Dough bowl candles have become an increasingly popular candle style over the past few years. As their name suggests, these candles are housed in actual baking dough bowls, creating a rustic, farmhouse-chic look that fits right in with modern home décor trends.
What Are Dough Bowl Candles
Dough bowl candles refer to container candles that are housed in actual baking dough bowls, usually made from wood, ceramic or even metal. The dough bowl acts as a candle holder, with a standard jar or tin candle placed inside the bowl.
The rustic, imperfect look of aged baking bowls paired with candles creates an earthy, warm aesthetic that fits right in with farmhouse, country and vintage home décor styles. The carved ridges, natural cracks and crevices and worn patina of dough bowls create intriguing shadows and dimension when illuminated by the candlelight within.
Dough bowls come in many shapes and sizes, from small dipping bowls to large mixing bowls. When used as candle holders, dough bowls are sometimes filled with complimentary decorations like pinecones, dried flowers, pebbles or sand, metallic beads, seashells and more before a candle is added inside.
The History & Rise in Popularity of Dough Bowl Candles
Baking dough bowls themselves have a long history, used for centuries to mix and proof bread doughs before commercial mixers became common kitchen tools. Often made from wood, early dough bowls were carved, scooped, spun or shaped by hand for functionality and efficient dough mixing.
Over time as home bread baking traditions declined, many vintage dough bowls ended up getting repurposed for home décor instead. Mixing bowls or dough troughs made appealing planters or fruit bowls, while smaller bowls worked for catching keys, storing trinkets or even candle holders.
The use of dough bowls specifically for candles began gaining popularity in the early 2010s alongside the modern farmhouse trend, which emphasized natural, vintage-inspired elements as home décor. The aged, handcrafted look of antique dough bowls paired nicely with simple tin candle vessels to create an earthy candle style fitting for farmhouse styled spaces.
As this decorating style expanded into the mainstream over the past decade, dough bowl candle arrangements could be readily found at large retailers and specialty home décor shops across the country. Both large and small dough bowls have become trendy candle holders that mesh well with contemporary minimalism and the still prevalent farmhouse style.
Why Use Dough Bowls for Candles
There are many great reasons to choose dough bowl candle holders over typical metal, glass or ceramic candle holders:
Rustic, Organic Look
- The imperfect, weathered appearance of aged wooden or ceramic dough bowls adds loads of charm. Every nick, crack and dent in the surface brings visual interest and texture.
- Vintage dough bowls showcase skilled handcrafting processes that are rarely found with mass-produced home goods today. The evidence of hand carving creates an heirloom quality.
Warm, Inviting Glow
- The carved ridges and hollows of dough bowls cast intriguing shadows when lit by candlelight. This interplay of light and shadows results in beautiful ambiance.
- Dough bowls maintain their original functionality as serving dishes or catch-all bowls when candles aren’t lit inside. They transition beautifully between different roles.
- Antique kitchenware like dough bowls carry memories and history of previous generations and long-standing cooking traditions. They bring heartwarming nostalgia and character to décor.
- The unique shapes and markings of individual antique dough bowls make them natural conversation starters and focal points wherever displayed.
Affordable & Accessible
- Genuine antique dough bowls can still be found at reasonable prices compared to many other antique or vintage home goods. New reproduction dough bowls also offer the same styling at lower price points.
With all of these benefits, it’s easy to see why dough bowl candles have become a mainstream home décor choice that adds welcoming, vintage farmhouse character to all different design aesthetics and spaces.
How Dough Bowl Candles Are Made
There are a few common methods used to create dough bowl candle arrangements:
Vintage Dough Bowls
The most authentic dough bowl candles utilize genuine antique baking bowls that exhibit a well-loved, well-worn patina acquired over many years of use. These vintage vessels with all their natural cracks, dents, staining and carvings create the quintessential aged look that works beautifully for candles. Cleaned vintage dough bowls get paired with new standard jar or tin candles to create pleasing displays.
Reproduction Dough Bowls
For more affordable and accessible options, many retailers offer newly manufactured dough bowls that mimic the distressing, aging and hand-carved styling of antique versions. These reproduction dough bowls allow consumers to achieve the chippy farmhouse look without investing in rare, pricey antiques. Newer reproduction bowls get carefully processed to exhibit fake cracks, staining, dents and a weathered surface texture before finishing. Then standard candle jars or tins can be placed inside to finish the dough bowl candle.
Hand-Crafted Dough Bowls
Skilled artisans also create new dough bowls in small batches using traditional wood turning and carving methods for those who appreciate handmade craftsmanship. These dough bowls shaped on lathes exhibit the knicks and tool marks of genuine hand production processes versus artificial distressing. When paired with complementary candles, these artisanal dough bowls result in one-of-a-kind candle arrangements.
