DIY Concrete TeaLight Candle Sticks

Hi friends! Thanks for stopping by today. I can’t wait to share my latest project. I probably say that for each post, but I can’t help it. It’s completely true. I get so excited when I make something new that I just can’t wait to share it! But before we go on, PLEASE SIGN UP FOR EMAIL ALERTS (in the right margin) so you never miss a fun DIY!

Now first, I must tell you that I have been having this infatuation with all things concrete. I’m completely fascinated with it and I’m finding that there are so many fun things I can make with it.

Technically, what I use for my “concrete” projects is really cement, but a lot of people use the descriptors concrete & cement interchangeably, so call it what you will and in the mean time I’ll just call it awesome.

My concrete of choice has been Rapid Set Cement All. In my Concrete Planter Hands project post, I talk about how I found this product and I have to admit that I’ve become a life long fan. It has amazing strength, it dries very quickly (I don’t have to wait a week for it to cure), and it’s made for casting. Perfect. BTW, this NOT a sponsored post. I just love the stuff.


DIY Concrete TeaLight Candle Sticks


So this past weekend I made concrete tea light candlesticks. I’ve come across some really cute short concrete tea light candleholders, but personally I prefer the look of tall candles. Yet, I also love the convenience of tea lights that you can just pop in. So I came up with these tall concrete tea light holders. Just pop in a new tea light when the old one burns out and you still have a tall “candle.” And the best part is that these concrete tea light candlesticks are so easy to make. So on with the tutorial…

You will need:
1)   Emptied paper towel rolls & some flat cardboard

2)   Rapid Set Cement All & water

3)   Oil to prevent your concrete from sticking to the cardboard mould. (I used vegetable oil, but WD 40 would probably work fine too)

4)   Tea light candles

5)   Glue gun or other means to adhere rolls to flat cardboard surface

First, cut the emptied paper towel rolls to desired height. I varied the height for each candle stick.


DIY Concrete TeaLight Candle Sticks


Adhere the paper towel rolls to the flat cardboard. I used a glue gun to adhere the rolls. Make sure the surface is completely flat so that the candles don’t end up with a wobbly bottom.

Coat the inside of the paper towel cardboard rolls with oil. This will help to make for easy release of the concrete from the cardboard.


DIY Concrete TeaLight Candle Sticks


Next, mix your concrete/cement following the packaging instructions. For the Cement All mix, you mix 4 parts cement to 1 part water until smooth. Then start filling the emptied paper towel rolls with the cement mix. I used a large plastic scooper. After every scoop or two, tap the roll down a few times on a hard surface to make sure the cement settles and doesn’t leave any empty spots/air pockets.

When the rolls are near full, take a tea light candle and press it into the cement until it is flush with the top of the roll. Cement will spurt up the sides and fill in any empty spots. The candles tend to pop back up so you may need to hold down the candle for a minute until it stays settled. Then take a straight edge and swipe it across the top to remove any excess cement.


DIY Concrete TeaLight Candle Sticks


Repeat this process with each roll. The cement I used tends to start hardening pretty quickly, so I mixed separate batches for each roll so I wouldn’t run into any hardening issues while still working the roll.

One of my rolls did pop open while filling (far right roll in above image), which really bummed me out. So a good way to make sure that doesn’t happen to you is to wrap a few pieces of duct tape around the rolls before filling to give them extra strength.

When the cement dries, you can start peeling the cardboard off. According to the packaging instructions, I only needed to wait an hour, but I didn’t come back to them until several hours later. Note that different cements will have different drying times, so make sure to follow the specific instructions for the product you use.


DIY Concrete TeaLight Candle Sticks


Finally, peel off the cardboard. Peeling off the cardboard is similar to opening a package of refrigerated crescent rolls. There were a few places where the cardboard stuck a little bit. I’m guessing I must have missed those spots when oiling. It wasn’t a big deal, though. I just had to scrape the cardboard off on those areas. But you can avoid that by making sure you get good oil coverage.


DIY Concrete TeaLight Candle Sticks


I was thrilled with how my concrete tea light candle sticks turned out. I ended up with four really nice ones. Then my brother, Max, came along.

