Oyster-shell candles for St. James’ Day

Here’s a simple craft inspired by St. James’ association with oyster shells – especially the English tradition of making candlelit oyster-shell grottos!

A great way to find oyster shells is to go to any local seafood restaurants and inquire about discarded shells – they often have heaps of them. After some cleaning (dish soap, airing out in the sunshine, etc.), they’ll lose most of their scent.

To create your St. James oyster shell votives:

  1. Melt the wax of your choice in a double-boiler (a suitable dish or pitcher inside a pot of boiling water). We used soy wax, but beeswax would be lovely!
  2. After the wax has melted and reached temperature, add in some essential oils if you’d like.
  3. Affix a wick to the bottom of an oyster shell; this can be tricky, since they come in all shapes and sizes, and some aren’t terribly deep. Try to find the deepest spot to place your wick.
  4. Poor the wax in to the shell. Voila: a St. James votive!

This was such a fun craft for both kids (supervised) and adults alike. And the end result is a beautiful reminder of St. James and our calling as pilgrims!

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