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Easy Sand Candles

Pay tribute to the Stars and Stripes (emphasis on the stripes).




Red, white, and blue bands of sand dress up votive candles to make flickering lights that are cheerful and fun. Designing a candle is as simple as pouring layers into a glass. Make several, and create a patriotic centerpiece to coordinate with china or linens for outdoor dining.


  • Sand
  • Votive candle
  • Drinking glass
  • Clear glass vase or jar
  • Funnel


  1. Step 1

    Fill a clear drinking glass with enough sand so that a votive candle placed on top falls just below the rim.

  2. Step 2


    Set the glass inside a clear glass vase or jar.

  3. Step 3

    With a funnel, fill the gap between the two containers with layers of colored sand, using enough to reach the rim of the drinking glass.

Martha Stewart Living, July 2003



Reviews (16)

  • Kelly Davison 14 Jun, 2013

    OK so when you're done do you just throw it out? How do you keep the sand in place to use again, or is this a one time decoration

  • Happy_Birthday_Dr_Seuss 2 Feb, 2013

    Easy Sand Candles
    Russell's Saturday Dinner Centerpiece
    Beautiful and Lovely!

  • patxlb 29 Jun, 2010

    Here is a link for making chalk colored salt:

  • krkberg 23 Oct, 2008

    How do you get/make chalk colored salt? I like this idea but am not sure how to do it.

  • SherS 10 Jul, 2008

    I have used chalk colored salt instead of sand. Once finished, add a layer of white glue on top of the salt. When dry, the glue will peal off and the salt will have hardened from moisture making the candle more permanent.

  • Carla99 28 May, 2008

    I like the idea of mixing alcohol with food coloring; that would work with the tempura poweded paint as well I think. You can also get sanitised playground sand at Wal-Mart in the garden center. Probably everybody's got a Wal=-Mart near them...

  • 1Toffy 28 May, 2008

    I love this craft. I would color sand (bought in the bags at Lumber Stores) using rubbing alcohol and food coloring then mix that with the sand. Probably, to 1 cup sand I would use 1/4c alcohol, and add the food color until a strong color is achieved. Mix with the sand, stir to mix well. Pour this into a jellyroll pan, set it in the sun for the day to dryout. Then make the candles. I have done this method with curly edged noodles for the roof of a Gingerbread house (not edible) It works great

  • Carla99 27 May, 2008

    Michael's carries colored sand in the children's craft area. Also, it might take some trial and error, but my mother used to color sugar with food coloring during the holidays. If you could find white beach sand (I live in Florida), you might be able to color it using powdered (Dry) tempera paint... Some schools carry this, and I've seen it at Michael's too. Mix a little in until you get the color you want....

  • marthapython 27 May, 2008

    Where do you find colored sand?

  • BinaTina 24 May, 2008

    Votive candles liquify and therefore need something to contain them. Plus, this keeps the sand wax free and able to reuse.

  • lilysnana55 23 May, 2008

    I think you run the risk of your burning candle melting into your sand if you don't place it in a separate container. This way, you can replace the used candle without disturbing the sand art.

  • lilysnana55 23 May, 2008

    I think you run the risk of your burning candle melting into your sand if you don't place it in a separate container. This way, you can replace the used candle without disturbing the sand art.

  • eternity 23 May, 2008

    I really like the idea...honest...but why so many steps? Why can't you just fill up a "glass" w/alternating colors of sand and leaving ample room @ the top, securely place a Votive candle, instead of, then placing the "votive candle w/holder inside a separate container~~as stated in your instructions. Did I just misunderstand the whole project or am I "good-to-go"?

  • cannonmusic 23 May, 2008

    BAM! ! That's it!! This is just exactly the look I have been searching for for my new apartment. My deco theme is Americana.... Tah-Dah!! And it's easy enough for a non-talented-would be crafter. Thanks.

  • ErinFuhr 22 May, 2008

    I love the look and the ease and versatility of this craft...can use it for absolutely anything.

  • shabbychic 4 Apr, 2008

    Absolutely love the colours and look of this craft.