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Tiki-Torch Anchors

Martha Stewart Living, August 2003

Decking your yard with tiki torches is an inexpensive, festive way to bring island style home -- and to light up the night without electricity. Use them to line a path or surround a patio. If the ground is paved or rocky, you may not be able to find places to poke the torches into the soil. Instead, anchor them in gravel-filled, galvanized-steel flower buckets, and have yourself a tropical night.

To anchor the torches, position flower buckets on level ground for stability. Hold one torch upright in each bucket, and fill the bucket with garden gravel to about 3 inches from the rim. The containers are then heavy enough to support the lit torches safely as they burn. Both the buckets and gravel are available at garden-supply centers; torches can be purchased at home-supply stores.


Comments (18)

  • Susibt 6 Sep, 2013

    Depending on your design style you might want to kick it up a notch. I googled "galvanized steel flower pots" and came up with a great variety of pots that would meet any taste or theme. You could also buy the least expensive pots and paint or decorate them for the holidays. Halloween pots and tiki torches could be very fun!

  • bevans44 18 Aug, 2011

    I found some great tiki torches here:

  • Lloves 29 Mar, 2010

    Might want to try the solar powered ones from and save the environment! supplies these. What is better than enjoying the same eclectic decor to your home and saving the environment!

  • Lloves 29 Mar, 2010

    Might want to try the solar powered ones from and save the environment! supplies these. What is better than enjoying the same eclectic decor to your home and saving the environment!

  • ibcrafter 14 Aug, 2008

    Our garden stores give away plant containers. You could paint one of the large ones with one of the new spray paints for plastics or use metallic paint over a primer coat (Also comes in a spray). A good idea for very little investment!

  • mimzie 8 Aug, 2008


  • scrapbookdi 8 Aug, 2008

    This is a great idea. For my birthday party in September I am going to use my antique stone crocks to compliment my old farm house. They are nice and heavy.

  • geekygrandma 7 Aug, 2008

    Great idea to use pebbles, sand or other naturally gathered materials. And I like the suggestion of using a tube for making a path for the torch to fit in to. You guys are ingenious! We live in a very windy area, so I would suggest thinking about using a container that had a much wider base so the whole thing won't blow over. It probably wouldn't be an issue, but you never know - especially around here. Wouldn't these be great around a pool?

  • jtravis 7 Aug, 2008

    Buy any kind of appropriate sized bucket or pot. Plastic or Metal. Spray paint it, Buy a plastic bucket, paint it to look like metal! There are so many kinds of spray paint for every kind texture,material. Faux finish or stencil them easily to match your theme. Fill with silica sand. Viola!

  • ChrissieP 7 Aug, 2008

    you could also collect really amazing ocean rocks from the beach...go out collecting at low tide by the bucketful and use/reuse them. Hence bringing some of the beach home AND your rock supply is FREE! Id wash them with freshwater first though.

  • saralsea 7 Aug, 2008

    If you're alone, holding the tiki torch in the center and filling the bucket with rocks can be tricky. Instead take the cardboard tube from a roll of paper towels or wrapping paper and cover the ends with cellophane tape. Hold the tube in the center of the bucket and pour rocks around the tube. Pierce the covering on top of the tube and insert the tiki torch into the tube. Slide the tube up the length of the torch and cut it off. Tube can be retaped and used several times.

  • deutzberger 7 Aug, 2008

    You can also fill with round glass marbles or flat glass beads (found at stain glass shops or in the East at Christmas Tree Shop) and get a reflecting color from the glass. These too are reusable.

  • andeande 7 Aug, 2008

    great idea! you! the gravel will not go to waste when tiki season is over...

  • sstaal 7 Aug, 2008

    My husband took empty coffee cans, painted the outside and filled them with quick cement. Then pushed in the tiki torches. They have lasted for 10 years with an occassional slap of paint. I like how easy they are to move and store.

  • needn_help 7 Aug, 2008

    You can find the galvenized buckets at Wal-Mart, Hobby Lobby or Michael's

  • joannaruth 7 Aug, 2008

    Not really a craft, very pretty but its not a craft just a good idea.

  • NicolaFlora 7 Aug, 2008

    I haven't been able to find the galvanized-steel flower pots anywhere :(

  • reveille 7 Aug, 2008

    We do a similar trick for anchoring small tents for parties by using paint buckets and pieces of plastic tubing from our local home supply store. Fill a small paint bucket with concrete and insert the plastic tube in center (make sure tube is slightly larger than tent pole). When it dries you have a long lasting and fast way of anchoring your tent.