What Do You Put In The Bottom Of A Floating Candle Vase?

A floating candle vase is a glass or other transparent container used to hold a floating candle. The vase is partially filled with water, and the floating candle rests on top of the water. The candle floats because the wick and a small section at the bottom of the candle is made of a material that is lighter than water, allowing it to float. The candle wick stays above the water line so it can be lit. Floating candle vases create beautiful centerpieces as the lit candles seem to magically float and glow within the vase.

Floating candle vases are commonly used for centerpieces at events like weddings, parties, and holiday meals. They create an elegant ambiance and also prevent wax from dripping onto table linens. Their visually appealing glow adds a special touch to any table decor.


Marbles are a popular option to put in the bottom of floating candle vases (Floating Beads For Centerpieces). They add weight to keep the vase upright. Marbles come in a variety of colors and sizes that can complement the vase design.

Using marbles in clear or colored glass can continue the aesthetic of the vase into the filler. Larger marbles weigh more to provide stability while smaller marbles allow for more filler. Combining sizes and colors of marbles creates visual interest.

Marbles are an affordable option readily available at most craft stores. They are heavy enough to hold vases in place while still allowing for some gentle motion from breeze or foot traffic. Their smooth glass finish also enables the floating candles to move freely.

Glass Pebbles

Glass pebbles are a popular choice to put in the bottom of floating candle vases. As a vase filler, glass pebbles add weight to keep floating candles stabilized and still allow light to shine through them (Amazon, 2022). Glass pebbles come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and colors to complement different decor styles. From tiny translucent pebbles to larger frosted glass stones, there are many options to choose from.

glass pebbles in assorted colors.

Glass pebbles are an inexpensive option compared to other vase filler choices like marbles or beads. They can often be purchased in bulk quantities for just a few dollars. Many prefer glass pebbles over rocks or sand because they allow more light to pass through and won’t cloud or dirty the water in the vase. Their smooth, rounded edges also make glass pebbles gentler on fragile vase materials.

Overall, glass pebbles make a versatile, attractive, and budget-friendly filler for the bottom of floating candle vases.


Sand is a natural weight commonly used in floating candle vases to help keep the vase steady and upright in the water. The weight of the sand helps anchor the vase and counterbalance the buoyancy of the floating candle on top. Sand comes in a variety of natural colors like white, tan, pink, and black that can complement different wedding color palettes.
vase filled with sand.

According to Quick Candles, sand bags are specifically designed for putting into vases to hold floating candles. The fine grain sand provides weight without taking up too much space in the vase. When using sand, it’s recommended to also include some rocks, pebbles, or seashells so the vase has a bit more stability and doesn’t easily tip over if bumped. The layer of sand on the bottom anchored by heavier items on top creates a stable base for floating candle centerpieces.


Seashells can add a natural and elegant touch to floating candle vases. Their organic shapes and textures provide visual interest and complement the candles nicely. According to Floating Pearls, “70 Floating Natural Large White Seashells-Pearls-Pebbles-Vivid Aqua Sea Color Gels-Fills 1 Gallon for your vases-With Transparent Water Gels Measured Floating Effects-Fills 4 gallons of Floating Seashells for your vases” [1]. When selecting shells, opt for heavier varieties like conches, scallops or clams rather than lightweight shells that may float to the top. The heavier shells will help weigh down the vase. Arrange the shells attractively on the vase bottom, mixing different sizes and shapes. The seashells’ natural hues and ridges will complement floating candles, creating an eye-catching centerpiece.

seashells arranged attractively.


Small rocks like pebbles or aquarium gravel work well for use as filler in floating candle vases. These natural stones will provide a pleasing and natural appearance. The smaller rocks are less likely to interfere with the floating candles compared to larger rocks. Since rocks are lightweight, you may need to add some additional weight such as marbles to keep the vase stable.

Natural river rocks or pebbles can create an elegant look for floating candle centerpieces and vases. The rocks help anchor the candles while complementing their natural beauty.


Adding glass beads or colored beads to the bottom of your floating candleholder can add visual interest. Since glass and many colored beads allow light to pass through them easily, they help disperse the candlelight in an attractive, glittery way. Beads come in a huge range of colors, sizes, and shapes to fit your décor. You can find round and teardrop shapes, as well as novelty shapes like flowers, hearts, stars, and more.

colorful glass beads.

According to Amazon, popular choices for floating candle vases include round glass filler beads, rainbow reflective beads, and flat marbles. The reflective beads nicely bounce the candlelight around. Just be aware that smaller beads like sand can be a choking hazard for young children if they manage to get ahold of them.

Companies like Floating Pearls even make custom floating beads and pearls specifically designed for candle vases. Their products help create a unique floating candlelight effect. Just be careful about putting floating candles with beads where pets can reach them, as some pets may try to eat them.


You can mix and match different materials like marbles and shells to create a unique look for your floating candle vase centerpieces. Combining materials provides more visual interest than using a single item. For example, you could do a mix of clear glass marbles and seashells in shades of white, sand and pale blue.

When combining materials, it’s important to balance the weights. Heavier items like marbles will sink lower while lighter items like faux pearls will float higher. Make sure you have enough of the heavier materials on the bottom to keep everything stable. Test out different combinations in water first before using in your vase to ensure the floating effect looks balanced.

Some popular combinations are:
– Marbles + faux pearls (source)

– River rocks + glass beads (source)

Mixing and matching materials for your floating candle vases allows you to create unique centerpieces that complement your event style and decor.

Tips for Use

When using materials in the bottom of a floating candle vase, it’s important to arrange them evenly to keep the vase balanced and prevent tipping. The amount needed can vary depending on the vase, so you may need to experiment to find the right quantity. Consider the height of the vase and candle – taller vases and candles need more weight in the bottom for stability.

Spread the filler material across the entire bottom surface of the vase so it is distributed evenly. Too much on one side can make the vase lean to that side. Marbles, rocks, and glass pebbles work well since they are heavy and will stay in place. Sand and beads shift more easily, so use a generous amount to weigh down the vase.

Start with about 0.5-1 inch of filler material. You can always add more if needed. Too little and the vase won’t be steady, but too much can make it overly heavy and hard to move. Test the balance once the candle is floating – a gentle nudge shouldn’t make it tilt. If it’s unstable, add a bit more filler. With the right balance, your floating candle vase will stay perfectly upright and make a beautiful display.


There are numerous options for filling the base of floating candle vases, with popular choices including marbles, glass pebbles, sand, shells, rocks, and beads. You can use just one material or get creative and combine several complementary elements. The key considerations are choosing materials that won’t float up and overtake the candle, as well as selecting colors, textures, and sizes that aesthetically complement your vase and candle.

Smooth glass pebbles or marbles in clear, white or bold colors work well to allow the candle to stand out. Natural elements like sand, shells and rocks add organic texture and softer earth tones. Mixing materials can create visual interest, such as clear glass pebbles with some mixed ocean shells. Using all one color like clear or white can give a sleek, modern look. Combining colors and materials that pick up on hues in the vase itself helps tie the whole design together.

floating candle vase with mixed filler.

Get creative with your selections and arrangements to design a unique floating candle vase base that expresses your personal style. The possibilities are endless!

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