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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.

And if it’s creative candles you are looking for, here are a few other great posts:

How to turn corks into candles | A Subtle Revelry

How To Turn Your Corks Into Candles

Before we jump in, why not check out some of our most recommended Wine subscription boxes? If you’re into Wine, you can find plenty of affordable monthly options. For example:

  1. International Wine
  2. Club Jaroboam
  3. The Standard

To turn your corks into candles:

Once the corks are soaked let them dry fully before using.

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

64 Comments

  • Hope P.
    June 19, 2013 at 9:45 am

    Genius!

    Reply
  • Tanya
    June 19, 2013 at 10:37 am

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

    Reply
  • Ashley
    June 19, 2013 at 11:29 am

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

    Reply
  • Megan
    June 19, 2013 at 12:09 pm

    How long will these “candles” burn for?

    Reply
  • Rebecca
    June 19, 2013 at 8:17 pm

    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!

    Reply
  • Victoria
    June 19, 2013 at 9:46 pm

    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!

    Reply
    • Pam Hansen
      September 23, 2017 at 11:21 am

      Where do you get acetone alcohol at?

      Reply
      • Joshua Croysdill
        February 25, 2018 at 3:35 am

        Nail polish remover

        Reply
  • Ashley
    June 20, 2013 at 12:25 pm

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

    Reply
  • Jaimie
    June 21, 2013 at 1:48 pm

    Whoa this is cool!!

    Reply
  • Allie
    June 24, 2013 at 3:18 pm

    what do they smell like when they burn?

    Reply
  • Suzanne
    June 25, 2013 at 9:22 am

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

    Reply
    • Victoria
      September 17, 2013 at 7:01 am

      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!

      Reply
      • Teresa
        March 30, 2015 at 8:45 pm

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

        Reply
        • Sandra P McKinley
          September 7, 2017 at 4:34 pm

          Acetone-alcohol is a mixture of acetone and 3 different alcohols. It is used as a decolorizer in labs before gram staining and other tests.

          Reply
          • Cecilia Nunez
            March 20, 2018 at 6:07 am

            Hence highly toxic and not advisable to burn indoors.

  • kim
    July 10, 2013 at 12:42 pm

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

    Reply
    • Victoria
      September 17, 2013 at 7:00 am

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

      Reply
  • Tricia
    July 22, 2013 at 6:08 pm

    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. ;)

    Reply
    • Victoria
      September 17, 2013 at 7:02 am

      Tricia, perhaps – let me know how it goes!

      Reply
  • Ann Edwards
    July 24, 2013 at 9:37 am

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

    Reply
  • Sally
    July 24, 2013 at 7:25 pm

    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.

    Reply
    • mary ann
      April 4, 2017 at 8:06 pm

      acetone is nail poish remover. buy it anywhere. I was wondering about the burn smell also?

      Reply
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    Reply
  • Sandy
    August 14, 2013 at 10:02 am

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

    Reply
  • Patrice
    August 17, 2013 at 10:32 am

    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.

    Reply
  • Kelly @ IdealistMom.com
    September 16, 2013 at 5:21 pm

    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!

    Reply
  • Nicolette
    September 23, 2013 at 3:16 am

    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.

    Reply
    • Céline
      November 13, 2013 at 3:00 pm

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

      Reply
      • Teresa
        March 30, 2015 at 8:42 pm

        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.

        Reply
        • Healen
          September 7, 2017 at 4:31 pm

          Yes, people put it on their skin every day – BUT THEY SHOULDNT,

          Reply
    • mary ann
      April 4, 2017 at 8:09 pm

      its not medical its nail polish remover. does no one wear nail poish?

      Reply
      • Louise
        May 7, 2017 at 4:22 pm

        On finger nails, not to be inhaled.

        Reply
    • Catherine Duncan
      October 10, 2018 at 6:05 am

      Just use outdoors

      Reply
      • Marjie
        April 23, 2019 at 5:33 am

        Sounds great for a fire starter
        When camping or your backyard,
        Or hiking for overnight.

        Reply
  • Robin Horton
    October 17, 2013 at 9:16 am

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

    Reply
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    January 26, 2016 at 7:22 pm

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

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    September 5, 2016 at 1:30 pm

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

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  • Dearlives
    July 18, 2018 at 11:47 pm

    This looks so awesome. Thanks for sharing such an awesome DIY project.

    Reply
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    March 18, 2019 at 10:27 am

    Amazing! thank you for post

    Reply
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