Fire Pit Revisited
How to Make Glass Candle Shades.

I’ve already screwed this post up by titling the things I’ve made as “shades”. Technically they don’t shade anything. In fact, if anything they enhance light and make it flicker and show up even more.

They’re hurricanes.

So this post is about how to make glass hurricanes.

I’m a failure. Sorry bout that.

The good news is, the “shades” are not a failure, and are in fact brilliant in every sense of the word.

And you can make them with crap you find at the Dollar Store.

I need everyone to remember back to a time long, long ago when I did the post on Building Your Own Personal Fire Pit. It’s been a crowd favourite, but some people have had trouble finding the right planters to make it.

For you … I offer this solution …

Just make the glass “shades” and screw the planter. Forget the fire and go with a candle.

And you will end up with this …



Glass Candle Shades 1


Glass Candle Shades 2


Glass Candle Shades 3


This all kind of happened by accident.  Last winter I made new glass shades, larger than my original ones for the fire pit, so I could put them on my big metal planters for my annual Christmas Eve party to make a HUGE flaming, fire pit planter.


When I was cleaning up my backyard this spring to get it ready for summer, I got rid of all the winter greenery and the glass shades so I could put actual plants in my planters.  As I was bringing the glass shades down to my basement to store until next winter something distracted me.  It was probably a food item.  So, I set the glass shades on my dining room table.

When I finished being distracted, probably by a food item, I headed into the dining room and it hit me …



The glass shades looked good sitting right there on the table.



Glass Candle Shades 4


All I had to do was stick a candle in the centre and I was done.

Well, not completely done.  Clearly I  still need to give them a big of a Windexing.

The fella, he thinks there needs to be some sort of a base.  Like filling the bottom of the shades with white rocks, or sticks or something.   Totally acceptable opinion.  I prefer them ghostlike with nothing at all.  But if you want to add sticks and rocks … be my guest.

I don’t mean that “guest thing”  literally.  Please don’t come over.  I’m probably in my p’jamas.


Glass Candle Shades 5


The total cost of this project, (providing you get your glass at a Dollar Store) is between $8 and $16.  Bigger glass makes bigger shades which costs bigger money.  To make them just grab your glass, some marine silicone and follow the instructions for making the glass boxes  here.

My work here is done.


  1. Sue says:

    So I absolutely LOVE your ideas! I have a few questions on this one that could also apply for the fire pit idea as well.
    #1-have you ever tried to paint anything on the glass? Like to make a stain glass like look or just a small detail with paint or colored glue?
    #2–what about one side as a mirror. Obviously you could use a real mirror but finding 3 more glass panels to match might be hard, so do you think the mirror finish spray paint would work? Or would either of these ideas just melt off?

    Obviously if you used a LED candle these ideas would work, no problem.

    • Karen says:

      Thanks Sue. I haven’t thought of painting on glass simply because that look isn’t my thing. It could be done on the exterior of the glass, but it would have to be high up on the glass where it doesn’t get too much heat. One side of the panels as a mirror would look good, the only thing is, I couldn’t confirm how the mirror would react. Also, I’d make sure to use a flat mirror and not a bevelled one so it blends in with the surrounding glass panels better.

      I definitely wouldn’t use mirror finish spray. It always looks like mirror finish spray, LOL. Besides, it probably isn’t a good idea to use it where it’s going to be around a flame constantly. ~ k!

  2. karenagain says:

    I think they look lovely. I think the lady looks hungry and wants you to make artichoke dip.

  3. I would want a clear glass bottom just for wax dripage reasons. but other than that sounds great.

    • Karen says:

      Erin – These big pillar candles don’t usually drip. The wicks are small enough in them that they just tunnel down. Tapers? That’s another story. Tapers drive me nuts. ~ karen

  4. martina says:

    Just beautiful and your home is gorgeous! The only variations I can think of is maybe using a mirror square as the base, to magnify the light. That way any wax that drips down won’t damage your table too.

  5. Chau says:

    Like this a lot, Karen. I also love your table and the bench. I’ve been looking for the bench to add to my kitchen nook table. Haven’t found it yet, but I’m patient.

  6. FLP says:

    Great candles. I am loving your pine furniture. Besides Christie’s, do you have antique pine resources in our area? Dealers who carry good pine are hard to find now.

    • Karen says:

      FLP – Thanks! I don’t know of anyone that deals in rustic pine specifically. I just keep my eye out at auctions and flea markets. I had the table and bench made by Gregory Brand in Campbellville. It’s antique barn board and the one board is 27″ wide! ~ karen

  7. Annie Kip says:

    Love this, Karen! Your combination of the sleek candle shades/hurricanes and rustic table is so appealing!

  8. rebecca says:

    qwasedtfygvbhujnjihugyrewfggfrdtfgyhu okay calming down that look really nice life< Glass Candle Shades.

