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Specimen-Jar Candle

Here's a Good Thing that will add a spooky touch to your home for Halloween. The specimen-jar candle looks like it came straight from a mad scientist's laboratory, but it's really easy to make -- and little trick-or-treaters will love it.




  • Cauliflower head
  • Grapes, optional
  • Celery root, optional
  • Glass vase
  • Small suction cup
  •  Water 
  • Food coloring
  • Wax granules
  • Wicks
  • Lighter


  1. Step 1

    Attach a cauliflower head to the metal part of a small suction cup, and secure it to the inside of a glass vase. You can also experiment with other fruits and vegetables instead of cauliflower, such as grapes or celery root.

  2. Step 2

    Fill jar with water (water should cover top of cauliflower head).

  3. Step 3

    Dye water with one or two drops of food coloring.

  4. Step 4

    Pour wax granules on top of water and lace wicks in granules. A 1-inch layer of granules burns for about 1 hour.

  5. Step 5

    Light candles.

The Martha Stewart Show, October 2006



Reviews (15)

  • awesomeruthie 2 Nov, 2010

    Made these for my party this year. They were a fantastic hit. I used cabbage, celery root, kohlrabi, a turnip, sprouts and lychee fruits with blueberries for eyeballs. I forgot the suction cups though, and those veggies do float! It still worked alright, but next year I will be sure to remember those. Definitely a one day kind of decoration, but adds some serious wow factor for guests.

  • GabrieleRdB 22 Oct, 2009

    Just use a jar or vase sized for the "specimen" (cauliflower, grapes, whatever) that you put into it, Make sure that it is tall enough that, after you cover it with the water and food coloring, there is still a couple of inches to the top. You want one inch for the wax crystals and a half to one inch above that to protect the flame.

  • TsukiUsagi 23 Sep, 2009

    Where do I find Specimen jars?

  • cfreeman 26 Oct, 2008

    I found a great looking specimen jar item in the produce section. It is called Kohlrabi. I took off the leaves, but still left on the roots coming off the top. It looked like arteries coming out of heart. I used my apothacary jars, so I just put the lids on and did not do the candle part. It was a great center piece on the food table at our Halloween party. Wish I could attach a picture.

  • JillyLynn 12 Oct, 2008

    I use cauliflower for an "Abby Normal" brain in a specimen jar, but use rubbing alchohol and keep it lasts a long time~of course you can't light it!

  • marydevin 7 Oct, 2008

    Try adding a tad of bleach to the water. Maybe it might help. Califlower is rather smelly

  • jennifertirres 23 Sep, 2008

    Great Idea, but after 24 hours the smell was horrible. I wish it would have lasted longer.

  • jennifertirres 23 Sep, 2008

    Great Idea, but after 24 hours the smell was horrible. I wish it would have lasted longer.

  • jennifertirres 23 Sep, 2008

    Great Idea, but after 24 hours the smell was horrible. I wish it would have lasted longer.

  • chuckanddee 22 Sep, 2008

    i hope this works!!!! i have taken so many great ideas from martha for our halloween party!!

  • RubyEdge 19 Sep, 2008

    Oh this is a great idea! I'm having friends over this year and these will be an easy way to make the house festive. I love the glow stick idea from beckysusanne! I think I will do some experimenting with this idea.

  • Zaranne 19 Sep, 2008

    This is such a great and simple idea! I'm definitely going to try this!

  • georgethechandler 19 Sep, 2008

    How cool gave me an idea for a gel candle

  • thumpia 19 Sep, 2008

    excelent idea easy to make but o so scary.

  • beckysusanne 24 Aug, 2008

    I love this idea. Last year I filled jars with water, added food coloring, then added a glowstick with spider rings around it. I set them out just before a party and they gave an eerie glow to my house.