Filling Dough Bowls
Some dough bowl candles take the additional step of filling the bowl with decorative embellishments before inserting a candle. This not only adds visual interest, but also helps anchor more rounded candle jars that might otherwise roll around precariously. Popular dough bowl filler materials include river rocks, marbles, pebbles, sand, moss, dried botanicals, seashells, wood slices and more. These decorative fillers complement the handcrafted, organic nature of dough bowl candles.
No matter which production method is used, the resulting carved, aged look of an authentic or reproduction dough bowl paired with a simple candle never fails to impress. The handmade appearance and intricate shadows created by dough bowl surfaces work together to make candlelight feel special.
Tips for Burning Dough Bowl Candles Safely
While their imperfections add loads of character, dough bowl candle holders do require a bit more care and caution to burn safely compared to standard candle vessels.
Here are some top tips:
Use Sturdy Dough Bowls
- Examine dough bowls for cracks or flaws that could expand from the heat of candles. Choose dough bowls that feel solid and sturdy enough to withstand burning candles inside for durations over 2-4 hours safely.
Keep Wicks Trimmed
- Always trim wicks to 1⁄4” before lighting to prevent dangerously tall flames. Trim wicks before each use as needed.
- Shelter dough bowl candles from direct drafty paths that could blow wax pool surfaces or encourage the open dough bowl to catch flames.
Give Space Between Candles
- When grouping multiple dough bowl candle arrangements together, leave 4-6 inches minimum between each to prevent spreading flames.
Use Non-Flammable Filler
- If using decorative fillers inside dough bowls, select non-flammable materials like river rocks, marbles or glass beads. Avoid dried botanicals like flowers, herbs or grasses inside the bowl.
Watch the Flame Height
- If flames grow taller than 2 inches despite trimmed wicks, extinguish the candle and double check for drafts, proximity to other candles, etc.
With close monitoring and some minor precautions, dough bowl candles make stunning, safe additions to tablescapes, mantels, countertops and more. Their captivating glow is well worth the extra care required.
Cleaning & Caring for Dough Bowl Candles
Part of the appeal with using genuine antique or vintage dough bowls for candles is the aged patina and evidence of use they exhibit. You’ll want to handle such treasured vessels with care.
Here are some dough bowl cleaning tips:
Use Gentle Cleaners
- Gently wipe antique wood bowls with mild dish soap and water as needed, avoiding harsh chemical cleaners that could degrade the finish.
Touch Up Finish Carefully
- Use food-safe finishes like beeswax or mineral oil to nourish antique wood gently and minimize additional staining over time with gentle reapplication every few months.
Protect Surfaces Below
- Place dough bowl candles on glass, metal or ceramic protected surfaces since wax can drip down the exterior in some cases and cause stains.
Manage Wax Build Up
- Absorb melted wax drips promptly with paper towels or absorbing sheets rather than letting puddles form. If wax adheres, let it harden completely before gently scraping off excess.
Prevent Deep Staining
- Rotate the candle’s position occasionally so the same spot doesn’t get excessively stained with concentrated smoke and soot over time.
With some simple wax and flame maintenance, your treasured antique, vintage or handmade dough bowls can safely contain and amplify beautiful candles for many years without showing much wear. The scuffs and beauty marks they gain over time with use will only add more beloved character.
Decorating With Dough Bowl Candles
Thanks to their versatile, eye-catching shapes and figural contours that play with light, dough bowl candles make excellent statement pieces to build displays around or accent existing room schemes. Consider these clever dough bowl candle decorating ideas:
Coffee Table Centerpiece
- A large vintage dough bowl filled with seasonal elements like pinecones, gnarled wood rounds and a pillar candle makes a welcoming focal point.
- Position a dough bowl candle on a windowsill to let the flickering glow silhouette through curtains or blinds for cozy ambiance.
- Place a dough bowl candle arrangement on a console table or small entryway shelf to instantly warm up the entry.
Table Number Centerpiece
- Use individual dough bowl candle arrangements to decorate reception or event tables as organic table numbers with rustic flair.
- Mix dough bowl candle holders into a vignette wall with other found wood antiques, botanical prints and handcrafted pottery for an artful composition with depth.
Fireplace Mantel Anchor
- Flank a garland, mirror or collection of art with dough bowl candles of varying sizes to bring width and height variety to a mantel display.
- A petite dough bowl tealight or votive candle makes kitchen countertops more inviting and creates mood lighting for tasks like food prep.
Bathroom Vanity Accent
- Perch single or paired dough bowl candles of differing heights on the corners of a bathroom vanity to amplify mood lighting.
- Weatherproof dough bowl candles with secure lids add rustic ambiance to covered patios or enclosed gazebos outdoors.
