could also use different sizes of straws for a varied look, or use the dots to create a letter on each votive to spell out a short word or act as a monogram. Overall, I think they turned out really cute, and I like projects that are fast enough to make a few of them at one time for a grouping. Hope you’ll add a little twinkle to your space as well! xo. Laura
Credits // Author and Photography: Laura Gummerman. Photos edited with Stella from A Beautiful Mess actions.
I think it would be really cool to do these in a dark clay and use the dots to make a star constellation.
I love these! I just bought a similar one from West Elm (for a gazillion dollars), and almost three months later, it still hasnt arrived. These are gorgeous with a tealight in them and the white, I think makes it really spectacular against the candle light! You could even do different sizes of holes, designs, sky’s the limit! Thanks for sharing…and for future reference: air dry clay, some straws and no west elm back ordering! Thanks, just lovely! 🙂
I’ve been crazy over DIY votives lately, and have been looking for something to do with clay. Think I found it! Thanks for sharing. Great and easy DIY, as always. – Ina, http://www.talesfromthecusp.com/
How pretty 🙂 I’ve been crazy about DIY votives lately here: http://www.talesfromthecusp.com/2014/12/gilded-geometric-votives.html#.VS88X5SUcvM and here: http://www.talesfromthecusp.com/2014/05/diy-shabby-white-votives.html#.VS88iJSUcvM but I’ve been meaning to do something with clay. And I think I found it! Thanks for sharing. Another great and easy DIY, as always. — Ina, http://www.talesfromthecusp.com/
These are so cute! http:/www.hannamarielei.com
it’s so simple and so amazing at the same time=))) I need this stuff immediately=)))
A cutting mat can be found in most any craft store, but I think I got the non-stick mat from the baking section of Hobby Lobby 🙂
i love this!!
I love y’all’s diy tutorials! This is super cute and I really want to try it for myself.
You are AWESOME!
those are super cute and looks easy to make
Where did you get the cutting mat?
How simple and beautiful. I can’t wait to make some for my home.
Where did you get the nonstick mat?
Love these! The best thing is they’re totally achievable.
Wow, so cute and perfect for tea lights and candles! I’d love to do this project soon. All it takes is some clay and something to make circles with 🙂 Awesome
Brooke | brookewrote
Add gold leaf to the interior!
Those are so pretty! And they look so simple! I would love to make some for mother’s day!
Oh yay! Glad you liked them!
You can! Use acrylic paint and you can seal it with a sealer after it dries 🙂
Wow! You are just too creative! I just got a new place and am looking for ways to add a special touch to my decor, can’t wait to try this!! Thanks!