How to Make River Rock Candle Holders & Lamps

Written by megan shoop
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How to Make River Rock Candle Holders & Lamps
Turn river rocks into candleholders for an organic feel. (Spa stones and candle in a bowl image by MAXFX from

Rock candleholders and oil lamps add warmth to your space along with organic colours and textures. If you love natural elements as decorations in your home, you can incorporate rocks for little more than the cost to rent or borrow a drill press. Finding the rocks yourself not only saves you money, it also allows you to bring truly original pieces to your decor

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Fist-sized rocks: basalt or soapstone
  • Eye protection
  • Face mask
  • 3 inch wide diamond bit
  • Spray bottle
  • Cool water
  • Votive candles
  • 10 inch wide, ¼ inch thick slate piece
  • ¼ inch thick diamond drill bit
  • Rock candle wick tube and grommet assembly
  • Fibreglass wick
  • Large glass bowl
  • Lamp oil

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  1. 1

    Place a fist-sized, soft stone on your drill press. Center the 3 inch wide drill bit on the top of the stone. While the stone may be any shape, relatively flat, round stones work best for beginners. Soft stones like porous, black basalt or slippery-looking soapstone drill faster than hard stones.

  2. 2

    Put on your protective eyewear and your face mask. This prevents stone dust from getting into your eyes, nose and mouth.

  3. 3

    Bring the drill bit down to the stone. Drill an indent about ¼ inch deep and pull the bit up. Spray some cool water into the indent. This cools the bit and lubricates the stone.

  4. 4

    Bring the bit back down to the indent. Drill a little more and spray a little more water into the hole. Continue this way until you've drilled a hole about three-fourths of an inch deep.

  5. 5

    Rinse out your rock candleholder and let it dry overnight. Set a votive candle in the hole, light it, and enjoy.

  1. 1

    Center a slate piece under your one-fourth inch thick diamond bit. Put on your protective eyewear and face mask to protect yourself from flying slate shards.

  2. 2

    Drill a small indent in the centre of the slate. Spray some cool water into the indent. This cools the bit and lubricates the stone. Alternate drilling and spraying this way about every 30 seconds. Be patient; slate is hard and brittle and takes a while to drill.

  3. 3

    Slide a glass wick tube into the hole in your slate. Slip the grommet over the tube to cover the lip of the glass tube.

  4. 4

    Cut a piece of fibreglass wick about 10 inches long. Slide it down through the glass wick tube in your slate. You should have about 1 inch of wick sticking up from the top of the tube and 9 inches sticking out of the bottom of the tube.

  5. 5

    Fill a glass bowl about halfway full of lamp oil. Slip the fibreglass wick into the oil and gently set the rock on top of the bowl. Allow the oil to soak into the wick for 24 hours before lighting.

Tips and warnings

  • Always place votive candles in glass containers before burning in your rock holders. This eliminates the need to scrape wax out of your holders later.

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