Mix and match dough bowl candles across all living spaces to let their handcrafted silhouettes and magical glow enhance any room’s atmosphere. Their versatility allows them to feel at home in settings from traditional to industrial.
Best Scents for Dough Bowl Candles
When it comes to selecting candle scents for dough bowl vessels, it’s best to opt for earthy essential oil blends that feel authentic to the natural, handcrafted style of the holders. The scent experience should harmonize with the primitive farmhouse aesthetic dough bowls exude.
Here are some fitting fragrance notes to fill your dough bowl candles with:
Cedarwood + Sage – This crisp, herbal blend calls to mind a rustic cedar barn mingled with bracing evergreen forests.
Smoky Birch + Leather – Notes of birch tar, vetiver and oakmoss capture the aroma of worn leather gloves and burning birch firewood.
Rosemary + Pine – Crisp crushed rosemary and balsam pine mix for an invigorating outdoor market scentscape.
Roasted Chestnut + Clove – Recall wintry evenings with notes of sugared roasted chestnuts and mulled cider.
Pumpkin + Nutmeg – Warm, slightly spicy pumpkin bread aroma sets seasonal holiday moods.
Lavender + Honey – Relaxing French lavender fields meet sweet golden honey for a soothing stress-relieving experience.
Fig + Plum – Succulent Mediterranean fruit tones blend for a soothing fruity-floral aroma.
Basil + Lime – Uplifting summery aromas of zesty lime citrus and freshly cut basil awaken the senses.
Sea Salt + Driftwood – Crisp ocean breezes mingle with sun-bleached smooth driftwood.
The visual harmony dough bowl candles create with environmentally friendly soy wax or beeswax blends and responsibly sourced essential oils make them ideal for today’s conscientious consumers wanting beautiful, ethical home products.
Storing Dough Bowl Candles
For those collectors who amass multiple dough bowl candle arrangements as statement décor pieces, proper storage is key for keeping these prized antiques or vintage vessels safe between display rotations.
Here are handy storage tips:
Allow to Cool Completely – Before moving any candle holders to storage, let the wax fully harden and the vessel come to room temp so lingering warmth doesn’t cause slumping, melting or other heat damage over time.
Wrap Fragile Areas – Use cloth, tissue paper, bubble wrap or other cushioning materials to carefully wrap handles, rims or fragile carved details on bare dough bowls to prevent chips and dings during storage.
Designate Shelving – Set aside closet shelving, cabinet space or dedicated storage furniture like hutches to house dough bowl candle collections together when not in use. This prevents accidental tip overs or breakage.
Tidy Wicks & Wax – Carefully trim wicks before storage to prevent sooting or wax adherence over time. Gently clean any wax drips from dough bowl exteriors as well so they don’t attract dirt build up in storage.
Control Climate – Avoid exposing dough bowl candles to drastic swings between very dry and very humid conditions which could crack or warp the wood over months. Maintain even, mild relative humidity around 45-55% if possible.
With mindful handling and climate controlled storage between displays, your dough bowl candle collection can grace tables, mantels and more for many special events and holiday seasons to come. The coveted patina they gain over years of use only adds more priceless character.
Where to Buy Dough Bowl Candles
Thanks to the surging popularity of the farmhouse décor style over the past decade, dough bowl candle options today are abundant both online and at many major retail stores.
Here are some top places to buy dough bowl candles:
|This bohemian, feminine lifestyle brand sells artisanal reproduction dough bowls fitted with their signature Capri candle jars in exclusive printed scents.
|Known for accessible, mass-produced farmhouse style furniture and accents, Pottery Barn offers faux antique finished dough bowls housing neutral toned candles.
|The mid-century modern sister brand to Pottery Barn also stocks a small collection of painted dough bowl vessels holding cylindrical pillar candles.
|Crate & Barrel
|Rustic, minimalist dough bowls containing neutral wax candles can be shopped alongside other contemporary home goods selections here.
|For budget-friendly dough bowl candle options, mass retailer Target stocks seasonal collections of small decorated dough bowls with tealight candles or filler.
|To source authentic antique dough bowls or small batch handmade reproduction dough bowl candles, browse the many independent artisans selling specialized wares at this indie marketplace.
|Another platform to shop genuine vintage dough bowls is eBay, where estate liquidators and antique sellers list unusual flea market finds to auction or buy instantly.
|Don’t overlook your own community’s independently owned home, antique and giftware boutiques. These small businesses often carry handmade or custom dough bowl candle designs you won’t find elsewhere.
Between mass retailers, e-commerce marketplaces and local boutiques, today’s selection of dough bowl candles is deeper than ever before. The options span a wide spectrum from genuine antique vessels to commercial reproductions at price points accessible to all budgets.
