how to turn your corks into candles – A Subtle Revelry

how to turn your corks into candles

how to turn your corks into candles

How to turn corks into candles | A Subtle Revelry

This week we turned a corner from warm days, full flowers, and late spring into full fledged summer vacation. We’ve been drafting up our summer bucket list, looking at all the amazing places to swim around Reno like here, and here, as well as starting fires out back! I have a few festive Fourth of July projects coming up, but first this simple little trick will take you happily through the many summer evenings ahead –  and it only has two steps.

How to turn corks into candles | A Subtle Revelry

Finish your wine and collect corks. Then soak them in a capped mason jar filled with aceatone alcohol for a week.

Light them up and enjoy making the easiest candle there ever could be. Happy summer!

Photography done in collaboration with Jocelyn Noel Photography.

  1. Hope P.

    19 June


  2. Tanya

    19 June

    I completely love this – we should all be sitting on an Italian terrace with these cork candles.

  3. Ashley

    19 June

    Fun project! Do you have an estimate on burn time?

  4. Megan

    19 June

    How long will these “candles” burn for?

  5. Rebecca

    19 June

    I’m assuming this only works for the natural corks and not the synthetic ones? So many of the corks are synthetic now. The synthetic ones do make for great diy stamps though. Thanks for sharing!

  6. Victoria

    19 June

    Rebecca, yes it only works for natural cork. We actually tried a couple synthetic ones (by accident) and they do not absorb the same. As far as burn time goes, it depends on the cork and the vessel. The taper candlesticks offered a much longer burn time then the tea light vases – due to oxygen levels I believe. Hope that helps!

  7. Ashley

    20 June

    Are you talking a 30 min burn time? Hour? 3? 6? Thanks for sharing! :-)

  8. Jaimie

    21 June

    Whoa this is cool!!

  9. Allie

    24 June

    what do they smell like when they burn?

  10. Suzanne

    25 June

    Where do you buy aceatone alcohol? Was wondering about burn time as well.

    • Victoria

      17 September

      Suzanne, I found it at Target – in the medical section. And as far as burn time – it depends on the cork and how well it absorbed the alcohol – we had anywhere between 3 min and 20 min for each cork. Hope that helps!

      • Teresa

        30 March

        Is it acetone or alcohol? There’s a difference!

  11. kim

    10 July

    Just wondering, do you think citronella would work for a bug-zapping cork candle??

    • Victoria

      17 September

      Kim, I have no idea – but would love to try it:) xoxo

  12. Tricia

    22 July

    Couldn’t you add essential oils for a nicer fragrance?…such as lavender oil. Seems to me that a burning cork + alcohol would be well improved. ;)

    • Victoria

      17 September

      Tricia, perhaps – let me know how it goes!

  13. Ann Edwards

    24 July

    Wondering if you light them wet ot let them dry out after soaking? Think you- so cute!

  14. Sally

    24 July

    I was also wondering if the acetone alcohol is a pre-mix or 50/50 of each? Also the burn time is a question I have also.

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  16. Sandy

    14 August

    Do you let them dry first? And do they burn for more than an hour?

  17. Patrice

    17 August

    Do you know how long they will last between when you soak them and when you burn then? Just thinking this would be great for backpacking if they would keep for awhile before use.

  18. Such a cool idea! I just pinned this, but I will check back to see the answers to some of the questions in the comments…very excited to try this!

  19. Nicolette

    23 September

    Um… As nice of a project as this is, it seems really iffy to have fumes from medical ACETONE around your house and respiratory system?!!

    Like it seems like a really, REALLY bad idea, and unless there’s something I’m missing, I’m surprised no one is saying anything about it. I’m all about upcycling and wine cork projects, but they’re not to-die-for.

    I definitely opt for the citronella/essential oil route. It should burn cleaner, deodorize/fragrance, and keep bugs away. Maybe it won’t take to flame as easily, but I hope to try it.

    • Céline

      13 November

      I totally agree with you. I checked on the web and Acetone is highly toxic. Maybe something else would do right.

      • Teresa

        30 March

        Acetone is what nail polish and nail polish remover are made of. People put it on their skin every day. It is made out of carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen; so when it burns, it will only make water and carbon dioxide. Toxic to drink, for sure; but mostly benign otherwise.

  20. Robin Horton

    17 October

    Saw on Apt Therapy–Totally clever and love that there is no dripping candle wax! Have to try this out!

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  30. Gwynn

    26 January

    can you use isopropyl alcohol? Not sure where to find acetone alcohol.

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  32. Kara

    5 September

    After. Do you soak the wine corks, do you let the courts dry or do you like them right away?

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