Darling DIY: Agate Geode Candle Holders

As a child I was quite literally obsessed with "sparkle rocks." I would climb the same hillsides and creek beds near our home looking for any glint of quartz I could find, so as an adult I am mad crushing on the agate and geode trend we're seeing in home and wedding decor. The price of some of these pieces moves that crush into the abusive relationship category, though.

Marjorie Skouras Kerkyra Sconce

This Marjorie Skouras Kerkyra Sconce is, um, on sale for $1800. I don't think I'm wrong to assume that's out of most wedding budgets, so how about I show you how to make your own agate-inspired candle holders for less than $10 a piece?

This project has a bit of down time, but if you work in batches, finishing several in an afternoon is no problem. Since we LOVE DIYs that can be incorporated easily into home decor after the wedding, look for colors that match your wedding palette that would also look great in your living room or home office to maximize your use and money. Grab some friends and you can have one for every guest table! Here's what you'll need to get started:

The Materials

Materials for Agate Geode DIY

4-5 colors of Sculpey Polymer or a similar oven-baked clay
Metallic Craft Paint (I'm using Folk Art Antique Gold.)
A heavy glass vase or candle holder
Mod Podge Super Gloss
Metal Spoon
Paint brushes
Very coarse salt like rock salt (I used Morten's Ice Cream Salt) or sea salt. For the best results, combine different levels of coarseness.

Start by rolling individual colors of clay into long, narrow tubes. You can break larger portions of one color into smaller tubes to get a more even marbling. To cover a votive holder that is approximately four inches cubed, I used about two and a half bricks of clay divided between five colors of brown and green, using a little more of the lighter colors and a little less of the dark. Twist all of your coils together to begin the marbling process and roll all of the clay into a ball. Don't over-work the clay, otherwise you'll begin to see one color emerge. While you can still see the individual colors, smash the ball into a flattened disc and use a rolling pin (or in my case, an empty wine bottle) to roll the clay flat and about 1/8 of an inch thick.

Agate Geode DIY step one

Once you have a large, flat piece of clay, start draping it over each side, folding a little over the top edge to hold it in place. I like to trim between sides, then use the back of the spoon to smooth out the seams.

Using the tip of your spoon, gently dig out a rough-shaped hole in one side of the clay. Following the lines in the clay keeps it looking natural. Press any lifted edges back to the glass, then bake in the oven according to your clay's instructions.

Agate geode DIY step four

Let your clay completely cool (this may take an hour or so), then take your craft paint and trace around the opening. This isn't a time to worry about coloring inside the lines! You want to let some of the paint get on the exposed glass and lap over the edges. You can also use a fine brush to add little "veins" of gold by tracing some of the existing color borders in the clay. 

Once your paint is dry, pour the Mod Podge in the cavity, filling it about half way. Using a brush to drizzle the adhesive onto the exposed glass seems to be the cleanest way to get this done.

Starting with the coarsest salt first, sprinkle crystals around the outside edge of your Mod Podge. Drizzle some more adhesive around the crystals to get a good, solid bond, then fill in the gaps with a finer ground salt to complete the geode effect.

Agate Geode DIY step six

Leave your project to dry with the "crystals" facing up overnight then, if desired, seal the clay with a coat of the Mod Podge for a glossy, polished rock finish. The Mod Podge will be dry to the touch within a few hours, but takes four weeks to fully cure. Until then, keep it away from water, but enjoy your gorgeous new piece!

agate geode DIY display
agate geode DIY closeup

What lovely colors would you use to create this DIY? We'd love to hear from you in the comments! A little intimidated by the idea of DIY-ing your wedding decor? Send us an email to set up a consultation!