How Much Do Dough Bowl Candles Cost
Pricing for dough bowl candles varies quite significantly based on factors like vessel age, authenticity, materials, size and other embellishments. In general, consumers can expect to budget:
- Small reproduction dough bowls – $15 to $30 Mass produced small new dough bowls with faux distressing effects paired with basic glass jar or tin candles.
- Mid-size vintage dough bowls – $25 to $60
Genuine used antique baking bowls from the early to mid 1900s holding new standard jar candles
- Large antique dough bowls – $50 to $150 Rare, old or unusually shaped large genuine dough bowls often holding more premium candles or additional decorations
- Artisan handmade dough bowls – $60 to $300 Contemporary dough bowls shaped from wood using traditional techniques then fitted with hand-poured candles by artistans
- Ornate one-of-a-kind displays – $100+ Elaborate or wedding-quality dough bowl candle arrangements mixing rare antiques, custom candles, premium decorations
Budget shoppers aiming for the popular farmhouse look can readily achieve it for under $30 with plenty of mass merchant options. Yet dough bowl candle pricing can run into the hundreds for shoppers wanting completely custom designs leveraging rare, hundred year old dough bowls and personalized decorative extras.
Between thrift stores, flea markets, Etsy artisans, specialty gift shops and big box retailers, attractive dough bowl candle accents at nearly every price point abound. Part of dough bowl candles’ broad consumer appeal is the spectrum of options fitting for all different budgets. Even modest households can incorporate a touch of coveted farmhouse style through affordable dough bowl tealights.
DIY Dough Bowl Candle Ideas
For crafty consumers wanting to create their own custom dough bowl candle arrangements at home, the basic format makes an very achievable DIY project requiring just a few fundamental supplies.
Try these creative dough bowl candle craft ideas:
- Hand Painting – Transform a plain dough bowl’s appearance by painting decorative patterns in acrylic craft paints. Adhere faux wax drips for added dimension.
- Ombre Dipping – Gradient dye a new raw dough bowl using diluted fabric dye in fun colors like sea green to turquoise for a watercolor effect.
- Faux Crackle Glazing – After cleaning, glaze ceramic dough bowls in layers of contrasting colored glazes, sanding between coats, for aged faux crackling.
- Found Object Layering – Coat the bottom of a dough bowl in clear acrylic sealant, then artfully arrange seashells, colored glass pebbles, coins, sand or hardware bits while wet to set in place once dry.
- Napkin Decoupage – Cutout motifs from pretty vintage floral napkins to adhere across the surface of wooden or ceramic dough bowls using decoupage glue for a custom collage look.
- Stenciling/Stamping – Add freehand designs, inspirational words, geometric patterns or images using etched printmaking stamps or handcut stencils with fabric paint.
The canvases dough bowl surfaces provide lend themselves beautifully to all kinds of artistic DIY interpretations via painting, texture making and found object embellishments. Crafty consumers can even repurpose cherished family heirloom bowls once used by previous generations into meaningful candle displays imbued with nostalgia and special memories.
Whether you prefer working with wood, ceramic, porcelain, metal or other base materials, dough bowls serve as novel 3-dimensional structures for creative exploration through customizeable candle arrangements and holders. Display your signature dough bowl candle designs proudly as handmade focal points matching your unique personality and style.
Pros and Cons
|Unique rustic aesthetic
|Require more safety precautions than typical candles
|Showcase artisanal craftsmanship
|Can be more expensive, especially for antique vessels
|Cast beautiful, intriguing shadows
|Not as durable as standard metal/glass candle holders
|Wax can stain exterior or interior if drips occur
|Imbued with nostalgia
|Need proper climate control for storage
|Can roll if placed on uneven surface
|Affordable decor option
|Care required not to chip aged wood or ceramic
With their imperfect hand-hewn forms, evident signs of use and intricate play of shadows and light, dough bowl candles encapsulate cozy, timeworn charm. Their welcoming glow, grounded in tradition and craft, never fails to infuse spaces with character and warmth.
Beyond aesthetics, the humble dough bowl candle represents generations of makers crafting honest tools for community sustenance. Repurposed into candles today, these vessels overflow with nostalgia, ritual and humanity – attributes we instinctively gravitate toward for their authenticity and resonance.
Simple tapers flickering amidst well-loved bowls connect us to deep roots…the emotionally grounding comforts of hearth, home and heritage. Such familiar, tangible refuge often proves more meaningful than any luxury trends that fade in and out of popularity.
Ultimately, dough bowl candles magnify this enduring appeal for elemental beauty and purposeful imperfection through the purity of gentle, shared light. Their staying power persists thanks to this visceral response kindled inside us all.