  9. Shauna says:

    Oh yes, most definitely. Whenever my husband comes up with some idea that we can do, I can almost always say, “Oh, Karen’s already done that. I’ll send you the link so you can know how to do it.” He knows you by first name now because I’ve referenced you so often. You used to be, ‘Karen, my favorite blogger’, but there’s no need for that anymore, just ‘Karen’ works. So, you’re now so popular, you’re like Madonna or Cher – just first name is needed for people who know me to know who I’m referrring to;)

  10. Shauna says:

    I thought for sure we were going to have a yogurt making post. A note about that – my husband and I found great instructions online for making yogurt, but we’re more dreamers than doers I guess because we have yet to make the yogurt. I’ll wait for your post on yogurt making as I trust your posts more than other people’s internet lies – you tell us all the nitty gritty, mistakes and all.

    I’ve yet to make the firepit too.

    • Karen says:

      LOL. My guess is most people have yet to do most of what I post about. But just *knowing* you could is comforting, isn’t it? ~ karen

  11. I just checked out the fire pit you made…amazing.

  12. Dawna jones says:

    im with you on the ghost like appearance I think they look great that way, are you concerned at all though with wax dripping on your table?

  13. Quite simply…simple…stunners. LOVE. A quickie cheapie=bliss.
    Lynne xx

  14. Meagan says:

    Lovely! Really digging the scapes in a vase too, so unique!

  15. Barbie says:

    Less is more….I love what you’ve done here. Lovely as always!

  16. Langela says:

    Shades are nice, but I LOVE that white bowl with the artichokes. Teach me how to make it, Karen. Please.

  17. Diane says:

    Those are actually very clever, however, I totally thought you were going to tell us how to make the light shade hanging from your ceiling. As always, I headed straight to the pictures before reading. Lol Ok so that’s another post idea (unless you’ve already done that and if so please send me the link). :D

  18. Deborah says:

    I am with the fella, they need something in the bottom, but it is a fabulously CHEAP idea, and I am all about decorating on the cheap! Also, I LOVE your table, HATE the chairs though :P BUT, you seemed to have done a good job marrying old country charm with sleek retro style.

  19. Diana says:

    Hi Karen,
    looks beautiful, but aren`t you afraid that the candles flow out and ruin your table?

    • Karen says:

      Diana – No for two reasons. #1. These huge pillar candles always just burn a hole in the centre and tunnel down. The wick is too small for them to burn the whole top of the candle. #2. Even if the was did happen to flow out you can just let the wax cool and then scrape it off. I have wayyyyy worse luck with taper candles dripping all over the table. It happens all the time. It does drive me nuts, but it doesn’t harm anything. ~ karen!

  20. Laura Bee says:

    BAM! Free glass. Those old windows sitting out back since around 2005 might have a new purpose.

  21. Gayla T says:

    When you ran this before I loved it so I made one. I only had 3 8X10 picture frames that matched. I pick them up from garage sales so I can frame grands pics as I get them. The reason I got excited about them was for inside use. Open flames and cat tails are not good together. My kitties are long hair so an open flame is not good at all. I learned it the easy way as the cat only lost one life in the event. My big silly Maine Coon jumped up on the coffee table where I had just lit a candle. He started to smell it and didn’t like the heat so he turned and jumped with his nice fuzzy tail swishing right through the flame. Thankfully, he came my way and all I had to do is grab his tail and pull it through my hand and the fire was gone. It was horrifying to say the least and I have never lit a open flame in my house again other than on the table when everyone is eating so no chance of another scare. So, I fastened just three together which is pretty cool to have it triangular and a short piller fits perfectly. I have not found any more pictures w/ glass lately but I’ll make another one or two. I don’t think I ever thanked you for the idea so let me make it official. I thank you and the cats thank you. One of those Duh! moments that we need you for. Your creative brain spits it out into something workable while ours is still going Duh, Duh, Dhu, and nothing ever gets done. I don’t like candles in jars so this is way better. Why didn’t you cover up all those little one eyed aliens in the background? They make me nervous just sitting there staring like that. LOL

    • Karen says:

      Gayla T – I’ll do anything for a Maine Coon. Pretty much I made this post specifically for them. I’m glad you happened to enjoy it too. ~ karen

  22. Molly says:

    Yes, looks great! And I’m all for ‘shading’ candles, if you have animals, especially cats or little kids in the house.

    Wouldn’t it be more convenient to use hurricane lamps or glass vases for candles? You often can get cheap glass vases, round or rectangular ones, at least at Ikea. You wouldn’t have the hassle with glueing the glass panes, you can move them around with candles, stones, sand or whatever in it and they would protect your nice table from wax drippings. Much easier, no?

    Some while ago I’d written something about cats, candles and safety here

    • Karen says:

      Molly – They would work, but they wouldn’t have the same look. Also, vases often aren’t perfectly flat on the bottom. They’re curved. So when you put a candle on them, they’re tippy. The whole idea with these is they’re HUGE. Much bigger than you could get for $4 at Ikea, and the glass is so thin they look ghost-like. In a pinch I’d use vases, but for drama, I’d do these. ~ karen!

    • nancy says:

      WOW, Molly, I love your blog, your photos are just beautiful!

      And yea oh you Karen, I have a confession to make, I was wishing for a post of yours to read (I was super bored at work) and I read the latest menu posting over the weekend, you’ve inspired me to make pizza. And after all the complaining I have done about your menu posts. I am sorry.

  23. Laura says:

    Love it. I want to make them for candles outside where there is wind which does not mix well with candles.

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