The tea lights I used came in a thin aluminum casing, so I was using a needle nose pliers to pull the candles and casings out from the concrete. I had a little trouble with one, so my brother looks at me, rolls his eyes, reaches his hand out and says, “Gimme.” I hand over both the concrete stick and the pliers to him and just as I say, “Careful, the concrete is very thin surrounding the candle,” I hear *POP* and little bits of cement drop to the floor. Thanks Max.

He felt really bad and immediately ran out to the store and got me some crazy glue. Needless to say, I now only have three concrete tea light candle sticks. Thanks Max.


DIY Concrete TeaLight Candle Sticks


The lesson learned here is don’t trust your brother be careful removing the aluminum casings.


DIY Concrete TeaLight Candle Sticks


So there you have it, DIY concrete tea light candle sticks. I’m obsessed with concrete and I have a bunch more concrete project ideas floating around in my noodle. So I’ll be experimenting with some new concrete ideas soon and sharing. In the meantime, check out my DIY Concrete Planter Hands!


DIY succulent concrete planter hands

Till next time!



This post linked to some of these totally fabulous blogs and here.





  1. These are awesome! What a great way to create cool accent pieces. I love the use of the paper towel rolls–so smart!

    Thanks for sharing this at Grace at Home. I’m going to be featuring you next week!

  2. I love these! I have found myself looking at concrete in a much happier way and I think I just might have to give these a try one day. Have you seen the beautiful concrete kitchen countertops showing up in magazines yet? They are gorgeous. Thanks for the tutorial!

    Gigi @ Old World Patina

    • Thanks Gigi! I do love those concrete counter tops. I’ll probably be re-doing my parents’ counter tops soon and I’m considering going with concrete. I do love the way they look!

  3. Thanks so much for joining the Say G’Day Saturday linky party. I just pinned your post. You are so clever Jenise!

    Have a great weekend!

    Best wishes,
    Natasha in Oz

    • Thank you Melissa! Yes, you should definitely try out cement. I am totally in love with it. Have a bunch more things I want to try making with it.

    • Thank you Kat. There is so much you can do with concrete. You should definitely give it a shot! It’s so fun and my new favorite thing.

    • These are so good looking, going to make them fir the patio table.
      Thank you for sharing. Really looking forward to what else you are going to make.
      So clever!

    • Oh my goodness! Thank you so much Carol. I am totally thrilled. You are awesome!! Can’t wait to stop by.

  4. Thank you for sharing this post at City of Creative Dream’s City of Links last Friday! I loved this post so much that I chose it to be featured for this weeks party. :) Go grab a button you deserve it!

    • Thank you so much Amy! I always love stopping by to check out your fun projects and fabulous features! And thank you for hosting!

  5. This is such a great use for paper towel rolls! Super cute! We are featuring your project today! Thanks for sharing with us at Your Designs This Time!
    Emily & Erin

    • Thank you so much. It’s definitely fun to come up with new uses for things we normally toss out. And thank you for the feature. It’s such an honor to be chosen!!

  6. Love these …I want to make them too…..but wondering if you could add color to them…..like an aqua? Paint or maybe milk paint that is dry?

    • Hi Sharon,
      You can definitely paint concrete. I’ve never tried milk paint so can’t say anything about that. There are also pigments you can purchase to color the concrete. I used a pigment in THIS project. I also experimented with using clothing dye to color the concrete in THIS project. I’ve also seen folks do gold leaf over concrete which looks pretty cool. Anyway, if you make these I’d love for you to share your finished product on my Facebook page. Would love to see!

  7. First of all the tea light candles themselves are pretty awesome, but can I just rave about the place holder? It looks so cool to have the candles in the black rocks. The contrast here is really cool. I know that my husband won’t want to do this ourselves, but I am going to try it anyway! Thanks for the tips.

    • Thank you so much Amy! It’s really so easy to do. You should definitely give it a try. And I picked up the black rocks at Hobby Lobby for just a few bucks. If you pick some up, don’t forget to use their 40% off coupon from their website!

  8. These are super cute and I think any mom would love to receive them from her child at Christmas – or Mother’s Day. I think this is a fun project little hands could help with. Thank you for sharing!

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